Friday, October 30, 2009

Ring Settings Series #3
"Home" For the Precious Diamond

Our last series...the last three settings we are going to show you are: Channel, Bar, and Gypsy Settings

7. Channel Setting
In this setting, diamonds are set between two parallel channels of metal on the ring band. The diamonds are usually held in a straight line around the entire band without metal to separate them.

Round and Princess cuts are very popular for this setting.

One thing you will have to consider is the sizing of the ring as it is harder to resize ring in channel setting compared to other settings like prongs.

8. Bar Setting

Bar setting is actually very similar to channel setting.

A bar setting uses a thin bar of metal to hold the stones in place on either side, so that each bar has a stone on either side of it.

9. Gypsy Setting
Gypsy setting sinks a stone into the metal band. This type of setting is commonly used on bands and men rings.

A lot of blink blink education going on...Finally, we have graduated from the Basic Diamond Ring Education 101! Phewww ~

It isn't hard but it will take you some time and efforts to locate "THE RING" for your girlfriend/fiancee. Once you understand well about her personality and style, you should be able to find the one that makes her proud of wearing the ring ALL DAY, NIGHT YEAR, and FOREVER.

In our next blog, we will tell you where to shop and what to look for.
Stay tune! ^.*

1. Settings and Mounts, The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss and Lisbeth Levine, pg 408

2. Channel Settings for Engagement Rings by Carly Wickell,
3. Gipsy Setting, Jewelry Dictionary,
All About Jewels

Photo Credits:

1. Channel Diamond Ring Setting,
2. Engagement Ring,
Diamond Ideals New York
3. Jewelry Settings,
Platinum Wedding and Engagement Rings
4. 14K White Gold Wedding Ring, Elsa,
Custom Rings
5. Tiffany & Co. Victorian Fancy Yellow Diamond Three-stone Engagement Ring,
Fay Cullen
6. 1ct. Gypsy Dome Ring,
7. 14K White Gold with Scattered Diamonds Ring by Christian Bauer,
Wedding Rings

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ring Settings Series #2
"Home" For the Precious Diamond

Here, we continue our list from yesterday...

4. Pave Setting

This setting features three or more rows of very small stones set closely together and held in place by metal beads to create a relatively smooth surface. Pave diamond ring give you a very stunning visual appearance as not much metal is visible, but rather there is a massive sparkle from the large amount of tiny diamonds set all over the surface of the metal in the diamond ring setting.

5. Cluster Setting

This is another setting features a number of smaller diamonds set in a circular shape.

Diamonds arranged in the form of a flower shape, or an abstract arrangement are pretty common for the cluster setting.

Some arrangement of diamonds gives an open and airy look, and yet some other come with a more tightly arrangement. The openwork design will lengthen the look of the finger and the hand, while the more closed design will draw the eye toward the hand. Nice!

6. Illusions/Invisible Setting

Designers use invisible setting to create the illusion of a much larger diamonds when smaller diamonds are clustered together. The diamonds are placed closely together, with the metal concealed underneath the diamonds.

This setting allows more light to enter the diamonds, therefore, it is an excellent way to showcase the brilliance of the diamonds themselves.

That's all for tonight, we will show you the last three settings tomorrow!

Sweet Dream everyone,

1. Settings and Mounts, The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss and Lisbeth Levine, pg 408
2. What is a Pave Setting? By Carly Wickell,
3. Diamond Ring Settings, Cluster Setting, Diamond Buying Guide
4. What Is an Invisible Setting? By Carly Wickell,

Photo Credits:
1. Pave Diamond Ring Setting,
2. 18K White Gold Split Shank Pave Set Diamond Engagement Ring,
3. Diamond Flower Cluster Ring in 14K White Gold Band,
4. Invisible Setting Diamond Rings, Sun Jewelry

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ring Settings Series #1
"Home" For the Precious Diamond

Now that you have an idea "what diamond is", what 4C means, and etc...It is time to shop for the setting ^.*

It is true that diamond usually costs much more than the setting and often accounts for as much as 90% of the total cost of the ring. However, it is also important to have a proper and strong setting to hold the stones in place and served as a protection "home" for your great investment. On top of that, making the right choice on setting that goes well with your diamonds is crucial too, as it will affect how diamonds will look and how the ring will look on your finger.

