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Jewelry Blog: Engagement Rings
Hot Celebrity Engagement Rings

It's not hard to get caught up in the fantasy lives of the hottest celebrities. From their multi-million dollar mansions to their exotic vacations, celebrities tend to live the lives that a lot of people dream about. When it comes to celebrity engagements and weddings, they can even make Cinderella envious with their lavish receptions and diamond engagement rings!

Radiant Fancy Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring at GoldenMine

Celebrity engagement rings range from antique treasures to customized creations. They only have two things in common, their enormous sizes and their outrageous price tags. Although diamonds are still a number one choice, more non-traditional stones such as sapphires and emeralds are becoming increasingly popular with today's couples.

One such celebrity to don an extravagant engagement ring is Disney star, Hilary Duff. Shortly after she started dating NHL hockey player, Mike Comrie, he surprised her with a Mercedes-Benz, so proposing to Duff with a massive 14 carat princess cut engagement ring that reportedly costs $1 million dollars falls in line with his generosity. Even with all the other recent engagements, Duff's takes the top spot for price.

Comrie isn't the only hockey player that decided to take the wedding plunge. Ottawa Senator center, Mike Fisher, proposed to Carrie Underwood just days before Christmas. The July bride flashed a massive 5 carat yellow and white diamond ring during her engagement. While experts can't seem to agree on the value of ring, it's said to have cost at least $800,000!...Love must be blooming in the hockey arena.

This past December, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd celebrated the holidays by getting engaged. While it might not compare to Duff's 14 carat bling, Bell's ring is quite spectacular. The platinum ring holds a 3 carat emerald cut brown diamond with small diamond accents flanked on each side. Some experts estimated the price tag at around $100,000.

In February, Nicole Ritchie officially announced her engagement to her long time love, Joel Madden, on the David Letterman Show. Ritchie wanted a special ring and actually collaborated with designer, Neil Lane on the design. The result was a 4 carat round diamond surrounded by pave diamonds set in platinum estimated at $60,000 to $85,000.

While Simon Cowell might appear rude and obnoxious on American Idol, he recently proved that he knows how to please a woman! The most "disliked" judge on television chose a 6 carat brilliant cut diamond ring for his new fiance. This flawless engagement ring is estimated to cost Cowell at least $750,000.

Emerald Cut Fancy Engagement Ring at GoldenMineAlthough having an apparent secret engagement, Penelope Cruz adorned a spectacular 3 carat sapphire who privately married another Oscar-award winning actor, Javier Bordem, last month. While the estimated $30,000 price tag might not come close to other celebrity rings, the vintage ring definitely shines with classic beauty.

While getting an engagement ring that costs six figures may most likely be a dream instead of reality, couples can still find rings that look just as gorgeous and extravagant at affordable prices. GoldenMine is one such place. Checkout GoldenMine's extensive engagement ring collection at and find asscher, radiant, and exceptional cut diamonds, traditional round and princess cut diamonds, pave, three stone, sets, and other engagement rings today.

Posted by Connie at 1:30 AM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
The Perfect Match For A Perfect Wedding - Wedding Ring Sets

One wedding jewelry trend becoming more popular over the past year is buying an engagement ring and a wedding band together in a set. Engagement ring sets (also known as wedding ring sets) are by no means new to the jewelry market. Jewelers had them for decades but only recently are becoming popular. Originally meant to be an affordable choice, they generally have very simplistic designs so that they would fit comfortably side by side. Today, designs are much more elaborate and beautiful.

Wedding Ring Set : Image Property of GoldenMine

Enhancer Sets
Although you can still find many classic designs, engagement ring sets are now available in a variety of styles. If you prefer a sleek style, enhancer sets are a great choice. These wedding bands are usually very simple and just rest against the engagement ring or just under the stone. This style is often seen with solitaire engagement rings. Also, both rings can be worn alone, so if you prefer to have the option of wearing them as a set or by themselves, enhancer sets make a great choice for you.

Counter Style
If you plan on wearing your engagement ring everyday, consider the contour engagement ring sets. These sets tend to be more elaborate and are uniquely designed so that the wedding band matches the counters of the engagement ring and appear as one ring. While they are certainly gorgeous together, wearing the band alone may appear less attractive, depending on your style.

