Along with all the excitement that comes from just getting engaged, also comes the revelation of what the ring looks like. For most, the center stone is what will catch the eye. The Diamond on her finger should uniquely express how pure and everlasting the love between you truly is. So when shopping for that special ring, for that special someone, it is important you know what to look for to make the right decision.

Which Shape is Best?

Round

When you think of a diamond, you think of its most popular cut – the round brilliant cut. There is a reason this cut is number one and that is because this cut provides the highest level of fire and brilliance. A “brilliant cut” is comprised of 58 facets (smooth, flat faces on the surface of a diamond and the culet) in triangle and kite shapes. This cut catches the light at just the right angles to display an otherworldly sparkle. The round cut has some flexibility in all of the 4 C’s, but select a high-quality grade for the most brilliant shine.

What Are the 4 C’s?

Color

The 4C’s: Color

The 4C’s: Color

Colorless or mostly colorless diamonds are rare and so have a higher value than diamonds with more color.

A diamond’s color comes from the chemicals and elements that were present when the diamond was formed. For example: a yellow diamond means there were nitrogen chemicals during its formation. These chemicals leave “trace elements” where a diamond with color has more trace elements than a colorless diamond. Diamonds are rated on a Color Grade Scale: D is the highest (clear diamonds with the least amount of color), and Z is the lowest (diamonds with the most amount of color).

The 4C’s: Cut

The 4C’s: Cut

You will hear the word “cut” a lot in the diamond world, and the first thing to know is it does not mean “shape”. A diamond’s “cut” determines its “brilliance” – the way light reflects off the stone. The cut is vital to highlighting the diamond’s appearance.

A diamond’s cut will allow it to either reflect more light (displaying its beauty for all to see) or cause light to pass through it without providing much of a reflection. Brightness (how light is reflected when looking at the top of a diamond), Fire (how spots of lights turning into spectral colors are seen when looking at the top of the diamond), Scintillation (how a diamond sparkles and how its patterns look), Weight, Ratio, Durability, Polish, and Symmetry all affect a diamond’s cut. A diamond can appear larger than it is simply by how it is cut, so find the right cut for you so she can enjoy the diamond in all of its beauty.

The 4C’s: Carat

The 4C’s: Carat

“Carat” and “Karat” are two different measurements in the fine jewelry industry. “Karat” with a “K” refers to measuring gold. “Carat” with a “C” refers to measuring the weight of the diamond. A diamond’s size is measured by 3 factors: its carat weight, the distance across the top of the diamond, and its cut. A diamond is measured in “points” where one carat = 100 points, the same as 1/5 of a gram. There are 2 common carat labels – “ct” and “cttw”. “Ct” is the carat weight of one diamond, and “cttw” is the total diamond weight of the piece which may include more than 1 diamond.

The 4C’s: Clarity

The 4C’s: Clarity

Clarity measures the number of inclusions in a diamond. The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the higher clarity grade it has. Think of inclusions as the natural “birthmarks” of a diamond, because a diamond with inclusions is normal. Inclusions can be small cracks, crystal pieces, or anything that lowers the purity of a diamond. However, clarity has a small impact on a diamond’s appearance since most inclusions can only be seen with special tools, so don’t rely on just clarity when choosing a stone.

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