Engagement Rings: Diamond Quality

Proposing to the love of your life is hard work. It is motivating, inspiring and energizing, but still hard. There’s the actual proposal to plan, the surprise to keep, and all the minute details to prepare for. And of course, there’s the ring. When it comes time to pick an engagement ring for your future spouse, diamonds may suddenly seem overwhelming and endless. Instead of panicking, read on and before you know it you’ll be an engagement ring pro.

1)      Cut

When it comes to diamond quality, there are four simple things to remember. Commonly referred to as the “Four C’s,” cut, color, clarity, and carat weight are the bread and butter of the engagement ring language. Cut refers to the angles and proportions of a stone, and is widely recognized as the most important element when choosing a diamond. Determined by a cutter, or expert who cuts diamonds, a well-cut diamond will reflect light and project that light through the top of the stone without losing any of it. Ultimately, the cut of a diamond determines the sparkle of a stone. 

2)      Color

Diamonds come in a variety of colors. Ranked on a scale from D to Z, they range from truly colorless to barely yellow. The highest grades are D, E and F and are authentically colorless. However, even slightly lower grade diamonds will appear colorless to the untrained eye. G to J are nearly colorless and K to M are a slight yellow. N to Z are barely-there yellow.

3)      Clarity

The clearer a diamond is, the fewer imperfections it has. Inclusions and clarity are often discussed together. “Inclusions” refers to other minerals in the diamond or small imperfections. Typically, fewer inclusions are best. Extraordinarily slight imperfections are classified as VVS1 and VVS2. These inclusions are almost impossible to see, even when under ten-fold magnification. VS1 and VS2 are the next grade down and are also nearly impossible to see under magnification. Next are SI1 and SI2, or slight inclusions.

4)      Carat Weight

Carat refers to the weight of a diamond and each carat is one fifth of a gram. Although carat weight is important because it refers to size, a talented jeweler can make a smaller diamond appear large with proper mounting and shaping.