Andrea and Erik’s path to marriage is an inspiring story, spanning two continents, different cultures, and four years of long-distance romance.

Andrea is from Italy. He is a structural engineer who studied at University of Bologna and now works in Downtown LA at Nous Engineering. Erik was born and raised in Los Angeles. He currently works in fundraising for AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money for HIV/AIDS services in both cities.

Andrea and Erik met almost three years ago online, when Andrea was staying in Los Angeles for an architecture internship. Erik wasn’t sure he wanted to meet Andrea, since he wasn’t looking for anything serious, especially with someone who was from another country. Andrea would later tell Erik that he wasn’t sure he wanted to meet him either, but was glad he did.

The First Date

When they decided to meet in person, they discovered, coincidentally, that Andrea was staying just one street over from Erik. They got together on a rainy day, sharing coffee together and talking. Erik later recalled that as he watched Andrea walk out the door and down his patio steps, he thought, “WOW! That is the most beautiful man I have ever seen!”

The two dated over the next few months and had some amazing moments together, but knowing Andrea would return to Italy, Erik assumed it was just a summer fling.

Eventually Andrea did go back.

But Erik wouldn’t let that be the end of their relationship. He bought a ticket to Italy and the couple spent two weeks together eating incredible meals, hiking, and exploring Andrea’s home country. At the end of an amazing trip, Andrea promised he would be back in Los Angeles soon. Erik hoped that he would, but he had his doubts.

When Andrea finished school, Erik was ecstatic to learn that Andrea would be coming back to LA. Erik remembers smiling a lot that day, and thinking, “All right now! This could really be turning into something!”

The Decision

It became undeniable that there was a magnetic draw between these two. No matter the distance, they were both making it a priority in their lives to be together.

Erik recalls, “We were both in the same place emotionally, being ready to settle down, and for me, I knew I would never feel these kinds of emotions for anyone else. We had incredible chemistry together—something about it just felt so right. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Andrea—I was ready to make that scary leap!”

The Ring

Once he had his mind set on popping the question, Erik started looking for the perfect ring. This was definitely not going to be a cookie-cutter ring from the mall, but something that would really wow the love of his life.

Erik had always liked being in control of his shopping experience, so he gravitated toward shopping online. He did the research and learned that there were two major players in the online diamond space, one of which was Ritani. Erik searched Ritani’s huge inventory and found a ring that really jumped out at him. It was really unusual—at the same time there was something classic and simple about the design too.

Erik knew he had made the right choice with Ritani. When there was an issue with getting their ring by the date of the proposal, Sylvia in customer service made sure Erik had the ring on time. She worked closely with Erik, reassuring him it was all coming together! She facilitated a quick size exchange that came off without a hitch.

Ritani-mens-diamond-wedding-band

Men’s 5.5 mm Diamond Brushed Wedding Ring

The Proposal

Things were really in motion now. Erik received the ring the same week as his 20th high school reunion—it seemed like fate. He wasn’t 100% sure of how the exact moment would go down, but he took the ring with him and when he and Andrea got on the road to the reunion, he zeroed in on a plan.

As Erik and Andrea were enjoying a scenic ride down to Orange County, Erik saw a sign that said, “Nature Preserve Area.” He had been known to make Andrea stop at these places, so it wasn’t out of character for Erik to suggest they pull over. He asked Andrea to take a walk with him along the path. Andrea said, “Are you sure? There doesn’t seem to be much here, just a bunch of birds.”

Erik recalls, “I was getting so nervous—I insisted we were just killing time before the party. We started walking, the sun was setting, and I remember the sky sort of opening up and turning a really deep purple. I said, ‘Let’s play our game!’ When we go on trips, we will play a game where one of us thinks of an object and the other asks questions until he figures out what it is. I said, ‘OK, I’m thinking of something.’

Andrea started asking questions, ‘Is it big? Small? Is it something you wear? Is it something fancy? Is it something you buy at a mall?’ He wasn’t quite getting there, and he was about to give up and go back to the car, when it finally hit him: ‘Is it a ring?!’

“Yes!!”

Erik got down on one knee in this lovely nature preserve (yes, with a bunch of birds!) and asked Andrea to be his husband. Andrea smiled, and right away said yes. At the reunion, everyone Erik reacquainted with met his new fiancé. People wanted to know when they got engaged, to which they answered, “About 20 minutes ago!”

So many of Erik’s classmates had been married for many years—this was after all his twentieth high school reunion. But, as Erik points out, “It was not legal for LGBT Americans to get married in this country until 2015—not even four years ago. We were kept from the joy of proposals, engagements, weddings, and legally recognized commitments to our partners until just a few short years ago. To me, that makes my marriage to Andrea even more special – because it was a long hard struggle to win the right to marry the man I love.”

