It’s easy to find advice for how to find the best diamond engagement rings or wedding bands. Sometimes though, information can be more confusing than helpful. One misconception involves the size of the jewel, that bigger always means better. Diamond quality is made of many factors, not just weight.
Carat is a unit of measurement used to weigh diamonds. One metric carat equals one fifth of a gram. Sizeable rough diamonds are rare. When a diamond is cut for use in jewelry, up to half of the original mass is sacrificed. The bigger the cut diamond, the more uncommon. This limited supply helps fuel interest in larger stones.
Diamonds are evaluated by the Four Cs of diamond quality. Carat alone is not enough to determine a diamond’s excellence. Clarity, color and cut must also be taken into account. The first gauges the state of the crystal. Color measures the degree of tint in the stone. Cut determines the design and craftsmanship of the finished jewel.
Cutters must balance aesthetics with preserving weight. Some cuts, like the round brilliant cut diamond, sacrifice large amounts of carat to create a pretty gem. Tweaking the cut’s proportions may make the jewel heavier, but influence the stone’s brilliance. Mixed cuts, like the radiant and princess, create brightness while retaining weight. Other shapes, like the marquise cut diamond, give the illusion of being larger than their actual carat.
Diamonds big and small can be pretty. A micro pave wedding band is made of miniscule gems set close together to cover the shank in jewels. Eternity wedding bands have little gemstones mounted along the ring’s circumference for a sparkling and romantic look. What matters most is not the diamond’s carat, but whether the ring appeals to you.