Once you have set on which cut, color, clarity, and carat for your diamond, here are some questions you should ask yourself when choosing the right setting for your diamonds. Are you planning to wear both engagement and wedding rings on the same finger? Or do you opt to switch the engagement ring to your right hand after marriage? Do your daily activities involve a lot of physical activities? These are some of the major aspects (but not limited to these) you should take into account before deciding on the ring setting that suits you the most.

Here is the list of different ring settings available in the classy and artsy jewelry market.

1. Prong or Claw
2. Bezel
3. Tension
4. Pave
5. Cluster
6. Channel
7. Bar
8. Gypsy
9. Illusions (a touch of Vintage style)

In today's posting, we will discuss the first three styles on the list which are prong or claw, bezel, and tension settings.

1. Prong or Claw Setting

This is the most popular setting for solitaire* engagement ring by far. The design is simple and usually comes with three to six prongs to hold and raise the diamond up.

The minimum amount of metal around the diamond allows the most light exposure from all angles and create the sparkles.

It is recommended to compliment your beautiful, flawless diamond with this clean and classic setting.

*Solitaire ring means ring with only a single stone mounted to the setting.

2. Bezel Setting

Diamond is held by a metal rim/collar that encircles the sides of the stone and extends slightly above it. The rim can stretch around the diamond entirely (Whole Bezel) or only a portion of the diamond (Half Bezel).

Although bezel setting does block the light from penetrate through the diamond, the reflection of metal color can actually enhance the look of the diamond ring. For example, a white metal will enhance a white diamond and a yellow gold bezel will flatter a yellow diamond.

Bezel setting is good for covering up the imperfections on a damaged heirloom diamond such as a damaged girdle* on a diamond. Also, it is highly recommended for people with active lifestyle because of the low and protective setting on bezel setting.

*Girdle means the outer edge of a diamond which forms a band around the stone.

3. Tension Setting

This setting imposes heavy pressure in the shank of the ring to hold the diamond in place, it looks as it is floating, with no structural support on the underside.

It allows a lot of light into the diamond. However, this setting is only suitable for extremely hard stones such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Only they can withstand high pressure required to keep the stone in place.

Those are the clean, simple and classic styles we have in today's posting. If you are interested to know more about the rest of the ring settings, stay tune! Yours Moment has more to offer ^.*

Sorry for the late posting...I have a friend visited New York City last week =)
Stay warm, everyone!

1. Settings and Mounts, The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss and Lisbeth Levine, pg 408
2. Engagement Ring Settings,
3. Bezel Settings - Engagement Ring Settings,
4. Engagement Rings: Settings 101, The Knot,

Photo Credits:
1. Design of Sun Jewelry
2. Prong/Claw Diamond Ring Setting,
3. Four-Prong Ring, Blue Nile
4. Bezel/Rub-over Diamond Ring Setting,
5. 14K White Gold Half Bezel Diamond Engagement Ring, Jewelry Central
6. 14K White Gold Bezel Set Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring, Jewelry Central
7. Basic Tension Setting, AllExperts
8. Tension Engagement Rings, e-DiamondGuide

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who Are You? Diamond Shape: "I am ..."

What kind of diamond shape that your girlfriend prefers? Does that particular diamond shape tells anything about her characteristics/personality traits?

Saul A. Spero, a gemologist, who wrote the book , has interviewed 50,000 women (who liked just one and only one diamond shape) to determine if there is any correlation between preference of diamond shape and personality traits. And here's the result of his interviews (for seven different shapes: Round, Oval, Princess, Emerald, Marquise, Heart, and Pear)...