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Proposal Advice

When asked what advice he would give to someone considering proposing,
Erik suggests that whether you go for high drama or you prefer a small, private moment, it should be a reflection of who you are together.

“Like for us, the travel game, letting Andrea kinda in on the secret…walking in nature…it all felt organic and right for who we are as a couple. It is of course a leap of faith, but I’ve never been one to shy away from going after what I want, and in this case, the reward was that he wanted the same thing as me.”

Ready to write your own proposal story? Find the ring that’s meant for your true love now.

The Wedding

Erik and Andrea tied the knot on September 21, 2018. Their wedding photos are simply gorgeous and we had to share them too.

erik-and-andrea-formal-outside erik-and-andrea-mens-rings erik-and-andrea-outside erik-and-andrea-wedding-cake-832x555

Drop a valentine's day hint

Does the man in your life tend to struggle and stress about what to get you for special occasions? From obvious to subtle, here are ways to help him figure out what you really want for Valentine’s Day.

V-Day can be a source of stress for many. Significant others scramble to get an overpriced bouquet of flowers at the last minute or desperately search for the perfect gift. If that isn’t enough, there’s the card to buy, the dinner, movie or other “romantic” outing to be planned. We get that it can feel overwhelming (or worse, underwhelming) at times. That said, we think Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to expressing your love in ways you might not normally do — like going on an adventure together, trying out that new fusion restaurant you’re both curious about, or buying an amazing piece of jewelry. We also understand that sometimes your partner might not know what you really want on Valentine’s Day. That’s why we think dropping hints about your ideal gift or romantic date can be very helpful.

Send It In An Email

Sending a personal email can always be a welcome distraction during a long day at work. For this instance, why not include a link to something you want for Valentine’s Day? Many retailers, like Ritani, offer a “Drop A Hint” link on product pages to “share this product with a friend.” Your unsuspecting partner receives an email with a link to the product and a note from you.

ritani-drop-a-hint

Shop Together

If you happen to be at the mall together, feel free to point out a few things you like or admire. Suggest browsing the stores together. You might be surprised to find that your significant other is paying a lot more attention than it seems. Either way, it can’t hurt.

Ask Cupid

Take a cue from Santa and make a cute Valentine’s themed “Naughty or Nice” list addressed to Cupid with gift ideas. Keep it light-hearted and fun. Saint Valentine would have wanted it that way.

Blue-Sapphire-Group-valentines-gifts
Blue Sapphire Reverse Pendant ($1275) and Studs ($885)

Walk Down Memory Lane

If he’s knocked it out of the park on a previous Valentine’s Day or another romantic occasion, casually remind him how much that meant to you. Bring up the particular instance, like the restaurant or gift, and reminisce about how great it was. This might inspire him to duplicate that success.

Be an Early Bird

Give your guy a gift a few days before Valentine’s Day. This sets the bar for what kind of gift you hope to receive, and reminds him that V-Day is fast approaching! You can tell him you were just so excited about the gift that you just couldn’t wait to give it to him.

Pin It

Since Pinterest has become a preferred digital outlet to express what you love and/or want, why not create a Valentine’s Day pinboard? If he has Pinterest, chances are he will see it, and if he doesn’t you could always “accidentally” leave it open before he uses the computer. If you want to get really obvious, create a board that’s titled “Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas” and share it with him.

Tag Him

Facebook and Instagram allow you to tag your significant other in any public post. We regularly see our followers tag their spouses on our social posts featuring engagement rings or jewelry that they like. As Valentine’s Day approaches, tag your significant other in posts with jewelry, gifts, or date ideas.

You can also share the memory of your favorite Valentine’s Day together (or date, or romantic outing) on your Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat account. You can even tag him in the post and mention that you’re looking forward to the next one! If it’s your first Valentine’s Day together, just post something about your dream V-Day date!


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Tell A Friend

Many times when a man needs to find the perfect gift, he will ask a mutual friend for advice. So make sure your friends know what you want. If they know what you want when he asks, it will make things very easy for the both of you!

Show And Tell

If you’re browsing on your phone and come across something you like (jewelry, a restaurant, or vacation idea), don’t be afraid to show it to him. If you’re worried about being presumptuous or too aggressive, say: “don’t you love this? I think I’m going to save up for it…”

Be Direct

When all is said and done, honesty is the best policy. If there’s something you really want, say so. Have an open conversation about gifts, including whether or not you’re going to splurge on something or opt for a small gift like a box of chocolates.

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Double Heart Charm Pendant: $440

Do It Yourself

Make reservations at the restaurant of your choice and plan out your ideal romantic evening. You can even buy yourself a present, because, why not? He will probably admire and appreciate you taking the reins on this one.

No matter which way you choose, chances are it will relieve your significant other of a lot of stress when searching for the perfect gift or engagement ring for Valentine’s Day.

