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8 Things to Know Before Shopping for an Engagement Ring

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Shopping for an engagement ring is incredibly exciting, but it can also be a bit nerve-wracking. Most people want to make sure that they find the perfect ring, a ring their partner will absolutely adore. So, it’s normal to feel some pressure when you’re making your selection. Then, once you actually start shopping for an engagement ring, you’ll find that there are a lot of elements you need to decide on for your ring, which can be a bit overwhelming.

Engagement ring shopping can work up your nerves– but it doesn’t have to. If you arm yourself with some basic knowledge about buying an engagement ring before you start shopping, you can have a much more pleasant shopping experience. So, to help you get prepared to buy your dream engagement ring (and have more fun doing it!), here are eight tips that will help you understand more about the engagement ring shopping process.

1. Center Stones and Settings Are Usually Sold Separately

If you’ve never shopped for an engagement ring, you may not know that jewelers usually sell center stones and engagement ring settings separately. So, when you shop for an engagement ring at a jewelry store, you’re typically shopping for two things: your center stone and your ring’s setting, which is the metal mounting that the center stone is set in.

2. There’s No Amount You “Have” to Spend

It’s a very common myth that you have to spend a certain amount on your engagement ring. Most often, people throw around the three months salary “rule,” which dictates that you should spend the equivalent of three months of your salary on your ring. But, really, there’s no certain amount of money you need to spend on your engagement ring. You should simply decide on an amount that feels appropriate and is comfortable for your financial situation.

3. The Center Stone Sets the Style

As we mentioned in our first tip, most people shop for their center stone and their engagement ring setting separately. Generally, we recommend making some decisions about your choice of center stone before thinking about your setting, since your center stone sets the overall style of your ring. First, decide whether you’d like a diamond for your center stone or a gemstone (such a blue sapphire, a ruby, a morganite, etc.). Then, decide on your center stone’s shape. Diamonds and gemstones can be cut into many shapes, including round, princess cut, asscher cut, oval cut, cushion cut, marquise cut, emerald cut, and so on. Your choice of gemstone or diamond shape will have a major impact on the style of your ring and which settings could be paired with your stone, so it’s ideal to decide on your shape early in the shopping process.

4. Choose Your Setting Second

Once you’ve decided on your center stone’s type and shape, move on to looking at settings. Engagement ring settings come in so many different styles. There are classic 4 prong solitaire settings, glamorous halo styles, elegant pave band settings, romantic vintage-inspired designs, bold modern settings, and much more. When you shop for a setting, think about what would best suit your partner’s style and which ring style would pair well with your center diamond or gemstone.

5. Know Your Precious Metal Options

On top of choosing your center stone and your ring setting, you’ll need to pick out the precious metal for your setting. Engagement ring settings typically come in one of four precious metals: yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum. When selecting your precious metal, you’ll want to think about whether or not your soon-to-be fiance has a preference between these metals, how your choice will affect your ring’s style, and how your choice will affect future upkeep.

6. Understand The 4Cs

If you’ll be choosing a diamond for your engagement ring’s center stone, you should get a basic understanding of the 4Cs of diamonds (cut, color, clarity, and carat) before you buy a diamond. Understanding the 4Cs will help you find a diamond you’re happy with more easily. It will also allow you to feel more confident when you make your final purchase. A good jeweler will consider many other aspects of the diamond than simply these four, but this will allow for easy explanation. If you’re unfamiliar with the 4Cs of diamonds, here’s a quick overview:

Diamond Cut: A grading of how well a diamond was cut, which affects a diamond’s sparkle.
Diamond Color: A grading of how colorless a white diamond is.
Diamond Clarity: A grading of how flawless a diamond is, internally and externally.
Diamond Carat Weight: A weight measurement that can give you an idea of a diamond’s size.

7. Give Yourself Time

It takes time to pick out an engagement ring. Then, it also takes time for your engagement ring to be made. It can take up to 6 weeks for an engagement ring to arrive after you’ve placed your order with a jeweler. So, be sure to start shopping for your engagement ring well before your planned proposal date so that your ring will arrive with plenty of time to spare.

