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Best Jeweler

She's got rocks

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Whether or not you know your Four C's from your ABC's, odds are you've heard of Mary Healey Fine Jewelry. The Four C's you can look up on the Internet, but if it's designer sparkle you're interested in, Mary Healey's is the place to go in Little Rock: the 25-year-old Heights store - a repeat winner in the Arkansas Times' Best Of readers poll - is an exclusive local dealer for a laundry list of top names in the industry. But nervous grooms-to-be needn't worry they'll be overwhelmed with trendy, complicated choices when it's time to get that wedding diamond: Richard Scudder, president of the company, said he usually advises men to pick a diamond, then present it to their intended in a simple solitaire setting that can be easily exchanged for something else later on. The store's namesake - a government worker in Sen. David Pryor's office before a career switch to jewelry in the late 1970s - isn't in the store on a daily basis anymore, but said she still guides policy decisions and buying. "I'm in touch all the time," Healey said. "I've got my finger on the pulse of all of it." Other trends to watch for, according to Healey: a break away from plain-Jane wedding bands for men, brides giving their new husbands watches as a wedding present, and of course, the women's right-hand ring phenomenon - even for married women who already have a diamond on their left hand. Chalk it up to a generation of women who don't feel the need to wait for men to bestow jewels on them, Healey said. "Women are more confident making those kinds of decisions today than they were a few years ago," she said.

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