So you’ve decided to take the plunge. You’ve found each other and decided that you want to spend the rest of your lives together. In the time before telling the world (or maybe even asking her!), an engagement ring is the thing foremost in your mind. You want the perfect ring because she’s the perfect person. Nothing but a diamond will do! But what do you do next?
The first thing you should do is establish a budget. Decide in advance how much you are going to spend and stick with that figure. We’ll tell you how to maximize that amount and get the most bang for your buck.
Understanding the 4 Cs—cut, color, clarity and carat.
Prior to 1940, there was no standard way to determine the value of a diamond and buying one was somewhat akin to buying a pig in a poke. That all started to change when Robert M. Shipley formed an institute in his apartment in Los Angeles dedicated to researching and educating people (especially jewelers) about gems. He called it the Gemological Institute of America. From its humble beginnings, GIA became a world-wide phenomenon that eventually became a global gemology leader.
It wasn’t enough to establish a standard whereby diamonds could be accurately valued, it was also necessary to teach students and jewelers alike how to remember and explain what characteristics determined the value of a diamond. Therefore, he came up with a mnemonic device that was easy for his students to remember. He called it “the 4Cs.” With his direction, the term became the vernacular used throughout the industry to describe those characteristics.So what do the 4Cs represent?