Garden Wedding Favors

Flowers in watering canYour wedding might very well take place in a garden setting. More are all the time. Whether near the beach, atop a lovely bluff and amid greenery and flowers, or in the heart of a Versailles look-alike, a garden wedding provides an aura of peace and quiet.

But even if you’re not planning a garden wedding, garden wedding favors can be the perfect choice.

The wedding favors you select can reflect that serene setting. Picture English Garden watering cans in miniature. Made of tin, paper, or ceramic, they can serve any number of purposes. In paper, they may hold chocolates for the guests. Ceramic watering cans will unquestionably end up on the mantle or Christmas tree as highly regarded decorations.

The variety of flowers opens up still more garden wedding favor options.

Small glass glowers make ideal items to decorate the table and will be treasured years after the wedding. They also make perfect design elements to top a wine bottle stopper favor. Or, they can be used as bows for the top of a box containing another gift. They can double as placecard holders, too.

Speaking of placecard holders, think of the possibilities.

If you’ve ever visited or seen photos of Versailles and other famed gardens you know how creative gardeners can be. Sculpted shrubbery called topiary is a real art in such places. Topiary placecard holders can remind some and amuse others, but will delight everyone.

Whether in the form of shrub, flower, or tool a garden-themed candle makes for an excellent wedding favor. Lit, they provide a lovely scent for the table. At home, they’ll be treasured as a memento of your special day. They’re ultra easy to personalize too, since the bottoms make for a simple place to emblazon the name of the bride and groom.

Orchid gel candles are a particular favorite of many. These exotic flowers bring a look of sophistication and elegance to a garden-themed wedding reception table. Available in more shades than anyone has names for them, they can produce a profusion of color. Or, they can be ordered in a simple white that is the pinnacle of class.

Tea lights can provide another option that give your table a look just you’ve seen in the best bridal magazines. Picture a rainbow of colors that drips down into a glass bowl and decorates your guests’ tables.

Going for a more casual look? Snap your fingers and the deed is done.

Flip-flop placecard holders are great for that beach-themed wedding that combines well with a tropical garden decor. Scatter some miniature tin pail favors in pastels around and fill them with chocolates or small candies. Top the result with a small card announcing the new bride and groom.

Don’t forget the birds that love your garden at home. Remind yourself and your guests by selecting the silver dove bottle opener that pairs perfectly with a decorative gift box. Elegant and practical.

Choose from dozens of different garden wedding favors that will satisfy any theme.

Top Honeymoon Destinations

Sunset on Maldives island

Sunset on Maldives island

What’s the best honeymoon destination in the world? The one YOU want to visit, of course. Naturally, that will vary from one couple to the next. Still, there are a number of outstanding honeymoon destinations that rank high year after year.

Tahiti

Tahiti is often near the top of the list. That won’t surprise anyone. Ever since Marlon Brando made love to his bride on this tropical island, other couples have been curious to see why. Ok, it probably happened long before. But nothing spells romance like a good movie.

Go snorkeling in crystal clear green waters. Dry off on the sun-kissed beaches while you kiss each other. You can continue back in your private bungalow. Then take off for a bicycle tour around lush green jungles. Relax later at one of the world-class spas where you can both be treated like movie stars.

Fiji

Another tropical paradise that makes the ‘Top 10’ lists is Fiji. No wonder. Look up ‘breathtaking sunsets’ in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of Fiji. Ride horseback through the surf next to pure blue water. Look down and see the bottom. Then go scuba diving and touch it.

Honeymoon packages include the finest of French champagnes as you celebrate your new marriage. Stay at Turtle Island and you’ll enjoy a quiet romantic dinner on the pier. It’s no wonder the producers of the Blue Lagoon film chose to shoot here. No sets required. This is the real thing.

Australia

Maybe you like the idea of seeing the Pacific, but a tropical isle isn’t what you had in mind. Simple. Go to Australia and New Zealand. Often mentioned together, each has a unique atmosphere.

Sydney offers all that a big city can to any honeymoon couple looking for that. Museums, boat rides or even a trip to the desert or mountains is an option here. New Zealand is lush and laid back. You’ll find some of the world’s most beautiful gorges on this green mountain paradise. Later you can sip one of the world’s best wines at a winery right on the island.

South Africa

This isn’t one that comes to mind for many couples looking for honeymoon destinations. Yet it frequently ranks in the top 20. The reasons aren’t hard to see. South Africa provides everything from exciting nightclubs to dense jungles. You can prowl around the dance floor setting. Or, you can enjoy tours where the leopards hunt you.

