When looking to buy a wedding or engagement ring, it is important that you know how to choose the perfect diamond. While some people prefer gemstone or rough diamonds, classic diamonds are still the most popular stone on the market and so it is essential that you understand everything you can about them. When searching for the perfect diamond*, there are four categories (or characteristics) to consider.
The 4 C's:
Cut - Describes the finish, proportion and polish of the diamond. These factors determine the fire and brilliance of a diamond.
An Ideal Cut diamond is a round (also known as brilliant) or princess cut diamond that is cut to ideal proportions and angles and has excellent polish and symmetry ratings.
A True Hearts diamond is a round or princess cut diamond that exhibits a near flawless Hearts and Arrows pattern of perfect optical symmetry, maximizing the diamond’s fire, brilliance and light dispersion.
Clarity - Describes the clearness or purity of a diamond. A grade is assigned to each diamond, with "F" representing a flawless diamond to "I" describing a diamond that has inclusions. Most diamonds can be found at various grades between “F” and “I.” Diamond buyers will sometimes choose a gem with some inclusions, as long as they are not visible to the naked eye.
Color - From white to yellow, diamonds receive a grade for the amount of color they contain. Diamond buyers prefer colorless to near colorless diamonds, with diamonds graded J, K, and L offering the best value for a customer’s money.
Carat - Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. One carat is equivalent to 0.20 grams. The larger the carat, the pricier the diamond, although the other "C's" can influence the final price significantly.
Though not mentioned as one of the four C's, a diamond's shape plays an integral part in the selection of any diamond engagement ring. James Allen offers diamonds in a variety of shapes, including: round, princess, emerald, square (asscher), oval, radiant, pear, heart, marquise and cushion shaped.
Lastly it is critical that you have a comprehensive understanding of diamond anatomy and proportion— brilliance, dispersion and scintillation.
Understanding how to choose the perfect diamond, will affect how you choose your engagement ring. Before choosing your perfect engagement ring, make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of diamonds- from their structure to the 4C's.
*To clarify, when we say perfect we are referring to the perfect diamond for you. This of course means that the diamond has the characteristics you desire and is within your budget. For example, some customers prefer larger diamonds with lower grades, while others prefer smaller diamonds with higher grades. Perfect diamonds— or diamonds without any flaws— are exceedingly rare and very expensive.