The Four Cs

posted 3 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Are you looking for a round brilliant or another cut? With a RB, having a too-shallow cut will take the sparkle away.

My preferences were for cut (maximizing sparkle), clarity, then color (I like a little warmth, so near-colorless was fine). Once those were set, we looked to see what carat weight we could afford. So I have a ideal-cut, VS2, J color, .66ct RB, and I adore it.


Post # 4
537 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@WeddingPea:  Wait. I guess I don’t understand. If you want to sacrifice cut to make the stone look larger, why isn’t carat your top priority?

Post # 5
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Clarity, Cut, Color, Carat

My uncle was a jeweler in NYC, did a lot of business in the diamond district, he taught me this order well. My father was able to get a flawless 1 carat F diamond for my mother, via my uncle, when they got engaged 40 years ago. Two days after they picked it up from my uncle, the diamond merchent in the district who sold it called my uncle asking to buy it back (at a much higher price).  He didn’t get it back. 

Everyone says “diamonds aren’t rare” – that’s true when you are talking about included and industrial diamonds.  Diamonds of any notable size with F-VS quality are rare, and that’s why clarity is one of the first things a jeweler will check when he examines a stone. The chain jewelery stores have flooded the market with low clarity diamonds, lessen the value.

Post # 6
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

Mine are:





I would be most prepared to compromise on carat size; as I have a cluster ring though, this wasn’t an issue and meant I could get high-quality stones easily within my price range.

If I were buying a bigger stone I would likely make compromises in most of the categories to an extent to get something I would be happy with overall. For example, while I rank carat size lowest, and wouldn’t be fussed about having something in the 1ct range, I wouldn’t go below something like a 0.5 ct if I were getting a solitaire; which would mean that I would likely have to compromise a bit elsewhere.

When I was approaching jewellers to remake my ring, I tried on a double halo ring in platinum, 1ct TW, with a 0.65ct G VS1 centre stone, that was within budget. For me, those were decent specs; however, had I gone ahead and bought a ring in that style I’d probably have gone down in carat size slightly, and up in colour to an F, and possibly up slightly in clarity to a VVS2. I wouldn’t have considered an H or above for colour, or below VS2 for clarity, personally speaking, as I’d have been very happy with a 0.65ct centre stone; anything else would have been a little large for my liking.

Post # 7
6407 posts
Bee Keeper

1. Cut (GIA XXX/AGS 000, HCA less than 2, with all subscores excellent, well-formed hearts and arrows under the scope).

2. Clarity (VS1+, no clouds or feathers, I prefer a single dark pinpoint in a high-contrast location as this is only noticeable if actively looking for it for a while in good light, and also is so tiny it doesn’t impede the light paths the cut was so careful to create by much – never could understand those who pay for great cut and then ruin it with bad clarity).

3. Color (I prefer F and better because I don’t spot the slight color without actively looking for it at this point – in an ideal round brilliant anyway). And I don’t like any fluorescence, as I see I hazinesss that bugs me and don’t like the blue glow some of them can have in bright sunlight.

4. Carat (I’m most flexible about this because diamonds can be beautiful at any size/weight. This will vary based on purpose/design. IMO there is such a thing as a diamond I’d feel is too large to wear on my finger, but I’m sure I could make use of it somehow else 🙂 and I also think that some designs are not as complimentary to smaller diamonds, so if that were the scenario, I would change the design or choose a colored gemstone.)

Post # 8
46 posts
  • Wedding: August 2011

Cut quality is the absolutely most important thing to insure a sparkly stone. AGS 000’s are my personal preference with table 54-58, crown angle 34-35 (34.5 is my sweet spot), pavilion angle 40.6-41 (40.8 is my sweet spot), and depth 60-62.

Slightly shallow can be good because you do get a little extra spread for carat weight, but too shallow or 60/60 stones that are shallow can run the risk of look dark face on rather than sparkly. Too deep leads to dark rings and nailheads in the center.

Carat- I will happily sacrifice some color and clarity for carat weight. The first thing people see is 1-sparkly (that’s the cut) and 2-size.

Color and Clarity- Color is a personal preference and depends on the stone itself, how well it has been cut (well cut can mask the color a little) and well cut can mask inclusions as well.

Post # 10
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@WeddingPea:  I think that for most people, there’s always a trade-off somewhere, unless they have a very large/unlimited budget, which most people don’t.

If I’d wanted a solitaire, I could have got a 1.01ct excellent-cut H SI2 stone within budget. For the same price I could have got a 0.84 G VS2, or a 0.75 F VS1; I’d likely have gone with the last one, whereas I know other people would be perfectly happy with the specs of the first stone, and would choose that to get the higher carat size.

Post # 11
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t really have a specific order of priority for the ‘C’s, because I’m always very specific about what I want. Meaning, I wouldn’t be ok with compromising below my preferred threshold on one if it was the only way to meet my threshold on a “more important” one. If I HAD to pick one that is MOST important in a diamond, however, it’s hands down Cut because Cut i most impactful on sparkle.

My fiance gave me the amount of $$ he planned to spend, and from that I set a threshold for each ‘C’ I wouldn’t go below. Then he bought a diamond based on that. My thresholds were:

Cut: Excellent/Ideal

Clarity: SI1 or better (Must be Eye Clean)

Color: H or higher

Carat: 2.8 or higher

It worked well — he spent what he wanted to spend, still picked out the diamond himself, and I got exactly what I wanted!


Post # 13
1787 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Cut and clarity were most important. Carat was important in that I didn’t want something bigger than half a carat for everyday wear. Color was least important, but if I had gone with a warm stone, I would have wanted a warm metal. 

Post # 15
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@WeddingPea:  Nice! Great minds 🙂 Have you looked at loose diamonds in person? I find that color really depends on the person. For me, the I range was when I personally started to notice color, so that’s why I told him H was lowest. He ended up buying a G and I never notice any color. That said, I have friends that have J’s and say they never notice any color.

Another aspect to think about is polish and symmetry. I ended up with a triple EX Hearts and Arrows stone and I think it’s noticeably more beautiful than others I have seen with decent stats.

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