Scaffold Sets
Similar to the counter style sets, scaffold style engagements ring sets are another type of set for those who plan on wearing both rings everyday. This style features a double banded wedding ring and the engagement ring nestles between the two bands. The puzzle-like design create the look of one large, cocktail style ring when worn together, and most people won't even know it's two rings put together.

Aside from the beauty that wedding ring sets provide, they also have several other advantages. First of all, it reduces or even eliminates the time it takes to find a wedding band that will match the engagement ring. Both rings will be identical in color, have similar designs, and sit nicely together. Second, because you are purchasing both rings at the same time, it often costs much less than buying them separately, so they carry a lot of value. Third, retailers may also offer a wedding band for the groom that matches the engagement ring set, and some sets even include the groom's ring.  Finding the perfect engagement ring and wedding band can be a time consuming process, especially if you want them to match. By purchasing a wedding ring set, you can reduce your search time and devote more time to your wedding plans. Depending on your style and interests, enhancer, counter, and scaffold sets will give you the best value in a shorter amount of time.

Visit to find our beautiful wedding ring set collection!

Posted by Connie at 11:50 PM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
Are Diamonds Really Forever?
"Diamonds Are Forever" is the seventh in the series of James Bond spy movies, as well as Shirley Bassey's title song, inspired by Ian Fleming's novel of the same name. The song emphasizes that diamonds last "forever and ever" and "when love is gone, they'll luster on." Diamond is the world's hardest natural material and diamonds are the most durable and ever-lasting material on Earth, so, yes, diamonds really are forever thanks to their durability. .

Durability is stability, hardness and toughness

A gemstone's durability is its degree of stability, hardness and toughness. Toughness relates to chipping and breaking, whileASD hardness has to do with scratching. Stability refers to how well the gemstone resists light, chemicals and heat. Diamonds have excellent stability and hardness as well as good toughness so this all adds up to incredible durability.

Stability -- Diamond is used in the electrical industry and in engineering drill bits because of its high resistance to heat, light and chemicals. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is technology that allows synthetic diamond to be fabricated, either in thin or thick sheets, due to a gaseous chemical reaction.

Although diamonds are highly resistant to most chemicals, bleach should not be used to clean diamonds. Diamonds are often cleaned with a mixture of ammonia and water or a diamond cleaner and soft-bristled brush. Diamond has an extremely high melting point of 3,820 degrees Kelvin. It is the best heat conductor of all natural elements, due to its high lattice density. Lattice density refers to the amount of atoms per unit of volume. As atoms are denser in diamond than in any other natural material, diamond is also the hardest of all natural materials.

Hardness -- DiamondDiamond Pendant measures a perfect ten on the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale is named after Friedrich Mohs, a German mineralogist, and it tests hardness by how easily a mineral can be scratched. Talc has a score of only one to diamond's ten.

Softer minerals cannot scratch harder minerals. Diamond is so hard that the next hardest mineral on the Mohs scale, corundum -- which is sapphire and ruby, is four times softer than diamond. The hardness of diamonds makes them perfect for wearing as jewelry as they are not easily scratched. Since diamonds can scratch other diamonds, however, diamond jewelry pieces should be kept separate in a jewelry box.

Toughness -- Ruby, sapphire, and alexandrite are all gemstones that come close to diamond's hardness according to the mohs scale.  A diamond sapphire & diamond ring can break if it is dropped on a hard surface with a strong force or hit with a blow that splits its four-way cleavage. Cleavage is a straight, clean crack in a gemstone.

Feathery cracks on the top of a diamond may cause easier breakage and diamonds with these types of surface cracks are not very durable. A good quality cut diamond has its girdle, or outer rim, left thick enough to prevent chipping. The pointed end of a diamond is called a cutlet and if the cutlet is too pointed, breakage could occur during the setting process.
Posted by Sheri L at 12:02 PM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
How To Choose An Engagement Ring
So, you are ready to propose - Congratulations! You have moved to an important phase, buying a diamond engagement ring! This is one of the most important jewelry purchases you will ever have to make, symbolizing your promise to love her forever. Cheers to a long and successful marriage!

