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Buying a Diamond


Diamonds are one of the world's most coveted stones. Natural diamonds are made from highly compacted and heated carbon over thousands of years. They are the hardest naturally occurring substance on earth, so you know they're durable enough for everyday wear. Diamonds come in varying shapes, quality levels and sizes. There are a few different factors that go into finding the ideal stone. The most important traits are commonly known as "the four C's" and are used to determine an individual diamond's value.Learn more about them to make sure that you're buying the right diamond.

Why buy a diamond?

There's no better way to say forever than purchasing a diamond engagement ring for your significant other.

Diamonds are great coming-of-age gifts for children. Consider a pair of diamond studs with gold posts as a graduation gift or a golden birthday.

If you're wondering what to get your significant other for their birthday or as an anniversary gift, diamonds are always the perfect choice.

4 C's of Diamonds


  • Parts of a diamondshould be equal and well-proportioned
  • Brightness, fire and scintillation determine a good cut
  • A perfectly cut diamond will produce a high shine and sparkle
  • If the cut of the diamond is too deep, you'll notice a dark spot in the middle
Learn more about diamond cut


  • Rated on a diamond color scale from D, completely colorless, to Z, light yellow
  • Completely colorless diamonds are the most valuable because they are chemically and structurally pure
Learn more about diamond color


  • Clarity refers to internal and external blemishes on the diamond
  • Those eleven grades of clarity fall into six different categories that describe how visible any flaws are
  • You'll need a jeweler help appraise the value of the diamond and point out any unseen blemishes
Learn more about diamond clarity


  • The carat refers to the weight of the stone; one carat is equivalent to a weight of 200 milligrams
  • In general, the larger the carat the more expensive the diamond. However, a larger low-quality stone may be less expensive than a smaller high-quality one
  • Carat should not be confused with karat, which is the unit measurement of gold
Learn more about carat and karat

Features and other considerations


  • Synthetic diamonds are man-made stones created in laboratories
  • Conflict-free diamonds are certified to be from mines with ethical practices
  • Natural diamonds are created with the extreme heat and pressure of the Earth's mantle

Types of diamond shape


Otherwise known as the "pillow cut" or the "old mine cut," the cushion cut has been around for nearly 200 years. This shape is a proportionate, almost square rectangle with rounded edges.

  • Price range: $2,800-$7,400*
  • Carat range: .5-1.4 carats
  • Best on: Rings





Cushion diamonds are best for...

Shoppers who want a radiant stone: Cushion diamonds have a high fire, which means that they shine very brightly. Diamonds with this cut make a great gift for anyone who wants high shine and an intense sparkle,but still wants the appeal of atimeless shape.


People who love vintage charm with a modern touch: The cushion cut is one of the oldest cuts. A cushion cut gives any new diamond a classic feel, which can be paired with a modern setting and style.




Originally designed to cut emeralds, this cut is extremely recognizable even to those who don't know much about jewelry. Emerald-cut diamonds have fewer facets, which emphasizes a stone with high clarity. They range from nearly squared shapes to narrow rectangles. A good emerald cut should have a length to width ratio of 1.5 with narrow angled cuts that resemble a set of stairs.

  • Price range: $100-$12,275*
  • Carat range: .25-3.8 carats
  • Best on: Earrings




Emerald diamonds are best for...

Lovers of the Asscher cut: The emerald cut is extremely similar to the Asscher cut. If you love the square cut of the Asscher but are looking for something with a rectangular shape, the emerald cut is for you.

Those seeking dramatic jewelry: The deep cuts produce contrasting light and dark planes that create a vivid shine.



The Asscher cut diamond has eight sides and stair-step facets that are extremely similar to the emerald cut. Asscher diamonds have the same facets as emerald cuts but are squarer than their rectangular counterparts.

  • Price range: $1,700-$7,400*
  • Carat range: .5-1.3 carats
  • Best on: Rings




Asscher diamonds are best for...

Vintage vixens: The Asscher cut was a 1920s favorite for engagement rings. It originated in the Roaring Twenties, so it sports theArt Deco feel of this era and anantique charm. You can still find Prohibition Era rings or have an Asscher set in a modern take on an Art Deco-style setting.

Fashion mavens: The Asscher-shaped diamond has a dramatic flair with deep cuts that produce a high fire. The unique shape of the Asscher cut offers a sophisticated feel to any piece of jewelry.



The heart-shaped diamond is the perfect way to show that you care. A high-quality heart cut will have adistinctcleft and bottom point. The cleft is the part that sits between the two lobes, or halves, of the heart-shaped diamond. The larger the carat, the easier to see the heart shape so consider carat size when shopping for a heart cut.

  • Price range: $1,350-$2,400*
  • Caratrange: .25-.4 carats
  • Best on: Pendants



Heart diamonds are best for...

