How To Choose A Wedding Band

While traditional gold bands will never go out of style, modern brides and grooms are opting for more unique options in the wedding band department these days. Here are a few tips to keep in mind and important links to's treasure chest full of affordable and fashionable options.

Although gold is still the metal of choice for wedding rings, platinum has become extremely popular as a bridal metal. The allure of platinum is its unparalleled strength, durability and purity. Many wedding rings also combine the warmth of yellow gold with the cool white of platinum, providing a contemporary twist to a traditional classic.

For those who like the look of platinum but can't afford it, there is always white gold. White gold, which is pure gold that has been mixed with nickel, zinc, silver or other white metals, costs considerably less than platinum, but is also less durable.

Not only can today's brides and grooms choose from a dizzying array of fashionable solid metal bands, but they can also opt for wedding rings with diamonds or colored stones. Channel set bands - rings with a line of small diamonds set in a groove, or channel, along the band - are particularly popular.

An increasing number of men are choosing wedding rings with diamonds, as well. One word of caution, however: when buying either a men's or women's diamond wedding band, make sure the stones are small enough so they don't overpower the engagement ring.

Other considerations for buying a wedding ring include:

Consider your lifestyle. If you or your spouse are athletic, outdoor types or work with your hands, pure gold (24 karat) probably isn't the choice for you because it's scratches and shows wear easily due to its softness.

Consider your existing jewelry. Look at the kind of jewelry and watches you already wear, and consider how your wedding band will look next to them. A bride-to-be also needs to consider whether she'll wear her wedding band and engagement ring on the same finger, or whether she will move her engagement ring to her right hand and just wear the band on her left. If she plans to wear them together, she'll need to choose a wedding band that matches the engagement ring and sits comfortably against it.

Establish a budget. Plain gold bands can be bought for less than $150, but fashion comes with a price. High-fashion bands with diamonds or other gemstones can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the size and quality of the stones and the workmanship of the piece. Also keep in mind that a men's band tends to be more expensive than a woman's, because it tends to be larger, wider and denser.

Get Michelle Obama’s Toywatch on

From blingy brooch jewelry to gardening and upper arm workouts, our nation’s First Lady is setting trends all over the place. The latest look that has Obamaphiles drooling is a bright lavendar watch she wore in Paris while sightseeing with her daughters.

The watch is from Toywatch and as soon as the style hit the airwaves the watchmaker had the style on backorder. Well, I’ve been doing some digging in the treasure chest and just happened to find it offered from their brand new Diamond Partner, Nordstrom.

Priced reasonably at $195, the purple timepiece from the Plasteramic Collection is perfect for casual daytime use or could cause a stir if paired with a fun cocktail dress.

If Michelle can bare her arms in the halls of Congress and sport blingy diamonds in the daytime, you can wear a purple watch to a formal. Go for it.

And if purple isn’t your style, they have an array of colorful options – from bright green and orange to pretty in pink.

So check out the Nordies Toywatch collection on by clicking right here, and be sure to browse through their other hot jewelry styles.

Designer names like Dolce & Gabbana, Juicy Couture, Betsy Johnson, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade and more are all there for the taking - all at prices that will make your frugalista side smile wide.

What do you guys think of the watch style? Perfectly purple or a plastic poser?

Black Diamonds - Get in Touch with Your Dark Side

Coco Chanel gave us the ubiquitous little black dress, and the diamond world has its own equivalent: black diamonds. Black diamonds are as beautiful and elegant as the traditional white gem - they just have a dark side. And like the versatile LBD, black diamonds add sparkle to any occasion. Dress them up with a cocktail dress or down with jeans and your favorite ruffle shirt. Think of them as the Audrey Hepburn of the diamond world - sophisticated, urbane, mysterious, elegant - and always in style.

The dark color of a black diamond adds to its unique luster and brilliance. Luster is the light or sparkle reflected from the surface of a stone and can be enhanced by the play of light within the stone's inner surfaces or facets. Because less light can penetrate a black diamond, prismatic play is at a minimun resulting in a unique, metallic brilliance that is unmatched in any other stone.

So what is a black diamond, exactly?

Most black diamonds are actually white or colorless diamonds that become black after exposure to a widely used and extremely safe radiation treatment. The diamonds quickly become inert after treatment and are then heated to effect an overall coloration. The dark color fully penetrates the stone and will not fade over time. This process not only results in a black diamond but is also used to create every color of the diamond rainbow - from red to green, purple to even brown.

