Your Ultimate Guide To Engagement Rings 101

Does the world of diamond engagement rings make you draw a blank? The cut, the color, the clarity, the carats… oh my! There certainly seems to be a lot to learn when it comes to this topic but luckily, we’ve broken it down for you into an easy guide.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to diamond engagement rings.

Diamond Shapes

To begin, diamond shapes vary due to style preferences but also for aesthetic reasons. For example, some shapes showcase brightness better than others while other shapes are more flexible and work well with many ring styles. Choose the shape to best match all of your needs.

Trillion: Triangular cut with added benefit of looking larger than its actual carat size

Baguette: Slender rectangular shape accentuates whiteness, luster, and clarity

Oval: An elongated oval shape to create an illusion of greater size

Heart: Heart shaped cut to symbolize love

Radiant: High brilliance rectangular shape. Matches well with rounded and square cornered diamonds

Cushion: Square cut with rounded corners. Was the most popular shape for the first century of its existence 200 years ago

Asscher: Square shape with large step cuts (long, narrow facets in rows), high crown, and a small table (the uppermost, flat surface of a diamond)

Emerald: Square shape with step cuts and a large table. Produces a hall-of-mirrors effect

Pear: Combination of a round and marquise shape. This is a very uniform and symmetrical cut

Princess: Square or rectangular shaped with the profile similar to that of an inverted pyramid. This is currently the second most popular cut

Round: This circular shape is the most popular cut today as it produces maximum brightness

Marquise:  Long and narrow football-shaped cut. Creates an illusion of greater size with its large surface area


The Four C’s

Now it’s time to get familiar with the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat. Each one of these components play an important role in judging a stone’s value.

Cut: The angles, proportions, and symmetry of how the stone is cut and shaped

What to Look For:

  • High shine and sparkle
  • Well-proportioned shape

Color: The actual color of the stone

What to Look For:

  • Scale of coloring from colorless to light yellow
  • If shopping for a traditional diamond, look for as colorless as possible
  • If shopping for a colored diamond like pink, blue, or yellow, look for intense coloring

Clarity: The presence of internal and external blemishes (a.k.a. inclusions) on the diamond

What to Look For:

  • Inclusions act like the stone’s birthmarks, they are formed with the diamond. The amount, size, and location of inclusions can impede the flow of light through the diamond, thus reducing its brightness
  • The fewer the inclusions, the greater the clarity

Carat: The weight of the stone. One carat = 200 milligrams

What to Look For:

  • While size is the most common factor in determining the value of a diamond, bigger is not always better. A smaller diamond with better clarity, cut, and color quality may be valued higher than a low quality larger diamond.
  • Decide which “C” is most important to you to truly gauge value for you

There you have it, your ultimate beginner’s guide to the world of diamond rings. Get familiar with these basics before venturing out into the unknown diamond world, OR read up about your current diamond and fall in love allover again with your favorite piece of jewelry!


Lumera Diamonds

American Gem Society