The 4 C’s of Diamond Shopping
The centerpiece of your ring will be your diamond, and to buy the right one, you’ll need to know a lot more than just how big it is.
When jewelers evaluate diamonds, they typically rate them against 4 qualities: Cut, Carats, Color, and Clarity. We’ll talk about each quality below, and explain how they will impact your hunt for a great diamond.
You are trying to buy a diamond your partner will want to wear for the rest of their lives. Do it right!
- Here is my take on the The 4Cs in a nutshell, but click through the links to learn more about why I make these recommendations.
- Cut – For an engagement ring, buy a round cut or princess cut diamond.
- Color – Aim for a diamond with a color grade of D-F. If needed, sacrifice carats for a better color, which is more important (my opinion).
- Clarity – Buy diamonds with a VVS or VS clarity rating. Any less clear (SI & I grades), and your diamond will have flaws visible to an unassisted eye. Any more (IF and FL grades), and you’re likely overpaying for no actual benefit.
- Carats – Carats (& therefore size) is the least important diamond quality. Adjust your carat size based on your budget.
- Try to buy at least a half-carat diamond.
- Aim for around 1 carat, as this can be considered the “standard” diamond size.
- Buying a diamond larger than 2 carats is uncomfortable for your partner to wear, and kind of obnoxious.