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He Wants Comfort, She Wants Diamonds: Top Wedding Bands Trends for 2016

Posted by Kevin Ulrich on 1 January 2016

Long gone are the days when a wedding ring was just a simple gold band. Today’s brides and grooms are opting for bold bands that express their unique style. Couples spend an average of $1,417 on her wedding band (up from $1,126 in 2011) and $558 on his band (up from $491 in 2011), according to The Knot. They're investing in bands that make a unique statement about their personal style and commitment to one another.From stacked eternity bands to colored statement stones and curved bands, these are the hottest trends to watch for in 2016:

1. Stacked eternity bands. More women are wearing their wedding bands as everyday, stand-alone pieces, even opting to wear their bands alone on their left hand and move the engagement ring to the right hand. Designer Per Gurary, who crafted Kate Bosworth’s bands, says eternity bands are one of the hottest trends in wedding jewelry. Bosworth’s gorgeous, custom bands are designed to fit around her vintage art deco engagement ring. One band has 12 horizontally set baguette stones representing each month of the year, Gurary tells Glamour Weddings.
Try this: Stackable eternity bands in yellow, rose and white gold make a timeless statement. Mixing the precious metal bands makes a colorful element, and ensures the ring will coordinate seamlessly with all jewelry.

2. Rose gold bands. Rose gold bands are not just for women! Men are getting in on the action, too, choosing a rose gold band to coordinate with a fiance's rose gold engagement ring. Rose gold's warmth evokes timeless romance, making it one of the most in-demand precious metals vintage-inspired wedding band designs. It's also a beautiful complement to a traditional yellow and white gold, and looks equally stunning in a modern style.
Try this: For a timeless look, opt for a simple band set with shimming round diamonds.

3. Comfort and style come together. No man (or woman!) wants to wear a ring that pinches the skin or is downright uncomfortable. That's why one of the hottest trends for men's wedding bands have been interiors that are curved, not flat. Some wedding bands also offer a bottom that is plain and tapered (with a more stylish top), so that bottom remains comfortable for daily wear and the ring's top remains unscathed.
Try this: If you lead an active lifestyle, you'll need a ring that can keep up. For durability, opt for platinum over gold. Avoid matte finishes and extra decorative finishes which can chip off and easily show scratches.

4. Meteorite makes a bold statement. Silver, gold and even platinum feel like old news next to a meteorite ring. Both boutique jewelers on Etsy and big names like David Yurman are offering rings with meteorite inlays. The meteorite is combined with a variety of different metals, including titanium, platinum and gold.
Try this: For a truly unique setting, take this ring up to the next level with the addition of a smooth, polished dinosaur fossil.

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Is your love in the air – or is it set in stone?

A diamond is a forever investment. Understanding the four C’s – carat, color, clarity and cut – will ensure that you make a smart selection. While some of these differences are not visible to the naked eye, they do directly impact a diamond’s overall quality and price. When selecting your perfect diamond, keep the following in mind:

Cut

A diamond’s “cut” grading measures whether a stone has maximum brilliance and sparkle– it’s what brings fire to the ice and catches your eye. Cut is different from the shape of the diamond (e.g., princess cut, emerald cut, etc.). The cut evaluation rates the diamond’s angles and brilliance, evaluating the diamond’s proportion, facet arrangement and overall workmanship quality. Diamond cut grades range from “excellent” to “poor” with the excellent rating resembling the ideal cut illustrated below.

Diamond Cuts

Clarity

Virtually all diamonds for sale today include minor irregularities or imperfections, although these imperfections are rarely visible to the naked eye. The minor imperfections in a diamond are caused by the liquid volcanic rock in which a diamond is created. While diamonds are primarily pure carbon, during the crystallization process, other nearby minerals may become trapped within the cooling mass, which in turn affects the diamond’s clarity.

Clarity is measured on a scale with grades running from “flawless” (virtually no imperfections) to “included” (imperfections heavily included). “Pure” diamonds are flawless or internally flawless; these diamonds are exceedingly rare and expensive. VVS-1 and VVS-2 grade diamonds have very, very small inclusions; VS-1 and VS-2 diamond have very small inclusions; SI-1 and SI-2 diamonds have small inclusions; and I-1, I-2 and I-3 diamonds are heavily included. Diamonds are graded under a 10X magnifying glass in good lighting by an experienced grader. The final grade is determined by how easily the grader can see the inclusions and blemishes.

Color

The “color” rating actually refers to the absence of color in a diamond. Like a drop of pure spring water, when it comes to diamonds, the less color, the better. The jewelry industry recognizes the highest quality gemstones by purity of hue. In order to demine the absence or presence of different hues, an experienced diamond grader will compare the diamond to “master stones” using artificial or natural northern daylight. Colorless diamonds are graded either D, E or F. Near colorless diamonds are graded G, H, I or J. Slightly tinted diamonds receive a K, L, M or N rating. Very light yellow diamonds are graded O, P, or Q; light yellow diamonds are graded R, S, or T; yellow diamonds receive a U, V or W grading and light fancy diamonds are graded X, Y or Z.

Diamond Color

Carat

The most well-known of the four C’s, “carat” is the unit of measurement for ta diamond’s weight. A carat is subdivided into 100 “points”; for example, a 50-point diamond is “half a carat” or “0.5 ct”. Today, many individuals also equate carat with size. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the larger (and more expensive) the stone. However, color, clarity and cut also affect a diamond’s price; two diamonds of equal carat weight may have very different prices due to these three ratings.