Three Things You Need to Know About Diamonds Before You Buy an Engagement Ring

Three Things You Need to Know About Diamonds Before You Buy an Engagement Ring

If you’ve found that special someone and are planning on popping the question, you might be filled with stress and anxiety. This is a life-changing moment for you and your partner and it’s one that you’ll want to get just right. However, planning the proposal and getting down on one knee aren’t the only reasons that a lot of people feel anxious about proposing. For many people, the thought of going out to buy an engagement ring is a terrifying one.

This makes sense in some ways. After all, buying an engagement ring is likely most people’s first experience at buying diamonds. This can lead to anxiety, worry, and self-doubt. Buying an engagement ring can seem so complex that many people worry that they’ll make a mistake. The fact that an engagement ring is a large purchase (both financially and in the scope of your relationship) heightens this anxiety.

The good news is that you don’t need to worry and stress about going to buy an engagement ring. That’s because we’ve put together a simple guide that lists the three key things that you’ll need to know about diamonds before you go shopping.

What Makes Diamonds Sparkle

One of the most beautiful aspects of a diamond engagement ring is its sparkle. The sparkle is what makes people notice it. The sparkle is what takes your breath away. The sparkle is one thing that you will certainly want from your diamond.

So what makes diamonds sparkle? More than any other factor, the cut of a diamond affects its look the most. Diamonds sparkle because of the dispersion of light into various colors of the spectrum, the brightness of the white light reflecting from the diamond, and the scintillation - or flashes of light - that occur when the diamond or its light source is shifted. In short, diamonds sparkle mostly because of their cut.

A well-cut diamond will sparkle much more than a poorly-cut diamond, even if the poorly-cut diamond ranks better on color and clarity scales.

This brings us to…

The 4 Cs

If you’ve done any research at all, you’ve come across the 4 Cs. This refers to:

  • Cut
    • We’ve discussed this one a bit already. The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions, symmetry and polish.
  • Color
    • The color of a diamond refers to its physical color, with colorless being the rarest and more desirable.
  • Clarity
    • Clarity refers to whether or not the diamond has any natural imperfections. These are often called “inclusions” and many are only visible under magnification, but some can be seen with the naked eye.
  • Carat Weight
    • Diamonds are weighed in carats, so a heavier diamond will also be a higher carat diamond. Just looking at a diamond with a naked eye is not a reliable way to determine carat size.

The 4 Cs help you compare diamonds to one another and these grades are standardized in the industry. When you purchase a diamond, make sure that you receive a grading certificate from a reputable organization, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), The International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the American Gem Society (AGS). This document will verify the various characteristics of your diamond.

Find out more about the 4 Cs in our diamond education center.

Diamond Shapes

Diamond shapes are different from the cut of a diamond. While the cut refers to proportions of the diamond, the shape refers to the physical shape of the diamond. The most common shapes are round brilliant, followed by the princess cut, but there are many options.

There is no “correct” shape. It all comes down to personal preference. There are many, many different shapes available, and most jewelers will have a wide variety of different shapes to look at, the final choice will depend on what you (and your special someone) like. Before you buy an engagement ring, try to (secretly) find out what shape your significant other prefers. This will help you buy a ring that they’ll truly love.

Read more about diamond shapes in our diamond education center.


As you can see, buying an engagement ring doesn’t have to be scary. You don’t have to be a diamond expert to get it right either. By taking the time to learn a few things about diamonds, you can choose the perfect one for your situation and your loved one.

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