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Is there a wedding in your future?

• Choose an engagement ring that will fit the personality of the woman you love

A diamond's purity and sparkle have become symbols of the depth of a man's commitment to the woman he loves, in practically all corners of the world. If you've fallen in love and are ready to propose, the biggest question you likely have on your mind is how to buy the perfect engagement ring. "Buy a ring that fits your personality," advised Chip Beltinck, owner of Sawyer Jewelers in Fenton. "Every day, she has to look down at her ring and fall in love with it over and over again." Diamonds come in all different shapes and sizes, from round and square to pear, marquis, oval and specialty cuts. Each can reflect a different personality or taste. A woman who enjoys edgy fashions might prefer a square cut diamond, while a romantic might prefer a cushion-cut. Leading the trends this year are two-tone engagements rings, including white gold with accents of rose or white gold and yellow gold. Two-tone rings provide the wearer with many options in complementing a woman's clothing or other jewelry. Some use one metal as a band and another in the halo around the stone, or a different metal for the prongs of the setting. Rose gold, also known as Russian Gold, has cycled in and out of popularity for decades, but is now making a comeback statement all its own. "In my 29 years as a jeweler, rose gold has always been a special order," said Beltinck. "Now we're stocking it. I have fallen in love with rose gold. It's so beautiful." The twist and swirl look is another trend seen at Medawar Jewelers in Fenton, in new engagement lines by Tacori and Verragio. "The design is intricate, yet simple," said Ronny Medawar. "The sides and undercarriage of the ring feature more intricate designs, while the diamond on top is a simple design." Custom ring designs are popular as more couples choose features they like from different settings. Women with an active outdoor lifestyle or those who prefer less "bling" in their ring will find a number of unique options at Titanium-Buzz, located inside Bridge Street Exchange in Linden. "Some women prefer a ring without all the shine," said owner Kevin Begola. "We 've got styles for women who like to hunt, with a camo design and also with deer tracks running up the side. Diamonds can be optional." Another unique design is a tension set engagement ring, with metal holding the diamond in place, giving the appearance that the diamond is "floating." Couples who want matching wedding bands should have rings designed in the same style, with the woman's ring made slightly smaller. Most couples coming into a jewelry store for engagement rings are looking at close to a 1-carat diamond as the standard. "A typical price range would be between $4,000 and $7,000, with most of the money spent on the center diamond itself," said Beltinck. "It's a lifetime investment, because we can buy the diamond back and you can upgrade to a larger stone."

Summary • Style and fashion trends come and go, but the symbol of the diamond as a commitment from a man to a woman he loves is centuries old.

"I have fallen in love with rose gold. It's so beautiful."

- Chip Beltinck, Sawyer Jewelers

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