The recent grad or a young lady celebrating a big birthday: Diamonds cut in a heart shape not only show a sign of love, but they also show a sign of support. Giving diamond jewelry says that you trust that they're mature enough to wear such a precious stone and that you cherish them.

Romantics: A heart-shaped diamond symbolizes your love. When you give your loved ones diamond hearts, you're showing your feelings for them through the gift of jewelry.



The marquise cut is a long, slender diamond with an elliptical shape that comes to a point on each end. A uniqueperk to this elongated cut is that it maximizes carat weight. For example, a marquise cut stone is that 1.5 carats looks larger than a marquise diamond that weighs 2 carats.

  • Price range: $100-$7,000*
  • Carat range: .1-1carats
  • Best on: Rings or bracelets




Marquise diamonds are best for...

People who want slimming jewelry: When placed vertically on a ring, the elliptical shape of the marquise cut stone will elongate your fingers and offer a slimming effect.

Fans of an antique look: Marquise diamonds boast a unique shape and an antique feel as both a solitary gem or added as side stones to a different cut.


Oval cut diamonds are a great choice if you like round cuts with a slight twist. They accentuate fingers to make them look longer and it maximizes your carat weight. Similar to a marquise cut, a wide cut oval diamond of a smaller carat weight will appear larger than a weightier stone due to its elongated and wide shape.

  • Price range: $1,300-$9,000*
  • Carat range: .35-1.25carats
  • Best on: Rings or earrings




Oval diamonds are best for...

Buyers who want the most for their money: One benefit to purchasing an oval diamond is that often the smaller carat sizes look bigger than a larger carat diamond. The length and widthof the oval tricks the eye into thinking that it's a heavier stone.

People who like round cuts but want an elongated look: If you're not fond of the elliptical marquise stone, but still want a diamond that helps elongate your fingers, oval is the perfect choice.



The pear cut diamond, otherwise known as a teardrop, is another diamond cut that offers a slimming effect on the hand. This shape combines the point in a marquise cut and the circular top of a round cut. The pear shape has a tapered end and can be easily chipped, so the tapered end should always be set in a prong. The proper way to wear this cut is with the tapered end pointing towards the wearer.

  • Price range: $200-$8,200*
  • Carat range: .1-1.25 carats
  • Best on: Necklaces




Pear diamonds are best for...

The woman who has everything: While the pear cut is not one of the most popular for engagement rings, earrings or necklaces, that doesn't mean they aren't just as pretty. The uniqueness of the shape and rarity at which it's worn offers the wearer something special and uncommon in the world of jewelry.

Settings with diamond accents: The pear cut looks stunning as a solitary stone and even better when offset by two smaller stones on either side.




The princess cut is a square diamond. Princess cuts are one of the most popular engagement ring styles and one of the iconic diamond shapes. When shopping for a princess cut diamond, be sure you have all four corners set in prongs to prevent any chipping.

  • Price range: $50-$2,700*
  • Carat range: .05-2carats
  • Best on: Rings and bracelets




Princess diamonds are best for...

People who want a lot of sparkle: Princess-cut diamonds have a high level of fire, which means that the light catches the diamond and creates an intense shine.

People on a budget: When jewelers cut princess diamonds from a larger stone, they don't have to waste as much of the diamond as they would for more intricate cuts.


The traditional radiant cut is a square or rectangular diamond with brilliant facets that catch the light. All radiant shapes have trimmed corners that set it apart from the princess cut.

  • Price range: $165-$6,000*
  • Carat range: .05-1.4carats
  • Best on: Earrings




Radiant diamonds are best for...

Active individuals: Radiant diamonds don't have sharp corners like princess-cut diamonds, making them a good match for people who are active and like to do things with their hands. The lack of sharp corners makes the diamond more durable and chip-resistant.

People who want a square cut and high shine: Radiant cuts embody their name with tiny facets that catch the light in a variety of ways. The radiant diamond is in the square category but has soft edges and brilliant luster.



The beautiful round diamond is one of the most expensive diamond cuts out there, although round accent stones are more affordable. The high demand and low supply for this style, as well as the fact that more of the rough diamond is lost in creating this cut than any other are the main factors contributing to its high price.

  • Price range: $50-$11,300*
  • Carat range: .05-3.3carats
  • Best on: Earrings and rings




Round diamonds are best for...

Anyone looking for a timeless diamond: Round diamonds are a classic choice that will always be chic. Whether it's a pair of stud earrings, an engagement ring or a bracelet, it's the perfect choice for any fashion taste.

A woman with a slim face: Round diamond earrings like studs look best on a woman with a slimmer face.



Bottom Line

Whether you're about to pop the question or just want to give your significant other a sweet gift for your anniversary, a diamond is the perfect choice. Remember that cut, clarity, color and carat are the defining factors in finding the ideal diamond. After considering these four C's of diamonds, determine the cut that will fit her personality and lifestyle. Each stone has its own identity with different aspects that make it stand out.


*Diamond prices may fluctuate based on changes in market value

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