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Diamonds 101 For The Newbie Engagement Ring Buyer

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For most people, the purchase of an engagement ring is the first time that they have to walk into a store to look at and talk about precious stones. They may be self-conscious about their lack of knowledge, and there is potential for embarrassment. Who wants to sound ignorant?

Here is a crash course in diamondology to help the novice know what to look for and talk about when in the jewelry store.


As wine lovers sniff their filled glasses to take in the aroma prior to drinking, so do diamond connoisseurs hold, feel and stare at their potential stones. Here are several things they consider. People in the gem industry refer to cut, clarity, carat and color as the 4Cs.

Cut The cut should make the diamond appear sharp. If the stone looks unattractive because of the style of cut, then look for another.

Clarity - All gems develop blemishes, though the degree varies. These blights result from the natural crystallization process of their birth. Look carefully to discern any of these imperfections lying in the diamond. Also, inquire as to any enhancements performed by the jeweler to hide flaws.

Carat Weight - The larger the carat number, the better. One carat equates to 0.2 grams, a standard adopted in America in 1913.  Do not confuse "carats," a measurement of weight, with "karats," which signify a level of purity in metals, such as gold or silver.  

Color - White diamonds are most widely known; however, there are other variations. For example, one may decide to opt for a yellow canary, which is popular with certain celebrities.


Where a diamond hails is important. Certain countries and their mines have reputations for assuring top quality diamonds. In most cases, jewelers can provide a certificate to prove the source of the stone. For those new to diamonds, asking about the history of the potential purchase is of the utmost importance. Seeing actual papers with the stamp of approval of a leading gemological association should provide assurance of the source and value of the diamond.

Finding an Expert Jeweler

The best source of knowledge is a professional jeweler. They can answer any remaining questions about the purchase of a diamond engagement ring. There is no reason to be nervous about visiting the shop. Armed with the information presented above, anyone can walk into a professional jewelry store, like P.K. Bennett Jewelers, and hold a decent conversation about diamonds. All should go smoothly.