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Wedding and Engagement Rings

You're ready to pop the question, and it's time to pick out a ring. While there are many distinct ring designs, figuring out your basic preferences will help you narrow down your options and decide on a ring that your partner will love.

First, consider what style of ring you prefer. Traditional solitaire rings have a single center stone. Diamond accent rings have small diamonds that may be used as a side decoration around a larger stone, increasing the ring's brilliance. Gemstone accent rings include small gemstones, such as rubies or sapphires. This is a great option for adding color.

You should also consider the carat, color, clarity and cut of the central diamond. A diamond's weight is mentioned in carats and is used as a gauge of its overall quality. Most diamonds are clear in color, but in some cases various minerals come into contact with the carbon during the diamond's formation, which may yield distinctive colors. The clarity of a diamond indicates a lack of blemishes or inclusions. The diamond's cut determines the amount of light reflected off it. A good cut will be highly reflective.

Finally, consider what material you prefer for the band. Options include silver, yellow gold, white gold, platinum and palladium.

Since wedding rings and engagement rings are often worn together, this is a good time to think about your wedding band as well. Purchasing a bridal ring set including both a wedding band and an engagement ring will ensure that the rings complement each other and can save you trouble later on.