Since this is what she has been dreaming about since she was a little girl (no pressure), we have compiled a list of what to look for when looking for THE ideal ring.

First, create a budget. It is a common belief that your ring should cost about two months salary, so this might be where you should start.

Next, figure out the shape of the diamond. There are round, princess-cut diamonds, emerald, marquise, pear, and oval diamonds. The most popular diamond shapes are round and princess due to their high brilliance.

Then, you have to find out the type of metal and ring setting. The most popular choices are 18k or 14k gold in either yellow gold or white gold, and platinum jewelry settings. You can find out which metal for will suit her most by paying attention to what she has in her jewelry box. If your girlfriend wears mostly 14k yellow gold, she'd be pleased with a 14k yellow gold engagement ring. Or, if she likes white gold, you can step up and buy her a platinum engagement ring! If her jewelry box is loaded with antique jewelry, then get her an antique diamond engagement ring.

The ring setting is how the precious stones are held in place. There are a few different types available, such as bezel, prong, chevron, and invisible. Look at the different ring types. If she is an active person, a bezel ring setting would be good because the diamond would be protected. Compare and see the different ring settings and and find rings you think she would like.

Next, the most important part of the process begins- choosing the diamond. Go back to your budget and remember it. This is where you can save or lose the most money.

When choosing loose diamonds or a diamond ring, there are four things to remember, the Four C's- Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat.

Carat measures the size of diamonds. Carat prices rise exponentially; a one-carat diamond ring is worth much more than a ring set with two or three diamonds that totals one carat. A good start is a one-carat stone. When choosing the diamond size for your ring, think about your budget and the look of the diamond you are going for.

Clarity is basically, the clear-ness of the diamond. The more clear a diamond, the more rare and expensive the ring will be. A good clarity to start at is SI2. SI2 means the stone is slightly included. There are inclusions that can be seen with a 10x magnification or very minor inclusions seen with the naked eye. However, how many people do you see walking around with magnifying glasses? An SI2 is a good value because you can't really tell the difference between a VS2 to a SI2 with the naked eye.

The most important thing about the color of white diamonds is to have none. The most rare white diamonds used in engagement rings are those that are free of any color. Look for diamonds with a G-H grade because they are near colorless, and you'll get the best value.

Cut is the thing that makes or breaks diamonds. According to the AGSL guidelines, a diamond with a 0 to 4 grading will have a good cut. If the diamond is cut wrong and is too shallow or deep, light will be lost and it will look too dark. You want to find the most brilliant diamond for your engagement ring that you can get for your budget.

If you are having trouble looking for a diamond engagement ring, recruit some help. Ask her best friend (one who could keep a secret) to help you find out what engagement ring she'd like. Her best friend will most likely have insights on the shape, ring setting and carat size of her ideal engagement ring.

Also, educate yourself. Compare prices by comparing the price per carat of the diamonds. Go to many stores and ask around. Do not buy the first ring you see, but compare and see the many choices and prices. Try to get the best value for you money while getting her something that will melt her heart.

Again, congratulations and good luck with your marriage! May all your dreams come true.
Posted by Kim G at 12:52 PM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
Are you too romantic for man-made diamonds?
Are you a romantic? Does it please you to know that your diamond was forged millions of years ago deep in the heat and pressure of the Earth? The traditional diamond industry fervently hopes so because that's the pitch they intend to use to fend off the growing availability of gem-quality man-made diamonds.

At one time, the notion of a man-made diamond gem was a pipe dream fit only for con men to use in prying loose cash from those with more money than knowledge of science. Now, however, we stand at the beginning of a huge transformation in the diamond industry, as companies such as Apollo Diamonds, Chatham Created Gems and Gemesis have begun selling gems grown in their labs. These stones are no muddy brown lumps, either; they match the best naturals for clarity, color and size.

To make these, the industry has perfected the chemical vapor deposition method. In this process, a seed crystal of diamond is placed in a chamber in a 1300ºF plasma of hydrogen and methane. This provides the carbon that allows the diamond to grow, an atom at a time, until it reaches up to 10 carats in size. With this process, a carat stone can be grown in 12 hours.

