Learning how to choose a diamond for your engagement ring doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. Diamonds are graded under a high-powered microscope, gemologists grade each diamond’s quality based on the 4 C’s of a diamond: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight.
Here, we’ll go over each aspect of the 4 C’s and how to use them to your advantage when shopping for a loose diamond. Let’s get started!
How to Choose the Perfect Diamond for Yourself or Your Partner
Searching “how to choose a diamond” on the web for can yield varying results, but the most important thing to know is the shape of diamond your partner will love. Have they posted anything on Pinterest or Facebook with a particular shape? The classic shapes are round or princess cut (square).
The 4 C’s of Diamond Grading
Exquisitely-cut diamonds can elevate an otherwise-ordinary engagement ring with their brilliant sparkle. When figuring out how to choose a diamond, a trained jeweler, can help you understand every nuance of a diamond’s 4 C’s. Every aspect of the 4 C’s determines the diamond’s grade and, therefore, price.
A diamond’s cut is, arguably, the most important factor to consider when choosing a diamond for your engagement ring. The quality of a diamond’s cut determines its ability to reflect and refract light which creates that signature fire and brilliance. A poorly cut diamond will appear lifeless and dull, but a perfectly cut diamond can sparkle ceaselessly.
If a diamond’s cut is too shallow or too deep, light can leak out of the bottom or side, respectively. A perfectly proportioned diamond reflects light out of the top, known as the table of the diamond. For a diamond you’ll love, compromise on anything but the cut.
Color is another important factor to consider when learning how to choose a diamond. Diamond color grades run from D, a colorless diamond, to Z, a diamond with hues of grey, yellow, or brown. Naturally fancy colored diamonds are rare and are graded on a different diamond color scale due to their unique hues.
D-F graded diamonds are the rarest and most pricey. People on a budget may opt for near colorless diamond grades from G-J that can look colorless to the naked eye. A yellow band paired with these near colorless diamonds can neutralize the color in the diamond. Finally, round or princess-cut diamonds can reflect more white light and veil any color on near colorless diamonds.
Most diamonds will have exterior and interior imperfections known as blemishes and inclusions, respectively. These small but microscopically-visible defects do not affect a diamond’s overall look, but almost always affects its price. According to the GIA clarity scale, diamonds are viewed under 10x magnification when being examined. Clarity grades run from Flawless to I3 diamonds with obvious inclusions.
Keep in mind, all natural diamonds will have some sort of imperfection due to their natural origins deep in the earth. Budget shoppers can choose VS and SI diamonds for diamonds with inclusions that are not visible without magnification. However, large and translucent facets, like the ones in emerald shapes, can make these “birthmarks” more visible.
The carat of a diamond does not refer to its size, but rather its weight. Considering carat weight is important, but you should also keep in mind a diamond’s cut. A lower carat diamond with an exquisite cut may look just as good or even better than a high carat diamond with a poor cut. To get the most value out of your purchase, choose between hitting a certain weight (usually every ¼ carat) and getting a better cut.
Final Tips for Choosing the Right Diamond
Considering the 4 C’s of diamonds can help you make the right choice when choosing a diamond for your engagement ring. But, the 4 C’s don’t tell you the whole story of a diamond, and that is why we always recommend seeing it in person and judging its beauty for yourself.
Finally, ensure that your jeweler ethically sources their diamonds from conflict-free providers.
Learning how to choose a diamond can be daunting, considering that it's a big investment for your future. As a trusted and customer-adored jeweler, Rogers Jewelry Co. brings you a wide selection of the best loose diamonds and luxury engagement rings. Choose from brand-name designers or start your custom design today.