Black Diamond Panda PendantNatural black diamonds are extremely rare and are not often seen in the jewelry world. The black color results from the presence of numerous inclusions, often consisting of graphite. Due to the dense concentrations of these dark inclusions, sometimes lining the stone's cleavages and fractures, natural black diamonds are generally opaque and difficult to cut. And since natural black diamonds are often blemished and pitted, they are often unusable in jewelry. Some notable black diamonds are the Black Star of Africa at 202.00 cts. and the Black Orfloff, at 67.50 cts.

While most of us can't afford natural black gems, treated black diamonds are well within our budget. Shop from's extensive stash of black diamond jewels, and add a little rock and roll to your diamond collection.

Megan Fox Transforms in Diamonds

It could very well be illegal to be that hot. Transformers superbabe, Megan Fox, has been lighting the world on fire at various premieres for her latest summer blockbuster, but last night’s Los Angeles opening won the grand prize.

Stunning the photogs and red carpet looky-loos with her sultry style, Fox wore a toga-inspired frock from Kaufman Franco and accessorized with Dior diamonds to die for.

A pair of icy diamond hoops were just the beginning of a perfectly accessorized ensemble. Adding to the sparkle was a zebra-striped right hand ring and two stunning diamond cuffs.

It doesn’t get much better than that, right?

And while many young stars attended the glittering premiere, none could hold a candle to FHM’s #2 sexiest woman. Although a golden Vanessa Manillo and pretty in pink Kristen Cavalari gave it an A for effort.

You won’t see my butt in the seat for this summer movie offering (I’m SO not their target audience), but I will most definitely keep the Fox hunt going. Stay tuned…

What do you guys think of her style? Summertime sexy or trying to hard?

Baubles, Bvlgari and Barbie

With all the diamonds, designer duds and dream homes a girl could want, what’s left for Barbie to do but wish Ken’s arms would bend and hope for a better blinking mechanism?

Well, luxury jeweler, Bvlgari, has a plan to get Barbie out of the house by putting her to work for their latest charity campaign, “Rewrite the Future”.

Babs along with other celebrity spokesfolks like Jessica Biel, Mischa Barton, Ben Stiller and Sting are working with Bvlgari to promote Save the Children International’s latest efforts by wearing a special ring designed to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the worthy cause.

Save the Children is one of the largest independent international organizations for the defense and championing of children's rights; they are present in over 100 countries around the world and are committed to providing quality education to 8 million children living in conflict-affected areas by the end of 2010.

The ring retails for $555 and you can nab one for yourself by visitng their website here.

In the meantime, I’m diggin' Barbie’s high fashion makeover for the ad campaign. Cheer up, Barb. Blinking is so last season.

Free Pearl Jewelry from Helzberg Diamonds

June is Pearl Month, jewelry hounds, and there’s a glittering new reason to add those shiny oyster babies to your jewelry box. Trusted jewelry retailer, Helzberg Diamonds, just joined the family as a Diamond Partner, and to celebrate they’re handing out pearl earrings at our favorite price..FREE.

Johannes Vermeer’s iconic painting made the Girl with the Pearl Earring famous in the 17th century, Scarlett Johansson brought them to life again on the silver screen and now Helzberg is adding to their storied allure by offering the perfect pair of pearl studs with any Helzberg purchase of $99 or more on

Whether you’re a bride-to-be searching for wedding bands, a devoted boyfriend jewelry shopping for your June birthday girl, or a fashion hound updating your summer wardrobe – Helzberg Diamonds is offering the perfect reason to do it all on

And now that they’re a valued Diamond Partner, you have almost 1700 new styles at your fingerstips from yet another retailer we all trust. Over 90 years in the business counts for a lot these days.

(Word to the wise: their diamond studs and Journey diamond styles are big sellers).

So take a cue from Helzberg and history this month and be the girl with the pearl earrings who just happens to be in on the best secret in town.

Click here to shop Helzberg Diamonds on

T Pain’s Big Ass Chain

There’s not much else to say about rapper, T Pain’s, latest jewelry statement that the diamond mega-chain doesn’t actually say itself.

Other than, “What recession?”

The rapper bought the 197-carat diamond dazzler for a mere $410,000 and debuted the piece at the Summer Jam concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey according to MTV.

"I just figured I had to shut down something, some part of the game," Pain said. "I thought I did it with Auto-Tune, and so I guess I gotta do it with jewelry ... just show 'em where the money's comin' from. You know what I'm sayin'?”

