A diamond may be a girl's best friend, but just like any BFF needs some care and attention from time to time, your ring does, too. Your engagement and wedding sparklers are the most important symbols of your marriage. Chances are, they will also set you back quite a lot of money so you need to make sure they will last you a lifetime. How does one do that? The best strategy is not to wait until something unpleasant happens, but rather to choose wisely before you spend a few months-worth of salary on them.
To find the perfect ring you need to look beyond its design and take into account your lifestyle and even medical conditions.
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Here are five important questions you need to answer before you purchase your ring:
1. Will I have an allergic reaction?
Just because you are spending a lot of money on a high end piece of jewelry, it doesn't mean that your body will not have a reaction to it.
"Most 18k white gold on the market contains 5-8 percent nickel, which is the most common culprit of allergic reactions from jewelry," says Brooke Brinkman, vice president of marketing and communication at Simon G Jewelry. Instead, she suggests you opt for platinum which is a pure white metal and does not have any traces of nickel.
2. Do you have an active lifestyle?
If the answer to this question is yes, then you probably should stay away from certain styles.
"Some rings are more delicate than others. You’ll want to avoid rings with lots of small diamonds that share metal prongs to hold them in place. With just the right bump these diamonds can become loose or even fall out," says Brinkman.
And if you lift a lot of weights at the gym, you may want to just leave your ring at home. Since metal is malleable, the weight and pressure could cause the metal to change its shape a bit.
3. Do your fingers swell and then shrink?
This is actually the easiest of all questions to answer, because everyone's fingers swell and shrink. It could be hormones or it could just be a very salty meal you had the previous day. It's a common occurrence and you need to take it into account when choosing your ring size.
"Consider the way your hands are feeling on the day your fingers are sized and adjust the size up or down slightly if your fingers change size occasionally. Sizing can change from 1/4 to 1/2 size, which isn’t drastic, but choosing the wrong size could be uncomfortable or prevent you from wearing your ring," adds Brinkman.
4. How do I find something within my budget?
This is probably the most dreaded questions of all. We're not all Beyonce and Amal Clooney, so we need to work with whatever our budgets allow us.
"The beauty comes in finding the ring that’s perfect for you, the ring that fits your personality and style, but doesn’t break the bank," says Brinkman. And since most rings and center stones are sold separately, there are two ways to go about ring shopping.
"Find a ring that matches your style and personality and then choose your center stone. Your stone could be a diamond, colored stone, or even a cherished stone that’s been passed down in your family for generations.
Or, you could start with the stone. Find a stone that meets exactly what you’ve been dreaming about, then choose your ring. We’ve found that helping customers break up these selections further narrows down where they’d like to commit their budget."
5. How can I make sure I am getting what I am told?
It's not easy for the untrained eye to tell the difference between a real diamond and a fake one. So to ensure the authenticity and origin of your purchase, be sure to request certificates of authenticity and GIA (Gemological Institute of America) reports, suggests Brinkman.
"The color, clarity, and cut can be subjective without this certificate, but having a GIA certificate ensures what you are purchasing will maintain its value. Certificates of Authenticity ensure you are receiving a ring made by the brand that you intended," she adds.