You and your girlfriend have been dating for awhile now and you’re ready to pop the question, but you want to make sure you get the perfect ring. You want to get her one she’s going to show off to all of her friends, (and even a couple of random people on the train on her way to work), but you have no clue where to begin to pick out the best engagement ring for her.
Well as usual, we got ya covered! Here’s some information to get you started, but don’t forget to keep in mind her personality and what kind of ring you think she would like. Don’t just buy a ring because it’s big and pretty, she may not be the “show it off” type. And don’t buy something pink or blue or yellow (or any other color for that matter) because you like it when you know she’s a standard “clear” diamond type of gal.
Let’s start with what is commonly known in the world of diamond engagement rings as the “Four C’s of Diamonds”. They are: (1) cut, (2) color, (3) clarity, and (4) carat.
Cut refers to a finished stone’s proportion, polish, and symmetry. There are many different diamond cuts, but some of the most popular ones are square, pear, round, princess, heart and marquis. When you are examining the cut of a diamond, look for brilliance (the way it reflects light), fire (the way it flashes colors), and scintillation (the way it sparkles) before choosing your diamond. And be sure to examine stones in a variety of different lighting environments.
When it comes to the color of your diamond, there are only two categories, colorless and fancy. Colorless diamonds are graded on a universal scale from “D” (completely clear) to “Z” (traces of yellow, gray, and brown), with a letter grade for each shade. While diamonds that are graded with a “D” are like looking into a piece of glass, after “K” or “L”, colors start to turn very light yellow. Completely colorless stones are typically the rarest and most expensive on this scale, but fancy diamonds (yellow, pink, blue, and other naturally colored stones) are rarer, often putting them at a higher price point than colorless ones.
Most diamonds contain two types of naturally occurring imperfections: internal flaws (inclusions) and surface flaws (blemishes). With that said, each diamond is given a clarity grade from the GIA’s 11-step scale: Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS 1 and VVS 2), Very Slightly Included (VS 1 and VS 2), Slightly Included (SI 1 and SI 2), and Imperfect Included (I1, I2, and I3). Although it may seem like buying a diamond without any imperfections is the best choice, buying one with one or two flaws may be better for your pocket and for your security. Not only can flaws help you identify your diamond, but they can also make it more unique and special.
When jewelers refer to the “carat” of your diamond, they are referring to its weight. Carat is not to be confused with “karat” which is how jewelers measure the purity of gold. Jewelers often make this simple analogy to money to explain how carats are used to measure a diamond’s weight:
“Just as a dollar contains 100 pennies, each carat comprises 100 points, so a 75-point diamond weighs 0.75 carats, a 50-pointer is 0.50 carats, a 25-pointer is 0.25 carats, and so on”.
So now that you’ve been educated in all things diamond, what are you waiting for? Go get her that ring, and make her your wife! Good luck with all of it, let us know how it goes!