Learn About the Four Cs and More

Halo cushion cut engagement ring
Most people looking for diamond bands don’t have the time to study diamonds in detail. Between shapes, cuts, settings and designs, searching for a ring can feel overwhelming. There are ways to make sure you’re getting the gemstone quality you want. Knowing some of the basics may make your shopping experience easier.

The Four Cs of diamonds refers to carat, color, cut and clarity. They serve as a measure of a stone’s quality and help professionals and laypeople alike understand the jewels. Carat is a unit of measurement which gauges the size of a gemstone, equaling 200 grams. For the best accuracy, diamonds are weighed to the fifth decimal placed before being rounded to the second decimal.

Color determines the degree of tint in a diamond. It’s measured on a range of D to Z, with D the faintest and Z with faint show of color. Clarity outlines the number, shape and location of quirks in a diamond crystal. Some clarity characteristics may be disguised or highlighted through a diamond’s cut.

Cut is the most complex of the Four Cs to grade. Factors like symmetry, depth and angles are examined to see how they add to the overall appearance. Brilliant and mixed cut diamonds are made to show off as much light as possible. Step cut diamonds are fashioned to display surface shine and the beauty of the crystal.

How diamonds interact with light is a large part of their appeal. If you’re looking at diamond rings in person, try rocking the band. The glitter pattern will change as the ring moves, and you can see if the light show appeals to you. If you’re looking for diamond engagement rings online, see if the website has videos of the ring in motion.

Depending on the cut or shape, some diamonds may be more fragile than others. Feel free to ask your jeweler if a band is compatible with your lifestyle. You may also want to ask about services like prong tightening, or soldering engagement and wedding bands together for security.

You may want to consider buying rings made with certified diamonds. Paperwork from independent third-party labs confirm the quality of the gemstones you’re buying. Diamond reports also help when verifying a jewel’s identity. All of Valentin Magro’s diamond jewelry are certified by the Gemological Institute of America.