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Selecting a Wedding Ring


Before hitting the stores to shop for wedding rings, remember one important thing:
Preparation is the key to successful band buying. Know your rings before you start shopping. Narrow down which styles you're interested in, find out what they should cost and comparison shop. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Start your search at least two months before your wedding, because once ordered, rings can take up to six weeks to arrive. Shopping at a leisurely pace will allow you to try on many different styles, guaranteeing that you'll choose the best ring possible and that you won't be rushed into buying something just "good enough."


Make sure there are two symbols inside the band: a manufacturer's trademark, which ensures that the company stands behind their work, and a quality mark, which indicates the purity of the metal. If a ring includes two metals, there should be a quality mark for each. Gold quality marks range from 10K to 24K (the higher the karat, the purer - and softer - the gold.) Platinum quality marks include PT, PLAT, PT950, and IRIDPLAT. The last two marks indicate that alloys are mixed with the platinum to strengthen the band.


Once you've found the perfect pair, there are two more very important things you should do before you hit the streets: Get your bands appraised and insured. You need a professional's appraisal of your ring's value to get it insured for the proper amount to cover theft, loss or damage. Call your insurance company to check the details of your coverage and to get an additional rider to your homeowner's or renter's policy if necessary.

Source: "Today Ties the Knot"
© 2004 MSNBC

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