Searching for the perfect engagement ring needn’t be a difficult experience, even though getting it right is incredibly important. Buying a diamond ring requires planning, but as a symbol of your loving union, it will forever remain a constant reminder of commitment that is appreciated each and every day.
With so many variables to choose from, it is important to learn about the various qualities of diamonds by understanding the principles of the Four C’s. This key knowledge will teach you how diamonds are valued and will guide you in your search for the best possible diamonds for your budget.
- THE FOUR C’S
CUT – Cut refers to the particular shape the stone has been fashioned into. Raw diamonds first need to be meticulously cut and polished to draw out their innate qualities. Cutting is a highly scientific process that places a geometric pattern of facets onto the surface of the diamond that allows it to absorb and refract light in a way that gives it the alluring sparkle and shine long associated with these precious gems.
Diamonds of the exact same weight, colour and clarity can quite easily end up looking completely different, depending on the skill of the Gem cutter and the style of cut they choose when shaping the diamond.
Common diamond cuts include round, princess, cushion, oval, radiant and emerald.
COLOUR – Colourless diamonds are highly prized and therefore more expensive to purchase. Even rarer colourings such as pink diamonds are found in extremely limited supply and command a higher price.
Generally though, as the colour of a diamond progress from clear to yellow and even slightly brownish tones, they become less valuable. Such colour changes can seem quite subtle but become easier to notice when placed side-by-side for inspection. Gemmologists and jewellers have ‘master colour sets’ that are used as a consistent benchmark to find the exact colour grade of a particular diamond.
CLARITY – Speaks to the minute natural flaws that are found in most diamonds. The more noticeable such inclusions, flecks and flaws are, the less valuable the diamond becomes. In very low grade diamonds these flaws can be observed with the naked eye. The highest quality diamonds look perfectly clear and flawless although often inclusions can still be seen under great magnification with a loupe or microscope.
CARATS – Carats are units of measurement that denote the weight of the diamond. The larger the weight of the stone is, the more expensive the diamond will be to purchase.
- PRECIOUS METALS
Engagement rings are made from all manner of precious metals, but gold and platinum are the most popular materials. Gold comes in various degrees of quality from 9 Karat to 24 Karat and unlike diamonds; the karat does not denote weight but purity. The more pure the gold content of the ring, the higher the karat and the cost will be.
- SETTING AND STYLE
The manner in which rings are constructed to hold diamonds is referred to as the setting. Diamond for Less jewellery store in Toronto Canada has multiple examples of various settings on display.
A single diamond or ‘solitaire’ is often set in prongs, which allows light to more freely enter and make the diamond sparkle more vibrantly.
Diamonds can also be set in grooves or bezels, be held in place by tension, or aligned in rows side-by-side in a paved fashion known as ‘pave´’ (pronounced par-vay).
Keeping these basic considerations in mind when shopping for the perfect engagement ring will make you better prepared, less stressed and more likely to find the exact ring you desire with greater ease.