Diamond Shopping? Take an 'Engaging' Lesson From the Rich and Famous

If the approach of wedding season has put engagement rings on your brain, make an educated evaluation with the four Cs of diamonds: cut, color, carat size and clarity.

If anyone understands the statement an engagement ring makes, it's a celebrity. Although they entertain us with funny pics of fashion failures, engagement rings are the side of fashion that stars always shine in. Learn the basics of diamonds from the people who know them best.

Carefully Cut

A diamond's cut refers to its proportions. If cut well, light will properly reflect from the diamond's facets and refract light through its top and side angles. Look for diamonds that have their weight distributed evenly, and aren't too top or bottom heavy. A beautiful diamond has excellent symmetry and sparkle.

Supermodel Brooklyn Decker's engagement ring from tennis player Andy Roddick is a delicately cut solitaire diamond engagement ring from Tiffany and Co, according to glamour.com. Its simple beauty shows that with a great cut, a single diamond can shine as bright as a multitude of them will.

'Colorless' Color

Diamonds are graded on a D through Z scale. D is colorless and the most valuable; Z is slightly yellow or brown, which lowers its value and price. The naked eye will find it nearly impossible to distinguish differences in color until about the J level, which starts the tinted-yellow range. A diamond in that range may offer the best value for your money. If you can't see the difference, why pay more?

One jeweler told Eonline.com that Blake Lively's engagement ring from beau Ryan Reynolds was definitely white in color. The rare pink oval-shaped diamond is mounted on a diamond band.

Carat Weight

A diamond's weight is measured in carats, along with a system of points. One point equals .01 carat, and 100 points equals one carat. Similarly, a 25-point diamond is one quarter carat.  Although size is what people talk about, factors like color and cut also play a role in how large a diamond appears. A poorly cut, large diamond won't look as beautiful as a well-cut, smaller diamond.

The rings in Hollywood, however, just seem to get bigger and bigger. Jennifer Aniston and  Hillary Duff are big-ring contenders, but not many can compete with the 18-carat Lorraine Schwartz emerald-cut center stone set in platinum that Jay-Z bought Beyonce when he proposed in 2008. According to People.com, the ring is worth an estimated five million dollars.

Clarity

Tiny flaws in a diamonds are called inclusions, and they include tiny bubbles, cracks and non-diamond materials. A jeweler considers inclusions when determining a diamond's purity and price. Included diamonds have defects visible to the naked eye, and they're more affordable. Flawless diamonds are determined by looking at them through microscope; they are rare and expensive. A good balance of inclusions will offer the best value for the money.

A stone has the following clarity range, according to diamond.com:
  • Flawless
  •  
  • Internally flawless
  •  
  • Very, very slight inclusions
  •  
  • Very slight inclusions
  •  
  • Slight inclusions
  •  
  • Included

Katherine Heigl's then-boyfriend gave her a three-carat, pear-shaped diamond that incorporated part of her mother's engagement ring, DiamondRingsOrangeCounty.com reported. The diamond is surrounded by pave and supported by a diamond band, and it nearly hypnotized tabloid readers.
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