The Four Cs of Diamond Quality and How They Can Affect Your Engagement Ring Purchase

Man putting an engagement ring on woman's hand

For most men, shopping for an engagement ring is the first introduction to the world of jewelry. This means that when it comes to choosing the right diamond ring for their fiancée, they are practically clueless. If you are one of these men, don’t feel bad. You just need to learn a few essential things about diamonds before stepping into a jewelry store.

The Four Cs

When shopping for engagement rings in Salt Lake City shops such as AAA Jewelers, you have to take into account the four Cs that determine a diamond’s quality and cost. The four Cs refer to cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.


Have you ever wondered how a diamond sparkles? When light hits the surface of a skillfully cut diamond, it is reflected to another surface of the stone. The light is then projected through the diamond’s top part. This process of light projection gives the diamond its brilliance.

When the diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, however, the light will escape either through the bottom part or through the side of the stone. This gives the diamond a dull appearance since there is less light being projected to the top part.

The angles and proportions of the diamond are determined by its cut. Nature can play a role, but human influence (i.e., the cutter) is the one determinant of the cut. Of all the four Cs, the cut is the most crucial factor. The diamond in your engagement might have the right color, clarity, and carat, but if the cut isn’t just right, it will fail to create that brilliance.


Most of us are more familiar with white diamonds. These stones, however, actually come in a variety of colors. In grading a diamond’s color, jewelry stores use a scale to categorize the stone from D (without color) to Z (light yellow).

Colorless diamonds are the rarest, which means they are the most expensive. Diamond color is a matter of personal preference, though. Thus, think about asking your fiancée about her choice.


Engagement ring with diamondA diamond has to have few imperfections to achieve a high level of clarity, which, naturally, raises its price. The clearer the stone, the higher its cost is.

Diamonds usually have small embedded minerals known as inclusions. These are considered flaws, which can have an adverse effect on a diamond’s clarity and price. When grading the clarity, jewelers will determine if the diamond contains inclusions. Most inclusions, however, are not easily seen. You’ll need a magnification tool to see them.

Carat Weight

Carat is the unit of weight used for diamonds and other gemstones. The heavier the stone, the more it is probably going to cost you. If you want to impress your significant other, do not worry much about the carat. If you opt for a diamond with higher carat weight, you are more likely to end up with a relatively bigger stone with visible flaws. The bigger the stone, the more it makes its imperfections noticeable.

Shopping for diamond engagement rings might seem overwhelming. With a bit of knowledge, though, you can confidently walk out of a jewelry store with a stone that your fiancée will proudly show to her friends.

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