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    Tips on Selecting Engagement Rings

    selectingrings(Editor’s Note: The “Bay Times” welcomes wedding and event coordinator Chanda Monique Eddens as a new columnist. In “Elements of Style,” Chanda will share helpful advice concerning all aspects of LGBT weddings. She has over 15 years of planning and design experience working with some of the most prestigious vendors and venues in the Bay Area.)

    By Chanda Monique Eddens

    Same-sex weddings are still gaining momentum. This gives our community the chance to celebrate. Many may be new to the process and I’m here to help. With this column, we’ll walk through everything from proposing to planning a wedding. Let’s begin with engagement rings.

    You can customize the ring, but if you’re traditional, you’ll want a diamond. Maybe you’re unsure and feel overwhelmed with information that doesn’t speak to you. I offer these tips:

    Do what’s best for your budget, relationship and future financial goals. Research cost of rings to figure out a price range. Decide if you’ll shop in person or online. Both have drawbacks: Online, you won’t physically see the ring. In a shop, you might run into rude sales reps, but in person is ideal.

    When deciding on the ring, think of your partner. Consider his or her job and how jewelry is usually worn for style and comfort. Decide if your partner would like something that is more traditional or expressive.

    Determine a material for the band. Standards include gold, silver or platinum. Titanium and stainless steel are growing in popularity. Decide if you’ll use diamonds or any other gems. Also, consider if you both want matching rings.

    When shopping for a diamond ring, look for a sparkle that catches your eye. Does the ring exhibit qualities that remind you of your relationship? Cut is about how a diamond was faceted to reflect light. Clarity refers to imperfections, like tiny scratches or air bubbles inside the diamond. These are also known as inclusions that, depending on their nature, can actually add to the diamond’s uniqueness. Caret refers to size.

    You may think bigger is always better when buying a diamond, or any other gemstone. But act based on your budget, what your partner likes, and what somehow evokes characteristics of your relationship that you’d like to remember and treasure.

    Chanda Monique Eddens is the executive designer and owner of A Monique Affair. Chanda aims to provide a beautiful and memorable experience, delivering an event that will enchant both you and your guests.