Stunning engagement, wedding ring alternatives

LINDEN — Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but they may not fit every woman’s style, particularly the bride who likes to buck tradition and think outside the box.

Diamonds may also be outside of some bridal budgets. According to Money magazine, the average engagement ring costs more than $5,800. In addition to being one of the most expensive gemstones, diamonds have become quite commonplace. Those looking for alternatives for women and men can look to Titanium Buzz, an online custom ring company with a storefront on Linden.

Founded by owner Kevin Begola, Titanium Buzz specializes in custom engagement and wedding rings made from some of the most durable materials in the world including titanium, black zirconium, carbon fiber, cobalt chrome, Damascus steel and many more. They also specialize in tension rings and since each order is custom, Begola and his team can create almost anything a bride and groom want.

“People want something that no one else has,” said Begola, who became interested in making custom rings after finding a lack of variety when shopping for his own wedding band.

In 2007, Begola became the first-ever retailer to offer camouflage wedding bands, which remain an extremely popular choice at his store today. “That’s what really put us on the map,” he said.

Titanium rings are affordable and also a great option for those with allergies to nickel and other metals. Learn more about Titanium Buzz and see a variety of options online at or by visiting their store at 109 North Bridge St., Linden.

Other unique engagement and wedding stones include:

Moissanite: This crystal naturally occurs in meteorites and is nearly as hard, dense and scuff-resistant as a diamond. Moissanite is a white-colored stone, so it can mimic the look of a diamond, and is a frugal option. A nearly flawless one-carat moissanite gem can cost less than $1,000.

Lemon quartz: This is the trade name for a lemon-yellow stone that is a variety of color — enhanced transparent quartz. Quartz is turned into this sunny hue through an artificial gamma ray irradiation process.

Sapphire: Sapphires tend to be blue stones (of varying intensity), but they also come in peach, pink, yellow, green, and white. Sapphire may not sparkle as much as a diamond or even moissanite. However, with the right cut, it can be hard to distinguish any lack of luster.

Morganite: According to the blog Bridal Musings, morganite is currently one of the most popular choices for engagement rings. Its pretty pink hue is romantic and feminine. It also sits at around the same hardness as sapphires, ensuring the rings will endure.

Visit with Titanium Buzz and many other wedding vendors at the sixth annual Genesee County Bridal Alliance Wedding Marketplace set for noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Captain’s Club at Woodfield, 10200 Woodfield Drive, Grand Blanc. Admission is $5 at the door and $3 if you pre-register at or by calling 810-836- 5201.

Wedding vendors

Wedding Marketplace vendors this year include Tasty Layers Custom Cakes, Special Occasions Linens, Captain’s Club at Woodfield, Centennial Image Photography, Atlas Valley Country Club, CC Events, Bella Birches, Bon Appetit Catering, Black Tie Productions, Pop Mod Photography, Vogt’s Flowers, Rusch Entertainment, Creative Catering, Men’s Wearhouse, Floral Sense, Floradora, Glen Gables Wedding Chapel & Hall, Mike Naddeo Photography, University of Michigan-Flint, Sloan Longway, Holiday Inn Express, Titanium Buzz, U Pose Photo Booth, Affairs to Remember, The Whole 9 Yards, Circus Park Wedding & Banquet Facility and many more. This year’s Wedding Marketplace will offer two grand prizes, including a $500 voucher to be used with any, or a combination of, GCBA vendors and “The Diamond Dash" with a fabulous $500 diamond prize!

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