Trendy clothes and jewelry are often associated with the young. After all, who’s more fashion conscious than a teenage girl? Meanwhile, classic styles can be elegant, but are often associated with matrons and unadventurous people who are unwilling to take any fashion risks. So what’s the modern woman to do? For a look that’s both fun and tasteful, combine trendy and classic in your jewelry wardrobe.
Some fashionistas recommend a mix of 70 percent classic pieces and 30 percent trendy for your clothes. Consider taking a similar approach with your jewelry, or at least your jewelry budget. If you spend 80 to 90 percent of your jewelry dollars on timeless pieces, you’ll still have plenty left for that bracelet that’s fun now but will be horribly dated in a year. Inexpensive jewelry has its place: the beach, traveling in developing countries, a night out with the girls when you feel like wearing the biggest earrings possible.
Sometimes you can tell classic from trendy jewelry by how much care you’re willing to put into it. Restring your pearls? Of course. Replace the twisted wire on those long feather earrings? Maybe not. Classic jewelry deserves cleaning, maintenance and repair.
Formal events call for a more classic look. Especially if people are taking a lot of photos. You don’t want a strange outfit with giant, dated jewelry to haunt you for decades, do you? Opt for a diamond tennis bracelet rather than an armload of plastic bangles. But if you’re going out to a dance club, trendy jewelry makes more sense than understated elegance.
A Few Timeless Classics
Did you ever hear this advice about how to tell whether or not you’re over-accessorizing? Once you’re dressed to go out, stand with your back to the mirror. Then whip around and face yourself. Does one accessory catch your eye? Take it off. This would be the classic approach, where your jewelry plays second fiddle to the beauty of your face, skin and hair.
Here are a few examples of timeless classics that enhance your beauty without ever overpowering it.
Diamond studs: This is an easy way to make your outfit look finished. Buy a pair with good cut and color and their sparkle will liven up the whole room.
Pearl necklace: Pearls look lovely and classic on everyone. These organic beauties absorb your body heat so that after wearing them for an hour they feel like part of you.
Hoop earrings: If you want something bigger than a stud, but still simple, choose hoops. These can be very simple gold, or you can add sparkle with clear or colored diamonds.
Cocktail ring: Pick something glitzy, with color. Maybe a vintage style sapphire or emerald with a few little diamonds on the side. Let it be the centerpiece of your outfit, paired with a simple dress and pumps.
When in doubt, stick to the classics. You can’t go wrong with diamond studs.
Deep blue sapphires have long been associated with royalty. Queen Victoria sported a famous sapphire in her crown, the same that Edward the Confessor wore in a ring during his 1042 coronation. More recently, Princess Diana flashed a gorgeous sapphire engagement ring. That ring has since been passed to Kate Middleton. So if sapphire is your birthstone, you’re in royal company.
Where in the World?
Where do these amazingly blue jewels come from? Australians dig up many of the world’s best sapphires, especially in Queensland and New South Wales. Sapphires rest in alluvial deposits of basalt, waiting to be dug up and turned into jewelry for September babies. They’re also found in Kashmir and Montana, though these American sapphires are smaller and more often used for industrial purposes.
Sapphires have long served mystical, protecting and healing purposes. Apollo worshippers wore sapphires when they visited the god’s shrine at Delphi in ancient Greece. In the Middle Ages, people believed sapphires protected loved ones from harm and envy. Medieval clergy used the stone to symbolize heaven and the soul’s purity. They also hoped sapphires would help them avoid fleshly temptations and impure thoughts.
People in many cultures used sapphires to protect themselves from sorcery and venomous creatures. Some believed that if they could confine a snake in a jar containing a sapphire, the reptile would die.
Choosing Your Sapphire
While sapphires come in many colors – including purple, green, pink, yellow and orange — the most highly prized are blue. They range from light to dark blue and blue-violet. The deeper the blue and the mores saturated the color, the more precious the sapphire. You’ll pay more for an evenly-colored sapphire than a lighter, less saturated stone.
Sapphires make good choices for any type of jewelry, including rings. They rate 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, second only to diamonds for their durability.
Unlike diamonds, sapphires don’t have standardized cuts. A well-cut sapphire should be symmetrical and reflect light in a pleasing manner. Common sapphire shapes include cushion, emerald, round and oval. Rare star sapphires are cut in oval domes, to show off the star.
Sapphires make a beautiful gift for your loved ones born in September. Or any other month! And for the woman who is a little different – and perhaps has royal inclinations – they are gorgeous as engagement rings. You can always include one with a few diamond accents, like the 14 round diamonds surrounding Princess Di’s center sapphire.
So, you’ve decided to surprise her with a ring. How do you figure out which ring she will admire and treasure, day after day, for the rest of her life? It takes a brave man to proceed. But it can be done.
Understand her style
Your first task is to figure out her style. Does she like estate sales and vintage stores, or is she glittery as Vegas? Would you describe her as understated or larger-than-life? Does she like everybody to turn in her direction when she enters a room? Glam girls will want a big, flashy ring. Minimalists prefer simplicity.
Remember, it’s about her. Be sure you’re assessing what she likes, not what you think she should like. Part of marriage is accepting the other person. If you try to change her or her style, she will definitely notice.
What if you are clueless when it comes to style? Enlist the help of one of her friends or relatives who seems to share or at least understand her tastes. Be sure to pick one who can be discreet. If you want the ring to be a surprise, don’t ask the friend who posts every sandwich eaten on Facebook.
Once you understand your prospective fiancée’s general style, it’s time to zero in on diamond shape. Most women have favorite shapes of stones. Common shapes include round, oval, square and emerald-cut. Diamonds come in about ten common shapes, plus some more obscure ones.
