Engagement Ring Shopping Tips 💍 Explaining the 4Cs of Diamonds Carat, Clarity, Color & Cut
Going engagement ring shopping? How exciting 🙂 Knowing how to chose an engagement ring isn’t simple and it’s normal to have questions when shopping for one. If it’s a diamond engagement ring you’ve got your eye on, you’ve likely heard all sorts of terms that sound foreign to you and knowing the 4C’s of Diamonds (Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut) will certainly make you well informed. And if you’ve ever wondered what types of engagement rings some of the celebrities are wearing, we’ll fill you in. We’ve got you covered here today with answers to some of the most frequently asked engagement rings questions.
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Diamond carat refers to the actual weight of the diamond, not the size. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams. A diamond that weighs more than one carat is expressed in carats and decimals, for example, 1.25 carats. While it’s usually true that the greater the carat, the larger the price (because larger diamonds are uncommon and therefore more covetable), it’s possible that two diamonds of equal carat weight can come in at very different price points. This happens because the price of a diamond is based on the 4C’s and not just one of them. Diamond carat alone will not dictate price.
What dictates the clarity of a diamond and determines its shine is based on a combination of factors such as: diamond size, shape, number of inclusions/blemishes (clarity) and their position on the stone, diamond color and a few other characteristics that are indicated on the GIA Grading Report, which is the standard for diamond grading and gemological identification set by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Did you know that on the Diamond Clarity Scale that there are 7 different levels? They range from:
🔹 FL — Flawless
🔹 IF — Internally Flawless
🔹 VVS1 or VVS2 — Very Very Slightly Included (VVS) Diamonds
🔹 VS1 or VS2 – Very Slightly Included (VS) Diamonds
🔹 SI1, SI2 or SI3 – Slightly Included (SI) Diamonds
🔹 I1, I2 or I3 – Heavily Included Diamonds
It’s very rare to come across diamonds that are completely colorless and if you do, its price tag will be indicative of it’s scarcity. Diamond color usually ranges from Colorless all the way to Light Yellow. Each shade is assigned a distinct letter to imply where it falls on the scale.
Colorless — D, E, F (With D being the most colorless)
Near Colorless — G, H, I, J
Faint Yellow — K, L, M
Very Light Yellow — N, O, P, Q, R
Light Yellow — S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
People often assume that the terms shape and cut are interchangeable but that’s not actually true. The shape refers more to the outline of the diamond. The cut refers to the finer details such as facets, symmetry, dimensions and the reflective quality. Out of the 4C’s, diamond cut has the biggest impact on the diamond’s sparkle and beauty.
Diamond Cuts range from Ideal/Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.
There’s a lot of diamond shapes to chose from when shopping for an engagement ring. And diamonds placed within different diamond settings allow for even more variation when it comes to style. Popular diamond shapes include Round, Princess, Emerald, Cushion, Asscher, Pear, Oval, Heart, Radiant and Marquise. There are some others but these are the most common and the most widely available.
Wondering which shape diamond sparkles the most? That would be Round Brilliant since it’s made up of 58 facets. This diamond cut accounts for 2/3 of the diamonds sold.