For a safer look at the animals, visit the Johannesburg Zoo then make your way back to your 4-star hotel. Take a short flight to Kruger National Park and stay in the Sabi Sands area. You’ll easily find first-class accommodations at a private lodge.
No matter what country or atmosphere you want for your unique honeymoon, there’s a unique spot that offers it. If you can’t decide, put on a blindfold and spin the globe. Your finger will very likely come down on one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world.

Honeymoon Ideas

Chamonix, France in the Alps

Chamonix, France in the Alps

Planning a wedding is a huge effort for most couples. But one of the many great rewards comes from taking that honeymoon trip. These too take a little planning, but of a type that is incredible fun. No one size fits all, of course. The ‘best’ honeymoon is the one that’s best for each individual couple. And by that measure, the options are endless. Consider the following honeymoon ideas…

Some will prefer a romantic cruise to the Caribbean. Lying out on sunny beaches in winter helps get your heart racing while you relax. Love is a paradox, so why not? But if cruising is your style, there are a lot more choices, including Tahiti, Mexico or even Scandinavia.

Picture yourself sailing around the Greek Isles or the Mediterranean. Set off on a voyage to the south of France while you explore each other. Stop over in Lisbon or Barcelona. Enjoy the ocean breeze off Hawaii, or ship off to Alaska and enjoy the surprisingly warm summers as you look for grizzly bears.

If you and your new spouse are animal lovers, or connoisseurs of the great outdoors, it doesn’t get any greater than Africa. Honeymoon safari packages abound. Sail down the Nile. Take a trek across the veldt. Explore the mountain jungles and see live gorillas outside a zoo for the first time.

Africa is an incredibly diverse continent that offers far more than crocodiles and monkeys. See the elephants of Tanzania and enjoy the most spectacular sunsets on the planet. Stay at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge on the edge of the Serengeti in Tanzania. Or, try the Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Maybe you’d like to incorporate your favorite winter sport, skiing, in your honeymoon. Easy. No matter where you live, it’s winter somewhere that offers a great honeymoon destination spot.

You can enjoy a snow bound lodge in Montana in February while you ski Big Sky near Yellowstone National Park. Or, head for Chamonix in the French Alps. Club Med offers honeymoon packages that are affordable and offer lots of extras like great dining and outstanding accommodations.

Maybe you’re planning a June wedding but still want to include skiing as part of your honeymoon. No problem. Anything south of the equator will find you in the middle of the winter season. Head to Thredbo, Jindabyne, Smiggen Holes or any dozen other popular ski resorts in the land down under, Australia.

Ah, but you are the romantic type and for you that means a tropical paradise. Your dreams are only a flight or cruise away. You can find honeymoon packages for Tahiti, St. Barts, Antigua or a dozen other perennially popular tropical honeymoon destinations. Go snorkeling while the rest of the Northern Hemisphere shivers. Lay on the beach and develop some tan lines to explore back in your bungalow.

No matter what country you see as your ideal honeymoon destination, no matter what atmosphere you’re after for that special trip, there is a whole world of choices just waiting for you.

DIY Wedding Favors

Honey Jar Wedding Favors

Honey Jar Wedding Favors

Don’t panic! Do-it-yourself wedding favors aren’t exactly what they sound like. Yes, you could create your own special gifts and decorations from scratch. But it isn’t necessary. DIY wedding favors do provide the option to tailor them, though, to your specific requirements.

You might be planning a Las Vegas-themed wedding, for example. You can purchase dice-style wedding favor boxes and customize them to your unique design. Personalization is a breeze with a sticker on the bottom that displays the name of the bride and groom. Or, you can add an element to the side that shows your self-created logo, a photo, or some other individual item.

Once the wedding favor boxes are in hand you can continue the process in several ways. A unique ribbon is one option. Printed with your names or displaying a carefully selected phrase, even an ordinary black silk ribbon becomes unique. Then on the inside, just add chocolates or candies that in turn may be printed with the wedding date or names.

Similar ideas could apply to an Asian-themed wedding favor box. But the expanded Chinese character set gives you the option to not only choose text, but images as well. The pictographic characters let you display a symbol of Double Happiness or other traditional wishes of good fortune.

They could contain fortune cookies that hold slips with text that you pick out yourself. That opens up the possibility of having sentiments expressed that can be found nowhere else but your wedding reception.

