An engagement is one of the most joyous occasions of one’s life, as it is the step towards the next phase of their relationship – marriage, that is. It signifies that you want your take your relationship to the next level with your loved one. That’s why you have to make it extra special by proposing to your sweetheart with a diamond engagement ring.
Why a diamond? Well, as the famous song line says: “diamonds are forever.” Indeed, a diamond is an extremely durable stone – take note, a diamond is the hardest substance on earth! That’s why a diamond usually represents anything strong, deep and everlasting – and of course, these characteristics should refer to the love and commitment that is sworn between partners. That’s why a diamond is the most popular precious stone for engagement rings.
Before buying a diamond engagement ring, there are a lot of things that you must know about the center stone itself – the diamond. Although an engagement ring is a small item, it is otherwise really expensive. A little education about diamonds will help you get through the often challenging and intricate process of buying a diamond ring. For this purpose, you must know about the four Cs of a diamond: cut, carat, color, and clarity:
Sometimes, people confuse “cut” and “shape” when looking for a diamond. While the two words have essentially the same meaning, in this respect “cut” is different from “shape.” “Shape” simply refers to the different geometrical characteristics of a diamond such as round, princess, cushion, emerald, etc. “Cut,” on the other hand, means the way a diamond’s facet is cut and polished to attract light and reflect it from the inside. The more light a diamond reflects back to the observer’s eye, the shinier and attractive it becomes – and that’s because a diamond has a good cut. A diamond with a good cut disperses light very well and so it gives the desirable fiery and flashy appearance.
In a diamond that is poorly cut, the light enters through the top but leaks to the bottom of the stone. In this case, the light is not properly scattered throughout the diamond, making it look dull. Even if a diamond has a high grading in terms of color and clarity, if it is not cut well, it will still lack brilliance. That’s why a diamond’s cut is often the most necessary element in deciding the cost of the diamond.
However, a diamond’s cut is the most challenging to assess and this is something that cannot be evaluated by a layperson. That is why it is important for the buyer to get a GIA or an AGS certificate that verifies the quality of a certain diamond. A premium cut is the best in the scale of cut for the diamond.
A carat basically refers to the weight of a gemstone such as a diamond. Usually, the heavier a diamond is, the bigger it gets. So both the size and the weight are the major factors that directly affect the cost of a certain diamond. Usually, a one-carat diamond can fetch at least $4,000. However, if you plan to buy a loose diamond, you can buy it with less than a carat as long as it has the right cut and high clarity. Not only it will save you some thousands of dollars, a diamond that is less than a carat will still sparkle – in fact, a smaller diamond will even sparkle much more than diamond that is big but has a poor cut.
Getting a small piece of stone will save you a lot that you can spend on other factors to make your diamond engagement ring attractive. If you settle on a smaller diamond, you can work on the designs to make your engagement ring still a standout. But if budget is otherwise not a big concern at all, you can choose a bigger stone for your engagement ring.
Jewelers grade the diamonds on a scale from “D” to “Z” mark. “D” means colorless while “Z” means light yellow or light brown. Usually, white or colorless diamonds are considered expensive, but sometimes fancy colored diamonds are also expensive as well. In fact, certain colors such as blue and red are even the rarest and the most expensive ones – even more expensive than their colorless counterparts. Anything which gets a grade beyond the “D” mark is considered as a fancy diamond and sometimes these fancy colored diamonds fetch higher prices in the market. The color of a diamond doesn’t represent its quality, but rather its rarity. Choosing a color is essentially a matter of personal taste.
If your girl likes the classic colorless diamond, you can refer to other elements such as clarity and cut. But if she otherwise wants to buy colored ones, you can consider options that are reasonably priced such as gray, light yellow and brown. But if you have a considerable budget, you can look at the more colorful ones like pink, violet, purple, vivid yellow and orange.
Diamonds normally have small flaws, which are called inclusions – these inclusions are natural and they are considered as “birthmarks” of a diamond. Scratches, air bubbles, and other minerals are also factors to consider when judging a diamond based on its clarity. The clearer the diamond is, obviously the more expensive it gets,
A diamond with less or virtually no inclusions at all is considered “flawless,” and of course a flawless diamond will fetch a higher price. Inclusions are normally microscopic and cannot be usually seen by the naked eye. However, if a diamond has noticeable inclusions, its value is definitely lower than their flawless counterparts. The clarity scale of a diamond is graded by using a scale that starts from “flawless,” “internally flawless,” “very slightly included,” “slightly included,” and “included.” A diamond with a very slight to flawless clarity is super rare and thus it is incredibly expensive.
Usually, a buyer of a diamond engagement ring with just enough budget would settle for a slightly included or included diamond. Remember that these inclusions become apparent when viewed under a 10x loupe magnification. Otherwise, a diamond with an “included” clarity grade still appears clear to the untrained, unaided eye (if not clearer than the flawless one).
Knowing about these four C’s will help you a lot to get the best diamond for your diamond engagement ring.