As you can imagine, the prospects of such diamonds swamping the market has caused a controversy in the gem industry.

The first issue of contention is just what to call these gems. The Federal Trade Comission has declared that selling them without mention of their source would be considered deceptive, but have remained mum about their favored sobriquet. The Gemological Institute of America has adopted the term 'laboratory grown'.

Apollo, on the other hand, has adopted the word 'cultured', no doubt hoping to equate their process with the widely-accepted cultured pearl market. The mined diamond industry, however, prefers the word 'synthetic' with its more pejorative ring.

The second controversy is one of identification. While both man-made and mined diamonds are mostly carbon, mined diamonds usually also contain some nitrogen, while man-mades don't. The lack causes man-mades to appear more transparent under UV light, a differentiation jewelers can use to separate the two. De Beers, the 900 lb. gorilla of the diamond industry, has also developed testing equipment to identify man-made gems.

The manufacturers so far are trying to work within the system by laser engraving stones over one-quarter carat, and pricing them only slightly under mined stones. De Beers has also taken to engraving I.D. info on the girdles of their natural stones.

The real battle will take place in advertising, however. Expect De Beers and the mined diamond industry to spend big bucks to convince you, the consumer, that mined diamonds remain more valuable that manufactured ones.

They face an additional hurdle in this campaign, though -- the specter of blood diamonds. Public unease about the conditions under which their gems were mined and sold has driven some to seek out man-made diamonds.

Given that diamonds were a $143 billion business in 2006, the stakes in this controversy are huge. Last year, 400,000 carats of man-made gem diamonds hit the market, versus 130 million carts of mined stones. If this increases to the point that man-mades flood the market, causing the price of diamonds to plummet, everybody in the industry loses. I'm curious to see if De Beers is able to stem the tide. I'm curious to see how much you're willing to pay to own a natural diamond.
Posted by Tom B at 7:05 AM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
Recent Trends in Jewelry Purchases
There are a few problems with those folks who tell you that the average man will spend two month's salary on an engagement ring for his fiancé. One; they don't care if you go into debt, and with that kind of money in mind, you probably will. Two; they are counting on you to believe it is the all-American average thing to do, and it's not. If an average guy listened to 'them', he would spend over $4,000 on at least a 1 carat diamond ring that she would immediately declare her ideal ring, and he would be expected to pull off the perfect surprise proposal no less. Likely? Not hardly. More and more these days, the idea of what is average is being redefined in the engagement department. Men, breathe a sign of relief, you are about to be given a much deserved break.

First of all, not all brides wear diamonds. In fact, only 75% of first time brides sport them, so going to look for diamond may not even be the right first step when considering proposal. Many women prefer other precious gems, semi-precious gems, or no gems at all. If it is determined that a diamond is the way to go, don't add up two months worth of your salary just yet. The average amount spent is going to vary demographically. What one person would spend in New York is going to be completely different than what someone would spend in Gainsville. On average, an engagement ring purchase has been around $2,000 and has been round cut engagement rings shown to add up to approximately 12% off the overall cost of the wedding. Weddings in this country have grown into a 50 billion dollar a year industry. Guys, we know that you want to impress your fiancé, but going broke isn't the way to do it. Remember, your married life together begins after the wedding; everything else is a preamble. Set a realistic budget for your engagement purchase. Spending more doesn't mean you love her more?¦it just means you have less money to start out your life together, and what's more important?

I know you're thinking "How can I get her that all-important 1 carat ring that all of her friends have, on a budget?" and the answer is this; you don't have to. The average size diamond engagement ring is not a 1 carat -- it's a 1/3 carat. Keep in mind that a beautifully set 1/3 carat diamond will take her breath away just as much as a larger stone, and besides, bigger isn't always better.ASD Think quality, not size. Also, it is important to note that most jewelers have a trade-up policy. If you should come into a more comfortable means of income in the future, you can trade-in her stone for a larger one and just pay the difference. It has been my experience, however, that no matter what the size of the original stone, your bride will want to keep the ring you propose with forever.