The classic, timeless, and most popular of all diamond shapes.
Woman who loves this shape is faithful, traditional, and family oriented. She is caring, trustworthy, devoted, and is someone you can count on. Bridal Guide by Zales jeweler calls her "The Girl Next Door".

Woman who loves oval shape is someone who enjoys the arts, being creative and always looking forward to great success. She is willing to take chances and thrives on her ability to stay focus on the task at hand. Bridal Guide by Zales jeweler calls her "The Leader".

This square-cut diamond represents the bold, assertive, and independent woman. She is fun, optimistic, always full of passion and imagination. She tends to live life to the fullest. Of course, as the name suggests, she also adores the spotlight and love being the center of attention. Bridal Guide by Zales jeweler calls her "The Romantic".

This clean, modern lines of four-cornered shape represents the effective, highly disciplined, and aggressive woman. She possesses a positive aura to be a natural born leader. Bridal Guide by Zales jeweler calls her "The Traditional Woman".

Woman who is drawn to Marquise shape is outgoing, innovative, impulsive and always goal oriented. She shines with her ambition and thrives on independence. Bridal Guide by Zales jeweler calls her "The Creative".

Woman who is romantic, sensitive and emotional will be attracted by Heart shape diamond. She tends to live in fantasy land with motto of love conquers all impossibles and it has no boundaries. She always looking for pure love and a perfect life. I call her "The Romantic Perfectionist".

This tear-drop shape appeals to to woman who is warmhearted, lively, and adventurous. Being secure in her surroundings allows her to get along with everyone very well. That explains why she has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Bridal Guide by Zales jeweler calls her "The Socialite".

This shape represents woman who is traditional, yet modern. The best of both worlds.

This shape represents a charming, sociable, and fun-loving woman. Another socialite!

This step-cut diamond represents pure elegance and beauty. Woman who loves this shape is creative, down-to-earth, and ready for anything. She always strives for inner peace and perfection. Bridal Guide by Zales jeweler calls her "The Artist".

Source & Photo Credits:
1. Diamond Shape Personalities, Diamond Within
2. Diamond Shape Personalities, Shapiro Diamonds
3. Diamond Shape, Wedding by Zales, Zales
4. Diamond Shapes, Blue Nile
5. Diamond Engagement Rings, Zales
6. Diamond Engagement Rings, Tacori

Saturday, October 17, 2009

School of Diamond's 4Cs

Before you made a decision to pursue MBA or other degree program, didn't you do a lot of research on schools, programs they offer, school fees, and etc.?

Before you made a stock investment, didn't you start to learn background of the company, its financial standing, and its growth potential (or at least the company name)?

So now that you are going to purchase an engagement ring. (For most guys) It is going to be one of your major investments in life, why not educate yourself before going out to shop for THE RING? Armed with the basic knowledge of a diamond engagement ring - you not only gain a better understanding of diamond to help you make the right choice, but also you are helping the jewelry associate to find you the ideal diamond ring that fits your budget perfectly.

Lets take a quick look at the well-known 4Cs grading standard by Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

The four Cs stand for COLOR, CLARITY, CUT, and CARAT.

Diamond 4Cs Chart

- It is commonly rated on a scale designed by GIA, ranging from colorless (D, E, F) to light yellow (S to Z grade).
- Diamonds with natural colors other than the range stated above (such as bright yellow, pink, blue, and green) are considered as fancy stones.

Buying TIPS:
Due to rarity, the almost colorless diamond is usually very pricey and not everyone can afford one. Guys...please do not feel discourage for not being able to buy the colorless diamond because the right setting will make the stone looks whiter and bigger than its actual look.

Here are stone-setting suggestions found at
A. Colorless and near-colorless diamonds usually pair with platinum and white gold setting.
B. Slight yellow-tinted diamonds will appear whiter in a yellow gold setting.

- It means how clear (or how free of imperfections*) the diamond on the outside and inside under the naked eye and with a 10-power magnifying glass.
* Imperfections subdivided into internal flaws ("inclusions") and external flaws ("blemishes").
- Many flaws include cracks, scratches, and bubbles, are invisible to the naked eye and only can be seen under the jeweler's loupe.

