If you’re in the market for wedding jewelry, there are a few things you need consider. Unlike any other jewelry purchase you’ve ever made, wedding jewelry will likely be worn every day for the rest of your life. While it needs to be stylish, it’s also important for these pieces to be practical. Consider these factors when shopping for wedding jewelry sets:

1. Consider your lifestyle If you are in a career field that requires you to use your hands, make sure that your wedding ring does not interfere with your work. In some cases, this may mean looking for a style that rests flat against your fingers and ensuring that the ring is sized so that it can be slipped on and off easily. If you love active sports, you may want to opt for a simple style instead of something larger.

2. Work in sentimental pieces from the beginning. If you have inherited a piece of jewelry that you want to use, make your jeweler aware of it from the beginning of the design process. If you don’t care for the style of the older piece, let your jeweler know that you’re thinking about using elements of the inherited jewelry, such as the stones or the settings. Don’t be afraid to ask your jeweler for suggestions. Using the stones or metal from an inherited piece does not mean that the old piece has to be completely destroyed. It’s often possible to preserve multiple elements from an older piece of jewelry. There are a lot of options available when it comes to inherited rings.

3. Think a lot about your style preference. Many people spend a lot of time looking at advertisements for wedding jewelry. While this can be a good way to find new styles, your wedding band is something that you will have to wear 10, 30, and even 60 years from now. This means that you need to pick a style that you love. Don’t worry about what other people are telling you is stylish or trendy today.

4. Think about how a piece will grow with you. It’s not uncommon for a couple to have a smaller budget when they get married than they will within a few years. If this is your personal situation, you may want to consider jewelry that you can modify as your budget allows. If you have your heart set on a piece that is beyond your current budget, finding a similar style can be a good way to save money now.

A simple ring today can have additional stones and settings added to it as your family grows. Gemstones can be swapped out for larger or higher quality stones. Additional stones can be added to a setting, or an additional ring can be purchased and worn.

On the other hand, you may want a single piece of jewelry that captures this particular event. If so, you’ll want to design it to be perfect for right now.

If you are limited by your budget, take the time to think about the parts of a design that are most important to you and your future spouse. Elements such as the metal the ring is made from can be very difficult to change and swapping out a stone can be costly. Adding new stones to a design, however, is often much more cost effective than consumers think it will be.

5. Learn about the value of what you’re buying. Once you have an idea of the type of rings that you want, it’s time to start learning about how jewelry is valued. Take the time to learn about how diamonds are graded and how the different types of metal are evaluated. For example, a solid gold band will have a very different value than a titanium ring.

While there are plenty of blogs and stores that insist that couples take a lot of time to learn about how their rings are valued, but the truth is that most rings are purchased to be worn, not as investments. While it’s a good idea to learn about how these pieces are graded in order to assure that you’re getting a fair deal, it’s probably not worth your time to learn about the investment possibilities of these pieces. Most likely, you and your future spouse have no plans to sell the rings, and in the event that you choose to wear something different in the future, you would likely want to incorporate elements of the design into the new pieces. The odds that they would be resold are fairly low.

Because of this, focus your research on learning about how gemstones and metal are graded, valued, and priced.

As you start the process of shopping for your wedding jewelry, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Any reputable jeweler will know how important this decision is to you and your spouse and will want to take the time to work with you. If you don’t see anything that you like, don’t be afraid to ask about custom work.

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