Shopping For Diamonds & The Four C’s

When picking out a diamond ring, there are a number of different factors to consider, and you may quickly become overwhelmed by the number of options facing you. Of course, if you want to keep things simple, you can go to a small jewelry shop and limit your options. But, if you want to be sure that you are aware of all of the different options out there, you may want to try shopping in other places. For example, these days a number of couples are purchasing engagement rings online, at sites like, where there are so many rings and customization options that you will feel as if you are completely inventing a ring all on your own!

No matter how many customization options there are, however, one thing that you cannot easily change is the quality of a given diamond. Of course, you can reject any diamond that you do not like, but in order to understand differences between stones, you need to learn how to judge an individual diamond. The best measuring factors to determine the value and quality of a diamond are known as the “four C’s,” and understanding what they mean can help you on your way to picking out a perfect stone for your perfect ring. Here are a few brief descriptions of these descriptive factors:

    • Cut – The cut of a diamond is a measure of how well the stone is cut to reflect light brilliantly. Contrary to popular belief, this actually has nothing to do with the shape of a diamond, which is another element that you can choose. Rather, the cut is a more detailed design factor with the ultimate goal of making the diamond shine brightly.


    • Color – While pink and yellow diamonds do exist and are sometimes desirable, the ideal color for a standard diamond is “white” (which actually means “clear”). Diamond color is described on a letter scale, with D being the most white, and anything in the D-F range considered of very high color quality.


    • Clarity – A diamond’s clarity is simply a measure of its perfection. When diamonds have scratches, either internally or on the surface, they can appear tarnished or even cloudy. The fewer of these imperfections a diamond has, the higher its clarity grade will be, and the more light it will allow through it. This is a very important factor in the simple quality of the appearance of your diamond.


    • Carat – The carat of a diamond is its weight. Of course, this means that higher carat diamonds are larger, and therefore more rare and expensive in most cases. However, it is important to remember that carat has no direct correspondence with quality. Carat is only worth considering if you care particularly about the size of a diamond.


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