Wedding Ring Essentials: From Picking the Best Ring to Keeping It Shining

Picking out the right ring for either spouse can be a daunting task – especially if you’re the one popping the question, as you don’t typically have any feedback to base your decision on.  When it comes to wedding rings, though, decisions have to make both partners happy about the rings they’re going to wear, something that can often lead to headaches or even arguments.  Here you’ll not only get a great deal of insight into the process of selecting the right ring for both parties, but also all of the information you could need in order to keep those rings sparkling.

Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring:

Especially if it’s going to be a true surprise, picking an engagement ring is typically something that a man goes into without the direct aid of his significant other.  This can make picking out the right ring a little difficult, but not impossible.

A great starting point is to take some cues from the jewelry that she already owns.  Figure out if she has a preference for certain types of precious metals (does she have more silver jewelry than gold?) and pay attention to her reactions to the engagement rings of friends and family members, as well as things she sees on TV or while the two of you are out shopping together.

If she has a friend or family member that she’s close to, and you trust them to keep your intentions secret, you can always use them to test the waters and get an idea for the kind of ring she might like.

Before you set off in search of a ring, though, you must set a budget.  Your budget is really going to have a major impact on the kind of ring you buy, so it’s best to go ahead and exclude the options outside of your budget that way you not only streamline your options a bit, but you don’t find yourself overspending.  Once you set your budget, though, don’t rush out and buy something in the excitement of it all – take your time!

Check out various jewelers in order to compare quality and price, as well as customization options.  Many jewelers will work with you to customize a ring, and this doesn’t always cost as much as you might think.  Speak with jewelers in person to get a more in-depth idea about the options available to you and to see whether or not they can work with you on the price.

If you’re going for a diamond, then you need to pay attention to cut, carat, clarity, and color, as all of these factors will determine the true quality of the diamond.  The last thing you want to do is max your budget out on a diamond that’s actually far inferior to something you could have bought for the same price or even for less.  Look at any stones you’re presented with through a jeweler’s loupe, and pay attention to any inclusions (imperfections) that may be present.

Some diamonds will sparkle less than others, some will look a little hazier, and some may not have the right sort of cut.  Be open to the idea of finding a diamond you like and having it set into a ring of your choosing, rather than settling for a ring that already features a stone, but may not be of sound quality.

Rings for Men:

Some pressure tends to get placed on men regarding their wedding band matching the bride’s engagement ring, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.  Rings can complement, even if they don’t match, and they can even contrast completely.  Just as the bride deserves something that she likes and that represents her taste and personality, the groom also deserves a wedding band that he can enjoy wearing.  Both parties will be wearing their rings for a long time to come, so both have to be happy with the end result.

With happiness in mind, the first thing to look for is the comfort level of the ring.  Look for rings that have nicely rounded edges, even gentle, more subtle rounded edges on the interior.  If you like a more flat-edge look on the exterior, you can still opt for a curved interior that makes the fit far more comfortable.

Men may not always like picking out rings, but this may also be due to the fact that in the past many wedding bands for men were somewhat boring.  There are far more options available to men these days, which reflect a huge variety of tastes and personality types. Men can make a statement by wearing real dinosaur bone rings, which contain real dino bone fossils. Men who work with their hands in a profession that may expose their ring to possible damage should keep this in mind when purchasing a ring.  For durability purposes, many men like picking titanium rings because they’re a lot tougher than other metal types.  Durability doesn’t have to mean lackluster, either, as titanium rings come with just as many options for engravings, inlays, and precious stones – basically whatever you’re looking for, you can probably find with titanium.

Cleaning Your Rings:

In order to keep rings safe from damage, many couples today are opting to purchase two different wedding bands: one that’s simpler and can be worn throughout the work day, and the nicer one that’s more intricate.  Simply taking your ring off for certain activities can go a long way toward keeping it from getting damaged.  If you’re going to be working with any type of chemical or cleaner, it’s best to go ahead and remove your ring, especially if it features precious stones.

Using an ultrasonic cleaner is a great option for plain bands of gold, silver, titanium, and platinum jewelry.  However, it’s best not to use these with gemstones, relying instead on hand cleaning with jewelry cleaning solutions.  Some gems, like emeralds, even come with special oil polishes that can be removed by ultrasonic cleaners and lead to a fading of the stone.  Inclusions on any gem can be made worse by certain ultrasonic cleaners, so be mindful in this area as well.

Titanium and stainless steel are easy to clean, especially since they’re resistant to tarnishing.  Simple cleaning solutions, as well as ultrasonic cleaners, work absolutely find for regular titanium or stainless steel jewelry.  If your ring has an inlay of wooden veneer or jeweler’s enamel, it would be best to perhaps use just a polishing cloth or regular soap and water.

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