GIA Diamond Clarity Grading System consists of five clarity classifications with eleven grades, ranging from flawless (F or FL) to obvious inclusions (I3). To view the scale, click here.

Buying TIPS:
No one is perfect, including the stone that comes naturally on earth. So why would you want a flawless stone when you can get a cheaper one with slight inclusions that are invisible to human's eye? Only one exception for buyers who intend to resell the diamond in future. They will have to invest on a colorless and flawless diamond.

3. CUT
- It refers to the diamond's shape and quality.
- It determines brilliance (how light is reflected), dispersion (rainbow-like flashes), and scintillation (flashes of light in motion) of the diamond.
- This is the only aspect of the diamond where its quality is the result of human decisions and craftsmanship (cutting skills).

There are three types of faceted cuts:
A. Brilliant cuts
- In round or curved geometrical shape.
- It creates the most sparkle.
- Ideal: Round with 58-facet.

B. Step-cuts
- It shaped like stairs on the side view of a diamond.
- Ideal: Emerald.

C. Mixed cuts
- It is the combination of brilliant and step-cuts.
- Ideal: Princess

Buying TIPS:
Follow your heart and look for the shape that represent your style and personality.

- It means weight of a diamond.
- A carat equals 100 points. One point equivalent to 0.01 carat (ct.) or 1/100 ct.
- A carat is about 200 miligrams.
- The higher the carat weights, the larger the diameter of the diamond (so does the price!)

Buying TIPS:
Diamond with same carat weight are priced differently, depending on its color, clarity, and cut. In terms of weight, a 1 ct. diamond will cost much more than two 1/2 ct. diamonds combined. For jewelry with more than a single stone, the total weight of all diamonds in the piece will be combined and described as Total Carat Weight (TW). Therefore, getting a three-stone ring with total weight of 1 ct. will be much cheaper than a solitaire 1 ct. diamond ring.

What matter the most to these people?

Choose a smaller diamond with near-colorless to faint yellow and slight inclusions diamond. Never sacrifice a poorly cut diamond for a large stone.

Pay attention to color and clarity of the stone.

Check out the cut that you like the most. It represents your style and personality.

Hope this brief Diamond 4Cs 101 helps you make the right choice when choosing the ideal diamond ring that fits your budget.

We will find out the diamond shape personality next, stay tune!

1. The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss and Lisbeth Levine
2. Diamond Education, Zales
3. About the 4Cs, Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

Photo Credit:
1. All about diamonds, National Bridal Service

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ring Surprise!

Photo credit: Life123

Should guy surprise his sweetheart with the ring without doing the shopping together? I personally think that each couple should have a budget in mind, shop together and let the guy to present the ring with his creative and surprise proposal.

Most couples choose to shop engagement ring together these days. Buying an engagement ring can be a huge investment for some guys...some say the ring should worth guy's two-month salary. Let us treat this as a guideline to give an idea to guys where they can start from...but it should not be a standard for all guys. Furthermore, you wouldn't want to carry debts through your newly wed life. It is not a good idea to start a new life together either.

Even though girl has a say to choosing the ring that she likes, she shall choose the ring within the budget that her man can afford to pay. Therefore, it is very important for a couple to discuss the budget for the engagement ring together. Then, do some research and educate themselves before visiting the jewelry shops, especially when they are looking for a diamond engagement ring. You want to get the most out of your budgeted investment.

Once the budget is set and bought the ring, it is up to the guy to plan the surprise proposal to his future wife!

What do you think?

What's next?
The school of 4C!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where the idea of ENGAGEMENT RINGS came from?

A Boxful of Eye Candy from Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2008

We are going to talk about engagement rings for this and the next few postings.

The origin of rings is believed to have initiated by the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. The engagement ring indicates his or her engagement to be married, a formal agreement to future marriage.

Why choose ring as a symbol of love?
According to the ancient Egyptians, the circle of the ring represents eternity - there is no beginning nor ending - it is smooth. It is like a blessing to the happy marriage with eternal love!

