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Sentiment With a Twist

The bridal market is percolating with a host of new and exciting designs all aimed at today's fashionable bride who wants her engagement ring to stand out ? and to look a bit different from those of her friends.

In some cases, her taste might run to the classics ? the type of styling that delighted her grandmother or great-grandmother ? such as Edwardian or Art Deco-inspired designs. The graceful Edwardian style features lacy, openwork designs with delicate detailing, such as filigree, engraving, milgraining or beadwork. If she likes the classic elegance of Art Deco, think about a princess or emerald-cut center diamond in a setting enhanced with micropavé. The majority of these designs will be styled in either platinum or white gold.   

For a bride preferring a more contemporary style, consider the romantic appeal of a center diamond enhanced by two diamonds at the sides or perhaps encased in a nest of micropavé. This look works well with any size or shape of center stone and the pavé accent adds to the brilliance. Other modern brides may opt for the simplest possible style, cutting away all the clutter and choosing a prong-set solitaire in a polished setting of platinum or 18-karat gold.

In wedding rings, some of the most popular looks right now are pavé-encrusted bands that either interlock with the engagement ring or can be worn stacked around it. In general, men prefer a plain band accented with a few small diamonds or a wider band with textural detail.

In anniversary and eternity bands, simple styles still tend to be the most popular. Metal preferences includes 14-karat or 18-karat white or yellow gold, or platinum. Shown at the right are both channel- and prong-set varieties.

Just in case you didn't know, the difference between an anniversary band and eternity band is that the latter has diamonds set all the way around the band, representing a love that's everlasting.