Bands of love and Commitment: Choose with care

Is there a season for love, engagement and marriage? People keep falling in love all through the year. Any season is a season of love. However, when it comes down to the statistics, we see that there are some particular months in a year when people seem to go blind.

Many couples go for an engagement ring. Others choose the wedding ring. Usually a precious stone set on a band is chosen as a gift for the special one. Often the engagement ring and the wedding ring are mistaken to be the same. The engagement ring is the one the man proposes to the girl with. It is supposedly made of a large diamond set in a ring. People may buy both or either.

The woman is expected to wear it after she accepts the proposal. It is an indication to the world that she is taken. Though the size and price of the ring vary, the stone that is mostly favored for such occasions is the diamond. The engagement ring is worn in the third finger.

During the wedding, the girl and the boy exchange vows and exchange rings too. These rings are usually simpler than the engagement rings. It is marked by the lack of a prominent stone. Both partners are given a ring and they wear it in the third finger on their left hand. At this time, the girl moves her engagement ring, if she has one to the third finger on her right hand. The two rings may later be stacked one on top of the other.

Although marketing has a big role to play in it, these rings have been seen to be a mark of a man’s wealth. No man wants to feel inadequate.  To please his wife-to-be and her family, he is sure to get one for her lady love. Often the price is a matter of secrecy and men have been found to exaggerate in an attempt to please.

Despite everyone knowing that a ring is not the only factor or the deciding factor in a marriage, there’s no denying that it pleases the woman mightily.

Should women wear both? It depends. Flashier rings see more of their wearer flaunting them. Wedding bands for couples are sold together, often. Some shopkeepers sell engagement and wedding rings together as a set.

Men usually wear wedding bands that are thicker than their counterparts’. Often they contain stones such as diamonds or other precious gems. Wedding bands for couples may cost a bomb but it depends on the brand, the metal, the location, design, and other factors such as size. Usually wedding bands do not contain precious stones or if they do smaller ones. Hence, engagement rings turn out to be costlier.

Due to social pressure, men may go out of their way to buy a ring that costs him his two month’s salary. But there is no such rule that he has to. No woman would like to see her fiancé in a financial mess. The rings are a symbol of unity and commitment to each other. The bond goes beyond the rings and stones. They are sealed with love and respect. However, traditions require us to follow certain norms and these bands are part of that societal norm.

Though men like to surprise their fiancée with the engagement ring and hence shop for it alone, wedding ring can be a more mutual affair and involve both partners.

Marriages are made in heaven but sealed here on this earth. Wedding bands are a symbolic exchange of the oath and commitment that the two people involved feel towards each other and the marriage.

5 things you should keep in mind while choosing your Bridal Jewelry

Every bride on this earth wishes to look her best. It is a special day for her. Beginning of a new life and the presence of so many people out there whose eyes will be set on her make her want to do her best. She spends months planning which dress to wear, the jewelry to match and the perfect pair of sandals.

Each individual has her own sense of style. In addition, everyone has a certain personality. Some are simple, other fashionable and trendy. Yet others are more traditional want to stick to classical definition of wedding couture. While some prefer to go overboard, others prefer the minimalist look.

Yet, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind irrespective of the style she chooses.

  1. Color of the dress: The color of the dress you choose is a major factor in deciding the jewelry. The jewelry may contain kundan or meenakari which should be matched with the broad color of the dress whether it is a sari or a lehenga. The design or pattern chosen can be either matched or in contrast to the pattern in the dress. Sometimes, it is the less dominant color that provides a more lasting effect. Keeping in mind that the dress is very important it is better to first purchase the dress and then set out to match the jewelry with it.
  2. The amount of work on the bridal dress: If the dress is heavy and contains gemstones and beads, you can opt for a minimalist look. Remember that you will be wearing bracelets and armlets if you choose to. Too much of the same will wear you look down. If the dress is simpler, choose heavy jewelry and vice versa. It is worthwhile to bear in mind that most bridal jewelry is heavy stuff. If you intend to be a bit practical, choose a piece that you can wear later too. It wouldn’t be very nice to buy something worth a big amount only to store it in a safe. Brands offer detachable jewelry these days. Given the wear ability of the pieces, it is a good idea to invest in one.
  3. Neckline: The design of the neck-piece should be in keeping with the neckline of the dress you choose. Chandelier pieces and choker neck-pieces do well with higher and lower necklines respectively. Those opting for V-neck lines should choose a V-shaped piece. Those wearing backless should ideally go for arm bracelets and neck wears with focus.
  4. Hairstyle: The danglings shouldn’t get entangled with the hair if you chose to let them down. Additionally, it should also go with the type of hairstyle you choose.
  5. Heirloom jewelry: Some of us are lucky to inherit our grandmother’s and mother’s jewelry. These pieces have an old world charm and can be matched and mixed with our trousseau on the wedding day. One can, with permission make modifications to suit the dress and the occasion.