Why wear the ring on your fourth finger of left hand?
This idea attributed to the Greeks who believed that the vein of love ("vena amoris") is connected from the fourth finger to the heart. It represents a wholehearted and unconditional love to your partner. That's sweet!

How about the influence of the Romans?
They suggested to use iron ring because iron is strong and it symbolizes strength and permanence of the marriage. Another blessing to the marriage!

Wow...even though it is just a simple circle (ring)...there is a hidden meaning behind the ring ~

Ladies who receive this ring from their men are so blissful. Congratulations upon your journey to eternal love, CHEERS!

What's next? Should guy surprise his sweetheart with the ring without doing the shopping together?

Source & Photo Credits:
1. The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss and Lisbeth Levine
2. Engagement Ring History,
3. Engagement Ring, Wikipedia
4. A Boxful of Eye Candy, 100 Rings We Love, Martha Stewart Weddings

Monday, October 12, 2009

Coffee, Tea or Cake?
Dessert & Coffee Bar at Wedding Reception

Can you have no coffee even just for a day? NO? Why not incorporating it into your wedding day to share your favorite coffee drink with your family and friends? Almost everyone loves coffee...especially the soothing aroma of coffee...feel so good no matter what time of the day; either morning, afternoon or at night.

There is a modern way with a personal twist to customize your wedding reception which is a Dessert & Coffee Bar. Be it the best dessert in town or your grandma's homemade pecan pie, do serve your guests varieties of coffee along with desserts.

Want to highlight personal touch on your dessert & coffee bar? You may serve your favorite pairing of dessert-coffee as a couple and give it a name. For example, the LOVE-set consist of tiramisu cake and latte. (Why call it love set? The idea came from the initial of T and L. T stands for Ti Amo, in Italian it means I love you. And L stands for Love, forever love.) How sweet it is?!

To bring this idea into a real plan, what you will need to prepare a dessert & coffee bar?
1. A Barista (Talent search for a budgeted wedding: Look up a family member or friend who has passion in making coffee and willing to be the barista on your wedding day.)
2. Bakers (Enlist your family members and friends who bake delicious homemade cakes, pies, cupcakes, brownies, tarts, and etc. - the more the merrier...Opps...I love dessert so much!)
3. Varieties of coffee (roasts, espresso, etc.), teas (white, red, black), and hot chocolate
4. Coffee flavors (caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, white chocolate, ginger, pumpkin spice, etc.)
5. Toppings (marshmallow, peppermints, chocolate shavings/sprinkles, etc.)
6. Cups, lids, and customized cup sleeves* (visit:, and Reliable Paper Inc. for your choice of coffee cups)

*To customized cup sleeves for your wedding, the following online printing companies could help.
1. InkHead
2. Absorbent, inc.
3. Custom Cup Sleeves
4. Your Brand Cafe

All set - Sit down and enjoy treats and coffee on your wedding!

Source & Photo Credits:
2. Coffee + Dessert Reception, Simply Perfect Weddings blog
3. Coffee cups,
4. Coffee cups, Reliable Paper Inc
5. Customized cup sleeves, InkHead
6. Customized cup sleeves, Absorbent, Inc.
7. Customized cup sleeves, Your Brand Cafe
8. Customized cup sleeves, Custom Cup Sleeves
9. Coffee Bar, picture by lady bug bride, Photobucket
10. Cupcake & dessert display, Lucie's Weddings & Events 11. Desserts, Country Living 12. Coffee, picture, Image Chef 13. Latte art, picture, Weirdomatic

Sunday, October 04, 2009

How much would you (bride-to-be) spend on a wedding gown?

Every girl wants to dress up beautifully on her wedding day, but how much would you spend for a wedding gown? What is the moderate/appropriate amount of money to spend on a dress where you will only wear for a few hours on your wedding day? (A very good question came from my boyfriend the other day, have intrigued me to find out more about this topic.)

