Diamond rings for dummies

Diamond rings and weddings go together like celebs and yacht holidays. Whether you are in the daydreaming phase where Beyoncé’s 18-carat ring just isn’t good enough, or are actually getting ready to buy (or receive) a ring, it is high time to learn some diamond basics and get familiar with ‘the 4 C’s’ of the ultimate accessory.

Beyoncé’s engagement ring

 

Cut
Contrary to my initial belief, the cut is not the shape of the stone (like a princess cut or pear shape), but rather the angles and finish of the diamond. This determines its reflective qualities. A well-cut stone allows the light to enter and bounce back. It is the cut that gives a diamond its brilliance and brightness.

 

Clarity
This one is pretty simple. The fewer the flaws interfering with the light passing through the stone, the higher the clarity grade and the more beautiful the diamond. There are two types of flaws to look out for: blemishes (found on the surface of the diamond) and inclusions (found within the diamond). The stone’s clarity is classified according to an 11 grade scale, ranging from ‘Flawless’ (free of any blemishes and inclusions) to ‘Included 3’ (large, heavy flaws visible to the naked eye).

 

Colour
When it comes to diamond colour, less is more. Why? Again it has to do with light. A totally colourless diamond allows more light to pass through it, resulting in that desirable rainbow coloured sparkle.

 

Carat
Not to be confused with karat (which describes the purity of gold), a carat is the unit used to weigh diamonds, one carat being equal to 0.2 grams. Larger diamonds are rarer than smaller ones which makes price increase with size, but bigger is not always better or more expensive. Two diamonds can be of equal carat-weight, but their value can differ greatly due to their cut, colour, and clarity.

0.65 carat diamond ring

As you might have realized, buying a diamond confronts you with an almost dizzying array of choices. To narrow them down, decide on your budget and, most importantly, the basic style of the ring, before starting to look.

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