Forever begins with the Ring


Forever begins with the Ring

By Lesley Harris Colvett

Wedding jewelry is a very exciting, significant piece of a couple’s engagement and wedding! Fortunately, we have many superb local jewelry boutiques a couple can turn to when making such an important decision. Preston Hudson with Platinum Jewelers, Philip Gattas with James Gattas Jewelers, and Hollie Williams with Hollie Winter Fine Jewelry share their expert advice with 4Memphis on picking out “the one.”

Advice on picking out an engagement ring:
“Find out her style, is she simple or glam? Classic taste usually goes for the solitaire look, while others prefer a halo surrounding the center stone. Some prefer a vintage look and some want something unique that nobody else has. If you have an idea of her taste, we can make it easy with options for you.” Preston Hudson, Platinum Jewelers. (P.H.)

“Listen carefully as your partner may drop subtle hints as to what they like when commenting on rings they come across. You don’t have to go it alone - ask your partner’s close friends and/or family for any information they can provide such as style, finger size, center stone type and shape, etc. The best and most straightforward option is to bring your partner into the jewelry store and shop together. This can make for a special memory and takes the guesswork out of the selection process. Creating a budget is a personal process, but how to stay on target is where we excel! There’s more than just the 4 C’s of diamonds to consider - it’s like working a Rubic’s cube, and we know the right combination of quality characteristics to unlock value and savings that also satisfy the couple’s preferences. Try on as many options as possible! When a bride tries on what they originally thought of as their “perfect ring,” they often change their mind about the style once they have the opportunity to try other styles. However, for those that don’t change their mind, trying on other styles will help solidify their original choice.” Philip Gattas, James Gattas Jewelers. (P.G.)

“Our first priority is to make the customers happy and make it a seamless process. Our goal is to help them tell their story. We love to establish a personal relationship with each customer so we can follow along their life journey - meeting family and friends along the way. We start the process by asking if they are familiar with diamonds and give them a quick education on diamonds. The 4 C’s as they refer to cut, color, clarity, carat weight. We try to simplify as much as possible, but we do want them to know their options. Our next step would be to figure out which shape they are thinking. We will bring one of each shape stone out for them to try on. The stones always look different on your hand. One might come in thinking round and end up loving the oval instead. So we definitely suggest trying all your options. Next, the step is designing your setting, (semi-mount). Each mounting has a unique trait to it. We love to redesign and or design a custom ring. Families that pass on diamonds that are sentimental, we will use those to make it the perfect engagement ring that fits her personality and create a timeless piece of jewelry. It's amazing how many designs we can do, using other family diamonds or stones. We want to make sure you have the ring of your dreams. We have a style for everyone. We work very closely with our customers.” Hollie Williams, Hollie Winter Fine Jewelry. (H.W.)

Advice on picking out wedding bands:
“Stackable bands are in style now, where people are stacking different styles of bands and even different colors. Some prefer the traditional look with a band that matches the ring. We can make anything she wants.” P.H.

“We still get excited to see our customer’s creativity when it comes to pairing wedding bands with engagement rings. The customer’s personality and style really shines through with their wedding band choice. We think of the usual white gold vs. yellow gold or diamonds vs. plain; but there are other things to consider such as how the ring fits next to the engagement ring. Should the band be curved or straight, wide or thin, engraved or polished? All of these questions are best answered by trying the different options on and seeing which looks best.” P.G.

“One of the most important things to remember is you want theand to complement the center stone, not compete with it. There are so many options for bands so don’t get too overwhelmed. Start with looking at a few pictures to see what you like, and then bring the ring in and try on options to see what fits you well and completes the beautiful forever ring.” H.W.

What are some trends in engagement rings and wedding bands?
“The halo trend is still popular, where diamonds surround the center stone. It makes the whole ring flow together and makes it more flashy.” P.H.

“James Gattas Jewelers stays at the forefront of styles and designs! We pay attention to national trends, but realize the Mid-South has its own local ‘flavor.’ Engagement rings are trending to larger center diamonds thanks to the affordability of Lab Grown diamonds. We are seeing simpler styles than before with many 3-stone rings and simple solitaires with hidden halos being top choices. Engagement rings incorporating baguette shaped accent diamonds are making a comeback and asymmetrical designed rings are having a moment as well. Oval and Emerald shaped diamonds are at the forefront of preferred center stone shapes, but round shaped diamonds still hold the crown for most sought after. Trends toward yellow gold are strong in fashion jewelry while engagement rings are split 50/50 between white gold vs. yellow gold.” P.G.

“The 3-stone engagement ring is a huge trend currently. The hidden halo mounting is another very popular one. We are designing a few 3-stone rings with the side stones being gemstone. The sapphire is a very popular gemstone to use.” H.W.

What is your expert advice on how to care for your diamond rings?
“We recommend just warm water and ammonia (Mr. Clean), soak overnight and use an old toothbrush. You can also come in and get it steam cleaned at no charge.” P.H.

“We advise customers to bring their jewelry in for free inspections and cleaning at least every six months, but more frequently isn’t a bad idea. Regular inspections allow us to identify potential issues before they grow to costly repairs. Additionally, we strongly suggest that jewelry (especially engagement rings) be removed before exercising or other related activities. Also, avoid wearing jewelry in swimming pools or hot tubs as the chlorine in the water can degrade the precious alloys in the jewelry. The same goes for cleaning with caustic solutions like bleach - use gloves and remove jewelry. Insurance on your valuables is as equally important as being mindful of how you treat your jewelry.” P.G.

“Our suggestion if you can’t get into a jewelry store for them to clean with their machines is that at home you can use Dawn liquid dish soap with warm water and let it soak. Then just rinse and you are ready to go. We are always happy to clean your jewelry and get it like 'brand new' anytime you would like to come by.” H.W.

What changes in engagement rings and wedding bands have you seen lately?
“The biggest recent charge is the introduction of Lab Grown diamonds vs. natural diamonds. Wedding bands have changed lately with the stackable look of different styles of bands stacked together.” P.H.

“One of the big changes or new design is the 2-stone engagement ring. The 2-stone ring sometimes is paired with a diamond and a gemstone. We have seen some of the trends come full circle. The guards have been coming to stone recently. Another style is called a 'cuff band', which is one of our personal favorites.” H.W.

Share Forever begins with the Ring from 4Memphis!