8. You Can Go Custom

If you can’t find your ideal gemstone or diamond engagement ring when looking in stores, know that you can always go custom. Creating a custom engagement ring allows you to bring the vision of your perfect engagement ring to life– and designing a custom engagement ring or wedding band is much easier than most people think it is. If you’re curious about how creating a custom engagement ring works, click here to learn more about the simple, streamlined custom bridal design process at Diamond and Design Jewelers.

Anniversary Gift Ideas for Each Year

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Since the Middle Ages, certain precious materials have been associated with each anniversary year. For centuries, devoted spouses have gifted gold on the first anniversary, sapphires on the fifth anniversary, diamonds on the tenth anniversary, and so on. If you’re shopping for an anniversary gift, deciding to gift one of these traditional precious materials can make your gift all the more special. Selecting one of the traditional anniversary gifts adds a layer of deep meaning to your gift, as it connects your eternal bond to a long history of romance, fidelity, and devotion.

If you’re considering incorporating one of the traditional precious materials into your anniversary gift, read on. Below, we’re going over the traditional anniversary gifts for each year, as well as providing some specific anniversary gift ideas to help you pick out the perfect gift.

1 Year Wedding Anniversary: Gold

Diamond and 14k Yellow Gold Bangle

The traditional one year anniversary gift is gold. You have many options when selecting a traditional piece of jewelry to gift to commemorate your first year of marriage, such as a delicate gold necklace, gold stud earrings, or a gold band that your love can add to their bridal set. One of our favorite options for newlyweds, however, is a gold bracelet, like the stunning pave diamond and yellow gold design featured above. A chic bangle crafted from gold is a more unique option, yet one that’s still versatile and highly wearable.

Note that while yellow gold is the more common choice for the gold anniversary, white gold and rose gold are also tradition-appropriate options for the first wedding anniversary. So if your spouse prefers rose gold or white gold jewelry over yellow gold jewelry, a rose gold or white gold piece is also an excellent gift-giving choice.

2 Year Wedding Anniversary: Garnet

Genuine Garnet and Simulated Diamond Stud Earrings

The traditional wedding anniversary gift for the second anniversary is the gorgeous garnet. Garnets come in virtually every color of the rainbow, but the most well-known (and well-loved) hue for garnets is a rich, deep red.

Luckily for those who are shopping for their second anniversary gift, garnets are one of the most affordable gemstones. Since garnets are more affordable, the garnet anniversary offers an excellent opportunity to wow your spouse with a more glamorous piece of fashion jewelry (which you can do even within a small budget). Some ideas for bolder garnet pieces include a garnet cocktail ring, a garnet pendant necklace, or a pair of halo set garnet studs.

3 Year Wedding Anniversary: Pearl

Diamond and Cultured Pearl Lariat Necklace With 14k Yellow Gold Chain

The pearl, the traditional third wedding anniversary gift, is classic and captivating, with its sublime iridescence. Some wonderful gift idea options for the pearl anniversary include pearl stud earrings or a pearl necklace. If you go with a pearl necklace for your third anniversary gift, you could choose a more traditional style, such as stranded pearls. Or, you could select a more modern gift, like the elegant lariat pearl drop necklace featured above.

4 Year Wedding Anniversary: Topaz

Genuine Pear-Shaped Topaz and Simulated Diamond Drop Earrings

The traditional gift for the fourth anniversary is the mesmerizing topaz. Like garnets, topaz gemstones come in a variety of colors. However, the most highly desired color for topaz gemstones is blue.

Topaz is very durable, so it’s an excellent option for rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. But we will say that drop earrings are one of our favorite ways to wear blue topaz, since this type of setting truly enhances this gemstone’s beauty. For a colored gemstone, topaz has a high clarity and brilliance. A drop earring setting allows both the color and brilliance of the topaz gem to shine, as the gemstone will sway and catch the light with the movement of the wearer.

5 Year Wedding Anniversary: Sapphire

Simulated Diamond and Lab-Grown Sapphire Bracelet

The sapphire is the traditional gift for the first major milestone wedding anniversary, the 5 year anniversary. Sapphires have long been associated with love, truth, fidelity, and trust, so it’s a particularly fitting gemstone to commemorate 5 successful years of marriage.

