After years of first dates, awkward goodbye’s, and misplaced butterflies, you have found the ONE! Now that your other half has arrived, its time to wrap your ring finger in love. The ultimate physical representation of your commitment to each other manifests itself in what once just a stone, but when placed on your hand becomes an undying symbol of two people joined together. When you are ready to make a statement like this, there are four very important characteristics of your diamond to consider. Cut, Carat, Clarity, & Color comprise the utmost important four C’s of diamond choice.
We dedicate this article to our dear Alli & Spencer. Congrats on your special day and we love you!
He Made The Cut.
When choosing the perfect engagement ring, the quality cut of the diamond is essential. Symmetry is key, especially in larger diamonds- the more symmetrical the stone, the more value attached to it. When thinking about symmetry and the cut of your soon to be everyday accessory, we need to revisit High school Math… The depth percentage of the diamond is essential, as is understanding the actual diameter. Depth percentage is the measurement from the top of the diamond to the bottom in relation to its diameter. Yes, this sounds overwhelmingly detailed, but you have to remember that not only is this ring a token of the love you share with your betrothed, but it is also a major investment – thus specifics are essential!
When it comes to diamonds, the choices are endless. More and more people are taking risks with their engagement rings and embracing personal expression. No longer is the oval or square your only option- heart shaped stones have become quite popular, as have octagons, stars and flowers. The numerous possibilities are often a nice departure from a more traditional ring. Although non-traditional diamonds are currently on trend- don’t go overboard. Be sure that the ring you and your soon to be hubby choose is timeless. After all, you hope to be wearing it for the next 50 years!
The rings highlighted above showcase some of the most unique shapes, true Diamond Standouts. Rings by Artcarved are a classically cut round style with a special twist. This style is a nice compromise between modern trends and classic simplicity. The ring shape suggests the look of a blooming flower – a symbol of the future you will share with your loved one. The heart shaped ring by Tiffany & Co. is the ultimate way to declare the love the two of you share. The heart, a universal representation of love, will remind you of your sentiment for your fiancé daily! Pieces by OGI are inspiring, and demands gasps of oohs and aaahhs. And certainly you cannot go wrong the Eternal collection from Natalie K – a true favorite.
STYLE TIP: The cut of a diamond is by far the most important characteristic when searching for you engagement ring – it represents who you are as an individual. Remember to express yourself when choosing an engagement ring. Choose a shape that you will love forever – don’t allow outside trends or pressures to influence you. Look for one that seamlessly complements your wardrobe and your unique style and personality.
The Color of Love.
Color is another very important characteristic to consider when selecting a diamond. Surprisingly, diamond color is all about what you cannot see. The less color a diamond has, the higher the value; so the closer the diamond is to colorless the more expensive it will be. Color manifests itself in a diamond as a pale yellow. People in the know (the Diamond know of course) use a scale to determine a diamond’s color level. The scale begins with the letter D. A D scale diamond is extremely rare, as this is the highest color grade. Diamonds that fall on the scale anywhere from N to Z have a more noticeable hue. The scale actually extends past “Z” and these diamonds are referred to as “Fancy” diamonds- which are bold colors such as pinks and blues. The closer your diamond is to the “D” on the scale, the more it is worth. As you move across the alphabet scale the value and price of the diamond will decrease. Again, this scale is something to be cognizant of when shopping for “bling,” it is helpful to have a frame of reference when dealing with a jewelry expert.
Bright colors have lately become a strong trend, though they have been popular amongst royals for centuries, re: Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring. A hued rock adds excitement to your ring, giving it a more obvious personality. Take into account that colored gems are often less expensive than diamonds, so you can afford a larger stone; a color also adds automatic originality to an otherwise common piece. It can be a great way to make a stylish statement.
The rings represented truly show more pizazz than just your traditional “natural” diamond; they are also much more rare. Harry Winston, a timeless jeweler who has transformed diamonds into art for many generations of brides, has revolutionized modern jewelry. We love this fancy vivid yellow diamond ring! The lucid yellow diamond offsets the simplistic ring band perfectly. The theory of a Timeless Design is to mirror vintage jewelry from the past and make it relevant and desirable for today’s woman. They want to prove that every girl can live happily ever after, along with her jewels. With a sapphire stone flanked by two half moon cut diamonds, this ring is truly special. Amgad designs are known for their beauty and rarity. Pretty in Pink, and most requested by brides, this engagement ring is radiant.
STYLE TIP: To take a different approach when choosing your engagement ring, stick to your celestial stone and chose your birthstone color. Choosing to wear your birthstone everyday brings a deeper, more meaningful connection to your ring. Your birthstone will always be in style, unique, and layered with sentimental value to you and your partner.
Clearly the One.
