When you decide to get engaged, one of the biggest decisions you'll need to make is the diamond ring. How do you pick one? What are you looking for? Where can you get the best one? Most guys have never shopped for rings before and choosing a diamond ring can be overwhelming. The good news is that, once you've done some research and understand a few terms, it isn't quite as complicated as you may have thought.
The 4 Cs
One aspect that you'll want to learn a little bit about is The 4 Cs. This refers to Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. These four aspects are part of a diamond grading system that was developed by the Gemological institute of America (GIA). This standard allows you to evaluate and compare the quality of diamonds. [caption id="attachment_1868" align="alignright" width="300"] Sample GIA Diamond Grading Report (source: Gemological Institute of America, www.gia.edu)[/caption]
- A diamond's cut is graded on a range from "Excellent" to "Poor." The cut of a diamond has a big affect on its sparkle. The better the cut, the more brilliant a diamond will look.
- Diamonds are classified into "noticeable color," "near colorless" and "colorless." A perfect diamond is one that is considered "colorless."
- Diamonds also receive a letter grade that signifies their color. "Colorless" diamonds are graded from D to F, with D being the highest grade. "Near colorless" diamonds are graded from G to J. "Noticeable Color" diamonds appear more yellow and are graded below J.
- Clarity is a measure of the size and the number of imperfections in a diamond. It's important to note that many imperfections in a diamond are actually very small and many are microscopic, so you won't be able to see them with a naked eye.
- "Flawless" diamonds are graded "FL" (for flawless) or "IF" (internally flawless) and are incredibly rare.
- Other clarity grades include "VVS" (very, very slightly included), "VS" (very slightly included) and "SI" (slightly included).
- The carat weight of a diamond refers to how much the diamond weighs when cut and polished.
- Heavier (and therefore physically larger) diamonds are more expensive than smaller ones. However, the other Cs also affect this fact.
Other Diamond Ring Considerations
When you're buying a diamond ring, the quality of the diamond isn't the whole story! You'll also need to consider the type of cut and shape of the diamond, the ring style, and the type of metal that the band is made from (gold, white gold, platinum, etc.) A lot of people get hung up on only the 4 Cs and they don't consider these other aspects, which are also very important. You'll want to make sure that you get the style of ring that she likes. The same diamond will look very different depending on the style of the ring, the type of band, etc. Remember to think about your loved one when you're considering diamond ring styles. Does she want a more traditional design? Something more modern? Is she hoping for a single diamond in the center of the ring or several smaller ones? To help you decide, think of what she currently wears. Does she like gold jewellery? Traditional styles? This can help guide you to the right diamond ring.