SHOP FINE JEWELRY

Las Vegas is one of the most entertaining places to visit — occasionally referred to as “Sin City.” World renowned for gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment and nightlife, some also call it “Disneyland for Adults.” If you’re craving a fun, romantic getaway or entertaining the idea of an over-the-top proposal to the love of your life, Las Vegas might be the perfect place to visit for a memorable holiday.

Due to its increasing popularity, Vegas is often quite busy. The most popular destinations are on Las Vegas Boulevard, also known as “The Strip,” lined with luxurious hotels, neon vistas and romantic world-class dining. To avoid the busy season, place your bet on the low season months in November and December, make weekday reservations and be sure to check Vegas convention calendar websites. You’ll want to avoid big trade shows and sporting events while increasing your odds for reserving great tables and finding the perfect moment.

Here are 10 of the best places to propose in Las Vegas:

1. The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas

Photo credit: Pixabay
Photo credit: Caesar’s Entertainment

While it’s only half the height of the real Eiffel Tower in France, this Las Vegas version of the Parisian landmark never comes up short as one of the best proposal locations in the entire city. Few tourists or locals know about the semi-private viewpoint reserved exclusively for proposals. So, even if you and your partner have browsed engagement rings together already, the odds are in your favor for surprising her. Especially if you suggest lunch at the Mon Ami Gabi sidewalk café at ground level before taking things to a new level with a glass elevator ride up to the proposal spot.

Another option is to pop the question first before dining at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Located on the 11th floor of the 460-foot Eiffel Tower replica, floor-to-ceiling slanted windows ensure a stunning neon view. Reservations are essential at this popular location. In addition to accessing the semi-private proposal space, you can order champagne, long-stem roses and photography services.

2. The Top of the World Restaurant

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Photo credit: Stratosphere Hotel

There are plenty of fine dining restaurants with exceptional views of the strip. One of the best is The Top of the World at Stratosphere Tower. Chef Rick Giffen of Food Network’s “Chopped” helped develop a rotating menu featuring international cuisine for a wide variety of palates.

Like other restaurant towers, the tables along the windows rotate 360 degrees while you’re dining. You will see all points of the compass in about 80 minutes. Advance reservations are required, and mentioning your proposal plan to the staff beforehand is highly recommended.

3. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn

3. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn
Photo Credit: Wynn Las Vegas

While Wynn’s Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare doesn’t have sweeping Las Vegas views, award-winning Chef Paul Bartolotta understands the future of fine dining. His Italian-Mediterranean menus go above and beyond most contemporary restaurants and the romantic ambiance here is unlike anything else in the city. The daily menus always offer vegan and vegetarian options.

While the main dining floor is beautiful, call or place online reservations for a private outdoor cabana table (pictured above). These intimate cabanas were inspired by coastal dining in Italy and remain the best tables for romantic proposals and appreciating diamond engagement rings. Compared to other Vegas restaurants, the Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare isn’t open late. Dinner hours only run from 5:30 PM until 10:00 PM, so make your plans far in advance.

4. Bellagio Fountains

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 17:  A new show at The Fountains of Bellagio is choreographed to a medley of DJ/producer Tiesto's songs on September 17, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for MGM Resorts International)
LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 17: A new show at The Fountains of Bellagio is choreographed to a medley of DJ/producer Tiesto’s songs on September 17, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for MGM Resorts International)

Hardly anything is free on the strip, and that could explain why the lights and music of the Bellagio Fountains are one of the biggest attractions in Vegas. The largest crowds form after sundown during the peak seasons, so squeezing into a prime viewing spot at night is difficult. Even if you secure a spot, anticipate interruptions from spectators. This is why some people splurge for Bellagio rooms with a fountain view, although you don’t get the full effect of the music and cool mist on your face.

If you’re determined to reveal your diamond engagement ring outside, try timing the ebb and flow of people around the fountain. Crowds often gather before the start of a show, which is every half hour during the day (3:00 PM to 8:00 PM) and every 15 minutes at night (8:00 PM to midnight). Even during off-peak times, expect to share the best observation areas with many other revelers.

5. Red Rock Canyon

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Photo credit: Samartur, Wikimedia Commons

If the strip doesn’t appeal to you, go off-road at Red Rock for your proposal. Bike ride proposals are a popular choice, especially when paired with a picnic or park stop. Sunrise excursions are the best plan, especially during the warm season. Road cyclists love the paved loop at the Red Rock Conservation Area, while mountain bikers take to the Cottonwood Valley Mountain Bike Loop.

The Cottonwood Valley Mountain Bike Loop is one-way and features a thousand-foot elevation gain and a steep descent. This “loop” is a series of intermediate and advanced trails extending for 70 miles, so bring plenty of water and scout out the routes prior to your proposal excursion. If you’re not sure where to go, familiarize yourself with the area through McGhie’s award-winning private guided bike tours. You might even find a guide who could show you the best spot for a romantic desert proposal.

