Diamond 4 Cs: The Diamond Buying Guide

by - Thursday, July 11, 2013

It may seem like the only important thing when buying an engagement ring is whether the ring fits within his budget, and whether or not she likes the ring.  While these are important factors to consider, it’s also important to make sure that you are getting a quality diamond, and one that will hold up over time.  The average consumer may need to do a little research and study the diamond 4 Cs before they set out to make the actual purchase.

Diamond Clarity

When you hear the word clarity in reference to a diamond, you should know that this word is used to describe the number of inclusions in the diamond, and the size of the diamond.  Within each diamond, there are traces of the element from which the diamond came, although most cannot be seen by the naked eye, and require magnification by a jeweler or diamond expert.  Diamonds that have more inclusions, or those in which the inclusions are larger, will be less valuable than those that have smaller inclusions.  Inclusions can interfere with the brilliance of the diamond when they are too large.

Diamond Color

It comes as a surprise to many shoppers that there is a variety of color for every diamond.  Many appear to be white or colorless, but most actually have a subtle yellow or brown color that can be seen with the right tools.  When a diamond color is chosen, the diamond will be assigned a letter, starting at D and going through the rest of the alphabet.  Finding a diamond that is truly without any color, or graded a D, is extremely rare, and makes the stone even more valuable.  Those that come from the ground in bright colors are also extremely rare and valuable.

Diamond Carat

The carat of a diamond is one factor that most consumers are fairly familiar with.  The carat refers to the weight of the diamond, and is the unit of measurement used to specify how much the diamond weighs.  Carats are divided into 100 points, so a diamond that is given 25 points would have a carat size of .25, or a quarter of a carat.  Carats are used to measure the actual weight of the diamond rather than the diameter or the size, and has very little to do with how the diamond is cut.

Diamond Cut

The color, carat, and clarity of most stones is determined by nature and as the stone develops, but the cut comes from the craftsman or jeweler who cuts the diamond.  Cutting a diamond is an intricate mix of helping the diamond to sparkle and allowing the most light into the diamond to reflect back out.  The most common cut for a diamond is the round or brilliant cut.  Other choices include princess or square cuts, baguette cuts, and pear shape cuts.

Choosing The Ideal Diamond

Once you know more about what you want in your ring, you can start the process of planning the perfect proposal.  You may benefit more from choosing a smaller stone that is more valuable in these important areas, rather than a larger stone that is worth less as time goes on.

… written by Kara Tanaka - loves all things jewelry and beauty and likes to write on subjects where life meets fashion.

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