With the popularity of men’s diamond rings on the rise, it’s a good idea to educate yourself a little on what you are buying. Here is a closer look at the all important four C’s, especially as they pertain to men’s diamond rings.
The clarity of a diamond is fairly straightforward—it simply reflects the number of imperfections found in a particular stone. Any inclusions in a diamond are totally natural and to be expected, and as a general rule do not greatly detract from a diamond’s beauty. The diamond clarity scale begins at I3 and tops out at FL, and can be divided into five major categories: I (included), SI (slightly included), VSI (very slightly included), VVSI (very, very slightly included) and FL (flawless) or IF (internally flawless, meaning any external imperfection could be removed). An included diamond has flaws visible to the naked eye, whereas a flawless diamond has no inclusions even when viewed fewer than 10 x magnifications (flawless diamonds are extremely rare). Each of these categories has its own subdivisions to further describe a diamond’s clarity. As one might expect, the higher the clarity, the more expensive the diamond. For men’s diamond rings that have more than one stone, sometimes a clarity range will be given, like I1-I3.
Yellow and brown diamonds are actually more common than colorless diamonds, so the more colorless or “white” the diamond, the more expensive it tends to be. The color of a diamond measures how noticeable a diamond’s color (or lack thereof) is. This scale ranges from D to Z, and goes from most colorless to most colored. Anything from D to F is considered to be colorless, H through G is nearly undetectably colorless, I through J is nearly colorless, and M through Z is increasingly colored. D grade is very rare and is considered to be absolutely colorless. For smaller stones in men’s diamond rings, you may not be given an exact color grade—this tends to be expressed only for larger diamonds.
Carats or carat weight specifically measure a diamond’s weight, and is not to be confused with karats that measures purity for gold. A single carat is the equivalent to 0.2 grams. It’s important to make the distinction that a diamond’s carats reflect its actual weight, not its apparent size or shape. Particular cuts can make a diamond appear to be larger than a similarly weighted diamond in another cut. Like clarity, if you buy men’s diamond rings with many stones you may be given a total carat weight rather than the weight of each stone.
While the cut of diamonds found in modern jewelry can range from marquis to emerald to radiant, the round or round brilliant cut is most commonly seen in men’s diamond rings. The round brilliant cut was developed in 1919, and has 57 to 58 facets. Not only does the round brilliant cut showcase the incomparable sparkle of diamonds to an impressive degree, but it is considered to be a “safe” cut—that is, there are no easily broken off thin points.
It should be noted that while the terms round and round brilliant cut are often used interchangeably, they are not one and the same. Round refers just to the basic shape of the diamond, and not the actual pattern of cuts/facets. For vintage or antique men’s diamond rings, you may see old mine or European cut diamonds, which are essentially the direct predecessors of the modern round brilliant, and can still be classified as round cut. While similar in shape, both of these cuts have fewer facets than the modern round brilliant, although both are still undeniably attractive.
While the four C’s are an important starting point for your diamond research, there are other factors to take into consideration when you are buying yellow gold men’s diamond rings, especially as they are likely to directly influence the value of your ring. Certification is sometimes considered to be the “fifth C,” and often accompanies larger diamonds. This diamond certificate is generated by one or more gemologists and clearly evaluates and presents a diamond’s particular qualities, including the four C’s.
You should also be aware of if you are buying a natural or synthetic diamond, as synthetic diamonds are far less expensive and do not hold the same value. Finally, if deciding between two particular men’s diamonds rings, a final swaying point can be the actual setting of the diamond, although this is normally just a personal preference.
Author Bio: This article was written by Tanya Zilinskas Naouri, who thinks that platinum men’s wedding rings are the right choice for men’s wedding bands.