If a bike ride isn’t for you, hike your way to a romantic locale and stop for a “water break,” then get down on one knee. The scenery is already breathtaking, but she’ll appreciate it even more when you take her breath away with a diamond engagement ring.

6. Neon Museum

Neon Museum Vegas
Photo Credit: Anotherheader.wordpress.com

The outdoor “Neon Boneyard” has rescued over 150 out-of-use light-up pieces, which can create an electric backdrop for your proposal. For a vintage proposal with modern flair, make sure you book a group tour in advance or book a photo shoot at the Neon Museum. There are plenty of photo opportunities throughout the outdoor museum that houses signs from the Vegas of yesteryear. If you’re looking for an eccentric date or proposal with a little bit of culture, this is the perfect place to propose.

7. Gondola Proposal


Photo Credit: jesseh1, Pixabay

Nothing says romance like a gondola ride. The Venetian offers gondola proposals, including roses, photography and a planner to help you work out the details. The Venetian gondolas are already an unforgettable experience, but imagine proposing to the love of your life as you float by the sights and sounds of St. Mark’s Square. They also offer a package that projects “Will You Marry Me?” onto the faux blue sky ceiling. It’s almost as romantic as being in Italy.

8. Bellagio Conservatory Gardens

Photo credit: MGM Resorts
Photo credit: MGM Resorts

If your nature-loving beauty prefers something more tranquil, get down on one knee at the stunning Bellagio Conservatory Gardens, an ever-changing nature exhibition of florals and design. This is the perfect destination spot if your significant other loves to walk around and see the sights. Suggest walking through the hotels to see the beautiful architecture and design of Las Vegas, then end your walk at the Bellagio on one knee. Go early or late at night if you want to avoid crowds, then celebrate Vegas style.

9. Flash Mob

Vegas Flash Mob Surprise Proposal!!!
Photo Credit: NYX Events

Everything in Vegas is over the top, so your proposal should be too. Arrange for a professionally choreographed flash mob to emerge in a spontaneous way and perform a meaningful song for you and your significant other. There are plenty of companies that can help you plan the perfect surprise flash mob proposal in the middle of The Strip.

10. Cirque du Soleil

Photo Credit: Cirquedusoleil.com
Photo Credit: Cirquedusoleil.com

Cirque du Soleil is a fairy tale experience in and of itself – a proposal can keep the dream going! While their website specifically states they can’t accommodate requests for proposals during the show, you may be able to arrange something special before or after the show that is perfect for your acrobatics-adoring bride-to-be. That said, if you’re really lucky, rumor has it that you might be able to get on stage to propose in front of the crowd during the show…

Las Vegas is the perfect place to create a weekend full of memories that last a lifetime. In Las Vegas, engagement rings with a solitaire setting are generally the most popular. Solitaire engagement rings are a timeless choice, beloved for making the center diamond the focal point of the ring. Vegas is also known for its over-the-top weddings. If you and your bride-to-be are the spontaneous type, there are over 115,000 weddings per year on the Strip alone, and 50 different chapels where you can tie the knot.

Photo credit: Ritani.com

Pear shaped diamonds have always been a unique and brilliant way to symbolize true love.

Hollywood actor Richard Burton once paid $1.1 million for a 69-carat, pear-shaped diamond cut by famous jeweler Harry Winston and presented it to his wife Elizabeth Taylor, the academy award winning actress and fashion icon.

The incredible stone graced her neck in several public appearances and eventually became the centerpiece of a gorgeous Cartier ring. While their famously stormy relationship faded from the public eye many years ago, the Taylor Burton diamond made a permanent impression.

Image Source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, via VanityFair.com
Image Source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, via VanityFair.com

Related: Elizabeth Taylor’s Engagement Rings

While choosing an enormous, million dollar diamond for Elizabeth Taylor may be a no-brainer, choosing a pear-shaped or teardrop diamond engagement ring for your fiancée takes confidence.

Why? Because the most common choice for diamond engagement rings are round shaped diamonds. In fact, only 3-5% of Ritani diamond engagement rings feature pear-shaped center stones, making them a truly a unique and distinctive choice.

To take the guesswork out of choosing one of these unique stones, we’ve answered some of the most common questions diamond buyers ask about pear shaped diamonds.

What is a pear shaped diamond?

A pear shaped diamond is also called a teardrop diamond because of its rounded shape which narrows into a point at the top or bottom. It is a modified brilliant round cut (which contains all 58 facets of a typical brilliant round diamond) on one end and the pointed tip (reminiscent of a marquise shape) on the other end.

Anatomy of a Pear Shaped Diamond

Pear shaped diamonds have five parts or regions: The head, the shoulders, the belly, the wings, and the point. The head is round shaped, like a brilliant round cut diamond. The shape begins to narrow below the shoulders toward the belly, before coming closely together at the wings and finally meeting in the dramatic point.