Sapphires are another gemstone that comes in a variety of colors, with the most popular being blue. Blue sapphires have a gorgeous, deep blue hue that makes them look especially stunning when set alongside diamonds, so diamond and blue sapphire pieces are highly desired. Diamonds provide a bright white brilliance that makes the deep color of a blue sapphire look even more luxe and lush by contrast.

One of our favorite gift ideas for the sapphire anniversary is a sapphire and diamond tennis bracelet, like the extraordinarily elegant design featured above. Other lovely options include a sapphire anniversary band, halo set sapphire stud earrings, or a sapphire pendant necklace.

10 Year Wedding Anniversary: Diamonds

Vintage Ribbons of Diamonds Engagement Ring Setting in 14k White Gold

Diamonds are the traditional gift given when couples celebrate a decade of marriage. Diamonds are a gift that’s always adored, so you really can’t go wrong when picking out diamond jewelry for the diamond anniversary. Whether you choose to gift your loved one diamond studs, a diamond pendant necklace, a diamond tennis bracelet, or any other type of diamond jewelry, their dazzling new piece of diamond jewelry is something that they’ll treasure for a lifetime. With that said, since the tenth anniversary is such an important one, gifting an upgraded engagement ring or a diamond anniversary band is a particularly stunning and sentimental choice.

15 Year Wedding Anniversary: Ruby

Simulated Diamond and Lab-Grown Ruby Pendant Necklace

The traditional gift for the fifteenth wedding anniversary is the lush red ruby. Rubies, one of the four precious gemstones, have been treasured for thousands of years. Rubies are commonly associated with royalty, since they have long been a favorite of royals.

Rubies tend to look especially beautiful in antique or vintage style pieces, since they have a truly timeless sort of beauty. The simulated diamond and ruby pendant pictured above, which features a vintage-inspired floral halo setting, shows how breathtaking a ruby can look in a vintage style design. Ruby pendants like this halo set design are a lovely option for your fifteenth anniversary gift, as are halo set ruby stud earrings and glamorous ruby cocktail rings.

20 Year Wedding Anniversary: Emerald

Simulated Diamond and Simulated Emerald Half Eternity Band

Lastly, we have the traditional twenty year wedding anniversary gift: the emerald. Emeralds, famous for their unmistakable green hue, are luxurious and absolutely gorgeous. Emeralds look nothing short of spectacular when worn in any type of jewelry, whether they’re set in a simple pair of solitaire studs or a lavish statement necklace. All emerald jewelry is beautiful, but emerald rings are an especially excellent choice for the emerald anniversary. As with the tenth anniversary, the twentieth anniversary is a major milestone. Gifting an emerald anniversary band is a beautiful, thoughtful way to commemorate such a special occasion.

How Do You Create a Custom Engagement Ring?

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There’s nothing more meaningful than a custom engagement ring. A one-of-a-kind engagement ring is an expression of love that’s as unique as your love itself. And if you’ve ever considered creating a custom engagement ring, we have good news: creating a custom engagement ring is much easier than most people think it is.

At Diamond & Design Jewelers, we create gorgeous, custom engagement rings and wedding bands every day. And while we’ve found that many people think that creating a custom engagement ring will be complicated or exorbitantly expensive, it really isn’t. Since we have a team of in-house jewelry designers and our own jewelry workshop in Los Angeles, our custom creation process is easy and streamlined. And because a custom design allows you to control every element of your engagement ring, a custom engagement ring certainly doesn’t have to cost a fortune– your ring can be as minimalistic or as extravagant as you desire.

To give you some insight into just how easy and pleasant creating a custom engagement ring can be, below, we’ll share our simple five step custom bridal design process. Our process allows you to stay highly involved so you’ll love every detail of your ring, while our team does all the work to make your dream ring a reality.

