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engagement ring

  1. Is Hand Sanitizer Bad for Your Engagement Ring?

    In a time of COVID and extra sanitation measures to keep ourselves and those around us healthy, the impact of the current crisis on your engagement ring and other fine jewelry might not be top of mind. As your jeweler, we are looking out for you and are answering, "Is all this hand sanitizer bad for my engagement ring?" as well as sharing some easy jewelry care tips to keep your jewelry in top shape in 2020 and beyond.

    Is Hand Sanitizer Bad for Your Engagement Ring?

    While washing with soap and water will not cause harm to your diamond engagement ring and will actually help keep build-up and smudges at bay, hand sanitizer is a different process. Hand sanitizer is made up of rubbing alcohol and will not hurt diamonds or damage the integrity, value, or brilliance of your stone, but excessive use can make the finish on white gold wear a little faster.

    In order to help extend the shine and luster of white gold, avoid applying hand sanitizer directly onto your ring and remove your ring, apply hand sanitizer, let it dry and then put your ring back on whenever possible.

    Good Ring Care Is Easy

    By incorporating a few precautions and maintenance habits now, you can make sure your jewelry shines for years to come. We are sharing the most important (and easy!) tips to keeping your engagement ring as dazzling as the day you first put it on!

    Avoid harsh chemical residue.

    The first step to keeping beautiful jewelry is to avoid damaging it. Chemicals from everyday products ( like the ones in perfume, sunscreen, and lotion) can add residue to gold and gemstones, which can cause potential damage. Make it a habit to remove your jewelry before applying products that may be made with harmful chemicals.

    Clean your well-loved pieces at home with mild solutions.

    Regularly wash your engagement ring and other commonly-worn pieces at home by soaking it in a mixture of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid for roughly 30 minutes before gently scrubbing them with a soft bristle toothbrush.

    You can also clean metals and precious stones with baking soda with its mild, non-abrasive consistency that makes it perfect for cleaning . Simply pour a bit of baking soda into a bowl and mix it with a bit of warm water to create a soft paste. Take off your ring and use your fingers to gently rub the paste around the stone, the setting, and the ring. Rinse the ring in warm water and dry with a lint-free cloth.

    Keep a go-to safe spot.

    Whether you always take your jewelry off to sleep or shower, or if you only remove it when you really must, it's wise to have a designated spot for your engagement ring and other daily pieces. Whether you choose a specific area in your jewelry box, or a small dish on your dresser, having a go-to location will cut down on the chances of forgetting where you put it.

    Restore shine to white gold and platinum.

    No matter what care you give your jewelry, every white gold ring will start to dull and a yellow hue will start to shine through. This is natural and unavoidable, but the gold’s original sheen can be easily restored through a process called Rhodium plating.

    While platinum rings do not need Rhodium treatments as platinum does not originally start off as yellow, those who want a shinier look to their platinum engagement ring can opt to have their platinum band plated for more shine.

    Consider an alternative ring.

    Many brides are choosing to rely on a “backup ring” to supplement their engagement ring. This ring is an alternate to your engagement ring that is often less valuable and can be worn without worry of it getting lost or damaged. When you don't want to put your engagement ring at risk (a long day at the beach or gardening, for example), leave the real bling at home and opt for a ring of lesser value.

    Get insurance.

    As with any serious investment, it's wise to consider getting insurance for your engagement ring. While it might be emotionally difficult to ever have to replace your engagement ring, knowing you wouldn't have the financial upset if you ever did lose it can be more than worth it.

    Schedule professional cleanings.

    Our jewelers at Gold and Diamond Source are happy to give your jewelry a thorough, professional cleaning. Not only will we clean your jewelry, but we will examine it under magnification to make sure the prongs and clasps are secure, and to check for fractures and loose stones. It is wise to have your ring and other commonly-worn jewelry professionally cleaned twice a year to maintain the structural integrity and keep it as dazzling as the first day.


