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With a multitude of options, knowing how to pick a diamond ring that perfectly represents your unique story may seem impossible. We’re here to help. Below is our simple step-by-step guide on how to pick a diamond.
While there are numerous diamond shapes, consider a round cut or princess cut diamond if you are uncertain of the recipient's personal taste. Classic in shape and style, round diamonds have been consistently loved throughout the years. In contrast, princess diamonds are a more contemporary—but equally popular--alternative. Other popular shapes include: cushion, marquise, emerald, radiant, pear, oval, and asscher.
If you are selecting a diamond below ¾ ct, consider a marquise cut. Due to its elongated shape, marquise cut diamonds often appear larger than other diamond shapes of equal carat weight.
While more traditional shoppers tend to stick with brick and mortar retailers, our growing digital era provides a multitude of options. If you are unsatisfied with your local jewelry store, research other physical and digital retailers for a store that suits your needs.
Although most engagement ring diamonds fall between one and two carats, take the time to determine your recipient's minimum carat preference. If they have their heart set on a one carat diamond, even the most stunning half carat diamond may fall short of their expectations.
If your budget can accommodate the highest quality diamond that meets the first three steps, continue to step 10. If not, continue to step 4 to begin making concessions in our recommended order. Once you have reached your desired budget, skip to step 10.
Once diamond carat has been determined, you can reach your desired budget by making concessions on the remaining four c’s: clarity, color, and cut. Diamond clarity can be lowered to VS2 before moving to other areas. Diamond color can go as low as H. Diamond cut can go to Very Good for round diamonds and Good for fancy shapes.
For more detailed information on the four c’s, visit our education section on carat, clarity, color, and cut.
If you are near your target price, consider lowering the first of your four c’s: carat. While many shoppers want to hold fast to their carat minimum, a carat difference of 10% or less is not easily detectable to the human eye. In addition, keep in mind that diamonds that fall just under the popular carat weights—1/2 ct, ¾ ct, 1 ct, etc.—are often sold at a slight price-per-carat discount. Thus, a small difference just below a target carat weight may cause no discernable visual difference.
If you are still outside your price range, re-evaluate the remaining four c’s with new minimums. First, diamond clarity can be reduced to SI1. Next, diamond color can be reduced to J, or for wedding bands of yellow gold, to K. Finally, cut can be reduced to Good in round diamonds and Fair for fancy diamonds.
If you are still outside your price range, consider some of the following steps depending on your personal preferences. If you are considering a diamond less than one carat, you can go to a SI2 clarity. If your sought-after diamond is a brilliant cut, under 1.50 carats, and has a a yellow gold wedding band setting, an L-M diamond color may be acceptable. If diamond size is the recipient’s top priority, consider diamonds in shapes Fair cut round or fancy.
If you are still outside of your price range, you may need to re-evaluate your budget or reduce your minimum carat weight.
A round or princess cut diamond is the best shape to consider, especially if one is uncertain of the wearer's taste. Classic in shape and style, round diamonds have been consistently loved throughout the years, while princess cut diamonds are a more contemporary but popular alternative. Other popular shapes include cushion, marquise, emerald, radiant, pear, oval, and asscher.
Yes, you can buy a diamond online, as long as it is from a verified retailer. Always check for certifications to ensure that you are getting an authentic piece.
While picking a diamond, it is essential to keep in mind some important factors like the diamond shape, carat weight, and, most importantly, your budget. Also, make it a point to only buy from a trustworthy brand, like With Clarity, that offers easy returns/exchange if you’re unsatisfied with the purchase.
First, consider opting for an eye-clean diamond. Once that is done, color becomes the next priority because diamonds reflect white light, and colorless diamonds produce the best sparkle and fire.
Most engagement ring diamonds fall between one and two carat. However, always focus on buying an engagement ring that suits your budget without compromising on visual appeal.
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Learning how to pick out a diamond may be stressful, but remember what—or who—this is for. Take the time to marvel in the dazzling beauty of your selection and enjoy this momentous occasion. Don't forget to show us your ring selfies on Instagram and Facebook!