Many men are intimidated when it comes time to choose a diamond ring. The process of going to a jewelry store should be a pleasant experience, even an exciting one. However, if you are not well versed in the lexicon of the diamond world, you might feel intimidated when speaking with a jeweler. Luckily there is an easy solution. The basic concepts of diamond evaluation are quite simple. The terms are often referred to as the four c's. The four c's are: cut, clarity, carat , and color. This article will cover cut, color, and clarity. Carat is the simplest to understand (it's the weight and size of the diamond). The other three will be discussed at length below.
Diamonds all have some color in them, usually yellow. It is not often perceptible to the naked eye. Oftentimes a jewelers loop will need to be used to see the body color. While "colorless" diamonds (not truly colorless, just those where the yellow color cannot be seen with the naked eye) are often more expensive than diamonds with more body color, it does not mean the diamond is a bad diamond. Bad diamonds will have bad cuts or bad clarity. Color is a subjective issue. So, you should discuss with your fiance whether or not they like body color. As a side note, diamonds with lots of color are ranked on a different scale than regular diamonds and are known as "fancy" diamonds. These diamonds might be truly bright yellow, or even pink or green.
A diamond is mined out of the earth in rough form. It is then cut and polished. The type of cut is, again, subjective. The execution of the cut is what matters. You want the lines of the cut to be symmetrical. If the crown and pavilion are not balanced, then the cut is bad. The best way to know if the diamond is cut well is to make sure you are buying a diamond that has been graded by a professional service. Most good jewelers will carry graded diamonds. The process of judging the angles of the diamonds cuts is done with lasers and microscopes in a lab (as well as trained professionals who have years of experience) so it's not something you can attempt even with the help of a jewelers loop.
The clarity of the diamond refers to the lack or presence of flaws. These flaws might be a minor inclusion, noticeable only under magnification, or they might be obvious internal cracks that are apparent to the naked eye. This is not subjective. You should try and get a diamond with as much clarity as possible. However, if you try and get a truly flawless diamond, you might have to sacrifice on carat size. So, a happy medium might be a diamond with no flaws visible to the naked eye, which will allow you to get a bigger carat size.