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Choosing Your Ring

Powers Studios

Powers Studios

Gemstones Quality & Value

For most couples, the bride’s engagement ring is the first major piece of jewelry that they have ever purchased. When you’re making a purchase of this size and for something that you will wear for the rest of your life, it’s nice to know what the jeweler is describing and what exactly you’re getting.

The stone you select as the centerpiece of your engagement ring is judged by four distinct factors that combine in a number of ways to arrive at its value. These factors are commonly referred to as the “Four Cs.”

Carat Weight

The weight of all precious stones is expressed in carats. Originally, the word carat was derived from a natural unit of weight, the seeds of the carob tree. Traditionally, gemstones were weighed against these seeds, but in more recent times, a standardized system has been developed by which one carat equals 0.2 grams, or one-fifth of a gram. The carat is then divided into 100 “points,” so that a gemstone of 25 points equals a quarter carat, or a gemstone of 50 points equals a half carat, etc.

Clarity

Falcusan Photography

Falcusan Photography

Virtually every diamond has some minute traces of noncrystalized carbon, the element from which they were formed. In most cases, these traces of carbon are not visible to the human eye but become apparent under magnification and are referred to as “inclusions.” Therefore, the freer the diamond or other gemstone is of inclusions, the rarer the stone will be, causing a higher value to be placed on the stone.

Color

When it comes to diamonds, most of us don’t think in terms of colors available, but diamonds do cover the spectrum of colors. While the majority range in color from a barely perceptible yellow or brownish tint, the really rare stones are described as “colorless.”

Dawn Marks Photography

Dawn Marks Photography

Cut

Of all the ways diamonds are rated, this is the one that man directly has an impact on. How each diamond is cut will directly affect its fire and sparkle, since it is the cutter’s skill that ultimately releases the beauty of each stone. The better the cut, the more brilliance and sparkle you will see in the stone you select.

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