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What To Know About Engagement Rings, From Carat To Clarity

Mar 9, 2008
The time has come whereby you as the boyfriend are dropped hints to take the relationship further with your girlfriend - marriage! This may raise alarms bells in your head with a little voice screaming 'Noooooo!' Or you could be thinking, 'I want to spend the rest of my life with this woman', in which case you have nothing to worry about - until the day comes for you to shop around for engagement rings.

You walk into your nearest jewellers and find the prices are extortionate and each one have funny words by them such as, 'Carat 5.00', 'Cut Ideal', 'Colour I' and 'Clarity VS2' - What on earth does this all mean, you are thinking. I have witnessed this drive some people mad as they strive to find the perfect ring. Who would have known that shopping for engagement rings were this complicated?

Fortunately, there are available resources to better explain what each of these terms mean and give you a better idea of what to buy. For that extra bit of help, I have devised a quick and simple list of the things you need to learn before buying a ring.

Carat is a term you may or may not have heard of when referring to a piece of jewellery, particularly with engagement rings. Carat refers to the weight of the diamond or material. With a ring this is directed towards the weight of the stone, most commonly diamond. With diamonds, one carat equals to one fifth of a gram, therefore the larger the carat the rarer and expensive the diamond becomes.

Cut refers to the physical shape of the diamond and a skilled artisan cuts the angle of the diamond. Only then does the diamond present its extravagant appeal. This should not be mistaken with the general shape e.g. oval, square cut, round etc. Cuts are measured by how deep the diamond has been cut. For example, a diamond that has been cut too deep will reflect light from the sides and the bottom, whereas a diamond that is well proportioned is likely to be more expensive and allow the greatest amount of sparkle and fire to be reflected.

Colour is quite simply the colour of the diamond, with a small difference. Some diamonds can come with a subtle tome of yellow or brown, these diamonds tend not to be so valuable; however, colourless diamonds are much rarer and valuable. They measurements start from grade D, which is most colourless diamond available, right to Z. Depending on the kind of ring you are planning to buy, white coloured (D-J) tend to look better on white gold or platinum rings, whereas tinted (K-Z) look better with yellow gold. If you are unsure, ask your jeweller to set the stones beside each other.

Clarity is a term often known as natures 'birthmarks' or fingerprints'. This determines the natural inclusions or identifiable marks such as fractures or minerals. These can look like tiny little crystals or have a feathery look, the less there are of these inclusions, the more clarity the diamond has and the greater it is in value. Diamond inclusions can often affect the reflection of light, meaning it will lose some of its sparkle. They measured from various different grades.

From the naked eye, the measurements start from P1 to P3; small inclusions are graded SP1 and SP2; diamonds with very small inclusions are measured VS1 and VS2; finally diamonds with extremely small inclusions are measured WS1 and WS2. There are very rare diamonds that have no inclusions and they are graded FL (flawless) or IF (internally flawless.

In conclusion now that you are thinking about buying or in the midst of buying a diamond engagement ring, be rest assured that you know what you are looking for and be warned not to be conned into buying something that does not have the genuine certification. This is the most important part of the process and one that must not be forgotten.
About the Author
Anna Stenning has in the past been shopping for engagement rings, helping others to pick the right one. For more ideas for the perfect wedding or committment ring visit http://www.diamondmanufacturers.co.uk/
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