1. Put a ring on it!

    Olivia Wilde's ring  recreated by James Allen at a more affordable priceThere is nothing like a summer full of weddings to produce a new crop of engagements. And as soon as the question is popped the lucky couple usually talks about a ring. These days it seems rare that a man arrives with one picked out in advance. Women today have definite ideas about the ring they want, and it is a substantial purchase. To make it easier, we talked to the experts at James Allen jewelers to find out the average cost an engagement ring, how to care for your ring, and even how to purchase a ring that looks just like your favourite celebrity’s. Here is what they had to say:
    The average cost of an engagement ring
    In the United States, the average engagement ring purchase is approximately $3,500; however, the average diamond ring sold by James Allen is closer to $6,000.
    How to select a ring to fit your budget
    When it comes down to selecting the perfect engagement ring for any budget, there are stunning options in every category:
    $1,000 or less
    Buying on a budget of $1,000 can seem impossible, but there is a solution.  Pre-set diamond engagement rings start as low as $600 and come “ready to wear.” Pre-set engagement rings are usually a classic 2mm solitaire, along with a center diamond of less than 1/2ct in size and imperfect (I1) clarity. 
    $1,000 to $3,000
    This is the budget for most couples. It can be stretched furthest with a solitaire setting and a sparkling certified center diamond of H/I color and SI1 clarity. Choosing your center diamond is half the fun and will make your ring unique! 
    $3,000 to $6,000
    If this is your budget, splurge for a ring with the added dazzle of pavé or side diamonds and a center diamond of G/H color and clarity of SI1 or higher.  These choices are still budget-friendly, but ensure a beautiful ring that will impress.
    $6,000 plus
    If the budget exceeds $6,000, the possibilities become endless.   A meatier budget allows you to go with a fully custom ring (if you desire), along with a center diamond of at least a carat (or much larger).
    How to care for your ring
    Here are some of James Allen's “Tricks of the Trade” for keeping your diamond jewelry clean:
    Avoid wearing your diamond jewelry when doing work around the house – there is a chance the diamond could chip. Also, be sure that your diamond never comes into contact with chlorine bleach.
    If, for any reason, your diamond comes loose, be sure to have the problem resolved right away – you don’t want to risk having the stone fall off and get lost.
    Give your ring a detergent bath. Simply fill a small bowl with a mild detergent and some warm water. Use a soft brush (a toothbrush can work) and gently scrub the jewelry and wash off the soap with a bit of warm water. Pat your ring dry with a lint-free cloth.
    Soak your jewelry in cold water. Dip your ring in a bowl of cold water and mild detergent.  Use four parts water to one part detergent. Leave the jewelry in the bowl for several minutes and drain on a tissue.
    When traveling with your jewelry, be sure to carry it in a soft case that securely holds the jewelry so it doesn’t get lost.
    Stay away from drains! Never put on or remove jewelry over a drain. It could slip and end up in the sewer.
    DolceDolce tip
    Never take your rings off in a public washroom for any reason. The stories of rings left behind or failing down the sink drain (they do not all have elbow joints to catch the ring) are legion. Keep your rings on!
    At home and when traveling, have a designated holder to place your rings in when at night or when bathing. Never place them anywhere else.
    How to have a ring just like your favourite celebrity
    If you are just mad for your favourite star’s engagement ring, according to James Allen’s experts, it is possible to “get the look” on a smaller budget. James Allen recreated the look of Olivia Wilde, Kelly Clarkson, and Elle Macpherson’s engagement rings in precious stones at a fraction of what the originals cost. Here is how they did it:
    Olivia Wilde’s ring is simple, yet not understated; the splash of color from the emeralds adds personality. It features a round brilliant diamond set in a halo of pavé emeralds on a slender, plain band. James Allen recreated the look for $8,000 by substituting emeralds in the halo and using1.01ct center diamond. 
    Jame's Allen take on Kelly Clarkson's ringKelly Clarkson’s engagement ring is a radiant-cut canary yellow diamond in a halo of white diamonds set on a pavé diamond band. James Allen recreated the look for about $7,000 using a 1.00ct Fancy Yellow Radiant Diamond. 
    Elle Macpherson’s ring, an emerald-cut diamond on a plain band, was recreated for $7,000 using 1.04ct James Allen version of Elle Macpherson's ringEmerald Cut Diamond.