The surprise proposal has also become a bit of a relic. Men are no longer under such a high degree of pressure to pick out the perfect ring alone. If you have gotten to the point in your relationship that you are thinking of marriage, the odds are that you have already discussed this with your intended. If not, you will shortly, I assure you. More and more, women are heavily involved in the proposal process. Ladies will accompany their gents to the jewelry store. They will be actively involved in the decision of design, size, and yes even cost of their engagement ring. Women of the 21st century are seeing marriage as an equal partnership, one in which they should have a say in all aspects, and this is where men can really be thankful. To maintain a small element of the surprise tradition, men might pick out the final diamond alone after the setting has been agreed upon. Or he might arrange for a formal evening in which he prepares just the right thing to say to officially ask for her hand in marriage. Romance isn't dead in proposals, after all.

The point is this; forget the idea of what is average, and concentrate on what is right for you and your fiancé. That's all that really matters.

Click here to browse our large selection of Engagement Rings.
Posted by Kim G at 12:06 PM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
The Journey of a Diamond
A rock is just a rock, unless it's a diamond. Globally, an estimated 10 million people are supported by the diamond industry, which makes one wonder what is really involved in the journey of a diamond.

Most diamonds are mined in pipe-like bodies of kimberlite rock and it's not exactly an easy venture. Mined from open pits up to 300 meters deep, an average kimberlite mine contains approximately 25 carats of diamonds for every 100 tons of rock, and of those 25 carats, maybe only 5 carats are usable for gems. The remaining diamonds are used in industrial equipment; the diamond drill bit isn't just a pretty name.

solitaire diamond ringDiamonds can also be found in river or beach gravels where they have accumulated after erosion of kimberlite pipes. The most notable of this type of deposits can be seen in Namibia, located in South Africa. Here, the beach deposits are so rich with natural diamonds that diamonds are mined in huge open sand pits. This mining operation only yields approximately 5 carats of diamonds per 150 tons of gravel, however almost all of those 5 carats are of gem quality. The diamond rich soil does not end at the water's edge. Off the coast, large mining ships are equipped with specialized vacuum apparatus that actually collects rough diamonds from the sea floor.

Diamonds are separated from the rock by various means such as passing the sediments through a grease belt to which only diamonds stick and all else is washed away. Another separation method is passing the sediments through an x-ray beam which causes the diamonds to become fluorescent and thereby easily picked out. No matter what method is used, a final check is always done by hand, through each and every ton of rock mined.

From the mine rough diamonds are separated into two classifications; gem or industrial quality. Of the gem quality stones, the rough diamonds are sorted again according to shape, size, color, and inclusions. 'Inclusions' can be a vague term, but it is meant to encompass the internal flaws of a diamond such as cracks or internal imperfections such as carbon deposits. These inclusions will determine what special care the diamond cutter will need to consider when preparing the final gem.

A diamond cutter must examine the rough stone in order to determine what shape and size to cut the stone. The round brilliant cut is the most popular cut because it enables the cutterDiamond Studs to retain as much of the original stone as possible while giving it the most amount of sparkle. Once determined, the cutter will mark the stone for cutting and the rough diamond will be divided by sawing the stone using a paper-thin metal disc which is coated in diamond dust. A diamond, being the hardest natural element, requires another diamond to cut it. While each facet is carefully cut into the stone, diamond dust is produced which is saved and used for further sawing and faceting. A facet is the tiny surface on a diamond that traps light and makes a diamond sparkle. Most round brilliant cut diamonds have 58 facets, more so if the stone is of exceptional size.

Once the final gem is cut and polished, it is ready to be graded. Diamond grading can be confusing for most people but it needn't be. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was formed in 1931 and is a non-profit institution. They are an educational organization that has a simple and unbiased diamond grading system by which diamonds can be measured. It is important to note that the GIA does not place dollar value on diamonds; it simply reports the weight, proportions, clarity, color and fluorescence of the diamond.

Once graded, the diamonds are purchased by buyers from all over the world to be set into jewelry and sold to the consumer; you. So the next time you peer into a case full of diamonds at the mall and breathe the words 'what's the big deal?', now you'll have an answer. That little sparking gem had a long journey.
Posted by Kim G at 1:42 PM - Link to this entry  Share this entry
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