Ask An Expert: Ann Garrett

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What trends have you seen in engagement and wedding rings within the last decade?
The most obvious trend I have seen in commercial jewelry is the use of many small diamonds in ring designs to make a smaller center diamond look more important. Having been a jeweler for 30 years, I think of “future trouble” when I see this type of setting because of the way the diamonds have to be set with many small prongs. As those prongs wear or in the case of the diamonds being set around the ring and the ring changing shape, they begin to fall out from simply being worn.

What advice do you give to couples that are looking for custom rings?
There are creative ways to personalize a ring in the choice of the design or the stones used. Most designers, including myself, have a distinctive look in their designs. For my clients, I always say that if they like my designs, I can design something for you.

How would you say that a woman’s taste in rings changes as she ages?
We all evolve and become so much more of an individual between 20 and 40. Younger women have been surrounded by input on “all things wedding” for years. Younger women have been looking at engagement rings since they were old enough to open a magazine. Their self-confidence in being an individual has not formed yet and their choices are usually traditional. I design more rings for older women and men who think much more uniquely at 40 than they did when they were younger.

Marriage is a huge decision, as is picking out the perfect ring. What role should each half of the couple play?
Every couple brings their own set of history, realities and dreams. Purchasing an engagement or wedding ring is sometimes their first opportunity to deal as a couple with a major financial purchase, compromising and discussing reality and working toward an end that pleases both people.

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