The 4 C's of Diamonds Posted on 8 Mar 00:11

     When shopping for the perfect engagement ring remember bigger is not always better.  The size of the diamond, while important, is only one of the factors to consider when finding the perfect ring.  

     When I was looking for a ring for my fiancé I wanted a ring that she would be proud to wear (i.e all her friends would be jealous of).  However, I had to take in consideration that she doesn't like big guady rings.  I still wanted something with a wow factor so I decided to focus on the colour, clarity, and cut while keeping the ring around 1 carat.  Fortunately for me I was able to find the perfect ring and by the way she said yes.  In order for you to pick the perfect ring there are some terms you should familiarize yourself with before shopping.  

First, Clarity, this defines the purity of the diamond, the imperfections or inclusions in it. Clarity is graded as F = flawless (no inclusions at all, perfect), IF = internally flawless (minor blemishes), VVS1 – VVS2 = very very slightly included (very very small inclusions), VS1 – VS2 very slightly included, S1 – S2 slightly included = the human eye cannot see the imperfections, [I1 – I3 included] = the human eye can see the imperfections.  

Now what do I mean by flaws, well you will know them when you see them.  A lot of times they look like a little piece of black pepper or even a dot that looks like a pen mark or spec.  Grab a 10x eye loop lense and look carefully for these peppers.  They may not be visible at first and sometimes the flaw is set just under the prongs to mask the imperfection.  The less flaws the better the clarity.  

Second, the Colour,  D (colourless) to Z (light yellow). The rarest and most expensive is the colour grade D, which is a white brilliant diamond. It allows a high refraction of light. D – F grade is colourless, G – J is near colourless, K – N is slightly tinted, O – Q is very light yellow, R – T is light yellow, U – W is yellow and X – Z is light fancy.

Third, Carat, this is the actual weight of the stone measured in carats. There are five carats in a gram. 1 point is 1/100 of a carat.  Therefore, a 50 point diamond is a half carat.  Two diamonds could be of the same carat but different cuts.
Lastly, the Cut, this is often confused with shape; the most important factor in choosing diamonds. The shape of the diamond is the form or outline it exhibits. Diamond shapes you are likely to come across are oval, emerald, round, trillion, marquise, heart, princess and radiant. However, the cut of your diamond is the faceting. It is the perfection of the proportions. A well cut diamond exhibits more brilliance while a poorly cut diamond lacks brilliance and beauty. The cut of a diamond is graded Ideal, Premium, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. However, if you are on a budget, go for Good cut.

Now, you are armed with the knowledge you need to shop for the perfect ring.  Here is an important note while shopping, do not be afraid to take advantage of a bargain.  I may be biased but pawn shops and small mom and pop shops will have the best deals hands down.  When you shop at the mall or big name store you are not just paying for the ring but their advertising, the salemens commission, the ridiculous amount they spend to lease the corner spot in the mall, security, etc etc.  

Even consider buying a used ring.  One thing you have to understand about gold, it is about 13.5 billions years old and a diamond takes over 1 million years to form.  These precious metals and rare gemstones were here long before us and will be around long after you and I are gone.  Do yourself a favor and let the guy before you pay the overhead on the ring.  That way you have some money left for the perfect honeymoon.

Good luck and happy hunting.  If you have any questions or need some tips or advice please feel free to contact me at  I'll  be more than happy to help.