Based on The Wedding Report, Inc. (a research company that tracks and forecasts number of weddings, average spending, and trends in the wedding industry), here's state-by-state (partial) average cost spent for a wedding gown in 2008. To look up the average spending in the state where you currently reside, please visit their website.

Average Cost of a Wedding Gown in 2008 (by State):
New York $1,255
California $1,237
Illinois $1,172
Minnesota $1,081
Michigan $1,063
Florida $1,035
Arizona $998
Texas $989
Wisconsin $916
Iowa $834

No surprise! Three big cities top the list; they are New York ($1,255), followed by California ($1,237) and Illinois ($1,172). Almost all the top designers gain a spot in the big apple city, New York. It is hard for bride not crazy at over the top couture gowns when she has easy access to these designers' gowns. Therefore, the decision to get the over-the-top gown really come down to the couple's wedding budget.

According to The Knot Wedding Budget 101 - wedding budget breakdown, people usually allocate 8-10% of their total budget towards wedding attire. If you only have $10,000 to spend for your wedding, then you should allocate about $800-$1,000 for your wedding gown. If you are a bride who cannot sacrifice designer's couture gown, would you willing to give up the money you would spend on the other categories such as food, flowers, etc.? If your hubby agrees with you, go ahead and pick the exquisite gown that you want to wear on your wedding day at the price you are willing to pay.

Over-The-Top Designer Gowns: $3,000 and up

Vera Wang

1. Helene
Strapless mermaid gown with a wrapped bodice and pleated skirt in stretch Mikado. The opening price points range from $4,600 - $6,000.
2. Bouquet
Strapless modified A-line with a fused lace skirt and floating floral embroidery combines a clean featherweight faille bodice with an intricate skirt of Alencon, Chantilly and Batenburg laces on French tulle. Pricing begins at $8,000.
3. Delaney
Strapless soft A-line gown with a woven criss-cross bodice and gathered skirt. Pricing ranges from $3,100 - $4,500.

Monique Lhuillier

1. Katya
Sheer silk organza v-neck draped bodice gown with lace detail at neckline and pleated A-line skirt, pricing ranges from $3,500 - $5,000.
2. Sunday Rose (Platinum Collection)
Silk satin organza strapless gown with pleated bodice and rose embroidered A-line skirt, pricing ranges from $7,000 - $20,000.
3. Dolce
Re-embroidered lace strapless gown, molded bodice with draped tulle overlay and two-tier tulle skirt with lace detail at hem, pricing ranges from $5,001 - $7,000.

However, if you rather be a savvy bride, it is advisable to stick to your budget. You would rather keep your savings in a healthy balance while enjoy your wedding day. Here we found some mid- and low-range wedding gowns to show you that you do not need to sacrifice style while working under a tight budget.

Mid-Range: $600 and up

1. Grazia
Strapless A-line gown with modified scoop neckline, and beading over hand-cut lace. Pricing ranges from $1,501 - $3,000.
2. Letizia
Strapless trumpet gown with pleated bodice, skirt, and lace-up back in 100% silk shantung. Pricing ranges from $1,501 - $3,000.
3. Camelia
Strapless organza gown with pleated bodice and ruffled skirt. Pricing ranges from $601 - $1,500.

Low-Range Gowns Under $600

1. David's Bridal
Satin A-line gown with metallic beading, embroidery, and side drape. Pricing ranges from $499 - $549.
2. Jovani
Single shoulder floral organza appliques gown with shirred bodice and a plunging neckline. Price at $548.
3. BCBG Maxazria
Strapless silk chiffon gown with shirred bodice and adjustable tie at waist. Price at $360.

For "Couture Bride"...
- look for trunk show to save you a few hundreds or thousands of dollars.
For "Savvy Bride"...
- how about getting a pre-owned gown/rent a gown/pick the special occasion dress instead?

Hope you will find your "the one" soon...

Source & Photo Credit:
1. The Knot,
2. Brides,
3. Nordstrom, BCBG gown,
4. Jovani, Floral Organza gown,