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How do I choose a pear shaped diamond?

There are several factors that affect the appearance and beauty of a pear-shaped diamond. These include proportion, symmetry, and shadows caused by the cut of the diamond.

The “Bow Tie Effect”

Bow ties belong on grooms and waiters, but not on your pear shaped diamond.

The “bow tie effect” on a pear shaped diamond is the light gray to black pattern resembling a bow tie that typically runs across the width of the stone from the center of the table. A cut that minimizes the effect to the point that it’s hardly visible is a key to a beautiful pear shaped diamond.

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Source: GIA.edu

 

Proportion: Length to Width Ratio and Symmetry

Proportion can be one of the most important things to consider when buying a pear-shaped diamond. It is also the most subjective aspect and is really up to your individual taste.

In general, most people prefer a length to width ratio between 1.50 and 1.75. However, you need to decide what type of shape you prefer.

Do you like a stone with a flatter top or more rounded middle?

Look at a pear shaped diamond face up and check for gently rounded shoulders and wings. Wings that are too flat may make the diamond appear too narrow, while wings that are too rounded may make it look short and bulbous.

A beautiful pear shaped diamond must also have identical sides. To easily check the symmetry at a jeweler or online (using digital tools), draw a real or imagined line down the center, from the head to the point. The shoulder, belly, and wing portions should be identical, and 29 facets should be visible on both sides.

While the length-width ratio can give you a general idea of the shape, nothing beats seeing the diamond in person in order to determine the actual silhouette and other small details like eye cleanliness and bowtie effects. You can do so with no obligation to buy, with Ritani’s Free In-Store Preview program.

Are pear shaped diamonds cheaper than other diamonds?

One of the most appealing aspects of pear shaped diamonds are that they can be significantly less expensive than brilliant round shaped diamonds with the same cut, color, clarity, and carat weight attributes. This is because pear shaped diamonds usually have very minimal amount of waste when being cut from a raw stone.

Here’s a comparison of a few stones in Ritani’s current diamond inventory:

Shape Carat Size Cut Grade Color Clarity Polish Symmetry Price
Round 1.00 VG F VS1 EX VG $5,654
Pear 1.00 VG F VS1 EX VG $4,871
Round 2.00 VG E VS1 EX VG $25,475
Pear 2.00 VG E VS1 EX VG $23,238

As carat size increases, the price gap between round and pear shaped diamonds widens. Reaching into the 3 carat range and higher ranges, pear shaped diamonds can add up to enormous savings.

How big is a 1-carat pear shaped diamond?

Pear shaped diamonds are longer than round diamonds of equal carat weights. A 1 carat pear shaped diamond with a good length to width ratio measures about 8.57mm in length, whereas a 1 carat round shaped diamond measures only around 6.3mm. This can make the diamond appear larger.

From the head to the shoulder, pear shaped diamonds are as round as round shaped diamonds, but they become narrower at the belly, or roughly halfway down the surface before reaching the point.

Are pear shaped diamonds popular?

At Ritani, pear shaped diamonds account for 3-5% of weekly diamond sales. But the who’s who list of pear shaped diamond engagement ring wearers is growing and includes Ariana Grande, Paris Hilton, Kaley Cuoco, Cardi B, Sophie Turner, Victoria Beckham, and Avril Lavigne.

How should you wear pear shaped diamonds?

When worn as the center stone in an engagement ring, the round side or head of a pear shaped diamond typically faces the knuckle, while the point faces the fingernail. This makes the dramatic teardrop effect when the finger is raised. But the right look is different for different people. You may prefer to wear them the opposite way or even have your pear shaped diamond set horizontally in a dramatic east-to-west orientation.

When worn vertically, a pear shaped diamond engagement ring can make the wearer’s finger appear longer.

Pear shaped diamonds are sometimes found as two side diamonds sitting on both sides of round diamonds in engagement rings, and as the main stones in necklaces and drop earrings.

As you can imagine, they can be worn in a number of different ways. Here are some of our favorite pieces of jewelry featuring pear shaped diamonds:

pear-side stones

A stunning engagement ring setting featuring pear-shaped side stones – $4,260

teardrop-diamond-earrings

Elegant teardrop earrings with pear shaped diamonds – $2500

triple-pear-cut-diamond-fashion-ring

Triple pear cut diamond stackable wedding ring – $2845

The Pear Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring for You

We invite you to explore our gorgeous selection of over 1,800 pear shaped diamonds. If you find one you love, check out our engagement ring settings for pear shaped stones.

You may want to stand out from the crowd, or you may simply love the pear shape. Whatever your desire, Ritani has the unique pear shaped diamond engagement ring for you.

 

Next Up: Tips For Buying An Emerald Cut Diamond

The difference between Manufacturing Defects and Wear & Tear.

