Shopping for an Engagement Ring? Give ‘em a Hint!

By Catherine Jessee, The Knot

November marks the first month of proposal season, the period between November and February when up to 38 percent of couples get engaged.* With so many to-be-weds on the market for an engagement ring, buying such an important piece of jewelry can seem daunting.

To lessen that stress, more couples are involving each other in ring research and shopping, but according to The Knot, some still struggle to describe the ring they’re looking for—though they might know what they like when they see it. Aiming to demystify the process of shopping for an engagement ring, the leading wedding brand has created a new service to make it easier for couples to navigate the process of buying a ring together.

knot-hint2The tool is called Hint, and it gives users a unique opportunity to learn more about the rings they prefer and—if they so choose—to drop a hint. “Eighty percent of grooms said they got a little input from their fiancées or one of her friends or family members before purchasing the ring,” said Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot. “Hint takes the anxiety out of finding the right ring and makes it even easier to drop the perfect hint to your partner.”

Not only does the service help you identify your favorite styles—a must for all jewelry lovers—but it gives you the opportunity to collaborate with friends, family, and even your partner. Simply select six engagement rings you like and the service gives you personalized feedback that includes size, shape, and color that match your taste. The service also includes a list of specific ring designers to consider, which after dropping a “hint,” makes it easier for the proposer to connect with local jewelers.

* The Knot Real Wedding Study 2015

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: How to Take the Perfect Engagement Ring Selfie

ring-selfie

You’ve just gotten engaged. What are you going to do next? The excited bride-to-be used to jump on the phone and call everyone she knows. These days, she jumps on her phone and posts the news on social media. But if you’re going to take a photo of that perfect diamond, make sure you catch it in the best light.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has three tips on how to get the best selfie of that sparkler. Learn more by reading their blog, 3 Tips for the Perfect Engagement Ring Selfie.

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?

wedding engagement with diamond ring

Whenever you gaze upon the sparkling engagement ring on your fiancée’s finger, you should be excited about the plans you two have for the future. Those plans should not include making continual payments on that engagement ring. Before making one of the most expensive jewelry purchases you may possibly make in your life, do some research and be aware of what you’re spending.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company gives their advice on how much an engagement ring should cost and how to fit it into your budget. Learn more by reading their blog,  How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?

Best in Bridal and Beyond: ASHI Diamonds

By Randi Molofsky

Happen to be in the market for the perfect ring to exchange over “I do’s?” Look no further than American Gem Society member, ASHI Diamonds. With innovative collections like Lovebright—where smaller diamonds are seamlessly set together to create the look of a larger diamond—and complete bridal sets in white, yellow and pink gold in styles for contemporary, vintage and traditional women. ASHI’s designs will last a lifetime and beyond. We went behind the scenes with Paras Pandya, a director at ASHI Diamonds, to find out what makes them a leader in diamond jewelry.

 

Lovebright bridal

Lovebright Bridal Engagement Rings

 

What makes ASHI stand out from other diamond companies?

From the very beginning, ASHI’s focus has always been on providing the very best quality in any venture we pursue. Our passion for fine jewelry reveals itself in our craftsmanship, and no detail is too minor. This mindset has allowed us to create strong relationships throughout the industry, and it’s that same quality that has now become synonymous with ASHI.

We spend months during the development process, from concept to final creation, and often, pieces can be sent back to our manufacturing facilities up to 10 times before final approval. All the hard work we put in culminates in one perfect, unforgettable moment—when she sees the perfect ring inside the box. It’s a true privilege to be an integral player in one of life’s most precious moments, and creating memories like this are what inspires us to expect more from ourselves.

What are the most-wanted ASHI pieces? 

As for what’s moving and generating the most buzz, we’ve seen particular strength in the latest Bridal and Lovebright collections. I think they both provide a really great combination of design and quality. We truly love what we do, so our core focus has and will continue to be to provide amazing designing as well as the best finishing and craftsmanship available today. Whether she’s got modern flair, has an elegant charm, or that timeless vintage look, ASHI has the ring of her dreams, the perfectly unique one for her.

