Guide to Choosing Diamonds

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Basic and Essential Guide to Knowing & Choosing Your Diamonds


There’s nothing quite like diamonds. It really is the perfect gemstone. A diamond engagement ring is a staple, but diamonds befit a myriad of occasions. Whether it’s a gift for yourself or someone special, diamond jewellery pieces are the cream of the crop, without a doubt.

Perhaps, you have a vague idea of what you want and need. Perhaps, you even know a thing or two about diamonds. Or just perhaps, this is your first time buying diamonds and you want to know everything that is worth knowing about this precious gemstone. You know why you are here, but you don’t quite know where to start? Don’t worry! Let’s start with the basics.

The Cost of Diamond Engagement Rings

Diamonds are highly valuable, so naturally they come at a certain price. So of course the first question that pops into your mind is, “How much?”

First, diamond engagement rings can roughly be split into two broad groups:

  • Under €2500
  • Above €2500

Depending on style, and the 4 C’s they can be above or under €2500. This will be discussed in a moment.

Also, there is a rule of thumb that calculates how much you ought to spend on your engagement ring and it’s approximately two to three times your average monthly wage. Depending on how much you make, this can be between €2,000 and €10,000.

So if you don’t know where to start price-wise, keep this rule in mind!

For diamond rings and jewellery in general, the key thing to look at is the so-called 4 C’s:

  • Cut
  • Colour
  • Clarity
  • Carat

These characteristics together roughly determine the worth of a diamond. As a buyer you need to have a solid fundamental understanding of these components to ensure you make the best choice for your money’s worth.

Cut has to do with aesthetics – how much the diamond sparkles (and we all love that sparkle, don’t we). You can have a beautiful gem that fits all the other requirements, but it can still be dull if the diamond isn’t cut properly.

GIA or other internationally-recognised diamond certification bodies can give you a good idea about this thanks to their grading and certification of diamonds. You should always make sure that the diamond you intend to buy is certified accordingly. Always demand an expert’s eye and opinion on this! Same holds for the other characteristics.

Colour has to do with how colourless the diamond is. The clearer the diamond in terms of colour, the better and thus – pricier. The opposite are diamonds with a slight or heavy yellow tint, which might or might not be visible to the naked eye so you should always make sure to see the diamond in natural daylight before you make the purchase.

Clarity has to do with light penetration and how clean the diamond looks. Essentially, it’s about inclusions and blemishes. Due to the nature of natural diamond formation, these are bound to occur and while not all may be visible to the naked eye, the majority of diamonds have some inclusions and blemishes. This, again, is why you should always inspect diamonds in natural daylight to get a clear understanding of how included the diamond is.

Finally, carat comes down to the weight of the diamond. The higher the carat, the bigger the weight. The more the stone weighs, the more it costs.

Overall the first three C’s should be given utmost importance. You can get a larger carat diamond but if it doesn’t sparkle and shine, because the stone isn’t cut properly or has a heavy yellow tint, you may not be as happy as with a smaller carat less-included diamond.

Different Engagement Ring Styles

The most popular style is a solitaire diamond engagement ring. It is among the most classic and elegant ones. Always high in demand. People love it because of the single diamond being the main focus of the ring. You see what you get. Right there, just shining in its full brilliance. A round diamond is one of the most popular choices, because it makes the diamond shine exceptionally well.

Similar to the solitaire style is the side stone diamond engagement ring. Smaller stones support the centre diamond. The side stone option allows for a huge variation of customisation. You can choose the side stones into which type of cut you desire. The side stone option is for the creative spirits.

The halo vintage engagement ring has a ring or a halo of smaller diamonds around the diamond in the centre. The vintage style comes from the Art Deco period, but these days it’s back in style. The halo creates the illusion of a larger centre diamond, making it look bigger. The halo can be implemented around multiple diamond shapes: oval, emerald, radiant.

Multi-stone engagement rings cost a little more, and show the extra effort. It shows your love is endless, and is symbolized by the sheer quantity of diamonds, two or three or five, depending on your budget. Or generosity. Or your affection. This ring is a statement for sure and equally well you can incorporate different gemstones.

Best Diamond Shapes, for different Hand Sizes

While it’s all a matter of preference and style, there are some things worth considering despite not being set in stone:

  • Small hands: Go for smaller stones. The stone has to flatter your hand and fingers, it should not overwhelm them. A round shape is always an excellent choice. If you want to give the illusion of longer fingers, try oval or pear shape.
  • Wide fingers: Play with angular shaped diamonds. Also you can try out a thicker band, for a better proportion between fingers and stone. Earlier we mentioned multi-stone rings. These are perfect for wider fingers.
  • Long fingers: Because of the bigger hands and fingers you have a large variety to choose from. You can literally go big. Bold, thick stones, with wide bands. Statement pieces. Maybe combined with the multi-stones variety mentioned earlier. A true showstopper. Overall you can choose chunky broad designs that compensate for the length of hand and fingers.

Different types of Metal for the band

The band definitely plays a role and it should always be considered together with the diamond itself. When it comes to different metals, there is definitely enough choice to fit everyone’s taste:
Platinum: A very durable metal, and very beautiful with a light colour, which combines it perfectly with diamonds. An excellent choice.

  • Gold: Gold and diamonds – it is a natural combination and a great match. Gold can come in many beautiful forms, so again, there is something for everyone: rose, white, classic gold.
  • Silver: Due to the oxidation process that happens naturally for silver, it is not the best option for engagement rings.
  • Tungsten: Tough metal, and very durable. Meant to last. Unlike silver, its polish doesn’t fade and needs almost no maintenance.

The world of diamonds is vast. There’s plenty of choice, a lot of mix and match options. Luckily, these days almost all of widely-available diamonds are ethically sourced due to Kimberley Process. Diamond certification by recognised certifying bodies also means that you as a buyer have less to worry about when it comes to choosing the highest quality. And even if you’re not a fan of the timeless natural diamond appeal, you can always go for a lab-grown gem which is still evaluated under the same strict grading system as natural diamonds.


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