Observe her jewelry choices. Does the same shape appear in different pieces? Then this is probably a favorite. You can also peek in her jewelry box. But remember that women sometimes keep jewelry for sentimental reasons, even if they seldom wear it. You need to determine the shape she will want to wear daily.
It may feel a bit too obvious, but if you happen to be in the mall and pass a jewelry store, ask her to point out her favorite pieces. You can phrase this as though you’re interested in giving her a future gift of jewelry, not necessarily an engagement ring. If she’s hoping to marry you, she will almost certainly play along.
There’s an old idea that an engagement ring should cost two months of your salary. Don’t buy into this outdated notion. Your ring budget depends not only on available money, but on your values and your financial situation. If you have the means and you’re marrying a glamour queen, up your budget. But if you and your woman dream of world travel, home ownership, having kids and putting them through college or other expensive ambitions, she might prefer a simpler ring and more money left in the savings account.
Set a budget before you go shopping. This will make life easier for you and the jeweler. And, like many things in life, jewelry prices are often negotiable.
Go for quality
As you embark upon your ring buying adventure, you’re sure to hear about the 4 Cs: clarity, cut, color and carat.
• Cut – Not to be confused with shape, cut is how the diamond cutter maximizes a diamond’s sparkle and reflective qualities
• Clarity – Most diamonds have imperfections, but some are more obvious than others. If you can only see flaws with magnification, you probably don’t need to worry about them.
• Color – Ideal diamonds are colorless. The closer to colorless you get, the better, unless you’re choosing an exotic colored diamond, such as pink or yellow.
• Carat – How big is that stone? All other factors being equal, the bigger, the spendier.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll need to prioritize one aspect over the others. Cut is the best place to put your extra dollars. If you have two similar diamonds, the one that’s cut better will look brighter and bigger.
A Trusted Jeweler
An engagement ring is a big purchase, both financially and emotionally. Find a trustworthy, experienced jeweler. Choosing one that’s accredited by Jewelers of America or a member of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a good place to start. And inquire about their return policy, just in case you need to exchange the ring.
Three of Sylvie’s rings were featured on Bridal Guide’s slide show, “30+ Vintage-Style Engagement Rings”!
What beats seeing the look on your girlfriend’s face when you surprise her with the absolutely perfect engagement ring? Picking out the right ring shows how well you know her and reassures her you can take care of her needs and desires.
But wait. It’s 2014. Many women are independent, accustomed to shopping for what they want and taking care of themselves. And what if you pick out a dud?
Men face this quandary all the time. Picking an engagement ring can be a huge stressor, and bring up feelings of uncertainty, doubt, self-consciousness and even resentment. You’re her man, not her mom or girlfriend. Are you really supposed to know everything about settings and stones?
Don’t worry. This is not an all or nothing proposition. There are degrees of surprise, and lots of ways to get help.
Know Thy Girlfriend
She’s planning to wear this ring for the rest of her life, so she’d better like it. But how particular is she? If your woman is extremely fashion-conscious, loves to shop and can tell you 10 facts about every gemstone, you’d better get her input on this decision. You might even need a ringless proposal, after which you can set a budget and let her pick a ring she loves.
On the other hand, does your girlfriend adore every gift you give her, just because it’s from you? She’s going to be much easier to shop for. You might be able to pick up enough hints about her preferences by observing the jewelry she already wears.
Making the Proposal the Surprise
Instead of surprising her with a ring, you could focus on the proposal being the surprise. You’re asking her to spend the rest of her life with you. This is obviously more important and meaningful than the ring. So try not to get so hung up on diamonds that you miss being fully present for this hugely significant moment.
You have two main ways of dealing with the split proposal/ring surprise. You two could shop for the ring together, then surprise her with the timing of the proposal. Or propose, then shop for the ring together.
If you choose to propose first and buy the engagement ring later, it’s still nice to have a prop. Some jewelers will lend you a “proposal ring,” which is a placeholder until you two can shop together. You could use any ring for this purpose. Depending on your prospective fiancée, she might want a flashy cubic zirconia, a simple silver heart or even a gumball machine ring. Be sure to let her know the real thing is coming soon!
If you know the shape of diamond she prefers, you could pick out the center stone and present it to her loose with your proposal. Or have it set as a simple solitaire, with the plan to pick a permanent setting together. This also works if you’re offering her a family heirloom ring. She might want to have the stone reset in a setting of her choice to both honor family memories and have something that’s her own.
Get Her Help
You’re getting married to become a team, a family. This is the opposite of going it alone. So don’t hesitate to enlist her help. As you get to know each other and get more serious about the future, ask her opinion on jewelry: shapes, settings and types of metal. Some women like to stop in a jewelry shop and point out favorite rings, or helpfully leave magazine photos around for you to find.
Notice which of her friends or family members share her taste. Does she always like the birthday gifts her mom, aunt or best friend picks out? Ask for that person’s help.
Surprise Jewelry Store Trip
You could stage your surprise proposal at a jewelry store. Ask her out to lunch but instead drive to your favorite jeweler. Then propose in the store, surrounded by hundreds of beautiful diamonds and settings for her to choose from.
If you decide to surprise her, make sure you know the jeweler’s return policy. And if she accepts the proposal but reluctantly lets you know the ring isn’t exactly what she wanted, remember the important part was that she said yes.
Kesha wore Sylvie’s white gold bangle (her right arm) and rose gold (her left ring finger) ring on Thursday’s episode of Conan O’Brien Presents: Team Coco!
Get the look here! ➨ http://www.sylviecollection.com/floral-rose-gold-diamond-ring-fr168.html
Luxury Jewels 24 Magazine featured a few Sylvie Collection engagement rings, as well as mentioned Sylvie in their “Wedding Trends: Engagement Rings” story.
View the article here: http://www.lj24magazine.com/article/article_000444/1.aspx