If there’s one concrete symbol of your love and devotion for your partner, it’s your rings. Engagement and wedding rings are an important way to show the world and each other how much you care. They’re a huge investment — both emotionally and financially — which is why it’s so crucial that you keep your jewelry safe, sound, and looking its best.

And that all starts by choosing a jeweler with a strong warranty.

While many jewelers advertise their warranty as ironclad, it’s so important to read the fine print. One of the benefits of the Ritani Warranty is that it lasts a lifetime. Warranties for from other jewelers vary in coverage length. For example, Sam’s Club Jewelers only provides a 7-year warranty and makes you pay nearly $150 for it. Pandora Jewelry only offers two years, and Pagoda Jewelry only offers a one-time replacement during the first 12 months.

Even among those who provide longer coverage, the Ritani lifetime warranty is unlike other lifetime warranties, because we do not require six-month inspections. Many jewelers, such as Kay Jewelers, not only require regular inspections to make sure the warranty remains valid, but they also require that you keep the paperwork of all inspections.

This isn’t always realistic for your busy life. Instead, owning a Ritani engagement ring means that if there’s a manufacturing defect, we’ll take responsibility — guaranteed.

Even with all these varying types of manufacturing warranties, one of the most crucial things to understand is the difference between a manufacturer’s defect — which is covered by a warranty — and regular wear and tear, which is not. The distinction isn’t always obvious to those outside of the industry, but understanding the difference will allow you to protect your investment and keep your jewelry looking stunning for years to come.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Most Manufacturing Defects Will Be Visible Very Quickly

Manufacturing defects normally refer to fundamental issues with the ring — and this will usually be clear to you very quickly.

The truth is, rings get treated a lot more roughly than you might realize. You bang your hand, you dig in your bag, you travel — there are a lot of opportunities for defects to become clear. Most loose stones, defective prongs, or structural issues will appear within the first weeks and months or wearing your ring, so this is when you should be paying the most attention.

If something looks wrong with the structure of your ring or you feel that it’s not as stable as it should be, please bring it in and we’ll be happy to assess the issue and take care of any repairs as necessary.

Wear And Tear Happens More Than You Think

Wear and tear is not normally covered by a warranty — and it’s important to understand that your ring will go through wearing over the years and that it’s completely normal. You’re wearing this ring every day, so over time it may suffer from discoloration from chemicals, makeup, or swimming pools, a natural wearing of the prongs which will need to be ‘built up’, or even chipped stones or stones that have fallen out of the ring.

Luckily, all of our engagement rings also come with the Ritani Lifetime Care Package which includes free lifetime cleaning services at your local Ritani partner retailer. Getting your ring cleaned and examined regularly will help combat wear and tear and keep your ring safe and sparkling.

We also offer complimentary annual prong tightening, repolishing, and rhodium plating as part of your care package.

Examples of Normal Wear and Tear

  • Discoloration due to exposure to chemicals, makeup, swimming pools, hot tubs & bathing
  • Bent or worn prongs
  • Lost stones, chipped/broken stones, and stones that have fallen out of the ring
  • Bands that become misshapen/lose shape over the years due to normal use

A Warranty Is Not The Same As Insurance

While we pride ourselves on our warranty — especially when some jewelers don’t provide one at all — it’s important to note that a warranty is not the same as ring insurance. When you’ve invested significant time and money in your ring, you may want to consider insuring it.

Related: Guide to Engagement Ring Insurance

This is especially a good idea during the early stages of wearing your ring, when you’re still getting used to it and ring loss does sometimes occur. Think about it. You take off your ring to do the dishes or leave it in the locker at the gym. When you’re just not in the habit of wearing a ring yet, it’s easy to leave it behind. If that sounds like something you might do, consider insuring it — even if it’s just for the first year.

Your ring isn’t just an important symbol — it’s a huge investment. Protect your ring and everything it means by choosing a jeweler who cares about you. And if you have any questions about our warranty, just get in touch — we’re here to provide you with peace of mind.

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Image source:Mihai Stefan Photography, Pexels.com

Delightful December! This is the month of parties, parties and more parties. We just love the #holidaypartyoutfit posts that some of our favorite Instagrammers have shared, but can’t help but feel there’s a little something missing: some Ritani bling!

Scroll below to see how we would complete these gorgeous outfits and find the look that expresses your holiday style best. Sparkle on, darlings.

1. @smlx0 – It’s Not Easy Being Green

smlx0-holiday-look

Stephanie Ledda makes being green look effortless and so va-va-voom in this gorgeous (yet surprisingly affordable) velvet sheath dress from Express. While we love the big statement earrings she chose, we think a simple, yet elegant Tahitian Pearl pendant in white gold would be just the thing to highlight her stunning dark hair and complete her party look.