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    "This Store is the ultimate of all jewelry stores. The staff treated us with the utmost respect. Cale treated us very very kindly. I would definitely recommend coming to this place to shop for jewelry." — Diana K. on Yelp


  2. Start with Diamond Shape

    Engagement ring shopping? Our most basic tip is to start with diamond shape! The shape of your diamond is possibly the single decision that will have the biggest impact on your engagement ring. While metal, setting, and carat size all play a role in your dream engagement ring, the shape of your gemstone is often the first thing people notice and will make the biggest impact on your ring's style. 

    The shape of a diamond can drastically alter the look of the ring, the way it catches the light, and how the stone sits on your hand. With any of the popular diamond shapes on the market, the idea behind the cut is to leave as much of the top of the stone intact as possible. This allows light to filter through and reflect the natural sparkle of the stone. Each diamond shape has different facets and cuts that help to make the diamond shine.

    With more than ten different possible shapes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed while shopping. Here is a quick overview of the most popular diamond shapes that you are likely to see while shopping for an engagement ring, and which might be right for you.

    Engagement Ring Shopping? Start with Diamond Shape


    The round shaped diamond is by far the most popular choice for engagement rings around the world, for a few reasons. Round is a safe bet if you aren’t sure what kind of diamond your fiancée prefers, as it is universally popular and shaped to capture the most light when worn. It’s also likely to please a woman with traditional style who doesn’t like anything too unique or funky.


    The pear-shaped diamond is less like the fruit shape and more like a teardrop, with a rounded bottom that comes up to a pointed tip. Pear shaped diamonds saw a surge in interest in early 2018 when Ariana Grande wore a pear-shaped diamond engagement ring during her short-lived engagement to Pete Davidson. Sources said she was drawn to the ring because it reminded her of the teardrop emoji symbol.  Pear shaped diamonds are said to make short fingers appear longer and stand out thanks to the pointed shape, which refracts extra light.

    Square or Cushion

    Eye catching and unique, the distinctive shape of a square cut diamond draws the eye as it stands out against the finger. A square shaped stone is best for women with long fingers, as it can make short fingers look even shorter.


    The emerald is a rectangular shape with multiple long facets cut along each side to encourage the light to reflect and sparkle. These are called stepped cuts, and they encourage light refraction. This cut can make the diamond attract more light than other shapes like a round or square cut. Fashionable and unique, many celebrity women love emerald cut diamonds for both modern and vintage-inspired engagement rings.


    A heart shaped diamond can stand out in a sea of engagement rings, because you do not see as many of them as the more traditional shapes. For obvious reasons, a heart shaped diamond is a romantic choice for an engagement ring.


    Like the emerald cut, a princess cut is a variation on a geographic shape. While the top of the stone is a square or rectangle, the bottom side comes down to a point. This inverted pyramid shape is due to the beveled cut, which creates multiple beautiful facets. A relatively new shape, the princess cut originated in the 1960s and quickly became the second most popular shape for engagement rings, behind the round shaped stone.


    The Gold & Diamond Source has the largest selection of gold and diamond engagement rings in the Tampa Bay Area. Each Gold & Diamond Source engagement ring is handcrafted with a focus on quality and attention to detail. Every piece is hand selected by our owner to ensure maximum brilliance. Design and create your own engagement ring with our online ring builder or choose from our fine selection of engagement rings. Find the perfect  engagement ring at the Gold & Diamond Source. Affordable financing options are available!


