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With this ring ...

For every bride this is a big decision.

The history of the ring
The wedding ring, traditionally a plain gold band, is the oldest surviving symbol of marriage. Roman matrons wore wedding rings, sometimes with a small key attached to signify their authority in the household. Gold wedding bands have been popular since the 16th century - the gold representing purity of intent and the circle symbolising eternity and never-ending love. The wedding ring is traditionally placed on the fourth finger of the left hand due to an old belief that a vein called the Vena Amoris ran straight from this finger to the heart. Engagement rings have been given since ancient times - and the diamond engagement ring became popular in the 15th century.

Your ring is a personal expression
If rings cannot be bought, it is legal to borrow them for the wedding. However, to the modern bride, her engagement and wedding rings are a crucial symbol of her new status and a statement of her individuality. As such, the stone, design, setting and type of precious metal used is all important. These are her special rings - and they should be as individual as her wedding gown; as well as suited to her lifestyle, hand and colouring.

The setting
The effect a setting has on the appearance of a ring can be likened to what a picture frame does for a piece of art. An inappropriate setting can dull, hide and diminish the beauty of a precious stone. Choices today are endless - and while the classic solitaire remains popular, many brides opt for more exotic designs and combinations such as radiant emerald cuts flanked by smaller stones, floating diamonds or woven bands.

Look at various aspects
Jewellers advise that you take a number of aspects into careful consideration before finally choosing your rings - particularly the engagement ring with a set stone or stones. Decide what type of setting would suit your lifestyle - for example, a high setting can catch on fabrics and objects and may not be ideal for a very active lifestyle. Then look at the colours available - gold is not just gold - there is rose, yellow, platinum or white gold, and some custom jewellers offer a whole rainbow of colours from apricot to ice blue. It`s very important that the colour of the metal suits your skin tone as well as enhances the gemstone in your ring. Different colour metals show off different colour stones to better advantage - for example, yellow gold with an emerald or rose gold with a ruby. Although diamonds are generally considered `colourless` they are not really; many diamonds have a distinctive cast.

The shape and the cut
Next, you need to decide whether the shape of the gem or the setting is more important. The shape of the stone does not equate to the cut - for example, emerald shapes come in classic step cut, radiant cut, and the star cut is another variation applied to several shapes.

What looks good on you
The most important thing to remember is that every hand is different and it`s a good idea (even if you are having a special ring made for you) to try as many rings as possible on to see what feels good and what looks good on your hand. Also look at unset gems. Above all, choose what you really want - you will be wearing it every day and looking at it many times each day!

Photograph supplied by Sterns

Article source: LifeWorld



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