Pink Plaid Wedding Purse favor boxes are another favorite of many. They offer a fun design and a practical way of storing small gifts, chocolates, or even photos. They work equally well for bridal showers, too. Each one can easily be customized with the name of the recipient to make the gift truly personal. They’re a cinch to put together so you won’t spend a lot of time on construction.

DIY wedding favors can be both lovely and utilitarian. The Plantable Petal Cone Kits fit really well with a garden theme, thanks to the colors of Spring they display. They can be filled with seeds to plant a garden or may contain flower petals to toss at the wedding.

Planning a beach-themed wedding? You’ll appreciate the Palm Tree Wedding favor boxes that offer fun and function in one package. Kids will love using them to store little candies. Adults will appreciate their decorative qualities. The restless can have fun picking the tiny coconuts from underneath the palm fronds.

Wedding favor tins are another do-it-yourself item that offers lots of opportunities for personalization and customization. With delicate Victorian design elements they bring a hint of elegance to a wedding table. They can easily contain chocolates, small gifts, and more. They can also be printed with the name of the bride and groom, the guests, or the wedding date. Tied with lovely Organza bows, they’ll make great decorative items kept long after the wedding is over.

Select some DIY wedding favors and let your creativity run wild!

Bath Wedding Favors

Homemade soapsPlanning a wedding is a lot of work. How lucky we are that when it comes to choosing favors, the work is practically done for us. Combining beauty and function is easy and guarantees a lovely gift. Nowhere is that more true than in the category of bath wedding favors.

Ever gotten a gift of fine bath salts on Valentine’s Day, or a birthday, or other celebration? Lucky you. Relaxing, full of delightful aromas and oh so good for the skin. The perfect wedding favor. How yet more lucky that they come in so many delightful designs.

Snowcone-shaped bath salt containers are highly decorative, so they make the perfect favor for the wedding reception tables. Whatever color scheme you have planned for yours, you’ll find these fit right in.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking these are just for the ladies, either. They may not admit it, but after a hard day’s work a lot of men are very happy to curl up in a hot bath. With a good book and some relaxing aromatic bath salts, they’ll be in dream land, too. Talk about aromatherapy!

Heart-shaped containers are equally popular. They’re the perfect choice for a February wedding, or at any other time of the year. Love is in the air, so why not have it in the bath as well?

But far from being the only choice, there are dozens of bath items that make perfect bath wedding favors. Candles are an obvious example. But obvious doesn’t have to mean boring. Aromatic and lovely tealights can warm the pot that waits for someone to exit the bath. Vanilla and other odors are the perfect choice for a romantic bath for two!

But candles have to sit in something, so how about selecting some of those elegant glass candle holders? Heart shaped designs, crystal blocks and more will be collectors items that are handed down from one generation to the next. Etch the bottom with the names of the bride and groom, and the wedding date. Or personalize them with a sticker that displays your favorite saying.

Don’t forget the young ones, either. Bath confetti makes for a fun and decorative wedding favor that will definitely get put to good use. Entertaining and lovely. That’s a good combination. Confetti, too, comes in dozens of designs and containers.

A tin of bath confetti that holds a flock of doves is a great way to incorporate your summer wedding design theme into the favor. You can scatter some of the doves on the tables, while you place the tins nearby. Personalize them with the names of the bride and groom and the wedding date and you’ll have a complete wedding favor in a fine package.

Bath wedding favors are a great gift for guests of any age or gender. They’re also an ideal selection for the wedding planner. That’s called win-win.

 

Great Honeymoon Hotels Around the World

Chamonix, France in the Alps

Chamonix, France in the Alps

There’s nothing better than a honeymoon in some far off place. Get away from the familiar and find a destination that offers memories for a lifetime. But, when you get there, you need someplace to stay, right? Here are some of the top-rated honeymoon hotels around the globe.

The U.S. has several of the best places to stay, which shouldn’t be surprising given how many 4-star hotels it hosts. A few offer honeymoon packages that can serve any budget.

The Setai in Miami, Florida offers a hot, steamy honeymoon place to stay. The room decor offers dark granite and sensual teak, with silk bedspreads. Enjoy the spa, patterned after those in Bali.

Prefer something farther west? No problem. Stay at The Resort at Paws Up. This Rocky Mountain retreat offers a traditional farmhouse setting and plenty of barbecue. Enjoy some horseback riding then relax with an Après Adventure massage.

