Sunday, 28 December 2014

DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND: HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT ENGAGEMENT RING

We're very lucky over the Christmas period to have two guest blogs - the first from the renowned Longleat.  Make sure you take a look at their site Longleat Weddings if you're looking for an outstanding luxury wedding venue. With a choice of wedding packages, including a bespoke package, which can be tailored to your needs, it's a really magical venue - perfect for a Vintage wedding - or, in fact, any type of wedding!

We know some of you will have been planning your wedding over the Christmas break - and if you haven't yet chosen the ring this great piece from  offers lots of good advice to ensure you get a ring you'll love for a lifetime ... or perhaps you can leave this blog page up as a bit of a hint to your Mr Right!  Over to Longleat Weddings
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/53691420532460264/ - (coffee in the mountains) 
"If you’re planning to ask that special lady to marry you, then you’re going to want the right sort of sparkler to ensure you get that all important ‘yes’. According to the Guardian, 75 per cent of British men, at some point, have to go engagement ring shopping, and most are terrified of getting it wrong. After all, their partner is going to have to wear the ring for the rest of her life, so she’d better like it!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/70650287878933829/ - (the berry)
Times have changed a lot over the past few decades, and the surprise proposal is somewhat a thing of the past. Most couples at least discuss getting married before he decides to pop the question, and some go as far as planning a holiday to ensure their engagement takes place in a suitably romantic location. Plenty of modern couples actually go out together to choose an engagement ring, which takes a bit of the guess work out of picking the right one.

Even when the blushing bride to be is involved in the decision making process, getting just the right engagement ring is a tough task. With so many cuts, designs, diamond sizes and other variables involved, the couple can truly be spoilt for choice. But when you want to look as incredible as all those amazing wedding venues you’ve been dreaming about, it’s important to get it right. Here are some great tips to help you locate the perfect engagement ring in the sea of possibilities that surround you.
   
Understand the code of the diamonds
As much as you want to get a nice design for your engagement ring, the main value of the piece is locked up in the diamond itself. By understanding what the different qualities of a diamond are, you can pick a ring that will hold its value for many years to come.
  • Cut: The most common cut is round, but you can also see cuts such as the princess, the pear, the heart and the marquise. Make sure you know what cut you are keen on to help you hone down your search.
  • Colour: The best quality, and most expensive, diamonds are completely colourless. The most colourless diamonds are graded ‘D’, with the scale going down to ‘Z’ for those which display subtle colours.
  • Clarity: Don’t get too hung up on the clarity, as it won’t affect your diamond greatly and you can’t see the imperfections without a magnifying glass anyway. However, do be aware that the very best grading for clarity is IF (internally flawless) and the worst is I3 (imperfect 3).
  • Carat: The size of the diamond is measured by carat. A whole carat is 0.2gm and is divided into 100 units of smaller measurement called points. Most engagement rings are somewhere between half a carat and one carat.
A good jeweller will know about all these standards, and will be prepared to take the time to talk you through each one. If you want to be completely sure of getting a high quality diamond, get a ‘cert’ stone which has been graded and coded by a gemmological laboratory.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/366550857146466934/ - (adornemeaustralia)

Choose the right metal
Consider your options when it comes to the metal that you have your diamond set in. Most diamonds are set in gold, but that’s not the only option.
  • Platinum: This, the strongest of all precious metals, is a more expensive options than gold but is a material designed to last a lifetime.
  • 18k gold: This gold is a cheaper yet still highly valued option. Because it is malleable, it is more susceptible to damage, but can be repaired more easily too.
  • 14k gold: The lower the karat number, the less pure the gold is. 14k gold is cheaper than 18k, but still offers great value and a beautiful finish.
  • Palladium: Like platinum, this is an incredibly hard wearing metal of the highest purity, but is lighter and cheaper. It has an attractive whiteness to it which can make it an interesting choice for an engagement ring.
When thinking about which metal to have your ring made in, it’s important to consider more than just the appearance and cost. If your partner wears other rings next to her ring finger, buying a harder metal for her engagement ring could damage the neighbouring jewellery. Remember too that whatever metal her engagement ring is fabricated from, her wedding ring will need to be made of the same to avoid causing damage to either piece.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/526639750150491102/ - (fabulous fashion & style)

Getting it right for her
The design of the ring has to be perfect for her, so make sure you understand her preferences before you start shopping. Does she like vintage clothes and d├ęcor at home, or does she prefer a modern style? Have a look through her own jewellery collection and see what types of pieces she’s been shopping for herself.

If you’re choosing your own wedding ring, the only real answer to finding your perfect style is to look, and look, and look. The web is a great resource of images, as are wedding mags and jewellery stores in your local high street. If you want something really unusual, you could have your ring bespoke made by a local craftsman, which is often not as expensive as you think.

Whether you’re shopping for the engagement ring together or planning a surprise proposal, your perfect ring is definitely out there somewhere. Make sure you buy from a reputable supplier if you don’t want to get ripped off with a cubic zirconia, and remember to keep the receipt just in case things don’t go entirely to plan!"