4C of Diamond - Everything You Need To Know Before Ring Shopping
Getting diamond engagement and wedding rings is the desire of many brides-to-be. Diamond is the most popular gemstone on the wedding rings market. From the engagement ring to the wedding band, these treasure stone options always come with sizable price tags due to their value and rareness. Buying diamond wedding rings is a decision that you should research and consider carefully. Before you make a big investment on a diamond jewelry, check out our basic guide on diamonds.
Just as other valuable items, there are standardized methods to identify the quality of a diamond. Most diamonds exploited will be processed by jewelers and then are evaluated by third-party laboratories that specialize in this field. The result of this process is the diamond certificate provided together with your purchase. It includes a grading for each category in the diamond 4Cs, together with the measurements of your diamond. The most popular third-party certification is GIA (Gemological Institute of America), whose certification is widely accepted in the industry. Besides, you might also see reports from AGS (American Gemological Society), IGI (International Gemological Institute), EGL (European Gemological Laboratories), GSI (Gemological Science International), and HRD (Hoge Raad Voor Diamant). Although they might use slightly different scales, these labs follow the same standards and criteria. All credible jewelry brands should be able to provide you the certificate of your diamond.
The Diamond 4Cs
Now you have seen the diamond certificate, the next question is how to interpret information on that document. The diamond 4Cs shown on that certificate is the known standard to evaluate a diamond quality and value. While the weight (Carat) is the most visual criteria, you should also pay attention to other ones while shopping for your wedding rings. They will greatly impact the quality and price of your diamond.
This criteria assesses how diamonds are processed from rough stone to the final product on your ring. The way a diamond is cut affects the reflection of light through the surfaces and thus, makes the diamond more sparkling. A diamond with a perfect cut will help the perpendicular light reflection create a bright sparkle effect. If the cut is too shallow or too deep, the light cannot reflect well and reduces the effect. The assessment of the cut line is based on measurement and angular measurements on all surfaces of the stone. The grading scale for this criterion ranges from Poor to Excellent. In general, you should choose diamonds rated Good or higher.
This is the evaluation criteria for white diamonds, a popular choice for wedding rings. This is very rare to find colored diamonds so that those will be assessed using another standard. The colors referred to in this category are more on the yellow side. The scale for the color of a diamond starting from D as the best grading and descending until Z. A tip to remember this scale: the diamond value decreases as you move along the alphabet. A D-rated diamond will be very valuable because it is completely colorless. You should balance the color grading and size when you choose to buy diamond wedding rings because the bigger the diamond, the easier it is to see its color. Therefore, if you are buying a large diamond, you should choose one that has a better color grading than the smaller one.
As a natural stone, diamonds will likely have external (blemish) or internal (inclusion) defects. The less defects a diamond has, the higher its clarity grading is. However, except for very obvious defects that can be seen with the naked eye, it will be difficult for you to identify small imperfections on the gem unless it is scanned. Therefore, you should choose the wedding rings that matches with your budget. The safe clarity grading on the GIA scale is SI (slightly included) or higher.
Diamond weight is a factor that greatly influences the cost of your wedding rings. The heavier the diamond is, the more expensive it will be. However, the largest diamond is not necessarily the most beautiful diamond. A large stone will reveal defects and cutting errors much easier than the smaller ones.
Shopping Tips For Couples
- Balance the diamond 4Cs:
Instead of picking the wedding rings with the highest carat, you should balance the other 3Cs as well within your standard. You can choose to invest in an excellent cut and high clarity with a moderate carat.
- Pay attention to the ring size:
The same stone will have different effects on different wedding rings sizes. For example, if your hand size is about 6, a 1.5 carat stone will look outstanding, but you may need a bigger diamond for a bigger finger.
- Don't forget to choose a shape:
Besides weight, one of the popular criteria that couples should pay attention to is the diamond shape . There are many different shapes to choose from as the simple round one to special shapes such as the heart or fancy shape. Some shapes will cover imperfections better. Therefore, this is also a factor to consider when buying wedding rings.