Four Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Engagement Rings

Things to Consider When Selecting Your Engagement Rings

When choosing your engagement rings there are four main aspects to consider alongside your emotional response. These four main points relate to the physical quality of the diamond and are commonly referred to as the four C’s; cut, colour, carat weight and clarity. These four aspects combine to ensure each diamond is truly unique; the combination of the four C’s will never be the same in any two diamonds. Cut, colour, carat weight and clarity were all identified as being important measures of diamonds as far back as the 1930s when the four C’s grading system was introduced by the Gemmological Institute of America. Due to the truly unique nature of diamonds it became necessary to introduce an internationally recognised grading system that would provide a standard of measure against which all diamonds would be graded. It is the combination of these four factors that determine the value, rarity and beauty of each individual diamond.

The first C we will investigate is CUT.

The cut of the diamond relates to the shape of the stone and is the only aspect that is not naturally created. A skilled craftsman will cut the stone to the most suitable shape; whether that is the traditional round brilliant cut or the more elaborate heart shape, the craftsman must assess the stone to determine which would be the best cut for that particular diamond. By considering any inclusions and the placement of the many facets, the cutter can ensure maximum sparkle and shine from each and every stone.

Certificated diamonds are assessed on the basis of the ideal cut which ensures rays of light enter the stone and are directed to the centre where they are reflected back up and out of the top of the stone; this ensures maximum fire and brilliance of the diamond.

The classical round brilliant cut is a very popular choice for engagement rings as the 57 facets created by the cutter reflect the light beautifully and push it back out the flat top of the diamond. Emerald cut and princess cut stones make for beautiful, sparkling diamond rings and the square look of the diamonds offers a contemporary appeal to the rings. There are many other beautiful shapes such as pear and marquise and it up to you which shape you would prefer.

We must remember that each of the four C’s should be considered in conjunction with each other; so now we will move on to COLOUR.

When picturing diamonds I think we all see the same images containing bright white sparkling stones but in reality diamonds can range in colour from the bright white of our imagination through to a dark yellow.

The range of colours is split into bands to ensure it is easy to grade each individual diamond. The colour bands range from D to Z. D, E and F are considered the most desirable stones and they are the stones of our imaginations, the bright white colourless stones that dominate advertising and celebrity engagements. The further down the scale you go, the more yellow is introduced to the diamonds and the more noticeable it becomes. Around the K grade you can begin to see a slight yellow colour and when you reach Z, the stone is a yellowy brown.

Colour should always be considered hand in hand with the CLARITY of the stone.

Clarity is concerned with the small marks that can be seen in diamonds; these are referred to as inclusions and can appear as tiny white feathers or dark crystals. Inclusions are unique to each stone and a skilled cutter can cut a diamond to minimise the visibility of the inclusions, however nearly every diamond will have an inclusion or two and rather than being deemed as a negative point, they only serve to ensure that each diamond is totally unique. Some refer to inclusions as ‘Natures fingerprints’ which I think is a nice way of looking at it.

As with the colour, clarity is graded on a scale that denotes the number and visibility of the inclusions and this in turn affects the value and desirability of each diamond. A diamond with fewer inclusions that are hard to see will be more desirable and expensive that one with visible inclusions. Divided into grades from I which means included to FL which means flawless, it is easy to gauge how valuable a diamond would be. The FL stones are the rarest and most desirable due to the natural brilliance and fire, and this affects the value of the stone.

The CARAT WEIGHT of a diamond refers to the diamonds weight and not the physical size. For example two diamonds of the same carat weight can appear different in size depending on how each one has been cut. The larger the diamond the rarer it is however we must consider that just because the stone is large, doesn’t mean it is of excellent quality. Carat weight should always be considered along with the other C’s.

Prices of diamonds range on a non-linear scale, certain diamond weights such as 1/2ct or 1ct are more desirable and so the prices rise accordingly. Due to their rarity, large diamonds are always more expensive than smaller diamonds of the same quality.

So to conclude we have discussed the importance of considering your feelings when you are selecting the diamond engagement ring, this is arguably the most important factor as it is to signify the strength of your feelings for a whole life time. It is also worth considering the 4 C’s and these should be considered alongside each other to ensure that you are selecting the best diamond possible for your budget.

Hopefully this guide will provide you with information that will enable you to make an informed, confident and emotional decision about your perfect engagement ring.

When choosing your engagement ring there are four main aspects to consider alongside your emotional response. These four main points relate to the physical quality of the diamond and are commonly referred to as the four C’s; cut, colour, carat weight and clarity. These four aspects combine to ensure each diamond is truly unique; the combination of the four C’s will never be the same in any two diamonds. More engagement rings info on the Chapelle website, http://www.chapelle.co.uk. and browse the range of stunning engagement rings all sold with at least 30% off the RRP by following the link, http://www.chapelle.co.uk/rings/engagement-rings.html/

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