How to Create a Custom Engagement Ring in Five Steps

Step 1: Consultation

Our custom design service always begins with a consultation. During your consultation, you’ll share your aesthetic goals for your custom engagement ring with one of our expert jewelry designers. You’ll discuss what you want for your ring’s overall design, your precious metal preference, and what you have in mind for your center stone, side stones, and ring settings. If you have any inspiration images, any sketches you’ve made yourself, any examples of engagement ring styles you love, or any unique touches you have in mind for your ring, you can share them with your designer during your consultation.

Note that your custom creation can feature any element you desire. You can create anything from a chic solitaire to a highly detailed and unique engagement ring, and your ring could feature yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, platinum, diamonds, gemstones, prong settings, bezel settings, pave settings, or any combination of elements that speaks to you. Whatever you have in mind for your perfect ring, we’re here to make your vision into a reality.

Step 2: Sketching Your Design

After narrowing in on what you want from your ring’s design, we’ll move into the design process. You’ll discuss your budget with your designer, who can help you adjust your design to accommodate accordingly if necessary. Then, you’ll work with your designer as they create the initial sketch of your custom ring, which will feature a design that suits both your aesthetic goals and your budgetary guidelines.

Step 3: 3D Rendering

Once you’ve approved your design’s sketch, we’ll take a deposit and begin the next step of our design process: 3D rendering. One of our technicians will generate a CAD image of your custom design, which will allow you to visualize your design and view it from multiple angles. After viewing the 3D rendering of your design, you can make changes to it if necessary. We want your custom piece to be perfect, so we allow for unlimited design changes at this point in the process. You can tweak your design in any way you desire and as many times as you need before we create your custom piece.

 

Step 4: Production

Image Courtesy of Beyond4Cs

Once your final CAD image is approved, we’ll move into the production process. Our custom designs are individually crafted by expert artisans at our Los Angeles workshop, where each design is made from start to finish. To ensure the quality of our designs, we never outsource any part of our production process.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

It takes around 2 to 4 weeks for our artisans to create your custom engagement ring. Once your custom ring design has been created, we’ll inspect it at our jewelry store. We’ll examine your ring to assure quality and put any finishing touches into place. Then, we’ll present you with your perfect, one-of-a-kind custom engagement ring.

Final Thoughts

Creating a custom engagement ring is much easier than most people think it is. And when you create a custom piece at Diamond & Design, we strive to make your experience not only easy, but enjoyable. Designing your own engagement ring is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be fun, special, and memorable. We take great care to ensure everyone who collaborates with us to create a custom design loves their final product– but also enjoys the design process, from start to finish.

If you’d like to learn more about our custom engagement ring design process, click here. To schedule a custom bridal design appointment at Diamond & Design, click here. If you’re interested in creating a custom piece that is not an engagement ring or wedding ring, click here to learn more about our other custom design services. While we specialize in custom bridal design, we can custom create any type of diamond jewelry, gemstone jewelry, or precious metal jewelry. So whether you’re looking for a unique custom piece to wear yourself or a beautiful custom piece to gift, we’re here to bring your vision to life.

What’s the Most Expensive Diamond Shape?

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Most people know that the 4Cs of diamonds– diamond cut, clarity, color, and carat– will affect a diamond’s price. The larger and more high quality a diamond is, the more expensive it will be. So, most people consider the 4Cs when weighing a diamond’s price. But did you know that there’s something that has absolutely nothing with carat weight or quality that can drastically affect a diamond’s price? Though it’s often overlooked by those shopping for diamonds, diamond shape can have an enormous impact on the price of a diamond.

Diamond shape is the shape a diamond was cut into, such as round, princess cut, or oval. And a diamond’s shape can affect its price by as much as 30%. Two diamonds can be the exact same carat weight and have the exact same qualities, but one could cost 30% more than the other if it’s the most expensive diamond shape. Wondering what the most expensive diamond shape is? It’s the beautiful, classic round diamond.

Round brilliant cut diamonds are easily the most expensive diamond shape. In part, that’s because round is the most popular diamond shape. More than half of all the diamonds sold today are round diamonds. This incredible popularity means that diamond miners and retailers can charge more for such an in-demand shape. But popularity isn’t the only reason round diamonds are more expensive. When diamond cutters create a round brilliant cut diamond, they have to discard more rough stone to create this specific shape. So, essentially, you have to pay for a larger stone than the one you actually end up with when you purchase a round diamond.

