Yes, diamonds are forever, but are all diamonds created equal? The answer to that is an emphatic, 'no'! When shopping for your diamond engagement ring, there are four characteristics to notice. These four characteristics will help you determine the quality of each stone, allowing you to make a more discerning decision than, 'Mmm... Pretty'
First of all, there's the color of the diamond. Diamonds pick up different tones when elements such as nitrogen or boron mix with the carbon when they are formed. The results are diamonds with a yellow or blue caste to them. Colorless diamonds are rare, and most expensive.
Next in line is the carat. This is the stone's weight and refers to its size as well. One carat is one-fifth of a gram or 1/142 of an ounce. A carat is divided into 100 points, so a 1/2 carat diamond is 0.5 carats.
Third, check out the cut of the rock. This term refers to the diamond's proportions, symmetry and finish. This is referred to as the polish. A diamond’s cut determines the amount of light it reflects. The better the cut, the more it will catch the light and sparkle.
Last but not least, the clarity of a diamond should be determined. This term is used to describe a diamond's flaws or lack of flaws. A diamond lacks clarity if it has any inclusions, that is, cracks or white, black, or colored spots. Blemishes are external flaws acquired through the cutting and polishing process. Laser treatments and filing processes may sometimes serve to improve a diamond's clarity, but there is no guarantee.
These four characteristics of diamonds are subject to industry regulations and the qualities in each category determine the cost of the diamond. If you are set on an expensive ring, make sure you are buying from a reputable jeweler and all standards are met.