If you’re one of the lucky people who unwrapped a piece of jewelry over the holidays, you may be wondering how to keep it looking new and shiny for as long as possible. “As the saying goes, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’” says Kim Henry, Manager at Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry in Lafayette, Louisiana. “While most metals can often be restored to their original brilliance with a little TLC, some gemstones and other delicate materials can bleach, fade, cloud, or loosen with improper treatment or care.”
Contrary to popular opinion (and hundreds of years of tradition), engagement rings don’t have to be a diamond solitaire. These five rings prove if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, love is in the ring of the betrothed—no matter what stone takes center stage.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. And a mortgage, a job promotion, another baby, a 10th anniversary, and a vacation timeshare. Life is full of milestones small and large. You started off with wedding rings, but how do you commemorate everything else?
For many people, finding the right engagement ring isn’t like shopping for a car or a new refrigerator; you can’t just do a ton of research online, compare reviews and pricing, and then ask for word-of-mouth referrals. Engagement rings, and jewelry in general, is an intensely personal purchase whether you are buying for yourself or someone you love. Given that fine jewelry comes with its own language and hundreds of designers, it can get overwhelming quickly. The only way to make that process easier is to find the right jeweler.
In the ancient story of love coming full circle, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring to signify their engagement in 1477.
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.