The Ring’s the Thing

On Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

The ring's the thing.
Peter Jennings

To make sure your prospective fiancée is just as thrilled with the engagement ring as you'd like her to be, you might want to consider letting her in on the selection process.

When a person presents their beloved with a ring symbolizing their intent to marry, they are part of a tradition that dates back to around 2000 B.C. when Egyptian jewelers crafted elaborate ornaments for the Pharaohs. The Egyptians believed the unending circle of the ring symbolized eternity.

Ring Style

The most traditional style for the engagement ring is a diamond solitaire ring (a simple mounting of a single stone). While this style remains extremely popular, there are hundreds of alternatives.

Some brides choose to wear only one gemstone ring as a combined engagement ring and wedding band. Others choose a wedding band and engagement ring set that has been designed to fit snugly together and give the appearance of a single piece of jewelry.

Some couples forego the engagement ring for the bride altogether and select matching wedding bands that symbolize their equality in the marriage. A variation on that is to choose matching wedding rings of gold or platinum, hers set with diamonds and his plain.

A ring style is a matter of taste. A conservative, classic approach never goes out of style. Highly designed, modern or fancy jewelry can get dated very quickly. 

Don't overlook vintage or heirloom rings. Perhaps there is a ring with a lot of meaning that has been passed down in your family. If there is no heirloom ring, but you know your fiancée loves vintage jewelry, why not select a beautiful style from an antiquarian jewelry store, an Art Deco platinum ring from the 1930's, or an understated Tiffany gold band set with emeralds? Each is a distinctive yet classic choice for an engagement ring. Because vintage rings have a history and are one-of-a-kind, they can be a wonderful way to express your feelings to your fiancée.

 
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