Mr. Pain., the money is most definitely coming from you.

T-Pain also shocked fans by appearing (with said Big Ass Chain) in a video with country music phenom, Taylor Swift (aka T-Swizzle), during the CMT Awards last night. An unlikely duo, but one that was actually quite cute. The softer side of T Pain, if you will...

If you want to see more Taylor Swift CMT style, check out the jewelry fashion wrap-up on Big Ass Chains, blondes and bling. Oh my.

Diamond Deadbeats

Diamonds have inspired the criminal mind to do some questionable acts throughout history – from intricate jewelry heists, to cunning catburglar antics. And Hollywood certainly loves to put a glamorous spin on the whole seedy operation (see the Ocean’s 11 and Pink Panther franchises for more).

But real life is definitely not as glamorous. Two disturbing news reports have me scratching my head this morning. One involves a lame attempt to pull a diamond fast one and the other involves stealing from a corpse. As if being dead wasn’t bad enough.

The first diamond deadbeat is 30-year-old Henry Floats of Hollywood, Florida. Authorities say this jewelry salesman reported that he had been robbed of $500,000 in diamonds on Interstate 95 while changing a flat tire. Unfortunately, he didn’t anticipate the fuzz taking a gander in his trunk - where they found the diamond stash just sitting there in a suitcase.

Henry. You gotta think these things through.

He told authorities he made the false report so that the company he worked for would be reimbursed by insurance and he would (eureka!) get to keep the diamonds. Instead, Henry finds himself charged with grand theft of over $100,000 and is being held on $40,000 bail.

More disturbing is diamond deadbeat #2 – someone who took it upon themselves to rob a dead woman of her 1.5 carat diamond earrings. Carol Arbit's family says she was wearing her favorite diamond earrings when she died suddenly, but that they disappeared after her body was taken from the house.

"How can you do this to a deceased person and to a family. We're sick over it, sick over it," Arbit’s daughter, Sheri Purdy, told reporters.

Purdy says the 1.5 carat diamond studs were her mother’s favorite earrings, and she wore them every day. But when her body was released from the State Medical Examiner's Office in Boston, the diamonds were gone.

While the family is resigned to never finding the earrings again, police are going to look for them at local pawn shops. According to an appraisal by the family the diamonds were worth $2,300 – but the meaning they held was priceless.

UV Protect in Style

Summer is right around the corner, jewelry hounds, so it’s time to start thinking about the tanning ritual. Whether it’s the beach, the lake, the pool or a folding chair in your front lawn, looking fabulous while you fry is always a must.

Now that you’ve Tracey Anderson-ed your way into a more worthy bikini bod, all that’s left is a little protection for your peepers. While we’ve all gone through our fair share of drugstore-bought options that you inevitably sit on or lose within a week, why waste your time this year when you have these supercool shades at your fingertips.

The Porsche P’8499 golden sunglasses are made from 18 carat gold with platinum accents, and the lenses themselves are mirrored with no less than 24 karat gold. The pricetag? A mere $6700 smackers.

Now that’s some serious UV protection.

Only a limited number are available – 911 to be exact – in honor of the Porsche 911 sports car we all need in our driveways. If you're still trying to live out your Risky Business fantasies (you know who you are) , this is certainly one way to do it.

So set the summer season on fire with a quick little trip to a Porsche Design Store near you – before Kanye West wipes out their entire stash.

The Steelers Show Off Their Super Bowl Rings

Oversized’, ‘blinged out’ and ‘just the right side of gaudy’ are words we might use when describing say, Elizabeth Taylor's or Beyonce’s jewelry style. But it’s the fellas in the football world that have them all beat.

This year’s Super Bowl champs, the Pittsburgh Steelers, received their commemorative rings yesterday during a private team ceremony at East Club Lounge at Heinz Field, according to the Pittsburgh Gazette. And the bling fest was nearly blinding.

Former all-pro defensive tackle Joe Greene, one of five club employees who have earned six Super Bowl rings, and former linebacker Larry Foote, attended the event.

"It is a beautiful ring," said Greene about the 3.7-ounce, 3.61 carat beauty which contains no less than 63 diamonds.

Designed by Jostens, the ring's face contains six large, brilliant-cut diamonds, one for each franchise Super Bowl victory. There are seven other diamonds that represent the Steelers' seven conference championships and seven others below to add up to their 14 division titles in a football design.