Lovebright studs

Lovebright Round Cut Diamond Earrings in 14K Rose and White Gold

 

What are some of today’s biggest bridal jewelry trends? 

The bridal jewelry business is one that vows to be there for the jewelry industry through thick and thin. And with the not-so-recent advent of the internet, future brides have access to literally thousands of designs at their fingertips. They have more options, and at the same time, want something truly unique. As a result, we’re seeing a huge influx of customization, anything from changing the gold color of a certain component to a near overhaul of the original design. We’re more than happy to fulfill their requests because often studying these customization requests gives us an insight into the tastes of today’s bride. The desire for something truly unique pushes our design development process to its limits, leading our team to search far and wide for design inspiration.

Pink gold engagement set

From the I Do Collection, a 14K White and Pink Gold Wedding Set

This year’s brides have a particular penchant for two and three-tone designs as well as fancy shaped center stones—all of which are ways of personalizing and differentiating one of her most treasured possessions. Bands are another way of adding a unique element, and today’s brides are stacking up to three different bands with their engagement rings and often in non-traditional designs or materials.

yellow gold stack band

From the I Do Collection, a 14K Yellow Gold Stack Band

Use our online Find a Jeweler search to locate an AGS credentialed jeweler near you and tell them you would like to see one of these great creations by Ashi!

Unique Wedding Bands for Men

By Amanda L Colborn

For this week’s #WeddingWednesday we wanted to do something just a little different.  Usually we pay tribute to all the gorgeous variations of women’s wedding and engagement jewelry.  This week we wanted to get the men into the mix and shine the spotlight on just of few of the thousands of variations and options for men’s wedding bands.

Have you ever wondered why men wear wedding rings in the first place? Is it just tradition or a true sentiment of love?

Well, it is both!  In ancient Egypt, both men and women wore wedding bands as a symbol of their never-ending love.  Fast forward several hundred years to the early 1900’s in America — men were seen as the dominant sex, and they did not feel they needed to show their dedication and love to a woman.  Also, many men felt at that time that a ring on their finger would only get dirty at work and in the way, therefore men’s wedding bands fell out of fashion for awhile.  It wasn’t until World War II that men started wearing wedding bands more commonly, as a reminder of their dear wives back home and their commitment while overseas.  Men’s wedding bands continued to be common among military men, but it wasn’t until after the Korean War that they started to become more popular among civilian men.

Now, men have plenty of options and styles to choose from for whatever their fashion sense or lifestyle require.  Most commonplace, is the traditional and simple, wide band in either gold or silver.

However that doesn’t work for everyone, so let’s explore some updated and stylish new options for men:

Commanding Grey Titanium Dome Grid Band by Hearts on Fire

Commanding Grey Titanium Dome Grid Band by Hearts on Fire

First up we have this stunning band made from grey titanium. Durable and strong for long term wear.  This ring offers a unique grid design and three diamond accents.  Yes! Men can wear diamonds every day too!  What is nice about this ring is that the diamonds do not take away from the masculine appeal of this band.

Men's Black Paneled Cobalt Chrome Wedding Ring by Ritani

Men’s Black Paneled Cobalt Chrome Wedding Ring by Ritani

Next, we have this super sleek and sophisticated band from Ritani.  This band is perfect for the man who does not want or need a ring that commands attention, like a shiny gold or silver band.  This ring itself is much more demure and mysterious while still being completely durable and sleek for everyday wear.

Comfort Fit Band by Etienne Perret

Comfort Fit Band by Etienne Perret

The Etienne Perret band above features a unique design from the traditional men’s wedding band.  This ring features a squared top detail and a real diamond enhanced with red, all set in white gold.  This ring is for the man who wants something extra, a little extra elegance and a bold statement.  This ring is gorgeous and will work perfectly either dressed up or dressed down.

And there we have three great examples of how you can take the traditional men’s wedding band and upgrade it to fit your lifestyle and design preference.  Check with your local AGS Jeweler for more options and make sure to shop for your wedding bands together! Your partner in life may introduce you to a piece that you won’t be able to live without.  Good luck!