Whether or not you think round cut diamonds are worth spending more on all comes down to personal preference. Round cut diamonds are timelessly beautiful and incredibly brilliant, so some people think their higher cost is well worth it. But if you don’t like the idea of spending more just to get a round cut diamond, you have plenty of options in the fancy shaped diamond category.

The fancy shaped diamond category includes every diamond shape that is not round. Some examples of fancy shaped diamonds include oval shaped diamonds, pear shaped diamonds, cushion cut diamonds, radiant cut diamonds, marquise cut diamonds, emerald cut diamonds, asscher cut diamonds, heart shaped diamonds, and princess cut diamonds.

Fancy shaped diamonds may be less popular than round cut diamonds, but they’re equally gorgeous. Then, fancy cuts offer quite a bit more style variety than round brilliant cut diamonds– and, of course, they can cost up to 30% less. Wondering if a budget-maximizing fancy shaped diamond is for you? Take a look at a few of our favorite fancy shapes and see if one resonates with you.

Cushion Cut

Cushion cut diamonds are quite similar in shape to round diamonds, yet they’re one of the most affordable of all the fancy shapes. This beautifully brilliant diamond shape looks like a square with rounded corners and it has a soft, classic look. Cushion cut diamonds also have a somewhat vintage style, since they’re technically a modern version of an antique diamond shape, the old mine cut. With their timeless shape and romantic vintage appeal, cushion cuts are one of the most lovely of all the fancy shaped diamonds.

Oval

Oval cut diamonds are brilliant, sophisticated, and quite traditional. This is another diamond shape that is very similar in style to round diamonds, yet costs much less. And, on top of that, oval cut diamonds have a size advantage. Oval diamonds carry much of their mass on their table (their top), so they look larger per carat than most other diamond shapes, including round. So, if you opt for an oval cut diamond for your engagement ring or another diamond piece, you can save money and get a larger-looking diamond– what’s not to love?

Emerald

Moving on to a fancy shape with a decidedly unique style, we have the gorgeous emerald cut diamond. Emerald cut diamonds feature long, step-cut facets that create glamorous flashes of light. This endlessly elegant diamond shape is absolutely stunning, but tends to cost around 25% less than a round brilliant would. And, like oval cut diamonds, emerald cut diamonds have a size advantage. This elongated shape looks larger per carat than round cut diamonds, so an emerald cut diamond can help you maximize your budget and your diamond’s size.

Looking for more diamond shape inspiration? Browse the Diamond & Design Jewelers Online Store to view our wide selection of diamond jewelry, which includes diamond engagement rings, diamond wedding bands, fashion diamond rings, diamond studs, diamond pendants, and much more. Whether you love the classic look of a round diamond or you’d prefer a fancy shape, such as an asscher cut diamond or a marquise cut diamond, our expansive selection of diamond jewelry has your perfect fit.

6 Jewelry Classics Every Woman Should Own

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Just like there are wardrobe staples every woman should have in her wardrobe, there are jewelry staples every woman should have in her jewelry box. Having a solid set of classic jewelry essentials can ensure that you always have the perfect accessory for any occasion. Then, classic pieces will, of course, look beautiful on their own, but they’re also ideal base pieces for layered looks. So, having the right timeless pieces within your jewelry collection gives you the essentials you need for classic looks, but also the building blocks you need to experiment with your style.

There are many beautiful, classic jewelry styles for you to choose from for your jewelry box staples. But, in our opinion, there are some that are more timeless and versatile than the rest. So, below, we’re featuring the six jewelry classics we think every woman should own. Each of these pieces is highly versatile, utterly classic, and absolutely beautiful– which is just what every woman needs in her jewelry box. These pieces are also all excellent gift options, even for those with the pickiest of tastes. So whether you’re shopping for your new jewelry box staples or for a gift that will dazzle a loved one, these jewelry classics are here to deliver.

