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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

From Shirley: Today's blog is from a great friend of mine who also happens to be a jeweler. She's talking about my favorite thing--gems!

Hello, my name is Diana "DJ" Welker, a retired (2 years now) forty-four-year veteran in the jewelry business. During those years I earned a degree in diamonds and diamond grading, colored gems, gem identification, and jewelry design from the Gemological Institute of America. This exciting field allowed me to work in three states and several areas of retail and retail management and yes I have some great memories. Wouldn't change anything...well maybe a couple of things.

Top priority and much thought needs to be given by any bride in choosing your future husband's wedding ring. The ring is not just a piece of jewelry but symbolizes your circle of life together. I know many couples who have renewed their vows many years later with the exact ring that was chosen by the bride. Thought needs to be given to his career, his hobbies, and his leisure.

Always select a knowledge, reputable jeweler. (This is an always rule. You may want to use the same jeweler that provided your engagement ring/set). Remember, not all rings and not all jewelers are created equal. Any knowledgeable jeweler can help you determine the type of ring that will meet all of your criteria.

It's advisable to start your shopping experience at least ninety days prior to your wedding date, especially if his ring needs any type of custom work. Believe me when I tell you that your jeweler pulls his/her hair out when we are working on a short deadline. Yes, I've worked on extremely short notice. At nine o'clock on a Saturday morning, a customer was waiting on me to open the door so he could chose his bride's wedding ring. As I was packaging his purchase at 9:25 he asked if I could please hurry. He informed me that he was to be at the church by 9:30 a.m.! Don't know if he made it or not.

With the price of gold today, saving money can be a difficult task. One piece of advice I can give, is consult with your jeweler. Many times a 10 karat gold ring is better than a 14 karat gold one, because the alloy used makes it a stronger ring. There is no discernable difference in appearance, but there is a definite difference in price. Also today there are alternate metals to gold, but be certain to ask about sizing/repairing in the future. Things happen to finger sizes!

Over the years I have found that if the groom is given a choice, a large percentage chose a traditional plain round band with no frills, but there are many beautiful rings with engraved designs and many set with gemstones.

A good rule to remember about gemstones is that diamonds are the hardest of all gemstones, thus making for the best possible wear. In my many years of service, I have observed that men test that hardness theory over and over. I had a bride who wanted her construction-supervisor future husband to wear a diamond wedding band and she informed me that he was a hands-on type of guy and they both liked unusual items. Together we came up with an acceptable design using a square cut one-carat diamond set deep into a double inverted pyramid. Our jeweler hammered in the diamond. That was twenty-five years ago and he still has the ring. It has been battered, but with polishing it looks as good as the day he said "I do." Ah the beauty of gold!

One rule for you as a bride NOT TO DO to your jeweler. Please do not ask any jeweler to change the engraving (after it has been engraved) in your wedding ring. Before having your ring engraved make certain it is what you desire. Removing engraving and reengraving is not a task that will endear you to your jeweler. And yes, I've had to do that--also one day before the wedding. Was I up late? Yes! Was I happy? NO!

My wish for any bride reading this is to be happy on your special day and on every wedding anniversary remember all the happiness you have shared over the past year/s! Your wedding ring will be on his finger to remind him of your love.

It has been my privlidge to help many couples and it has been a joy. I have even had the privilege of helping second generations in choosing their special items. That is one of the best perks of my career!



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