On one side of each ring are six Lombardi Trophies with the 27-23 score of their victory against Arizona in the Super Bowl. On the other is the ring owner's name, the Steelers helmet logo, the NFL logo and the player's number.

While there have been many reports of former Super Bowl players pawning these prized possessions due to the current economic downtown, most players wouldn’t even think of parting with their blingy baby.

"Everybody's in awe right now," said backup quarterback Charlie Batch.

"When everybody opened his box, it was like 'Wow!' "This is the defining moment…”

JewelClub Cocktail Rings – Shaken not Stirred

With big, bold color emerging as the trend to watch from the mammoth jewelry show in Las Vegas last month, I did a little recession-friendly digging on my favorite Friends and Family site, JewelClub, to see what they had in the coffers. What I found was a treasure trove of ring bling that would make any cocktail queen swoon.

Here are a few pics of my favorite styles – all for less than a $100, no less. But you should do a search of only the ring category and scroll through the options to find the color combo that works best for your wardrobe.

For those who are new to JewelClub, follow these easy steps to get access to this Friends and Family site of a prominent jewelry manufacturer. The less-than-wholesale prices you get on sites like are ripe for the picking here too, folks.

1. Log on to
2. Enter the code: INSIDER
3. Enter your email address

And you’re off and running. Did I mention they offer free shipping on their entire stash of fine jewelry styles – from engagement rings to diamond studs to gold hoops and more.

I’ll drink to that!

Vote for Your Favorite Tony Award Jewel

The Tony Awards were full of surprises last night, not the least of which was Bret Michaels' near-death run-in with a descending set piece during the opening number. Oh, Bret...

But my favorite part of the night was gawking at the red carpet jewels. From diamonds and gemstones to silver and gold - all categories were present and accounted for.

What's your favorite Tony jewelry statement? Is it classic Anne Hathaway in diamond clusters? A sultry Gina Gershon in vintage Fred Leighton? Or maybe you're partial to glam rock chic? Weigh in with your vote in the poll at the right, jewelry hounds!

And I couldn't resist putting the Bret Michaels moment from YouTube here for your viewing pleasure. Not to worry. He isn't seriously injured, but as the quick-witted host, Neil Patrick Harris, wisely cracked:

"He's given a whole new meaning to head banger"






Brad Pitt's Diamond Daughter

So you’re turning three. You’re thinking a doll, a stuffed animal, maybe a little cake might be nice from mom and dad. But if you’re the first biological child of the world’s most powerful couple – you don’t get a little party hat and a Sponge Bob DVD.

You get diamonds. And lots of ‘em.

Proud poppa, Brad Pitt, threw down a lot of cash at Neil Lane’s fab jewelry boutique in Los Angeles last week for his little blonde beauty, and walked away with not one but TWO diamond and platinum necklaces for Shiloh reportedly worth over $15,000.

Not to be outshined, US Magazine reports that Brad presented mom-gelina with a little bling of her own - namely a pricey Neil Lane charm bracelet decorated with mini gold and diamond jet planes.

To symbolize the emotional distance that now stands between them? Or maybe just to praise her piloting skills. Is there anything this woman doesn't do?

Apparently not. She's been listed as the most powerful celebrity in the world according to Forbes Magazine (yes, including the big O, folks), so it's probably best that Brad keep up with up.

Jewelry Shines at The Hangover Premiere

The tiny pendant trend made a glittering showing in Los Angeles at The Hangover premiere last night, as Tinseltown’s finest came out in droves to support the broad comedy.

Kate Walsh and Kristen Bell decided to go big with statement necklaces to light up their minis. But the remaining celebs kept things on the down low, as the film’s star Heather Graham, comedic actress, Rachael Harris, and Sasha Baresse all added a little sparkle with barely-there pendants - a look that's popping up quite a bit these days on the red carpet.

Other shining stars included a taut and toned Cheryl Hines in layered pearl strands, Audrina Patridge in yellow gold hoops and Jamie Lynn Sigler in simple leaf earrings (and on the arm of Entourage’s Turtle. Are they really a couple? Weird.).

Hitting theaters this Friday, The Hangover is a Las Vegas-set comedy centered around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then have to retrace their steps in order to find him.

Might be a nice high-brow outing after watching the car crash that was Speidi on I’m A Celebrity Get Me out of Here, last night. When you start thinking Janice Dickenson is the only sane one on the island, you know you've hit a new low.