July 18 2014 Friday at 06:04 AM

I am a guy and lost, how will I now the perfect ring?

            So you decided to propose, congratulations on taking the big step. Now you need to plan how you will propose and pick out the ring. The ring is most important thing you need, but you are a guy and, like most of us that don’t work in a jewelry store, probably don’t have a clue where to start other than just going to the store and asking a salesman. Maybe you have a sister who has been thinking about these things since she was a teen and she would be a good resource, but most of us will need some additional help, thank you internet. Here are a few hints that will help you make the big decision. 

            The type of stone is most likely going to be the only thing you are sure of when you start on this quest, a diamond. The diamond engagement ring is the iconic choice for such a big occasion. Now you just have to figure out which diamond will be perfect for your soon to be fiancé. Knowing a few things about diamonds will help you make that perfect decision. You should begin by familiarizing with the 4 c’s of diamond shopping.

The 4 c’s

Cut: 

           The first “c” you should know about is cut. Diamonds are cut in ways that refract and reflect light in a way that makes the diamond sparkle. The sparkle is one of the elements that make the diamond special. There are many different cuts to choose from some are familiar other exotic, and except for a few standards they come in and out of fashion like a double breasted suit. The standards, like the round brilliant, are standards because they can be cut in an efficient way that does not result in the loss of much weight of the stone from waste. Cuts like the princess, emerald, pear, and marquise, known as fancy cuts, produce more waste and cut time and generally are more expensive. The most important thing to do is to listen, you are not alone in the knowledge that your relationship is progressing to marriage, so listen and undoubtedly she will drop some hints on the cuts she likes.         

Color:

            The second “c” is color. Color is what it sounds like, the color of the diamond. For the most part this doesn’t mean it will look like a ruby or sapphire but be somewhat clear with a colored hue that can range from black to blue like the Hope diamond along with several other colors including red, the rarest colored diamond. The coloring comes from chemical imperfections in the make up of the diamond. White diamonds, diamonds that are clear, are the only diamonds subjected to the color grading scale. The color grading scale starts with a letter grading of D and runs the alphabet to Z. A grade of D means a diamond that is almost colorless, to Z a diamond that has a light yellow color. The other colors, called fancy colors, are exempt from color grading.

Clarity: 

            The third “c” is clarity. Again clarity is too what it sounds like, how clear the diamond is from physical imperfections during its formation. There are two categories of imperfections that affect the clarity of the diamond. The categories are inclusions, which occur in the diamond, and blemishes, which are imperfections on the surface of the diamond. These physical imperfections will cause cloudiness in the diamond as opposed to the chemical imperfections that affect the color. The important thing to remember about clarity when shopping for the diamond is how the grading scale works. The clarity grading scale is not as easy as the color scale; it is not a linear run of the alphabet but consists of the initials of the grade such as FL for flawless. The FL grading is the highest and means that the diamond is flawless under a 10x magnification. The lowest grade is I3, which stands for included, means an obvious imperfection to the naked eye and the imperfection dulls the brilliance of the diamond.          

Carats:

             The forth and final “c” of diamond buying is carats. Carats are the easiest c to remember and understand. Carats are simply the unit of measure used when describing the weight of the diamond. A carat is one fifth of a gram or 200mg and has been the standard unit used for measuring gemstone weight since 1913. Carat weight is usually given in increments of one-quarter carat.  Simply the more carats the bigger the diamond and the more important the other c’s become.

Now you have a little knowledge

              So head to the jewelry store in person or online secure that you are armed with a little bit of knowledge that will keep you from making an uninformed purchase. Also remember that this purchase is to become a symbol of your commitment so like the grail knight tells Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, choose wisely.X