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Every proposal is unique, but the goal is universal. You want to choose a ring that suits her and one she’ll love. The center stone typically accounts for the majority of the price of the ring. The quality, value and cost of a diamond are determined by the four C’s: cut, color, clarity and carat-weight.

CUT

The cut of a diamond refers to its angles, shapes and proportions. A nicely cut diamond with proper shapes and proportions optimizes the diamond's natural radiance and brilliance by reflecting and refracting light back through the top of a diamond. Do not confuse the cut of the diamond with it's shape. Diamonds can be cut into a number of shapes, depending on the quality of the rough stone before it is cut. Below are images of the cutting proportions as well as the shapes and cutting styles.

Diamond Cut

COLOR

In most cases, the best color for a diamond is no color at all. The color of the diamond is classified and rated using a color scale which proceeds alphabetical order from D to Z, with D standing for "colorless" and Z for near-colorless with slight hints of yellow or brown. The difference from one grade to another is very subtle. Being able to grade diamonds using the color scale takes a trained eye years of experience. Below is the color grading scale.

Diamond Color

CLARITY

The diamond's clarity is determined by using a 10-power magnifying glass on a GIA Clarity Scale from IF (internally flawless, no visible defect) to I3 (imperfect, inclusions visible to the naked eye). Most diamonds contain very tiny impurities known as "inclusions." An inclusion can interfere with the light passing through the diamond. The fewer the inclusions, the more beautiful the diamond will be. Diamonds have the capability of producing more brilliance than any other gemstone. A diamond that is free of inclusions and surface blemishes is very rare and therefore very valuable. Below is the clarity grading scale.

Diamond Clarity

CARAT-WEIGHT

The "carat" is a unit of measurement used to weigh diamonds. Although a higher carat weight may increase its rarity and value, the cut, color, and clarity of the diamond greatly impact the price. Small stones can be more expensive than large stones if the other 3 C's rate highly.