Before you visit your selected jeweler, learn a little about what will make your diamond choice the best for you and your special bride to be!

Four important factors that control a diamond’s appearance and durability are often lumped together and called the Four C’s: diamond color, clarity, cut and carat weight. It’s up to you to combine the Four C’s in different ways to find a diamond that suits your style, your needs and your budget.

Clarity is a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside or on the surface of a diamond or other gemstone. Don’t be concerned if the clarity of the diamond you choose is not near the top the scale, because those diamonds are rare — and expensive. Most are tiny imperfections that do not affect a diamond’s brilliance.

Color is another factor. A lettering system from D to Z is used to identify the amount of color present in each diamond, with D awarded only to rare, totally colorless diamonds. Natural colored diamonds come in all shades, hues and colors of the rainbow, with some of the most popular colors being shades and combinations of pink, blue, brown, yellow, orange, green and red.

The Cut Factor: Did you know that the term diamond cut does not refer to its shape? Sure, you have to cut a diamond to make it a shape, but when gemologists say “cut,” they are talking about a diamond’s proportions, such as its depth and width and the uniformity of its facets – all characteristics that control brilliance, durability and other features we look for in a diamond. A good cut is essential to a diamond’s beauty, because even a diamond with outstanding color and clarity will not display the sparkle that diamonds are famous for if its components don’t interact with light as they should. The light interaction is commonly referred to as the “fire” of the stone.

Carat is the term used to express the weight of a diamond, with one carat equaling 200 milligrams of actual weight. Carat weight is used as a measure for other gemstones, but different gems of the same weight aren’t necessarily the same size, because some gemstones are more dense than others–meaning that they pack more weight into a smaller space.