Finding Gorgeous Jewelry Pieces

How To Pick The Perfect Diamond For Popping The Question

by Barry Graves

Shopping for an engagement ring is both exciting and intimidating, so here are some basic tips to help you propose easily and without too much stress.

There are 4 C's you need to know when looking for the perfect diamond for the wearer and your price range:

First is Carat.  

Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, which is how diamonds are measured: the higher the carat rating, the bigger the diamond.  

The carat weight of a diamond is the biggest factor in the price of the diamond, but the other C's factor into the price as well.  

When deciding on the carat of the diamond, don't just look at the biggest diamond that is within your budget. Instead, also determine how the taste and and lifestyle of the future wearer should affect the size.

Second is Clarity.  

Clarity refers to the amount of inclusions, or imperfections, there are in the diamond.  

These imperfections can come in many forms, including: pinpoints (white dots), carbon (black dots), feathers, bubbles, crystals, cracks, scratches and chips. 

This is the scale to determine the clarity of a diamond:

  • F: Flawless
  • IF: Internally Flawless
  • VVS1-VVS2: Very Very Slightly Included
  • VS1-VS2: Very Slightly Included
  • SI1-SI2: Slightly Included
  • I1-I3: Included

Flawless and internally flawless diamonds and rare, making them very pricey.

VVS and VS diamonds have inclusions that are very difficult and difficult (respectively) for a gemologist to see under magnification. They are much more affordable than flawless and internally flawless diamonds.  

SI diamonds have inclusions that are easily detectable using magnification, but invisible to the naked eye.

Included diamonds have imperfections are visible to the naked eye. The more inclusions, the cheaper the diamond.

Third is Color.

Diamonds come in every color in the rainbow, with some colors, like pink, going for very high prices.  

White diamonds are most commonly used in engagement rings, so here is the scale to measure the "colorlessness" (or whiteness) of a white diamond. It uses the alphabet beginning with the letter D.

  • D: Colorless
  • E-F: Colorless with minute traces of color
  • G-H-I: Nearly colorless
  • J: Faint tint of yellow
  • K-L-M: More noticeable tint of yellow

D colored diamonds are very rare, while E and F colored diamonds look completely colorless to the naked eye and even to the untrained eye with magnification and are much easier to find.

G, H and I colored diamonds are the most common diamonds in the engagement ring market and look colorless to the naked eye.  

Further down the alphabet, the diamonds have a yellowish tint, but sometimes that is desired for a more unique and antique look.

Fourth is Cut.

Cut refers to the shape of diamond.  

Diamonds are cut into many shapes, with some of the more popular ones being: round, princess, oval, pear, emerald and marquise.

The quality of the cut is important, because it affects how light travels into and reflects out of the diamond. If the diamond is cut too shallow, some of the light will "leak" out of the bottom, and if it is cut too deep, some of the light is lost through the sides.

You now have the basic information to start your adventure in finding the perfect engagement ring to pop the question. For more info, speak to an expert like those at Jackson Jewelers.