Special/Signature Issues » Bridal Style

Shades of Love

Precious Gems Can Light Up Your Life

Red: the ultimate in romance and all-time favorite for love, passion and matters of the heart. Red gem options include the ruby, tourmaline, garnet, diamond and the rare scarlet emerald (found only in Utah).

Green: no jealously here for this popular hue which symbolizes faithfulness and continuity. Green stones of choice include the emerald, tsavorite (the emerald's more durable and equally dazzling counterpart), peridot, sapphire, tourmaline, garnet, alexandrite and the diamond.

Blue: a soothing shade that symbolizes spirituality and purity. Blue gems include the sapphire, topaz, Iolite, aquamarine, chalcedony, tanzanite, tourmaline and the diamond.

Pink/Violet: the colors of love and compassion, with deeper shades of purple often symbolizing royalty. Popular pink/violet gems are rose quartz, amethyst, kunzite, rhodolite, tourmaline, morganite, topaz, sapphire, and the diamond.

Yellow/Orange: warmth and creativity radiate from these hues. Yellow/Oranges gems include citrine, garnet, tourmaline, beryl, chrysoberyl, topaz, sapphire, and the diamond.

Black/Brown: symbolizes constant love and strength. Black/brown gems include smoky quartz, symbolizes constant love and strength. Black/brown gems include smoky quartz, spessartite, and the diamond.

White: represents purity, modesty and understanding. In addition to diamonds, pearls offer an alternative choice for this color.

Whether opting for a ring full of color or a traditional diamond, be sure to keep the following in mind when selecting your ring:

There's a lot of beautiful rings out there! So you don't get overwhelmed by all of the choices, narrow the field by deciding in advance some of the basic elements you want in a ring (diamonds, rubies, or both; silver or gold bands; a traditional or modern style, etc.).

Establish your budget (an engagement ring is typically the equivalent of two month's salary) and stick to it. You will most likely be tempted to splurge but don't!

Work with a reputable jewelry store that has an in-house jeweler available for on-site sizing and custom work. Ask trusted friends, family members, co-workers and the Better Business Bureau for referrals.

Once you find a jeweler you feel comfortable with, ask lots of questions! This is a big decision and you want to make sure the ring you choose is absolutely, positively "the one."

Don't rush into a ring. Give yourself plenty of time to not only find the right ring, but to have it sized, adjusted, inscribed and shipped in time for your wedding.

Choose a gem and design that best suits your budget and lifestyle. If you are an active, hands-on person, avoid ornate designs and opt for durable gems such as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. (Case in point: Paris Hilton's recent boulder-esque engagement bauble may have been blinding and expensive, but it was also too heavy for every day wear.)

Keep your personal style and wardrobe in mind when making your selection. Like a tattoo, your engagement and wedding rings become a pretty permanent part of you. Sure you're really into Goth right now, but how are you going to feel about wearing that skull with the red diamond eyes twenty or thirty years down the road?

Like your marriage, you want your ring to last, so be sure to take proper care of it by cleaning it and having it checked at the jeweler's on a regular

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