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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Ins and Outs of Shopping for Diamonds

One of the first things a bride wants to do after she’s engaged is to go ring shopping (unless her fiance’ has already given her the ring). Before you hit the jewelry stores, it’s important that engaged couples be educated on how to shop for diamonds. This will be one of your largest wedding expenses, so choose wisely!

The Four Cs

You may have heard of the ‘Four Cs’ of Diamonds – Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight. Here’s a quick summary of what each one means:

  • Cut – According to “The Diamond Buying Guide,” cut is perhaps the most important of the Four Cs. A well-cut diamond reflects light beautifully, and the cut of a diamond is a major factor in its value.
  • Clarity – The number of naturally occurring internal blemishes in a diamond determines its clarity. Most diamonds contain some flaws or inclusions, and a diamond is graded based on the number of inclusions that are visible.
  • Color – Colorless diamonds allow more light to shine through, and therefore look more brilliant. The whiter the diamond, the greater the value is. Diamonds are also graded on color.
  • Carat Weight – A carat is a unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. The larger the carat weight, the greater the diamond’s value is. Since larger stones are rare, it’s less expensive to purchase 2 ½ carat diamonds than one 1-carat diamond.

The Diamond Buying Guide also includes a ‘Fifth C’, which is certificate. A diamond certificate is a complete evaluation of the stone, including its exact measurements, weight, information on cut and clarity, and any other distinguishing characteristics about the stone. Two of the most reputable laboratories in the world that certify diamonds are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS). I encourage you to have your diamond certified by one of these laboratories.

For more specifics on such things as clarity and color grading, as well as certifications, please visit this very helpful website:


We’ll talk about the types of metals available to you in a future blog.

Happy Shopping!


  1. What a great post! I love diamonds :) Good info!

  2. Thanks Rene'! Feel free to share!