Maybe you like the outdoors, but want to get even farther away. British Columbia offers beautiful mountains, dense forests and the entire outdoors feel. The King Pacific Lodge allows you to pass the time fly-fishing or just cuddled up in front of the cozy fireplace. Located on Princess Royal Island, you’ll have lots of privacy while you enjoy the view of the glaciers.

Perhaps you’re determined to get far, far away. Excellent idea!

How about a trip to Bhutan where you can enjoy your honeymoon in the Paro in Amankora Paro? Breathtaking views of the Himalayas and no crowds make for a delightful stay. Enjoy your own buhkari stove in the room while you relish the isolation. A perfect spot to be alone.

A bit too far, for some? Maybe a little too slow for others? Fine, go to Paris and stay at the Hôtel du Petit Moulin. You’ll find everything from 17th century architecture to Chagall paintings. Definitely for those looking for a unique experience in a metropolitan setting.

But you can ‘go French’ without going to France. French Polynesia has long been one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations. Taha’s Island is near Bora Bora and can only be reached by boat or helicopter, so you’ll have plenty of privacy. Enjoy a private bungalow and walk along one of the most romantic beaches in the world.

Baja, too, remains near the top of the list for honeymoon destinations. If that’s where you want to head, you can do no better than to stay at The Esperanza. Luxury suites are decorated with handcrafted furniture. Each has a private terrace with a view of the Sea of Cortez. Relax in the spa. Watch the sun go down on the beautiful Mexican coast. Or, make up a picnic basket and head out to a nearby isolated beach.

There are a hundred superb honeymoon hotels around the world that cater to newlyweds. Whether you want mountain air, metropolitan excitement or a relaxing stay on the beach you’ll easily find a honeymoon hotel just right for you.

Placecard Holders

Place Settings For BrideIf you think there exists a boatload of wedding and bridal shower favors to choose from, wait until you see what’s available in placecard holders. The creative imaginations of wedding designers has reached new heights in elegance, fun, and sheer artistry here.

Going for a beach-themed wedding? Even in this one area alone there are dozens of placecard holder choices. The seashell design offers fun and fashion with a sturdy rod that supports a shell that holds the card. Fish swim to and fro across the table in some. Starfish add a reminder of childhood or the honeymoon to come.

‘If music be the food of love, play on,’ declared Shakespeare. You’ll find that’s true when you check out some of the cool music-related placecard holders available. Tiny saxophones support a card from the mouthpiece. A miniature horn blares out the name of a guest. A French horn echoes the table number and completes the trio. Resting on a musical manuscript, they’re the cat’s meow, man. Dig it.

Silver offers elegance, a symbol of purity and wealth, and a dozen more placecard holder styles to display proudly. Imagine a tiny silver bell supporting a heart-shaped charm from a delicate curve of silver. Picture a silver heart that displays a finely etched placecard. Dream about the silver sailboat holders that evoke lazy holidays on the beaches of Rhode Island. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Photo frame placecard holders are a natural in our contemporary age. They provide an opportunity to display a picture of the bride and groom on the day they got engaged. With digital cameras and instant printing, they can hold the photo of a guest on the wedding day, right next to the card showing the name. Or, they can display an image of the honeymoon locale to make everyone wish they were going along.

Photo frame placecard holders can equally invoke romantic images of the past. A Victorian-themed wedding is the perfect opportunity to dress the bride and groom up in 19th century costume and display their image in the holder next to the guests names. Frosted glass, bronze scroll, silver bead, and more all evoke an age many wish had never faded.

Placecard holders offer dozens of designs that add to the fun of a wedding reception.

A beach-themed wedding might make use of the flip flop placecard holders. Colorful, humorous, and just plain wacky they’re only one of many delightful options. Tiny beach chairs are one more example. Topiary is yet another. These miniature sculpted shrubs can work for a garden theme or just because they look so cool. Miniature grand pianos evoke spontaneous smiles. Minuscule purses and shoes just can’t help but make anyone laugh.

No matter what theme you’re employing for the wedding reception or bridal shower, a placecard holder design exists to complement your efforts. Now all you have to do is find a way to resist buying them all… Good luck with that.

 

Honeymoon Planning Tips

seashorePlanning the wedding was a huge undertaking. You spent months working out the place, the guest list, the clothes…. It was endless. Do you really want to go through that again to plan your honeymoon? Not necessary! A few simple tasks, an email here and there, and you can be set for the trip of a lifetime.

