Contrary to popular thought and memory, engagement rings, especially diamond rings, are not an "age old" tradition; it is a fairly new preference that was propelled by some very clever marketing about 150 years ago. Fortunately for the jewelry industry, the idea caught on in a very big way. Today, we associate engagement rings with the ultimate symbol of love, a symbol of the life-long commitment of two people. The hottest trend in engagement rings today are those designed for men. Other trends involve rings that are not diamond-based, but display a variety of gemstones like rubies, emeralds, pearls, sapphires, and blue topaz.
Since engagement rings are not only a Western or American tradition, other countries such as Japan, Ireland, Germany and Sweden have their own popular styles. What Should I Look for in an Engagement Ring? First, keep in mind that you will be wearing this particular ring for a very long time. (Hopefully) You will probably be wearing it every day of your life. Thus, the ring needs to be sturdy in construction. For the band, the most durable metal by far is platinum.
It is virtually indestructible, but is also very expensive. Recently titanium has begun to rival platinum as a band setting because it's extremely durable and much less expensive than platinum. Even with these advantages, a platinum setting in an engagement ring not only holds its value over time, but the ring will even increase in value. Gold, white gold, and silver are popular band settings for engagement rings.
They are not only beautiful, but hardy as well. Softer metals are not recommended since an engagement ring can take a beating over time. Gold bands should be either 14 or 18 carats; 9-carat rings are not considered sufficiently durable. Sterling silver bands should be either 925 or 375 in quality. When it comes to choosing a gemstone for your ring, diamonds are not the only "proper" stone; this concept is the clever invention of the diamond industry. All over the world, gemstones like sapphires, emeralds, rubies, chrysoberyl, white or pink pearls, and spinel.
In fact, these hard, durable gemstones were the engagement rings of European royalty in the 1700's and 1800's, with diamonds added only in the last century. Increasingly popular are engagement rings that consist of several different types of precious gemstones. You might choose a ring with a ruby in the middle, with diamonds on each side. Alternatively, you might like a diamond ring surrounded by sapphires. These rings are not only crafted by gemologists in bulk, but you can also order a custom-made ring that consists of the birthstones of the bride and groom.
Choose the engagement ring that best suits your taste. It's yours for life, so let your love and your creativity be your guide.
For more information from Brian Welsch about Engagement rings check www.ringsforengagement.com