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DIAMOND RING GUIDE


Ideas and advice on quintessential diamond engagement rings

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Diamond engagement rings make up over three quarters of the UK's total number of engagement rings. If you plan to add to that statistic, then there are some very important things you need to know about the hardest substance known to man. To find out more about the '4 C's'. (cut, clarity, colour, carat and shape) read on.


 

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Diamond Engagement Rings

 

 

The Cut

The quality of the cut of a diamond is crucial and this is the most important factor you should consider when purchasing a diamond - that said, this should not be confused with the shape of the stone which will be discussing later on in the article.

The angles and finish of a diamond determine its ability to handle light, with an expertly cut diamond sparkling more than other alternative gemstones. There is a whole raft of technical information that we could go into surrounding facets, crown height, table width and more, but to be honest it is best left to the experts. It's not necessary that you know all of this detail, but if you are keen to find out, your local jeweller should be more than willing to help out.

With less than 1% of diamonds having the ‘ideal cut’, the best advice we could give you is to inspect the stone yourself (even if it is in a setting). Look at it head-on to see how it sparkles, whether it is symmetrical and whether it appears dark at the centre (this would indicate a poorer stone). Don’t be afraid to ask to see a range of diamonds to help you distinguish the differences. In short, your best guide is your own judgement - it is imperative that you view a number of stones before making the final decision. As soon as you have checked out a number of diamond engagement rings, it will become obvious to the naked eye which ones appeal, and which ones don't.



 

The Clarity
The clarity of a diamond is rated based on how clean and free from blemishes and natural inclusions it is. The majority of diamond engagement rings possess slight inclusions on the diamond, hence the big price differences. The table below has been developed to help buyers distinguish between those at the top, and those at the bottom end of the clarity scale:

 

 

GRADE

TERM

DESCRIPTION

F1

Flawless

Free from inclusions

IF

Internally flawless

May have slight blemishes when viewed under magnification

VVS1, VVS2

Very, very slight inclusions

Minute inclusions or blemishes when viewed under magnification

VS1, VS2

Very slight inclusions

Tiny inclusions or blemishes when viewed under magnification

SI1

Slight inclusions

Small inclusions or blemishes when viewed under magnification

SI2

Slight inclusions

May have imperfections visible to the naked eye

I1, I2, I3

Imperfect

Inclusions and blemishes visible to the naked eye that make the diamond look cloudy and lifeless

 

 

As with all things diamond, the nearer you are to perfection, the nearer you are to needing a bank loan to pay for it!


The Colour
Light is reflected and refracted better when there is no colour, so in this case the less colour there is in the stone, the better (and more expensive) it is. Again, a scale has been developed to help you assess the stones in diamond engagement rings:

 

 

GRADE

COLOUR

D,E,F

Colourless (white)

G,H,I,J

Nearly colourless

K,L,M 

Faintly yellow

N,O,P,Q,R

Very light yellow

S,T,U,V,W,X,Y

Light yellow

Z+

Coloured

 

 

 

 

Carats
Often the when we refer to the carat of a diamond, people mistakenly believe that we are referring to the size. However, this is not the case.

A diamond's carat refers to the weight of the stone, not the size. It probably won't mean anything to you right now, but to make you aware in case your jeweller refer to it, one carat is the equivalent of 100 points - therefore, a 50 point diamond weighs ½ carat. There isn't really anything else to say on the matter of carat's and we don't have a chart for you this time I'm afraid!

We will leave you with one simple piece of information on carat's, and that is the weightier the stone in diamond engagement rings, the heftier the bill!



The Shape
Outside of the 4 C’s there really is only one other key decision you will need to make when choosing diamond engagement rings, and that is the shape.

The shape of the stone defines the ring more than any other characteristic, so it is imperative that you pay utmost attention to it. With so many options available, think carefully before making the final decision.


It is fair to say that whilst the 4 C's are essential things to consider, unless your partners friends and family take a really close look at the ring, then the actual shape of the stone is probably all they will be aware of.


The seven most popular shapes for diamonds are shown in the following table:


 

SHAPE

NAME

Round Brilliant

Round Brilliant

Princess Cut

Princess Cut

Heart

Heart

Oval

Pear

Pear

Marquise

Marquise

Emerald

Emerald



 

The table shows the most popular shapes for the stone in diamond engagement rings, however there are others about and you can also get clusters of different smaller diamonds set together to create the illusion of a heart of flower shaped stone.

And that’s it, pretty simple we’d say! But seriously, if you are planning to invest in a diamond ring, take your time, shop around and set a budget – oh, and good luck.


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Recommended Reading

For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other engagement articles on our site packed full of expert information and helpful advice, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with jewellers, bespoke ring makers and more.

 
For friendly tips and helpful advice, take a look at our engagement forum and engagement Q&A's or check out the rings for sale and the 'links to pages & websites you may like' below.
 

 


Wedding Website

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