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    "My husband and I went to the G&DS before we got engaged to look at diamonds and settings. We were immediately impressed with the friendly, professional atmosphere and the incredible selection of beautiful stones and jewelry. Cale and Debbie were extremely knowledgable and super helpful. We ended up buying all three of our rings from G&DS, and they were very accommodating making sure everything fit perfectly. Their customer service is superior and the quality and prices of their jewelry is unbeatable. Highly recommend!!!" — Kathi Y. on Yelp


  3. The Highlights: Popular Jewelry Metals

    When analyzing your own jewelry collection or admiring new pieces to add to your collection, the precious metals used us often the most visible element to the naked eye. Whether it's the bright white of platinum, or the warm yellow of yellow gold, which precious metal is used for an engagement ring or other jewelry piece actually goes far beyond aesthetics. Different metals feature different compositions and durability. The three most popular precious metals are platinum, gold, and silver. These metals are used alone or alloyed with other metals to make jewelry and coins in addition to their industrial uses.


    Highlights of Platinum

    Platinum is the rarest of the precious metals commonly used in jewelry. Only about 150 tons are produced a year compared to 1500 tons of gold. It takes approximately 10 tons of mining ore to produce 1 ounce of platinum. Platinum has a relatively short history of use in jewelry due to the difficultness of working with it. Platinum is very heavy and durable, as well as hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant. Naturally white, platinum jewelry is 90-95% pure while platinum bullion is usually 99.9% pure. Platinum jewelry will have stamps indicating its purity.

    • "950 plat or 950pt" is 95% pure platinum plus 5% other metals
    • "900 plat or 900pt" is 90% pure platinum plus 10% other metals


    Highlights of Gold

    Gold has the longest history of use in jewelry of all precious metals. Gold is very scarce and it takes approximately 3.2 tones of mining ore to produce 1 ounce of pure gold. Gold is a very strong metal but also very malleable so it is frequently alloyed with other metals to increase its strength, durability, and color. The most common colors of gold used in jewelry are yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. The fineness of gold is measured in karats which denotes how many parts pure gold out of 24 parts. Pure gold is 24 karat and is rarely used in jewelry as it is too soft. The most commonly available gold bullion coins are 22 or 24 karat gold. All jewelry sold in the United States must be a minimum of 10 karat gold and stamped somewhere on the jewelry. Below is a breakdown of gold karat content and purity:

    • 10 karat - 41.7% pure gold
    • 14 karat - 58.5% pure gold
    • 18 karat - 75.0% pure gold
    • 24 karat - 100%  pure gold


    Highlights of Silver

    Silver is the most widely used precious metal of the precious metals commonly used in jewelry. According to estimates, there are approximately 17 ounces of silver for every ounce of gold. In ancient Egypt, silver was considered more valuable then gold and the leading producing countries in the world today are Peru and Mexico.

    Sterling Silver jewelry is the United States is made up of 92.5 % silver mixed with other metals and will be stamped ".925" or "sterling." Most silver flatware is made of sterling silver although lower quality silver was also used in flatware.

    Would you believe more than 95% of annual silver consumption is from industrial and decorative uses: photography, jewelry, and silverware?


    Bonus tip: It is important to note that some materials are too hard or brittle to resize safely. For example, rose gold is more sensitive to stress and can crack when being resized, while Tungsten and stainless steel rings are usually too hard to resize effectively. At Gold and Diamond Source, we are proud to have a full in-house repair department with Master Jewelers on hand to resize your engagement ring, as well as repair, restore, or refurbish any piece of jewelry you have using the latest state of the art tools and technology.



    We invite you to visit Gold and Diamond Source at our Clearwater showroom to learn more about precious metals and shop our full jewelry collections.


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  4. What Is A Vintage Style Engagement Ring?

    For 2020 and 2021 brides, we expect vintage engagement rings to continue to grow in popularity. Full of intricate details, these vintage-style engagement rings have a timeless appeal that works with both modern and heirloom styles. Bride-to-be's who appreciate classic fashion, midcentury modern furniture, vintage scores, and old photos might fall for these lovely engagement rings overflowing with detail.

    Vintage-style engagement rings are detail-oriented designs with a timeless allure. Unlike a simple solitaire on a polished band, this engagement ring style features rich details from every angle. Look for designs with miligrain details, beaded edges, touches of yellow gold, and colored stones. Some key terms to let you know you're looking at a vintage-style engagement ring are Art Deco, 1920's-era, mid-century, Asscher cut, Victorian, and Edwardian.

