Pick the perfect wedding ring

An estimated one-third of diamond purchases for the year happen in December. If you're planning on heading to the jewelry counter this month to pick up a wedding ring, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure that you're getting a great deal.

Remember to focus on the stone, not just the setting. The band can always be change or reworked, but as the saying goes, the diamond is forever. Make sure to choose a cut that you love.

Make sure to do a little research about what you want so that you can narrow it down at the store. Ask an expert to walk you through the four C's of diamonds - carat, color, clarity and cut.

Figure out your budget ahead of time so that you know what you're looking for. Experts suggest that a one carat diamond can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $30,000, depending on the color and quality of diamond that you chose.

Recent wedding trends have focused on creating a stylish wedding ceremony despite the economy. In order to cut costs, some couples are choosing to stick with basic gold or platinum-plated wedding bands for the big day, with the plan of upgrading their rings on their fifth anniversary.

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