What Should I Consider When Buying a Diamond Ring?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2018
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Most diamond experts acknowledge that there are four main factors to consider when buying a diamond ring. The 4 C's comprise cut, color, clarity and carat. Each of these will be different in every diamond ring, and you may have to sacrifice one in order to achieve the other. If the overall size of the diamond ring is more important to you, then carat would be a bigger consideration than that of clarity. Here is a guide to the 4 C's when choosing your diamond ring.

The cut of the diamond will determine its brilliance and sparkle. The depth and width of the cut effects how light travels within the diamond. If the cut is too deep or too shallow, light will escape, causing a loss of brilliance. Polish and symmetry are also two important factors to be aware of. Gemologists consider the cut to be the most important factor, because even if the stone has perfect color and clarity, a poor cut will affect its brilliance.

Diamonds can act as prisms, dividing light into a spectrum of colors. Diamonds with very little color are very highly valued. The less color, the more colorful the prism will become. A little color can diminish the diamond's value.


Color is usually given a rating. Absolutely colorless diamonds are at the top of the scale. These are extremely rare and are the highest color grade.

When looking at clarity, many diamonds have what are known as inclusions. These are scratches, tiny characteristics or trace minerals that can detract from the diamond's beauty. Clear diamonds are the most sought after and also the most expensive. Ratings for clarity will usually include flawless; very, very slightly included, with flaws which are very difficult to see and so on. Included diamonds, in which the flaws may be noticeable to the unaided human eye, are the lowest grade.

The final step in your diamond ring checklist is the carat. This is the size of the diamond. When diamonds are mined, small diamonds are found much more frequently than large ones. This makes large diamonds more valuable. A 2-carat diamond is always more valuable than two 1-carats of the same quality.

When choosing a diamond ring, always consider the personal taste and style of the person it is intended for. Do they usually wear a lot of jewelry? Would they prefer a gold or silver setting? Finger size is also important. If a person has small fingers, then the diamond itself will appear larger.

Perhaps the biggest factor to consider when buying a diamond ring is your budget. When buying a diamond ring for an engagement or wedding, popular thought is that it should cost at least one months' salary. If in doubt, maybe it's time to ask for a wage raise.


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Post 1

I saw this diamond ring at an upscale jewelry store at a Galleria mall. It was absolutely exquisite. If I remember correctly, it was about a carat, round and caught every bit of light in that store. My mouth dropped open when I saw it.

Whenever I look at diamond rings, I compare them to that one in my mind. I've never seen a stone with such fire. It was simply gorgeous.

At that time, a decent quality one carat diamond ring went for about $3,000. This diamond was $35,000. Kind of tells you what sort of stone it was.

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