    Here are a few of our favorite vintage-style engagement rings (click to shop!): 




    Ready to see our engagement rings in person? We invite you to visit our Clearwater, Florida, showroom to view our full selection, or explore a selection online HERE.

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    "I have visited GDS a few times since I got engaged and the customer service has been consistently great! Someone is always at the front door to greet you and show you in the right direction. The sales people I have been paired up with always seem happy and eager to please!

    Besides the customer service, who wouldn't enjoy themselves while looking at all the shiny diamonds?

    I had the pleasure to work to Alexis (the brunette) about what kind of wedding band would match my uniquely shaped engagement ring. She gave me so many options and went above and beyond by requesting a price quote from the designer who made my engagement ring for a matching wedding band. She emailed me on her days off to keep me in the loop!!

    Alexis was with another customer when my fiancé and I came back in to buy, but Veronica took care of us as if we'd been working with her all along. She made the check out experience painless and quick.

    I will always recommend GDS when a friend is getting engaged. We've already sent two happy couples their way!" — Nina M. on Yelp



    Trust in Our Lifetime Diamond Trade-In Policy

    With our unique 100% diamond trade-in policy, you may trade in your diamond at any time toward another diamond(s) of equal or greater value. Your trade in value is the original purchase price, excluding tax. The lifetime trade-in policy is valid for in-store and online purchases. Items that qualify for trade in are diamond solitaire rings, diamond solitaire pendants, and diamond solitaire earrings. Learn more about this policy HERE.

  5. Do People Wear Engagement Rings on Their Right Hand?

    While most couples wear their engagement rings and wedding bands on their right hands, some people in the United States and worldwide choose to wear their rings on their left hands.

    Have you ever wondered why we wear our engagement ring or wedding band on either hand?

    Do People Wear Engagement Rings on Their Right Hand?

    The answer varies depending on where you are in the world. 

    Regardless of which hand you choose, most can agree on wearing your engagement ring on the ring finger— the finger between your pinkie and middle finger (aka your fourth finger). Wearing a ring on your ring finger on your left hand is largely known to represent your relationship status.

    Many credit this custom to the Romans, who believed that the ring finger had a vein running directly to the heart. This vein was called this the Vena Amoris, or the “Vein of Love,” although modern science has shown there is actually no such vein.

    Inspired by concept of the Vena Amoris, wearing a ring on the fourth finger represents a connection to the heart and is tied into affection, love and creativity.

    Women typically wear an engagement ring after they've accepted their partner's proposal, and both partners will gain a band once married. There is an upcoming trend for men to also wear engagement rings before saying, "I do."

    Not all countries or groups of people relate the ring finger on the left hand to represent their commitment. In many cultures and countries, wearing an engagement ring on the right hand is the norm. Just like when worn on the left hand, people wear their engagement rings on the fourth finger, or ring finger, of the right hand. Couples in India and Spain typically wear their engagement and wedding rings on the right hand, while most couples in the USA wear them on the left hand. Catholics also commonly wear their engagement and wedding rings on the right ring finger.

    Many same-sex couples will wear a ring on the right hand to represent that they are in a monogamous relationship, whether that’s a long-term partnership or marriage.




    Visit our diamond experts at our Clearwater, Florida, showroom, or begin your search online here.

    Connect with Gold & Diamond Source

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    "My husband and I went to the G&DS before we got engaged to look at diamonds and settings. We were immediately impressed with the friendly, professional atmosphere and the incredible selection of beautiful stones and jewelry. Cale and Debbie were extremely knowledgable and super helpful. We ended up buying all three of our rings from G&DS, and they were very accommodating making sure everything fit perfectly. Their customer service is superior and the quality and prices of their jewelry is unbeatable. Highly recommend!!!" — Kathi Y. on Yelp



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