There are other points too to be taken into consideration when choosing a set. When you go out shopping, remember to carry a picture of the dress along so you can refer to it while shopping. Those who have to abide by their mother’s choice as well can select pieces that are classics. While being modern, they have elements of yesteryear that will keep both generations happy.

Remember to also buy a storage box that will help you keep all the bridal jewelry in place. You will receive gifts from the rest of the family too. Make place for them.

Caring for the precious stone: Solitaire Diamonds

Diamonds are beautiful and precious. They are the hardest substance on earth. But they are vulnerable to abuse too. Diamonds such as solitaires are precious and expensive. While we know that there are a few things that we should do when wearing one, there are other facts that if kept in mind will help keep the gem stone better.

  1. Using – This might sound like common sense. But don’t wear the solitaire when working. Scratches, abrasion, etc. may damage the stone. Wearing it on a regular basis will cause it to be exposed to creams, oils, hairspray, chemicals and other materials that may dull the shine or affect the brilliance. Even the oil from your body can cause an effect leaving a film on the stone. The stone is hard but may chip if hit by a hard blow.
  2. Cleaning – Don’t use abrasive materials or liquids that can leave a film on the stone. A mild liquid detergent with water along with soft brush is best. A solution of warm water mixed with a few drops of household ammonia in which the stone is soaked works best. After some hours of soaking, remove the stone and clean it with a soft bristled brush. Using a light hand, softly brush the back of the diamond as it collects a lot of grime and dust. Rinse the diamond with water. Don’t use any chlorine containing liquid. Using chlorine may erode the metal around the stone in jewelry, thus causing the prongs to loosen and the stone to fall off.
  3. Drying – use a lint-free cloth to dry the stone.
  4. Storing – keep the stone separate and wrapped in soft cloth to avoid any damages. Jewelry stores usually provide fabric lined boxes to store the stone. Use that or soft tissue paper to wrap the stone or jewelry pouches for the piece.
  5. Inspecting the stone regularly– Keep an eye on your favorite piece of jewelry. If you notice any loosening of the prongs, take it to a professional jeweler promptly. Look out for any signs of damage. Generally, it’s a good idea to take the diamond jewelry for examination to a professional jeweler at least once a year. They can repair any damage and also clean it for you, if required. The professional jewelry cleaner may use an ultrasonic cleaner to remove encrusted dirt on diamonds. Using high frequency sonic waves through the soap solution, the modern cleaner will vibrate the fluid enough to detach any accumulated dirt and grime. However, this method may also cause the stones to loosen from their mounting. As a policy, the professional jeweler will avoid using it unless required.


An Additional Tip:

When washing hands, don’t leave the precious little ring on the rim of a sink. You don’t want the precious little thing to go down the drain. Open it well before you want to wash your hands. That way, you won’t have to choose between keeping it on the rim and wearing it while washing.

      Being mindful of the little things can go a long way in extending the life and beauty of the beauty. As a proud owner, wear it occasionally, keep it under strict watch as in don’t touch chemicals when wearing the stuff and stay away from doing anything that might damage the stone.

Keep a vigil on your precious diamond jewelry so as to avoid damaging it inadvertently. Clean it regularly and store it well. Wear it with panache and see it dazzle on that special occasion.

A solitaire is a special stone and it should be treated specially.