Earth has given us humans plenty of stones to craft into jewelry, but there is one that stands out from the crowd with unparalleled shine: the diamond. The epitome of sparkle, the “unbreakable”, essence of exquisiteness, symbol of perfection – all these metaphors can be used to accurately describe the diamond, one of the most popular and sought-after gemstones.
The attributes that make the diamond such a desirable choice for jewelers are its hardness and high dispersion of light, which confers its unique sparkle. Grading diamonds is an extremely important step in the lifecycle of the stone, and needs an equally precise system. Therefore, diamonds are evaluated by four main characteristics: their carat, cut, color and clarity. Other features, such as shape and the fluorescence level also affect a diamond’s value in the jewels market, but to a lesser extent.
Diamonds have been used by humanity as decorative pieces since ancient times, with the earliest mentions traced to India. Even though their use in engagement rings dates back to as early as the 15th century, such utilization increased in popularity in the early – mid 20th century. Nowadays, it is a tradition and a customary gesture to offer an engagement ring or a wedding ring adorned with a diamond, in detriment of other, less valuable gemstones, as it is considered that such a durable stone best symbolizes the future bond of the fiancées. If you plan to keep up with the current trend and offer your fiancée a diamond engagement ring, then you ought to learn a bit about this marvelous stone and what options you have.
The first feature considered when evaluating a diamond is called carat weight, and measures the mass of the diamond. One carat is the equivalent of 200 milligrams. In general, the price per carat increases proportionally with the carat weight, considering that larger diamonds are extremely rare and more demanded by jewelers. You should keep in mind that a large increase in price does not necessarily translate into a large increase in size – i.e., the price per carat does not increase linearly in respect to size. Diamonds are actually put into categorized carat weights. For example, a 0.9 carats diamond may be significantly cheaper than a 1.1 one, even though the carat difference is minuscule.
Clarity is the second feature that characterizes a diamond, and defines the internal flaws of a diamond, also called inclusions. These can appear under the form of a foreign material (even another diamond crystal), or as structural defects, like small fissures. Only 20% of all diamonds are clear enough to be considered viable for use in jewelry – the rest are bound for industrial use. Even among that 20%, a large portion contains minor, yet visible inclusions. Occasionally, the defect(s) can be masterfully hidden under the setting of the jewelry piece. Ideally, you should seek a perfect, “eye-clean” diamond for the engagement ring you plan to offer.
The third measurement of a diamond is its color, which can range from colorless – the chemically pure diamond with a perfect internal structure – to various degrees of observable color intensity, among which the pink hue is very rare and makes a diamond extremely desirable. Even if you might be attracted to purchase a diamond in high demand, like a pink one, you should stick to the white (or ideally, colorless) diamond for your engagement ring – for such purpose, it is the best-suited choice.
In rough, natural form, diamonds do not exhibit the sparkle that makes them such desirable stones. A diamond has to undergo a cutting process, which involves shaping and polishing, to acquire their characteristic fire and reflection capability. The actual mathematical ratios for a perfectly reflexive diamond are of no concern to you – what should interest you when searching for the perfect engagement ring is to find an intricately, yet elegantly cut diamond that concords with the personality of your loved one.
Now that you possess some basic knowledge about how diamonds are evaluated, you are ready to actually search for a ring. However, there is one more thing you should be aware of – the existence of a substitute, cubic zirconium.
You might be tempted to consider cubic zirconium instead of a diamond because of the much lower price, but you have to keep in mind that, although some people claim the differences are negligible between the two, no other stone or any kind of substitute can replace the traditional, unique significance of a diamond. An engagement ring or a wedding ring is an extremely powerful symbol, the mark of a strong bond, and no compromises should be made when choosing one.
If your budget permits it, you can mark your love for your future fiancée in a special way: offer her a unique diamond engagement ring. The obvious difference from regular ones is that the design of such ring is custom-made and unique, which means no other identical ring will ever be manufactured. A mass-produced diamond ring is still an excellent choice, but if you want to convey your love in a singular, extraordinary manner, a unique ring is the way to go. However, you should be aware that a unique diamond ring is exponentially more expensive than a regular ring, sometimes jumping beyond the six-figure mark. Before considering a unique ring, make sure you can afford such an investment.
As a conclusion, we would like to reassure you that a diamond ring is the perfect choice for this special occasion in your life. A diamond, with its unique fire, brilliant shine and sparkle can express better than any other gemstone the feelings you have for your fiancée. The ultimate option, however, when it comes to celebrating and marking your bond, is a unique diamond engagement ring. This choice offers complete control over the jewel’s design, thus allowing you to perfectly match the diamond to the personality and preferences of the one you love.