2. @naomiboyer – Funky in Rose Gold

naomiboyer-holiday-look

Striking the perfect balance between casual and cocktail, Naomi Boyer pulls off this asymmetrical blouse with style and personality by pairing them with some simple black leggings and sexy stilettos. From the oversized hoops to her classic cuff bracelet, we love everything about her look. To complement the engagement ring on her left hand, we’d recommend this gorgeous diamond cluster ring in 18kt rose gold for her right hand.

3. @overanalyzedthat – She’s On Fire

overanalyzedthat-holiday-look

While we can’t deny that red is the color of Christmas, it also screams heat. Despite covering Brea V. in a high neck, long sleeves, and over-the-knee skirt, this ruched dress is still ridiculously hot. We think she could turn the temperature up even higher with a Citrine cocktail ring for a burnt orange accent.

4. @jadorefashion – Simple and Stunning

jadorefashion-holiday-look

Who’s ready for a night out on the town? Stella Uzo takes our breath away in this Iris Slit Evening Gown found at Lord & Taylor. Chic and elegant, we think a classic diamond tennis bracelet in 14kt white gold is the perfect accessory to round out her look.

5. @sweetandpetite_ – Jump On This

sweetandpetite_-holiday-look

There are few things we love more than a jumpsuit, but Khanh Cagley takes it to another level in this adorable strapless sweetheart neck jumpsuit from Express. By pairing it with a lovely faux fur wrap from Dikoaina and a stunning diamond eternity ring, the only thing she’s missing is our Pear cut diamond pendant around her neck.


Whether this holiday season takes you to a casual office Christmas party, an elegant cocktail reception, or a blow-out New Year’s gala, don’t forget the sparkle and bling. Because after all, ‘tis the season to shine!

SHOP FINE JEWELRY

Though most diamonds on the American market are graded by one of two organizations – The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or The American Gem Society (AGS or AGSL) – there are many other organizations that offer diamond grading services.

You may have seen diamonds featuring certifications from organizations like the EGL, IGI, or the GSI. In this series, we’ll dive into the most common of these grading reports to make sure you have the information you need to make an informed decision on your diamond purchase.

First up in this series are EGL diamond grading reports.

What is the EGL?

EGL stands for European Gemological Laboratories, which was established in 1974 and claims to be the largest independent network of gemological laboratories. Along with the European network, EGL certificates are also issued by several other countries: EGL India, EGL South Africa, EGL Platinum (Israel), and EGL USA.

EGL vs GIA Reports

As you can imagine, having such a wide network without a central governing body to enforce unified practices and philosophy can be problematic. This is especially true for diamond grading, since it relies heavily on the perceptions of highly trained gemologists to provide accurate assessments that are consistent across all labs and countries.

While the GIA has many laboratories across the world, it functions as a single business entity and has consistent standards and procedures across all of its labs. In practical terms, that means that the GIA always grades diamonds consistently.

On the other hand, the EGL’s standards (or lack thereof) can lead to diamond quality grades varying quite a bit from lab to lab. Furthermore, EGL tends to overestimate diamond quality in both color and cut grading.

EGL Color Grading

Many diamond experts have noted that the EGL overestimates diamond color grades. For example, an EGL lab might give a diamond a color grade of D, while the GIA would call the same diamond an F color.

Here is the GIA’s color grading scale:

GIA-diamond-color-grading-scale

Learn more about diamond color grades here.

EGL Cut Grading

Unfortunately, the cut grades on an EGL diamond can also misrepresent the actual quality of a diamond. For example, an EGL Ideal Cut diamond might only be considered a Good Cut by the AGS or GIA. So you may think you’re getting a really good price on a high quality diamond, but oftentimes, you’re paying less — but for inferior quality.

Learn more about diamond cut grading here.

Other EGL Grading Report Issues

You should also know that EGL Europe offers preliminary reports to diamond dealers. If diamond dealers don’t like the grades their diamonds receive, they don’t have to pay for the certificate. This incentivizes the EGL to offer more favorable grades to generate certificate revenue.

Because EGL certificates can be so unreliable, the golden standard of diamond trading, RapNet, actually banned diamonds with only EGL reports. The US branch of the EGL also tried to get non-US EGL certificates banned by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.

EGL Certification and Diamond Price

Due to the EGL’s inconsistent quality standards, pricing for EGL diamonds may seem lower than comparable diamonds with GIA or AGS certifications. This is because they are not actually comparable. As we mentioned above, cut and color are often overstated in EGL grading reports. So if you’re comparing diamonds side by side, it’s important to make sure they’ve both been graded by the same organization.

Sample EGL Grading Reports

Since the EGL operates from several different countries, you’ll find several different versions of the EGL Diamond certificates. Here are samples from the major EGL networks.

EGL USA Sample Report

egl-usa-diamond-grading-report

EGL India Sample Report

egl-india-sample-diamond-grading-report-840

EGL South Africa Sample Report

egl-south-africa-diamond-certificate

EGL International Platinum Diamond Grading Report (Israel)

egl-international-israel-diamond-grading-report

Should I buy a diamond with an EGL certificate?

