Choosing jewelry is certainly a matter of taste. Some people prefer a princess crown ring, while others go for a simple gold band. The art of creating beautiful pieces of jewelry is millennia old, but the precious diamonds that decorate and enhance the metal are still classified by the same standards of beauty; jewelers call it the four Cs.
The most expensive diamonds are typically those without any color at all. These diamonds are classified with the letter ‘D’. The chemical structure of a diamond may contain certain trace elements, which dirty up the color, yielding yellow or gray tinges, along with other color variations. The scale by which the color of a diamond is measured goes all the way to the end of the alphabet, placing the least expensive diamonds at ‘Z’. There are exceptions with rare colors that are worth more. These exceptions are classified as fancy colors.
Carat (a term derived from the seeds of a carob tree that are uniform in weight) denotes the weight, or size, of a diamond. The larger the diamond, the more valuable it is, because large diamonds are rare. All diamonds are classified by the carat measurement. A carat is divided into hundredths, meaning that a diamond weighing 0.75 carats is a three-quarter carat diamond. One carat is about two-tenths of a gram.
Diamonds may have inclusions (or flaws) that detract from its value. These blemishes may be internal or external and are like birthmarks which decrease the value of a diamond. The inclusions are often invisible to the naked eye but can be examined under a microscope and are measured on a scale from flawless (a diamond with no blemishes) to included (a diamond with many blemishes).
Cut is basically how a diamond is shaped: the more challenging and intricate the cut, the more valuable the diamond. Diamonds are generally cut with 58 facets (or surfaces) each one designed to take light and reflect it back up and out of the top of the diamond, adding brilliance and sparkle. A diamond cut by a master jeweler will be much more valuable than one cut poorly so that light escapes in areas other than the top.
With these four factors in mind, you may now look at your chosen ring—whether it be a princess crown ring, a single setting band, or a custom piece—with an eye for what makes it both valuable as well as beautiful.