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It's an emotional purchase, but be practical.
It's an emotional purchase, but be practical. / Sam Abbay

A wedding ring is the “most emotional piece of jewelry people buy,” says New York City goldsmith Sam Abbay. That's why it helps to be practical when having one designed specially for you. Abbay shares top tips:

Your fingers will change. Understand that you eventually will need to resize your rings at some point in your life, so choose elements that will allow for adjustments. Materials such as titanium and wood (yes, some people opt for the super-unusual) are difficult to resize.

Ask about maintenance. On its face, white gold vs. yellow gold vs. platinum may seem a matter of aesthetics, but each has its own maintenance needs.

Take pencil to paper. “It's a lot easier for me to look at a picture you draw than listen to a description,” Abbay says. Don't go overboard with costly engraving or gems all the way around, since you'll only really be able to see a third of the ring when it's on your finger.

Find reliable jewelers. Go to mjsa.org or snagmetalsmith.org and search by state. When meeting with a jewelry designer or metalsmith, be upfront with your budget, and be sure to ask for references.

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