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The Four C’s of Diamond Engagement Rings

Engagement season is year-round. Some hopeful future fiancés will be looking at certified diamond dealers and working with a jewelry designer to create a custom ring as a centerpiece of their proposal. Others may have discussed the engagement ring with their betrothed and may be investigating what, besides price, is the crystal and diamond difference. Many are just bewildered and wondering if the old three months salary rule for diamonds still holds true.

Many will start their search with vintage jewelry shops and local jewelers without realizing they can search for the best quality diamonds online. By doing their research and looking online, many will find the right diamond for their love. Who knows, once they buy one diamond, they may start looking at diamond investment opportunities or start researching other uses for diamonds.

Luckily, some good jewelers in the industry managed to simplify diamonds down to four short words and one single letter, resulting in fantastic list that’s commonly referred to as “The Four C’s.” What are these mysterious four C’s, you ask? Well…Shopping for an engagement ring can be a pretty daunting task, even if you know a thing or two about custom jewelry. Honestly, just making the decision to get married is a stress-inducing and life-changing choice; no one should have to deal with the additional stress of picking out the one perfect ring when there are literally thousands to choose from.

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Clarity: It’s rare that a diamond is ever perfectly, 100% mark-free. In fact, one of the telling signs of a real diamond is that it does have a few natural imperfections. These natural marks are called “inclusions,” and they can occur inside the diamond or on the surface. Inclusions are very difficult to detect without a microscope, and even good jewelers may have trouble detecting smaller inclusions. But in general, the fewer inclusions a diamond has, the greater its value will be.

Carat: A carat is the standard measurement of a diamond’s weight, and therefore, it’s also loosely related to the size of the diamond. One carat weighs about 200 milligrams, and if a diamond weighs less than a full carat, its weight is represented in “points.” For example, a diamond that weighs in at 3/4 of one carat would be .75 carat, or 75 points. Carat is usually the most important factor when determining the value of a diamond, but it’s important to remember that the other three factors will influence value as well.

Color: If you’re specifically looking for a pop of color on your ring, then you probably want to check out the kinds of gemstone engagement rings that are on the market today. Diamonds can come in virtually every color of the rainbow, but where white diamonds are concerned — and that’s the usual type of diamond that sits atop the traditional white or yellow gold engagement rings — you want to find a diamond that has as little color as possible. If a white diamond is colored, that means it has a yellowish or brownish tinge and is therefore a bit less valuable.

Cut: The cut is more about personal preference than anything else, because a diamond never appears naturally with a certain cut. But what does matter is how skillfully the cut was crafted, and how well the angles of the stone reflect light rays. When good jewelers give diamonds a high-quality cuts, the “brilliance” increases (and the value increases, too).

Yes, these four points still have a lot of details to remember, but try not to get overwhelmed! As long as you have the patience and determination to find the perfect ring, then you’re sure to find it. This is a great source for more.


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