Of the Four C’s, Clarity is the easiest to understand, and generally has the least impact on a diamond’s appearance. Clarity simply refers to the tiny, natural imperfections that occur in all diamonds, save for the rarest stones. All diamonds have identifying characteristics, but most are invisible to the naked eye. The clarity of a diamond refers to how clear, or “clean” it appears. The more “clean” the diamond, the higher the price. The clarity scale is a measure of the severity of those imperfections, or “inclusions,” as they are known in the trade. Many of the imperfections are microscopic, and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any discernible way.
There are five categories in class that anyone interested in purchasing a diamond should be aware of when grading clarity. The scale begins with FL (Flawless); next down is IF (Internally Flawless), meaning there are no internal or external imperfections (a very rare occurrence). The second is VVS1-VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included), implying it is difficult to see any imperfections, and it is a diamond of excellent quality. VS1-VS2 (Very Slightly Included) means that the imperfections are not typically visible to the eye, and it is a less expensive diamond. Sl1-Sl2 (Slightly Included) is when imperfections can be visible with the unaided eye, which is still a good diamond value. l1-l3 (Included), infer that the flaws on the stones in this category will have some effect on its brilliance.
When looking for clarity in a diamond you are searching for a stone in its purest form. A large trend we have seen in engagement rings is eco-friendly diamonds. Diamonds are an inherent natural resource, so why not do your part to keep them as such, and purchase an eco-friendly engagement ring?
We have featured Brilliant Earth diamonds to prove you can “go green” in more ways than one. Brilliant Earth strives to provide the highest quality in jewelry, using stones originating from pure sources and that have been harvested using socially responsible practices. Brilliant Earth is committed to the four C’s. They track their gems to ensure that every single one is mined, cut, and finished in a conflict free manner. We love their Platinum Halo Diamond Ring, a timeless creation that is sure to steal the hearts of any woman, eco-conscious or otherwise.
This intertwined double banded ring from Brilliant Earth is a beautiful everyday reminder of the bond between you and your husband. The diamonds circling your finger lead to the pinnacle four cornered stone, that with its intricate yet subtle details is an ever-changing reflection of light and love.
STYLE TIP: If you’re looking for an engagement ring that’s both environmentally friendly and has a touch of natural beauty, you might want to take a glance at wooden wedding bands. These rings are unique, stylish and bring out the inner “green” in everyone. Check out ethicalweddings.com for some really interesting designs and eco-friendly wedding ideas!
Carat Me Away!
The final step in the quest of four C fulfillment is the measure of the weight of a diamond, otherwise known as its carat. Although often misinterpreted as the actual size of the stone, a diamond’s carat refers to its weight, though it is true that the cut of a diamond can make it appear larger or smaller despite its actual density. One carat is the equivalent of 200 milligrams. A singular carat can be divided into 100 “points”. A .75 carat diamond is the same as 75 points, or a 3/4 carat diamond. Since larger diamonds are the most rare, value rises exponentially with carat weight.
To choose the most appropriate carat, consider the size of your finger, setting size, and budget. Diamond prices jump drastically at the full- and half-carat weights. Diamonds just below these weights cost significantly less, and, because carat weight is distributed across the entirety of the diamond, small size differences are almost impossible to detect. Keep in mind that the smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1.5-carat diamond solitaire looks much larger on a size 4 finger as opposed to a size 8.
Jacob the Jeweler has become the go-to-guy for jewels throughout the entertainment and sports world, with the biggest names in the business becoming, and remaining, faithful clients. Reminding us of jewels past, we love this cushion cut two carat diamond engagement ring from Jacob, for its simple but striking contemporary design. As mentioned before, Harry Winston can do no wrong. The company’s greatest legacy is their desire to inspire passion and knowledge of precious gems. The Micropave Ring is rare, generously encrusted throughout its entire platform with the highest quality stones. Tiffany & Co showcases the finest diamonds in original and always stunning settings. Each ring is crafted to perfectly suit the stone it holds, enhancing a its natural brilliance. Dating back to Louis XIV, the marquise shape’s elongated profile makes a suggestive statement on the hand as an understated classic with a vintage touch. We love OGI for the simplicity in shape and design.
STYLE TIP: Try to find a diamond that weighs 9/10th’s of a carat, rather than a full 1-carat, or 1.90 carats rather than a full 2-carats, and so on. When set, the only noticeable difference will be in your bank account.
The day you’ve dreamt of has arrived, and you have met your match! This does not mean you have to compromise your own inherent style.
You should love your engagement ring; allow it to showcase your personality, ideals, and taste. As your relationship with your partner grows and changes, your ring is a constant symbol of the commencement of your life together. That being said, it is only a piece of jewelry, and although it is and will remain close to your heart, all that matters in your happiness. A ring is just the icing on the cake!
We hope we provided you and your man a framework in which to choose a ring of quality, substance, and timeless beauty.
Coming Up: Pencil Skirts & Organic Trends.