How to Decide on the 4
Cs in Minutes
========== Deciding on Shape ==========
Learn more about shape, cut, and make:
Popular diamond shapes include Round, Marquise, Princess, Radiant, Pear, Oval,
Emerald, and Heart.
There is only way to find out what she wants in this regard -- ask her. But if
you're sneaky, you can find out by having her best friend ask her discreetly and tell you.
========== Deciding on Make ==========
The make is the quality of the cut. It is crucial to the beauty of the stone, but
there are degrees, as with almost anything in life:
-- If you want perfection regardless of cost -- go for the Ideal Cut
-- If you want quality and beauty -- go for very good to excellent make
-- If you want a larger stone for your money -- go for good make
-- If you want fair to poor makes -- we don't recommend them for engagement rings
========== Deciding on Color ==========
Learn more about color:
Diamond colors range from colorless (most rare and precious) to many shades of
yellow (less rare). Slight tints of yellow make a diamond less expensive, but some people
prefer the personality it gives a stone.
-- If you want perfection regardless of cost -- go for D color
-- If you want the perfect colorless appearance but for less money -- go for E or F colors
(still colorless to the eye)
-- If you want great color for a little less money -- go for G or H color
-- If you want a larger stone for your money -- go for H, I, or J colors (officially
called near colorless and appear very white, especially in a setting)
-- If you like very faint yellow tints -- go for lower colors like K, L, or M (you can
tell the difference but mostly when next to another diamond)
========== Deciding on Clarity ==========
Learn more about clarity:
Every diamond has some internal or external "flaws," technically called
inclusions, but you should decide based on how much they are visible and how much that
means to you. Usually, flawless to the naked eye (usually SI-1 or better) is quite
sufficient for anyone concerned about beauty but not wanting to pay extra for rarity you
-- If you want perfection regardless of cost -- go for IF (Internally Flawless is
the best clarity except for museum stones at Flawless)
-- If you want to see nothing under a loupe but not pay for flawless -- go for VVS1 or
VVS2 clarity grades (still flawless to an untrained eye with a 10x loupe)
-- If you want to see very little with a loupe and nothing to the naked eye -- go for VS1,
VS2 clarity grades (certainly flawless to the naked eye, even to a diamond grader)
-- If you just want it flawless to the naked eye -- go for SI1 or SI2 clarity grades (we
find that many women really only want this degree of flawlessness)
-- If you don't mind something small to the naked eye, and want a larger stone that still
sparkles better than any other gem -- go for I1 clarity
-- If you want the lowest clarity grade (I2 to I3) to get the largest stone -- we don't
recommend them for jewelry because they are more fragile and lack brilliance and beauty
========== Deciding on Carat Weight ==========
Learn more about carat weight:
This is actually the last of the four Cs to consider, surprising as it may seem.
Although size will be the single largest factor in the price of the stone, it will be the
least important to the beauty. And beauty is what matters most to nearly everyone in the
Here are some points to help you decide overall price and size of stone:
-- Decide on quality factors first, using the guidelines above
Most people budget between 1 to 3 months' salary for a diamond engagement ring, depending
on what will make her happy while keeping your bank account open. Only you can determine
the right amount to spend.
-- The most popular sizes are 1/2-carat, 1-carat, and 2-carat diamonds.
-- A 1-carat diamond is worth much more than two 1/2 carat diamonds of the same quality.
So check prices on the size you want before you go hunting.
-- We recommend finding out what she expects, using her best friend again if possible.
-- All in all -- the best rule is to get the quality that will make her happy. Remember
that this will be one of the most important purchases you ever make, so budget enough that
you both feel very proud of your commitment to each other, but not so much that it breaks
your bank account.