1. Diamond Stud Earrings

Simulated Cushion Cut Diamond Stud Earrings

Diamond studs are a true jewelry classic. They’re like the little black dress of jewelry: they’re always stylish, elegant, and perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt, a ball gown, or office attire, diamond studs are the perfect accessory.

There are many styles of diamond studs for you to choose from for your collection of jewelry staples. But if you’re looking for a more timeless look from your diamond earrings, we recommend selecting a classic diamond shape, such as round, cushion cut, or princess cut.

2. Stackable Rings

Simulated Diamond Eternity Band

Elegant and simple rings, like the simulated diamond eternity band pictured above, look lovely on their own, but they also add a lot of versatility to your jewelry wardrobe. By stacking simple rings in different ways, you can create new looks every day.

3. Initial Necklace

Delicate “A” Letter Initial Pendant With Simulated Diamonds

An initial pendant is a perfect everyday necklace. Initial necklaces are chic and stylish, and also add a personalized touch to every outfit. When you customize your initial necklace, you can opt for your initial, which is a fashionable and classic option. Or, you can give your initial piece a sentimental touch by selecting the initial of a loved one, such as your child, spouse, or grandparent.

4. Dainty Diamond Necklace

7 Symbols of Joy Simulated Diamond Choker

A delicate diamond necklace is a versatile piece that will add the perfect amount of shimmer to any look. When worn alone, a dainty diamond necklace is extraordinarily elegant. When worn as a part of a layered look, a simple diamond necklace can be modern, stylish, and fun. A delicate diamond necklace simply offers the best of both worlds.

5. Cocktail Ring

Checkerboard-Cut Blue Topaz and Simulated Diamond Ring

A cocktail ring is glamorous and gorgeous, and it can be a great way to pull your whole outfit together. Cocktail rings can add color, dimension, and contrast to an outfit in mere moments, instantly elevating it.

One of the best things about cocktail rings is that, though they’re a classic jewelry staple, they’re by-nature meant to be unique and bold. So, for your go-to cocktail ring, you can choose any eye-catching, colorful statement piece that speaks to you and your unique style.

6. Tennis Bracelet

Princess Cut Simulated Diamond Bracelet

Tennis bracelets have always been an evening wear staple. A diamond tennis bracelet is simply the perfect way to round out a special occasion look. Then, today, tennis bracelets are also a staple in more casual wear. Pairing a tennis bracelet with a casual outfit, like a sweater and jeans, is the picture of modern sophistication. So whether you’re dressing for day or night (or need a day-to-night look), a tennis bracelet can add the perfect touch of shimmer and elegance to your ensemble.

Looking for even more beautiful, classic jewelry pieces? Shop our selection of elegant gold, silver, and diamond jewelry. Our expansive selection includes timeless jewelry pieces like diamond hoop earrings, gemstone stud earrings, pearl necklaces, pearl earrings, bangle bracelets, charm bracelets, and more.

Exclusive Collections

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News

Exclusive Collections

Our specialty lies in bridal and engagement jewelry which means we carry designer and custom collections that are unmatched anywhere else in the Inland Empire.

We work with only USA based designers, designing and manufacturing domestically in New York and Los Angeles, ensuring higher quality of workmanship and unique designs you will not find anywhere else – with some designs truly created completely by hand, one at a time.

Using only high quality and colorless diamonds throughout our bridal collections, our selections truly sparkle and stand out from the rest.

Custom Jewelry Design

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Services

Custom Designs That Are Uniquely Yours

For our customers who are looking for something specially tailored to a specific feel, we offer custom design.

We do all our custom designs in our Los Angeles studio and never outsource to anyone else, ensuring the highest quality of work. Collaboration with one of our professional designers begins with as little as an idea, sketch, or picture. We listen to our clients needs and ensure they’re informed of every step of the process. Communication continues throughout and although custom design can take several weeks, the uniqueness of a handcrafted piece of jewelry built from scratch in our Los Angeles studio is always worth the wait. We love partnering with our clients to create a truly one-of-a-kind piece.

New Products

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Shop our selection of gold, silver and diamond jewelry. From engagement rings to affordable gifts our store features collections from the top designers. Find the perfect present for yourself or your loved one in the wide selection of rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pendants.

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