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How to Personalize an Engagement Ring

If you’ve looked at scores of rings but none of them seems quite right for that special woman in your life, perhaps it’s time to think about what you can do to make your engagement ring reflect the unique love you feel. In short, why not find a way to personalize the item that is both an offer and a question? After all, the woman you’re planning to spend the rest of your life with deserves a singular expression of your devotion. If you’re not sure how to go about doing this, here are just a few suggestions that might help you along the way.

1. Choose the setting. One of the easiest ways to make an engagement ring special is to stay away from stock items and pick your own setting. Most online retailers offer you the option to select from a number of settings, and in most cases, you can add in many different kinds of stones to make your creation one-of-a-kind.

2. Choose the diamond. Once you’ve picked the setting, the next step is to select a diamond centerpiece. Of course, you should be aware that the band you choose may have some bearing on the size or shape of the diamond you can put in it, so you might have to go back and look again if you opt for a diamond that doesn’t fit your setting. However, a unique shape is a great way to make an engagement ring special. Just be aware that your woman may not like something that strays too far from the traditional fare (that would be a colorless, round-cut stone).

3. Add embellishments. The final step in creating your own ring is to bling it out with some add-ons. In this case, you should think about surrounding your central stone with diamond chips (or other gemstones). Particularly popular right now are pave halos (where the main stone is encircled by a “halo” of diamond chips). Also pretty are colored stones flanking the diamond, but this depends on your honey’s personal taste, so tread carefully when you add color.

4. Add an inscription. Nothing is more personalized than an inscription that holds meaning for you and your lady. Think about inscribing the band with the date you met, both of your names (followed by the word “forever”) or a short phrase that is meaningful only to the two of you.

5. See a designer. If all else fails, you can simply have a ring specially designed. The only problem is, this will likely cost you a lot, you may be at the whim of the designer, and without your girlfriend getting a gander beforehand, she may end up hating it.

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5 Reasons to Design Your Own Diamond Engagement Ring

You’ve seen the selection in the stores…the engagement rings you’ve come across seem to be nothing like the one you’ve got in your head. They’re either of the freakishly large Rachel Zoe variety or so small you’d need a microscope to see them. And the ones that are decently sized are colored, oddly shaped, or otherwise all wrong for you. You had visions of walking into a store only to be surrounded by a pile of sparkling diamonds so perfect that you just couldn’t decide, but as it turns out, you’re having the opposite problem. So if you want to get the ring of your dreams, what are you waiting for? Design it yourself.

1. It’s easy. Most websites have a create-your-own-ring feature. You can browse through a huge selections of diamonds using the four Cs to come up with the stone that perfectly matches your personality (2-carat, round, F color, FL-IF clarity, perhaps). Then all you have to do is choose a setting you love and, voilà! You’ve just designed your engagement ring.

2. It’s inexpensive. A ring in a store will cost you beaucoup bucks because it has probably gone through about a dozen middlemen before it ever reaches you, and it undergoes a markup each time. If you choose your ring online, and you pick the parts separately, then you can be pretty sure it’s passed through a lot less hands. And that’s why online retailers can offer such good deals.

3. No annoying sales people. By creating your own diamond ring, you won’t be subject to a cadre of sales people intent on selling you something you don’t want and can’t afford. You just open your browser and get exactly what you’re after.

4. Be creative. Choosing a ring is a very intense and personal experience. The process is all about you and you’re going to have to wear this ring for the rest of your life, so don’t be afraid to get creative and really express yourself through your choice of components.

5. No compromise. Most people end up getting something that is only marginally close to what they want because they simply can’t find quite what they’re looking for. But you don’t have to suffer this unfortunate fate. Simply browse online for the stones, the setting, and the overall style that fits your aesthetic. You’ll be glad you did every time you gaze at your ring finger.

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What is filigree?

Isn’t it something related to horses? Actually, no. That’s pedigree. Filigree, as it pertains to the diamond industry, is found in the setting, not the stone, and it is an ancient art form found in many unique cultures that has managed to stand the test of time and remains prevalent today. And it starts with filaments. If you have ever dealt with electrical components (speaker cable, lighting, etc.), then you probably know that filament is a word used to describe metal wiring, and it is very similar to that used in jewelry-making.

Jewelers begin the process of creating filigree by hammering bits of metal into fine wire threads. They then twist and manipulate these filaments into a variety of artistic patterns, holding them together with delicate and precise soldering techniques. The hallmark of the style is that it is composed of open patterns, often resembling lace. This serves to create not only extremely ornate and complex pieces, but also to show the skill and artistry of the craftsperson. And the use of negative space (i.e. the holes between metal pieces) is a tool that has long been employed by artists to add particular emphasis to their designs.

