Engagement Rings

Diamonds decoded

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Diamonds are a girls best friend, but what do you actually know about them? What makes them any good? What makes them something your partner would like to wear on their finger? How do you know if you’re massively over paying for a stone?

There are 4 key metrics for picking the right diamond, according to jewellers. They are:

CUTThis is the shape of the stone. Round or oval or pear shaped etc. refers to the shape of the stone, but you also want to look at how many facets (the number of flat edges on the stone) are visible. These are going to influence how much light will get into the stone, which influences its sparkle and therefore value.

CLARITY – the best diamonds you can buy are completely clear. No cloudyness, no black spots, no scratchyness. Ask the jeweller if you can borrow their loupe (which is like a tiny jewellers magnifying glass) and have a bit of a look at the stone. You should see lots of colours and it should look like a nice scotch glass – really clear, nothing fuzzy going on.

CARAT – Carats or caratage is how you measure the weight of a diamond (NOT the size, believe it or not), and diamonds tend to come in some common carats – 0.25 of a carat is about the smallest you would get for a center stone in a ring, and 1 carat is normally what a jeweller will show you. A bigger caratage does not mean a better stone, nor does it mean it will look better on your girlfriends finger, so pick a stone that is a size you think will suit her.

COLOUR – this is both the easiest and hardest part of picking a ring. A diamond should look totally clear, but you should be able to see lots of different coloured sparkle and light refractions in the stone. The poorer quality the diamond, the more yellow you will see in the stone (not the light or sparkle).

The problem is when you are looking at a diamond already set in a ring, the colour of the metal around the diamond will affect the colour of the stone. If you set a diamond in yellow gold for instance, its not uncommon to see the yellow gold colour come through into the stone. That’s why most jewellers show you engagement rings made of white gold – because it makes the diamond look whiter. If you see anything that looks just a bit off with the colour, move on to a different ring and a different jeweller – it’s a safer bet.

Diamonds can be a pain to buy, but ultimately you’re looking for a ring to show your partner how important they are to you and how committed you are to them. Find a jeweller who you trust, and work with them to make sure that all aspects of the ring, not just the diamond, are the best they can be for the person who is best for you.


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