Topic number one in honeymoon planning, of course, is where to go. Sure, you could argue about it until your 50th wedding anniversary. But this can actually be one of the most fun parts of the whole experience. You had enough in common to get married. You can agree on a honeymoon destination.

Rather than try to pick the exact location at first, start by considering the type of honeymoon atmosphere you want. Do tropical beaches appeal to you? Maybe laying on the beach is about as exciting to you as filling out your tax form. Everyone is unique. The green hills of Ireland will sound romantic to one couple. Another may prefer sunny Rome. Still others may find Aruba the perfect honeymoon atmosphere. Choosing isolated versus metropolitan versus tropical will help guide your specific destination choice.

Once you know the type and place, it’s straightforward to develop a budget. You might have received an all inclusive honeymoon vacation as a wedding gift. Signing up at a Honeymoon Registry will improve your odds, too! But even on your own, there’s a place to suit every budget.

Inexpensive packages are available for honeymoon couples in Las Vegas. Or, suppose you live in London. You can set off on a trip around Paris, then stay in a château in the wine country for a very modest cost. The train trip in and out is easy and gives you something extra to do. For those with more to spend, of course, the options become wider. But even the Hotel Ritz in Madrid offers terrific deals for newlyweds.

Part of the process, which will affect choice of location and budgeting, is deciding on a time of year. Your wedding can take place in June, but you may want to have the honeymoon in February. You get to relax from all the craziness leading up to the wedding and can take advantage of off-season rates. Cruises and hotels often lower their prices during these periods.

Take into account that when it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere it’s winter in the Southern, and vice versa. If you get married January 1 in Chicago, it’s still January 1 in Sydney. But while you’re fighting ice, the Australians are baking.

The key to any successful honeymoon vacation is to explore all your options early. Sure, your mind is filled with all the things you need to do to have the wedding come off perfectly. So treat yourself and look into the honeymoon of your choice. Location, budget and more will all be easier if you take it one step at a time well in advance.

Your Las Vegas Honeymoon

Las Vegas HoneymoonVegas attracts couples getting married like a hot streak on the dice attracts gamblers. You’ll find every kind of activity and accommodation you can think of here. Gambling and shows are what Vegas is famous for, but there is shopping, golf and much more. You can lounge around the pool and be spoiled at the spa. Or, you can just walk around and laugh at all the people while you hold hands.

One of the great things about a Las Vegas honeymoon is that it can be anything you want. There are, of course, the wedding chapels with a Justice of the Peace dressed as Elvis, along with heart-shaped hot tubs in the hotel room. But there is also the elegant atmosphere at the Bellagio with its world-class rooms and shops.

Try a little Europe, USA style. Go to the Paris and take advantage of the Eiffel Tower wedding package to tie the knot atop a 50-story replica of the famed structure. Or, if you want an experience that is even more old-fashioned than you can imagine, dress up in Medieval garb and stay at the Excalibur.

For those on a budget the Tropicana offers packages that are remarkably inexpensive. This hotel is one of the classics in Las Vegas and offers that late-’50s style ambiance that made the town famous. You’ll be snapping your fingers like Frank Sinatra and still have plenty of cash left over to roll the dice with your new spouse.

Maybe you’d like something with a tropical feel. Despite the name, the Tropicana doesn’t quite provide that. But the Mandalay Bay Resort certainly does. There’s an excellent spa, a stylish restaurant and dozens of shops, along with a casino, of course.

You might be interested in wearing a toga, or something like it. Spend your Las Vegas Honeymoon in the large rooms at Caesar’s Palace, then go to the spa for a great massage. Lounge around the room afterward in one of the oval baths big enough for two. Then stretch out underneath the ceiling mirror to enjoy one of the luxurious four-poster beds. You’ll feel like having a Roman orgy for two.

You can even stay far from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas and only drive in for the gambling and shows, if you want. The Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas has one of the best spas around. It also features an outstanding golf course.

It’s 17 miles from the Strip, so you’ll experience a very different atmosphere. But you can still be in the thick of the excitement in less than half an hour. Like every Ritz-Carlton, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s your honeymoon so splurge.

Wherever you stay there is no end of things to do in Las Vegas on your honeymoon. If you still have any energy left after the golf, the shopping, the shows and walking the Strip, you can always take a drive. The romantic route that winds through the desert canyons can end with a spectacular sunset and a honeymoon kiss.

How to Judge a Wedding Ring

Wedding ringsJudging a ring is to a large degree, admittedly, a subjective affair. You either like the look or you don’t. But when adding in factors of cost, durability and the like, it’s helpful to be aware of some objective criteria used by the pros.

