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The 6 "C's" of Diamond Engagement Rings

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 107

If you find yourself in the position of shopping for diamond engagement rings, you've got a lot to consider. Your shopping experience will be much more enjoyable, however, if you have a basic understanding of the 6 "C's" of diamonds.

You're probably already familiar with the commonly referred to "4 C's" of diamonds, but if you want to ensure the best quality, the best value, and a clear conscience with the purchase of engagement rings, there are a couple more "C's" to be aware of. All inclusive, these 6 "C's" encompass the characteristics of:

• Cut • Clarity • Color • Carat Weight • Certification • Conflict Free

The first four items on this list are cut, clarity, color and carat weight, and these make up the commonly referred to "4 C's."

CUT A diamond's "cut" refers to its shape. Cut is important, as this is where a loose diamonds retains most of its original size (or doesn't) and where much of the eventual "sparkle factor" will be determined, as an expert cut can maximize the light refraction occurring within the diamond.

CLARITY Clarity refers to the transparency of a loose diamond. You'll want a decent clarity rating for engagement rings, but the diamond doesn't necessarily have to be perfect, as very slight discolorations are unlikely to show once the stone is place in a solitaire setting.

COLOR Diamonds can range in color from "colorless" to yellow, with a sliding scale of stages in between. Colorless is obviously the most desirable "color" for a diamond solitaire, however, like the characteristic of clarity, slight discolorations are rarely visible from "near colorless" stones once they have been properly set into a ring.

CARAT WEIGHT All other qualities being equal, carat weight is the single biggest determining factor of a loose diamond's value and, therefore, price. Because they are so much rarer, diamonds of full carat or more increase in value exponentially. Diamond engagement rings typically consist of a diamond solitaire at the center, but this stone doesn't have to be huge. It can be greatly enhanced with a jacket of diamond accents to bring out the center stones natural beauty and add elegance to the ring, all without breaking the bank.

The two additional factors which are important in the responsible purchase of diamond rings are: • Certified • Conflict Free

GIA or EGL certification assures the consumer of the assessed value of a loose diamond, as applied by the world's foremost independent gemological authorities. Because of the strict regulations put in place by the U.N. initiative known as the Kimberley Process, diamonds must also be certified Conflict Free, meaning that it has come through legitimate channels. Conflict diamonds, also known as Blood diamonds, are used to finance rebel operations in vulnerable countries, and are strictly forbidden in most countries.

Keep these 6 "C's" in mind as you begin your search for engagement rings, to ensure a purchase you'll feel good about "as long as you both shall live."

Kyle S.Moore is a professional freelance writer specializing in consumer education on a variety of topics, including Engagement Rings NH and Diamond Engagement Rings.

Source: EzineArticles
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