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Picking the Perfect Ring – The 4 C’s

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You’ve finally found “the one”, now it’s time to pick out the ring. You’ve spent hours on Pinterest looking at the different shapes of rings and know the look that you want. However, it’s important to remember there is much more to a diamond than the shape. An easy trick to finding the perfect diamond is the 4 C’s: carat, color, clarity, and cut. Knowing these will help you pick out the perfect diamond.


Carat is talked about quite often when picking out rings. It is the weight of the diamond itself. Because it is based off weight rather than size, it is hard to get a visual comparison to different objects. In general, one carat diamond is an average size for most people, whereas a 3-5 carat diamond is often the size you see on celebrities. Even though more and more celebrities have these large iconic rocks, it’s important to remember that even a 2 carat diamond can look extremely large on your finger.


When diamonds are formed in the Earth, they often have different amounts of elements such as Nitrogen surrounding them. The different amounts of these elements can change the color of the diamond. Because of this, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created a scale for the colors ranging from D – Z. D rated diamonds are crystal clear, there is no discoloration found. The closer the scale gets to Z the more yellow or brown hues appear in the diamond. It is around the J range that the yellow hue is visible to the naked eye.


 Clarity is talking about the amount of blemishes that a diamond has. Diamonds can have internal blemishes due to the way it was formed, as well as external blemishes that are often caused by the cutting of the diamond. These are also rated by the GIA, as listed below. As the rating goes down the amount of blemishes found increases. However, the cut of the diamond may affect what is visible to the naked eye, so it may be better to go with a lower grade clarity, for a cheaper price since the difference is hard to see.  

FL: Flawless

IF: Internally Flawless

VVS1/VVS2: Very Very slightly included

VS1/VS2: Very Slightly included

SI1/SI2: Slightly Included

I1/I2/I3: Included


Cut is often confused with the shape of the diamond; however, it is quite different. The cut of the diamond is more about the depth and the width of the diamond. It can be shallow or deep, have a long table or short table (the width across the top of the diamond). The cut is evaluated from the brilliance, fire, and scintillation of the diamond. In simpler terms, the amount of shine, sparkle, and reflection that comes from the diamond.

Talking to your jeweler about the 4 C’s can help you get the best deal for your diamond. Remember to keep your budget in mind throughout this process.

What did you consider when picking an engagement ring?  Let us know –