When the time comes to start looking at engagement rings, many men are stumped at how to even begin making the right choice. While much depends on your budget, the future life partner and individual taste, if you are planning to give a loved one a diamond and pop the question, a good way to get started on finding that perfect ring is to follow the 4 Cs approach.
This system is used in the diamond industry, where many different diamond characteristics are graded and categorised. The 4 Cs comprise the most important characteristics when determining the value of a diamond – Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat. There’s also a lesser known but still important 5th C, which is Certification.
What do all of these mean when it comes to choosing engagement rings that feature diamonds? Here’s what you should know about characteristics of diamond rings.
Simple Guide to Buying Diamond Engagement Rings
Without further ado, here are the things that you will need to consider when selecting the ideal ring for your future wedded love:
This refers to the shape and style of the diamond. There are many different cuts, ranging from square to round, with each cut determining just how much sparkle the diamond has when placed within the ring. Simpler cuts are always a timeless choice, while elaborate cuts that allow the full brilliance of the stone to shine are bold, beautiful and sure to make a statement.
Almost every diamond has some flaw that occurs when the stone is formed, and this is what makes each stone unique. Generally speaking however, the clearer the diamond, the more it shines and the more it costs. The visibility, number and size of the flaws all help to determine the clarity. Even though clear stones are valued highly, there are many levels of clarity that ensure plenty of choice and variety. After all, sometimes the tiny imperfections in stones (and people) can be more alluring than pure perfection.
Diamonds with no colour allow the most reflection of light, which gives the stone that all-important sparkle. When a stone is off white, it absorbs more light, which in turn reduces the level of light that shines off the facets of the stone. Colourless diamonds are especially brilliant in a cut that maximises the shine of the natural light that is refracted.
This is often the thing that most people know about diamonds, especially when it comes to determining the value of a stone. As the unit of weight that diamonds are measured, this refers to the value of the stone as well as the size. Larger diamonds are much rarer than smaller diamonds, meaning that the larger stones are more valued, and therefore more expensive, too.
Then, there is the 5th C that is often overlooked but should also be a vital part of any purchasing decision. This C refers to the certificate (also known as a grading report) that evaluates the diamond. This grading is done by a qualified expert, using special instruments used to evaluate gems. As each stone is unique, with its own individual qualities, listing the stone’s characteristics in an official certificate helps to ensure that you are buying the real deal. It is also essential for insurance purposes.
Now that you have a better idea of how to set off on your mission to find the perfect ring, have a look at our tips on the symbolism of engagement rings to find more advice on fine-tuning your search.