While any diamond holds some intrinsic value, you want to make sure you’re not overpaying based on an inflated value assigned by a third-party with questionable motives. When shopping for diamonds, the same adage holds true: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

We’d recommend against buying a diamond with only an EGL certificate online, but use your own best judgement. Just keep in mind that the EGL can overstate a diamond’s quality by 2-3 grades.

At this point you might be wondering whether it’s worth going with an EGL certified diamond simply to save some money. Does it really make a difference if a diamond is a D color grade or an F color grade? We recommend you see for yourself. Go to a respected jeweler and ask to compare diamonds of various quality grades. Most jewelers are happy to show you comparisons, so you can see the difference for yourself. And when you’re ready to buy a diamond online, remember that you can see any diamond in Ritani’s inventory before you buy it with our Free In Store Preview program.

And at Ritani, we only sell diamonds graded by either the GIA or AGS because they adhere to the most stringent and exacting standards when it comes to grading diamonds.

Looking for GIA and AGS certified diamonds?

SHOP CERTIFIED DIAMONDS

Today’s blog post is a guest contribution from Ruth Batson, the CEO of American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories. With over 20 years of experience at the organization, Ruth is passionate about protecting and informing jewelry customers.

If you’ve ever bought a diamond, chances are, it came with a grading report. The reports provide a detailed analysis of your Diamond’s Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight, also known as the 4 Cs. Diamond grading reports, also known as diamond grading documents, can come from a variety of laboratories and have a grade assigned to each of the diamonds’ major characteristics.

One of the premier and most respected diamond grading laboratories in the world is AGS Laboratories, which is owned by the American Gem Society. The Society founded the Lab in 1995 with one mission in mind: consumer protection. The AGS Laboratories adheres to that mission so much that the tagline on their logo even states, “Setting the Highest Standards in Diamond Grading.”

What goes on in a diamond grading lab? How does someone become expert enough to grade a diamond? What kind of equipment is needed and most importantly, how do the graders know the grade they’ve assigned is the right one?

How does AGS Laboratories determine a grade?

diamond loupe

AGS Laboratories determines a grade on the 4 Cs of each diamond.  The first 3 Cs, Cut, Color and Clarity, are judged on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being the top grade, as well as standard industry grades. For example, Color may be an AGS 1.5, which translates to a G color, which is considered Near Colorless. Clarity might be graded as an AGS 2, which is considered Very, Very Slightly Included, shown on the report as VVS2.  Carat weight is judged on a very precise, calibrated scale designed specifically for weighing diamonds.

AGS Laboratories is the only diamond grading laboratory that assesses diamond cut based on how the light actually behaves in your diamond which is based on its exact measurements using a sophisticated (and patented) computer program.  It tells us at which points the light is coming out of the diamond, and how it is going to look to your eye.  A diamond with an AGS Cut Grade of 0 is one that appears the brightest and most beautiful.  Color and clarity grades are determined by experienced graders that go through rigorous quality control to ensure your diamonds are of the stated quality.  AGS Laboratories is recognized for its grading standards.

What types of different equipment does AGS Laboratories use?

grading diamonds

AGS Laboratories has a mix of traditional gemological equipment, such as microscopes and tipped diamond grading tweezers, which are designed to keep the diamond secure, and ensure stability in handling. We also use state-of-the art technology designed to analyze your diamond at the atomic level.  We also use 10x loupes to visually inspect and grade the diamonds for clarity, and other features like the quality of its polish and the symmetry of its facets.

We also have a special room where we grade a diamond’s color. Though these are all white diamonds, some are clearer than others. To analyze color, we use a specifically-designed color grading environment in a darkened room with neutral colored walls and color “masters” to assess the color grade of your diamond.  We also have equipment that allows us to ensure that your diamond is natural and hasn’t undergone any treatments.

How are gemologists trained?

square diamonds

Our gemologists go through an intensive training period that is based on the individual’s prior experience. Diamond grading requires an acute attention to both detail and procedure. AGS Laboratories gemologists are also required to complete their education in classes specifically geared towards understanding loose diamonds and diamond grading. The AGS Laboratories gemologists that make the final calls on diamond grades are highly trained experts with years of experience.

What makes AGS different from other Labs?

diamond attach

AGS Laboratories is the only diamond grading laboratory founded on the principle of protecting you, the consumer. Not only do we have 12 patents on our methods and technologies, but we are also leaders in the development of cut grade analysis of diamonds. Our grading standards are internationally recognized, and we are committed to consumers and the jewelry industry. We truly care about creating the best, most complete diamond grading reports available on the market. With each diamond they grade, our graders ask themselves, “If we were buying this diamond for a loved one, would we agree with this grade?” That simple yet powerful question helps keep them on track.