When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, arguably the diamond stone is the centerpiece and is therefore the most important aspect.
However, quite often, the moment we step into a jewelry store for an engagement ring, it is also our very first time knowing anything about diamond. This often turns our experience into a confusing and intimidating one.
With that being said, here we will share some practical tips about choosing the best possible diamond stone for your engagement ring.
1. Cutting style VS cut quality VS Shape: all you need to know
One common misconception when choosing a diamond stone surrounds the term “cut”. Those unfamiliar with diamonds might associate “cut” with the shape of the diamond, but the truth is that there are significant differences between them.
“Cut” is comprised of two different aspects: cut quality and cutting style. Cutting style refers to the overall proportions of the diamond’s facets, which will ultimately determine how the diamond will reflect light (it’s brilliance). For example, the famous round diamond cut is arranged with 57 to 58 round facets, while the emerald cut utilizes square-shaped facets that are arranged along the sides and corners.
Cut quality, as the name suggests, refers to arrangement of polished and symmetrical facets. The same cutting style can vary in symmetry, thickness, and size. The better the cut quality, the better the brilliance.
Diamond shapes, on the other hand, is about the diamond’s visible shape when viewed face up. For example, the round diamond shape will look round from above. There are various shapes available from traditional ones like square, rectangle, oval and heart, and more modern ones like pear or baguette.
Understanding the difference between cut and shape will help tremendously when shopping for your engagement ring on Linara Custom Jewellery website, so you don’t get lost in discussions with your jeweller.
2. The 4Cs of diamond
Above, we have discussed the concept of diamond cut and its importance to a diamond stone’s overall quality. Cut is just one aspect of the 4Cs of diamond, which is a global standard that determines the quality of the diamond stone. The other 3? Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight, and here we will discuss them:
- Color refers to how transparent—or colorless— a diamond stone is, graded with the letter D (totally colorless) to Z (yellowish light). Diamonds with less color are rarer and more expensive.
- Clarity refers to the absence of inclusions (internal defects) and blemishes (external flaws/damage).
- Carat weight is usually the one we are most familiar with, which refers to the diamond’s size. The bigger the diamond, the more expensive.
Unless you have an unlimited amount of money, budget is usually the biggest issue when shopping for an engagement ring. More often than not, this issue will boil down to determining the most important C for you. Some people are all about the size (carat), and there’s nothing wrong with that. Some others might pursue the best possible balance according to their budget.
Understanding the 4Cs will provide two main benefits: since 4Cs is a universal term, now you can speak with your jeweler with confidence. Second, it will help you understand your priority in choosing the best possible stone.
3. Get the most sparkle out of your diamond stone(s)
Arguably the most important thing about diamonds is its sparkle, and there are two main ways to achieve more sparkle:
The first is fairly simple, prioritize on a higher cut quality. GIA graded cut quality from poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent. Very good and excellent diamonds are your best bets here, although they can be expensive. Also, a round-cut diamond generally sparkles the brightest.
However, there’s another approach you can try, which is adding more (smaller) diamonds. This is usually a more affordable approach than purchasing a single, very high-quality stone.
There are various styles for multi-stone diamond ring settings, like channel set or pave set, and you can even mix-and-match the diamond with various colored gemstones. You can also use creative approaches like using a white metal (white gold or platinum) setting to make the side diamonds look bigger and blend with the main stone.
If you are opting for diamonds as your side stones, the general rule of thumb is to choose ones with similar grades (at least, close) with the center stone regarding color and clarity.
4. The right setting to complement the stone
There are two main functions of an engagement ring’s setting: hold and protect the stone from damage and so it won’t fall, and the second is to further emphasize the quality of the diamond stone.
Here are the most common settings, and their behavior:
- Prong: this is the most popular setting nowadays because it allows the best possible amount of light to pass the stone, enhancing its brilliance.
- Halo: another popular choice in recent years, where as the name suggests, the main stone is encircled with tiny stones. This setting gives the illusion of a larger, more sparkly center stone.
- Pave: here, multiple smaller stones are set close together, very close to the surface. Similar to halo setting, the pave setting enhances brilliance.
- Bezel: a thin metal is hammered around the center stone, so it provides the best protection. You can also combine bezel with other diamond settings for various needs.
Choosing the right setting for your ring can significantly help in highlighting the diamond stone, as you can save more money to get a better-perceived diamond quality.Don’t forget that protection is also an important function of ring setting and pay extra attention that the setting is well-made and solid.
The diamond stone is often the most important aspect of any engagement ring, and by following the tips above, you can have a better time in shopping for your best possible diamond stone.
It is wise to plan a budget and stick to it (don’t forget that many jewellers do offer installments and financing options). Also, remember that ultimately it’s all about HER preferences. Ask her friends and family members to help choose for you, it can be a major timesaver.