Although the use of filigree in jewelry has been around for centuries, possibly dating as far back as the 6th century BC, it reached the height of its popularity around the turn of the 20th century. People of the Victorian era were particularly fond of decorative craftwork, as can be seen not only in their choice of jewelry, but in all of their adornments (from clothing to dishware to architecture). It was from this love of ornamentation that the art nouveau style of the 1930s evolved, with the filigree style making forays into other forms of design, art, and architecture.

And the craft of filigree is still practiced to this day, especially in the arena of jewelry settings. It remains one of the most beautiful methods of accentuating a diamond not only because the open design allows more light to hit the stone, but also because the dainty nature of the filaments adds to the diamond rather than overpowering it as some molded pieces might. Those who desire accessories with this type of embellishment can certainly find what they’re looking for in an antique, but there are so many fine jewelers creating filigree now that it’s not too difficult to find a lovely piece of jewelry that embodies this long-lived style.

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The Blinged-Out BlackBerry

Diamond-studded phones are nothing new. Apple recently released a $20,000 version of the iPhone that was literally crusted with diamonds (for only the wealthiest and most ostentatious of callers). Even Samsung, not generally considered a “luxury” brand amongst mobile units, made a gold-plated, diamond-studded monstrosity (to the tune of about $54,000). So it’s no surprise that Apple’s only long-standing competitor (sorry Android, too new) would want to get in on the ultra-chic in (physical) phone apps by creating the totally blingy BlackBerry Bold (already nicknamed the BlackBeauty). And it’s even better than previous ice-laden communication devices for one simple reason: customization.

Those who purchase this truly exclusive item, designed by famed jeweler Knalihs Athem, will be treated to anywhere from 100 to 1,650 sparklers (in combinations of white, champagne, yellow, pink, and even black) lovingly pasted to a choice of colorful bodies and skins (you can choose from ostrich, stingray, lizard, and alligator). Hopefully these are faux skins, but who knows when you’re talking about this kind of high-end product! In terms of customization, however, there are more options than just the color of the phone. You may have noticed the decidedly large spread when it comes to the number of gems attached to your phone. The reason for this is the simple fact that you can literally put almost any design you want on your handset, from a monogram to a logo to a favorite pattern (hello, Burberry plaid!).

Sadly, there is little pricing information available for this gem of a mobile unit (the only intel states that the starting cost will be around $4,000 US), although it is a sure bet that prices will vary widely depending on how many stones are included in your overall design. However, each phone will come complete with certification papers to prove the authenticity of the diamonds. That’s right, these rocks are totally legit and you will have proof. In addition, it is a little-known fact that you can upgrade previously blinged phones. Just in case you happen to already own a handset that is awash in precious stones, you can have them transferred to your new phone rather than buying all new ice and tossing the old one in a drawer. Although, if you’re buying a phone like this in the first place, there’s a good chance you won’t be phased by purchasing new stones to go with your new phone (which is no doubt what BlackBerry is banking on).

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Classic or Trendy: Which Engagement Ring Style is Right for You?

When it comes to buying an engagement ring, women have many different criteria. But when contemplating the basic style, there are those who lean towards classic, while others gobble up every passing trend. If you’ve surveyed your girlfriend’s jewelry box but you’re still unsure about what to get her, there are a few things to consider before you buy the ring she’ll wear for the rest of her life.

The most important thing is the stone. Obviously, you’ll want to get a diamond. The setting, including any the band and any accents, are really only there to display the central stone, so that’s what you should focus on first. So you must address the four Cs. Color is a good place to start. While colored diamonds (pink, yellow, blue, even black) have become very popular in recent years, and they can be extremely beautiful, there are a few problems. For one thing, they can be rare and subsequently, carry a heftier price tag. In addition, they will most likely go in and out of fashion, so you can’t expect them to hold their value. Even beyond that, color preference is subject to individual taste, so if you’re considering this as an heirloom piece that will be passed on to your daughter or granddaughter, you may want to ensure that it’s something any woman would wear. Of course you should take your soon-to-be-fiancé’s feelings into account. If she has her heart set on a pink diamond, you’d better get her what she wants. But if you’re unsure, you really can’t go wrong with the traditional, classic, colorless diamond.

If you do decide to go classic, it will probably give your budget a little wiggle room, so use your extra cash to go for a larger stone (higher carat), or better clarity, which will ensure the stone holds its value over time. As for cut, there are several options, but deep, round-cut diamonds offer the most brilliance, which is why they are the staple of the diamond solitaire ring. As for setting, you can go modern or traditional, with a simple band or loads of baguettes, depending on her taste, since it is easy enough to re-set the stone if she changes her mind.