The Southern Bride’s Guide to Everything Wedding
Sep 18, 2012
What You Should Know Before Buying a Diamond
Okay guys... you're ready to pop the question to your girlfriend and are heading out to buy a ring. You get to the jewelry store and look around. Everything looks the same! Yet they all look so different... how do you know which diamond to buy? What is the difference between all of them?
Ring shopping can be very overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for. I'm here to make your life a little easier... before purchasing an engagement ring, you need to know the 4 Cs of diamonds: carat, color, clarity, and cut.
This is the unit of measurement used to weigh diamonds, like pounds or ounces. Diamonds can range anywhere from 0.20 carats to 6 carats, or more depending on how much money you want to spend. While size does matter (different sizes look better with certain ring designs), this is in no way a measurement of your love. Just choose the size that you think will look best on her finger.
Yes, diamonds have color. This is a result of the formation process of the diamond. Truly colorless diamonds are very rare and therefore very expensive. The clearer the diamond, the more light it reflects and therefore the more it "sparkles." The colors range from light yellow and very light yellow to faint yellow, near colorless, and colorless.
Clarity refers to the presence or absence of blemishes in the diamond. Most diamonds will have these tiny flaws... after all, natural diamonds are not made in a perfect, laboratory environment to avoid the creation of blemishes. Flaws are distinguished as follows: F - flawless. IF - internally flawless with some surface flaws. VVS1 and VVS2 - very very slight internal flaws. VS1 and VS2 - very slight internal flaws. SI1 and SI2 - slight internal flaws. I1, I2, and I3 - internal flaws visual to the naked eye.
The quality of the cut makes a big difference in how the diamond reflects light and how it looks on the ring. This is perhaps the most important of the 4 C's and is probably something your girlfriend will want to have her input on (she will probably also want to give her opinion on the shape of the diamond, such as round, princess, pear, emerald, etc.). The cuts of diamonds include: Ideal and Premium (reflects the most light and maximizes brilliance), Very Good (reflects almost all of the light that enters them), Good (an excellent choice for the guy on a budget who doesn't want to sacrifice quality), and Fair/Poor (reflects only a small proportion of light).
So there you go, you are now an expert on diamonds! Good luck with your ring shopping endeavors.