Cut, colour, clarity and carats
Of course, a proposal isn’t all about the ring. But, it certainly helps if your groom-to-be manages to select the perfect diamond before popping the question.
So, here’s the essential guide for picking those sparklers, folks. Print it off and leave it accidentally under his coffee mug, or in the bathroom for a bit of light reading when he has the time. Whatever you do, just make sure he sees it and understands the importance of the four C’s:
The cut of any gem stone affects the way that light is reflected through and within the stone. The more facets a stone has, the more light is reflected in different directions giving the characteristic ‘sparkle’. Different stones reflect more or less light. Diamond has a high ‘refractive index’ and therefore reflects a lot of light which accounts for its popularity. The traditional ’round cut’ is generally felt to provide the most reflection and therefore the most sparkle although ovals, marquise (pointed end oval) and pear shapes are also popular. If you are buying an antique piece you may find that the stones have an older style of cut. Before the optimum facet angle was standardised stones would often be cut shallower. These older style ‘rose cut’ diamonds are often less sparkly as a result.
The colour of the diamond is measured on a scale from D to Z. D is colourless, which allows more light to pass through and gives the diamond more sparkle. As the gradings progress through the alphabet to Z, the diamonds take on a yellowish/brownish tone. Anything up to colour H is considered white, with a hint of yellow appearing in diamonds graded from I onwards. Diamonds can also come in pinks or even blues and greens but these are much rarer.
Carat is often confused with size but actually refers to the weight. One carat is the equivalent of 200 milligrams. You’ll find interesting nuances in the way diamonds are priced, e.g. the price of 0.48ct and 0.49ct stone will be very similar, but 0.50ct will cost a lot more.
Clarity is the visual appearance of a diamond, taking into account any natural defects or blemishes within the structure of the stone called inclusions. These inclusions can make the stone appear cloudy or show as a distinct fracture or mark when magnified. The GIA diamond grading scale is divided into six categories, starting with FL (Flawless) and moving through to Internally Flawless (IF), Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS), Very Slightly Included (VS) Slightly Included (SI), and Included (I). The most popular gradings are VS and SI.
To find out more about your perfect wedding ring, visit http://www.weddingrings-direct.com