WEIGHT

Gold is measured in karats (not carats). It’s a measure not of size or weight, but of purity. A 14kt gold ring contains 14/24 pure gold, or about 58%. The purity of platinum (denoted Plat or Pt) is measured on a scale from roughly 900-950 out of 1,000. That means a 950Pt band is 95% platinum.

Note that the remainder is often comprised of chemically similar though equally valuable metals. Lower numbers are possible, too, but won’t usually be found in quality wedding bands.

A diamond, by contrast, is measured in carats (ct), ranging from near zero and up. 1 carat = 200 mg, a measure of mass. Anything less than about 1/8th of a carat (sometimes 1/4 ct, by some experts) is considered a ‘chip’. Partly, the reason is the difficulty of faceting and polishing such a small stone in order to bring out a diamond’s effects.

Note that technically, a ‘chip’ is any diamond which isn’t fully faceted or properly shaped. They can result from accidents or the crystal structure that makes cutting and polishing nearly impossible. But the smaller the stone, the more difficult this becomes. So, most chips are in the range stated.

The largest single gem-quality diamond ever found is the Cullinan, which tipped the scales at about 3,106 carats. It was cut down into the egg-shaped stone that sits in the scepter of England, itself about 525 carats.

But there are many other factors that influence the cost and look of a fine diamond intended to sit in an engagement ring or wedding band.

CLARITY

A diamond is judged by professionals on how ‘clear’ it is, and the stone is then placed into a category.

FL, IF – Flawless, or Internally Flawless represents the highest grade in this area. Such stones are extremely rare and hence invariably very expensive.

VVS1, VVS2 – These ratings represent a diamond which is only ‘very very slightly included’. ‘Included’ means, essentially, occluded or cloudy. Inclusions of non-diamond material or structure are responsible for lack of perfect clarity. Despite the ominous sounding word, these gems are very high quality. The flaws can only barely be seen under 10x magnification.

VS1, VS2 – Very Slightly Included ratings represent high quality stones. No flaw is visible to the naked eye.

SI1, SI2 – Slightly Included gems contains flaws that are visible under 10x magnification and may just barely be seen by those with very sharp eyes. Beyond having good eyesight, though, one needs to know what to look for. Generally, non-experts won’t notice much of anything.

I1, I2, I3 – These are mediocre quality stones that may still look very nice. But they have visible flaws when one looks closely that will reduce the brilliance of the stone’s appearance.

COLOR

Beyond the degree of clarity, diamonds – though usually thought of as clear or ‘white’ – can come in any of hundreds of colors. Fashions change and in one era what might be considered a flaw will be highly valued by the next generation. The color is produced by small ‘impurities’ mixed into the carbon structure that makes up diamond.

A 200-carat blue diamond in the Smithsonian (the Hope Diamond), for example, is valued not only for its unusually large size. Its rare and pure color is also a significant factor.

Blue, pink and yellow are among the most common colors found in ring stones.

D stones are completely colorless and correspondingly rare.

E diamonds are also considered colorless. Any impurities are in trace amounts detectable only by experts with special tools. Still very rare.

F are also graded colorless, but a slight color may be seen by an expert.

G-H are near colorless. Non-experts can detect some shading if they look closely, but these can still be high quality diamonds.

I-J Near colorless diamonds in which the color is slightly detectable. Still a very good value.

K-M are stones in which the color is highly noticeable. Observe, though, that these ratings are for diamonds that are ranked according to how little color they have. Hence, a pure yellow diamond may still be thought of as very attractive.

What’s important is to have the color be uniform. Small spots of color are still considered a flaw by most everyone. Of course, that too is simply a matter of taste and some future trendsetter may decide such diamonds are worth even more.

CUT

One factor that is difficult to rank in terms of price or quality is how the stone is cut. That’s because, to a very large extent, which cut is better is a matter of taste. A Round-cut can be just as beautiful as an Oval, a Square-Cut may be just as lovely as a Princess-cut gem (rectangular or square). Other common shapes are the Marquise (a type of elongated stone), the Pear, Emerald cut, Trilliant (a wedge shape), Radiant, Cushion and Heart shaped.

Naturally, experts will have more specific criteria – involving the angles and number of facets. The Radiant, for example, has 70 facets while the Trilliant has 25 on the crown and 19 on the pavilion. But these details need not concern wedding ring buyers.