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Diamonds remain the most popular symbol of a couple’s commitment

13 february 2012

As I gaze at my wedding ring, which I affectionately call my right-hand cocktail ring since that particular union is now a fractured fairy tale, I am reminded of how diamonds truly are many splendored things, Robin McMacken writes in an article published by the Springfield News-Sun at www.springfieldnewssun.com.

What says love — in any form, as in the instance of my mother giving me her wedding ring well before I was engaged — more than a diamond?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I love (yes, I really do) to play hopeless romantic and find out what is trending in diamond jewelry.

Let’s talk true love.

A diamond promise, engagement or wedding ring signifies the depth of commitment between a couple, much as it did in the 15th century when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave the first recorded diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy.

The diamond has since then set hearts afire.

Engagements rock

According to a national survey from Sears of more than 1,000 people, this Valentine’s Day will be a date to remember for many couples.

Forty percent of men and women in relationships say they expect or are planning to get engaged on Feb. 14.

According to Sara Johnson, digital marketing director for James Free Jewelers, with stores in Dayton and Cincinnati, diamond purchases are consistent throughout the year, “but we do see an increase around Valentine’s Day until the end of spring.”

John Stafford, CEO of Stafford Jewelers in Miamisburg, confirms Valentine’s Day’s importance.

“Valentine’s Day is one of the more popular days for diamond purchases since it is an ideal day to propose to the person you love,” says Sonu Singhvi, co-owner of the Elizabeth Diamond Company, with locations in Centerville and Troy.

“It’s a holiday marked with hearts and cupids and all things that signify love.”

What’s trending

There are several trains of thought on the most popular styles of engagement rings.

Vintage inspiration is seen in the Tacori line of rings at Elizabeth Diamond.

“Tacori rings have very heirloom quality about them,” she notes. “The vintage look in jewelry is very hot. ... People want to wear jewelry that looks like it’s been in their family forever.”

Bling is in, observes Roxane Barry, director of investor relations for Irving, Texas-based Zales Corp. She says brides are choosing rings with a center diamond framed by smaller diamonds to add even more sparkle.

As far as diamond shapes, Stafford says round reigns at No. 1, followed by radiant, princess and oval.

“Diamond jewelry is seeing a flux of a few different trends, which primarily fall into the categories of floral, vintage, eternity/infinity and colored diamonds,” says Johnson.

She sees a shift toward more delicate, natural and overall “pretty” designs.

Extra perks

I found almost any fine jewelry retailer — independent or chain — has some kind of sweet Valentine’s Day promotion.

At James Free, for instance, if you purchase more than $500 worth of merchandise by 4 p.m. Feb. 13, the store will send a bouquet of red roses from Oberer’s Flowers to your loved one.

Stafford Jewelers is currently running a promotion with WDTN Channel 2 in which viewers can enter a drawing for a $5,000 gift certificate. Visit the jeweler’s Facebook page or www.wdtn.com for details. (The contest ends Feb. 10.)

The Elizabeth Diamond Company is giving away a Norwegian Cruise trip (for two for four days and three nights) to the Bahamas with a purchase of an engagement ring of more than $2,500.

Diamond dreaming

If I were to self-gift (why not?) this Valentine’s Day, then I would opt for Tiffany & Co.’s gorgeous cameo ring (free shipping at www.tiffany.com through noon on Feb. 13), and then download for free Paul McCartney’s new love song “Only Our Hearts.”

Just for fun, I did download Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring Finder, a free app for iPhones, iPods and iPads. It allows you to browse styles, view carat weights and determine your ring size.

The Gemological Institute of America also has a free iPad app that explains the four C’s of diamonds: color, clarity, cut and carat weight. Visit www.gia.edu for more information.