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Buyer's Choice: Big on Bridal

For this month's "Buyer's Choice," we asked retailers across the country to pinpoint the top trends and hot items in their all-important bridal departments. The strongest trend they report is the ever-growing size of center stones today. One carat is increasingly becoming a modest engagement diamond. (One retailer we talked to described it as a nice side stone!) Retailers report 2 carat diamonds are increasingly common even for younger couples.

Settings are still diamond-intensive but are becoming simpler, perhaps because the center stones are so large. White metal remains dominant, with platinum, white gold, and palladium all claiming important market share. Retailers also report increased sales of tungsten, which has become a popular choice for men's wedding bands across the country.

More women are planning their engagement ring purchase with the band in mind, making settings with a complementary band more popular than ever. In some cases, women are opting for two bands, one on each side of the ring. Brides today are often very involved in the selection of the ring and are very sure of what they want, increasing the demand for custom and personalized rings.

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Platinum rings by Novell Design
Platinum rings for him and her by Novell Design, (888) 668-3551.