When you are at the jewelry store picking the perfect engagement ring, there are four things to keep in mind to stay under your budget and still get the ring of her dreams. As a jeweler with 20 years of experience, I have become somewhat of a diamond expert. Keep in mind the carat weight, color, clarity, and cut when purchasing a diamond engagement ring.
The first thing to remember is the carat weight of the diamond. Carat weight is a unit of measure equal to about a small paper clip, or.2 grams. The value of two diamonds of equal weight can vary widely based upon the other 3 points, color, clarity, and cut.
Color of the diamond is the next thing to keep in mind when buying an engagement ring. Diamonds are valued by how close they are to colorlessness. The amount of impurities in the diamond affect how yellow or brow it appears. The rating scale goes from D, colorless, and increases in color presence to the letter Z.
Clarity of the diamond is the 3rd point to remember when buying an engagement ring. Clarity refers to the amount of inclusions or blemishes the diamond has. Think of them as birthmarks on the stone. The less birthmarks there are, the more rare, and therefore more expensive. Ratings go from FL, flawless, to I3 with plenty of birthmarks visible to the naked eye.
Cut is the final facet used in determining a diamonds value. The cut will determine the amount of light reflected by the diamond. If the cut is too shallow or too deep, the light will be directed away from the viewer and the diamond will appear dull. Bottom line, the cut determines the amount the diamond sparkles. Cut is graded from Excellent to poor.