4 Important Facts You Need to Know About Shopping for Diamond Rings
Diamond jewelry is among the most popular forms of jewelry. Commonly associated with romance, jewelry featuring diamonds is appreciated for its brilliance, style and meaning. Despite diamond jewelry's popularity and constant presence in our society, picking the right piece is not as simple as what many might assume. Confronted with the nuances of contemporary styles and budgeting, not to mention personal tastes, it's no wonder how diamond jewelry shoppers can feel overwhelmed when trying to find that perfect set of wedding bands, a ring or bracelet.
Diamond jewelry has charmed generations of people across the world for centuries. Traditionally only available to the rich and famous, diamond jewelry has become an inspirational item that is as important for the message it conveys as its brilliant appearance. The event that awakened the world's appreciation of diamond jewelry was the 15th century wedding of Maxmilla of Austria to Mary of Burgundy, where the groom gave the bride a brilliant diamond engagement ring . Until that time, the arduous processes of mining, cutting and polishing diamonds followed by crafting diamond jewelry was not actively pursued, but Maximilla started a trend that continues to grow in popularity today. Although owning diamond jewelry has historically made an inference about the class and social stature of the wearer, today it suggests emotional themes of commitment, durability and beauty commonly associated with romantic relationships. Understandably, when shopping for diamond jewelry, it's important to make a sound choice.
The four factors that determine the quality of the diamond are the 4Cs: carat, color, clarity, and cut.
Carat - Weight – Bigger is Bigger – not necessarily better. This is the weight of the diamond measured in carats. Two diamonds of equal weight can have very unequal values, depending on their cut, color and clarity. Fine quality can be found in diamonds of all shapes and sizes.
Color – For traditional white diamonds, the best color is no color – also known as colorless. Alternative diamonds can be found in a variety of colors.
Clarity - A rarity. To determine a diamond’s clarity it is viewed under extreme magnification by a trained eye. Most diamonds contain very tiny natural birthmarks known as inclusions. The fewer and smaller the inclusions, the less likely it is to interfere with the passage of light through the diamond and the more beautiful the diamond will be.
Cut- Many people confuse cut with the shape of a diamond. Diamonds are cut into a number of shapes (round, cushion, princess, etc), but cut is all about proportion. A well cut diamond is better able to reflect light, creating more scintillation, more sparkle.