(Courtesy of Michelle Kobernik)

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for lovers — Valentine’s Day in Salt Lake City. Every year, engagements pop up all over the world during this holiday, especially in this valley. Salt Lake could easily be classified as the second Paris. Romance is everywhere. You can’t miss it.

We all know the classic tradition of proposing with a beautiful diamond ring. You know the one — a big princess clear-cut diamond on a diamond-studded band. The stress is high for the poor individual trying to find the perfect ring for their beloved. We will look at all the different aspects of a ring to help you choose the perfect one. Local jeweler Michelle Kobernik, creator of MK Jewelry Designs, gave me some of her knowledge and know-how when it comes to engagement rings. If stereotypical rings aren’t your thing — or even if they are — you can see what Kobernik has created and leave knowing a little more. 

(Courtesy of Michelle Kobernik)

Band Color

There are three basic band colors to choose from for engagement rings: rose gold, gold and silver. You can even be creative by using just the band for the ring (no stone). Look for a glass ring of any color. This kind of ring would work best for your more edgy, alternative or even athletic significant other. See if it matches their style. Otherwise, try to get a band for a stone.

Silver is classic, popular and relatively more affordable. It is a common color for jewelry and relatively easy to match with just about anything. Choose this band for your classic, traditional engagement.

Recently, rose gold has been on the rise in jewelry. It suggests a blend of color, making it easy to match with other jewelry sets. Rose gold is a solid choice for the person wanting to be a bit progressive with the hint of tradition looming in the background.

Gold is classic but not as popular. It runs much more expensive but can actually create really interesting bands due to how much easier it is to mold and design, as explained in an interview with Kobernik. Gold is for those with a more vintage style or older souls. Their hearts will soar at the beauty of a gold ring.

Band Design

There are several ways you can design the band after choosing a color. Kobernik explained the importance of choosing a band without prongs, as they can catch on things. The conflict-free diamonds used in her rings create a flatter ring band. This “provides a flatter surface for more active women.” Kobernik said.

For those who enjoy more classic looks in clothing and a more classic lifestyle, a simple band with no added fluff is always a strong choice. This is called an eternity band and can be made of anything from stones to silicone. The simplicity will match their personality without sacrificing tradition.

Some bands have smaller diamonds throughout, creating a gaudier look. Those who are a little more flashy or dramatic would love to have an expensively bedazzled ring. For a person who wants it all, definitely consider going for a flashier vibe with a diamond-covered band.

Finally, we have more artistic bands. These are strong candidates for artsy, vintage styles. You can have a band braided or molded to look similar to a vine. You can skip the expensive stones, yet keep the effect of an intricate band. These bands feel traditional with a touch of uniqueness.

(Courtesy of Michelle Kobernik)

Stone Cut

Kobernik educated me on conflict-free diamonds. “Conflict-free diamonds are those stones that don’t contribute to war and violence in the areas where they were mined,” Kobernik said. Instead of going for the most traditional choices for engagement stones like pear, oval or princess cut diamonds, Kobernik is forming gorgeous rings around the natural shape of the gems. Look to Kobernik for more unique and different stone cuts. Not only do they look phenomenal, but they also represent an intriguing movement in gem mining. 

The pear cut is a classic. It makes for a gorgeous center stone and is often accompanied with decoration around the setting and on the band. 

A vintage look can be achieved with a rounded stone — either oval or circular. This style is perfect to highlight a center stone while leaving space for one or two secondary side stones — maybe in a different color — or you could include their birthstone for a personal flair.

Lastly, we can look at the ever-popular and flashy princess cut. This is a square stone and makes for a dazzling center which can stand alone or have ornamentation. The cushion cut is also popular. It looks similar to the princess but has softer, rounded edges. 

There are custom shapes as well. You can get hearts, flowers and even snowflakes to suit your love. Keep in mind that the smaller the stones, the less expensive the ring, and you can also use stones other than diamonds to bring down the price without losing your sparkle. Today, many jewelers make creations out of quartered or half stones. This means you can get a princess cut diamond ring that looks like three carats but is actually four one-carat diamonds.

If you are getting married young, don’t be afraid to consider a non-diamond stone. Moissanite is a lovely natural stone which looks like a diamond and is often more sparkly and is much less expensive. Don’t forget cubic zirconia, either. You can always get a real diamond stone later in life for an anniversary or special occasion. In the meantime, these man-made diamonds are just as beautiful and distinctly more affordable. Cubic zirconia gets a bad reputation because it is man-made, but it’s still a diamond. It was simply formed in a lab instead of a volcano.

We don’t like to think about this, but many people lose their wedding and engagements rings at some point in their lives. If your love is a little scatterbrained, it might be wise to consider a more replaceable option just in case.

(Courtesy of Michelle Kobernik)

Stone Color

Any stone color, whether you choose an emerald, ruby or sapphire, is a viable option for your beloved. If they have a connection to their birthstone or a style matching a cut, having an engagement ring with those similarities would be ideal. Plus, mixing colors can be a fun way to give more traditional rings a modern flair or to really customize the ring to their taste. For something really special consider a conflict-free stone. 

Conflict-free gems “embrace imperfections with perfection,” Kobernik said — just like a strong relationship. These gems may come in grey, appear gold or have an array of color distinctions. There are beautiful, random imperfections in the stones, allowing for new colors to be found and brought out. No two stones are the same, so this is the ultimate way to get a one-of-a-kind ring. 

Where to get your ring

There are several jewelers in Salt Lake City. Once you have an idea of the right style, you can begin the search for where to get it. Of course, MK Jewelry Designs is a wonderful resource for a conflict-free ring and a great opportunity to shop locally. Not only can you create a unique, one-of-a-kind ring, but you can also have a one-on-one consultation and create your own personal ring with Kobernik. It doesn’t have to be a silver or gold band or even a clear or imperfect gem. Check out Kobernik’s Instagram page @mk.jewelrydesigns, or email Kobernik for a consultation at michelle@mkjewelrydesigns.com.

For online shoppers, Brilliant Earth helps you design a custom ring while offering traditional pre-made options. There are also many vintage and estate jewelers in the valley if you want a bit of history and a good deal. Finally, you can go to Diamonds Direct, Jared or any of the many physical stores to look at rings. An outing with your loved one might not be a bad option if you are unsure of style. Don’t feel guilty shopping around. This is a big decision and deserves careful consideration, but it can still be fun and affordable as well.

a.raasch@dailyutahchronicle.com

@AbigailRaasch

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