Platinum and gold are the most popular choices of metal for diamond rings. Platinum is considered more elegant and sophisticated. It is extremely durable and its pure white color will not impart any color to the diamond. Platinum does a marvelous job of showcasing the stone and is the preferred setting for diamonds of higher quality. Gold, however, is extremely popular and a very acceptable choice. Rings typically come in 14K or 18K gold, yellow or white. The K refers to carat, or percentage of actual gold. Anything higher than 18K is considered soft and therefore not a good choice for a ring.
A diamond’s value is based on the 4 C’s: cut, color, carat and clarity. Cut can refer to the shape of the diamond, such as round, princess and marquise, as well as how expertly its facets are cut to refract light. Carat is the weight of the diamond. One carat is 200 milligrams. Certain shapes, particularly pear and marquise, are excellent choices for smaller diamond engagement rings as the cut makes the stone look larger than its carat weight. A diamond’s color is classified or “graded” using the letters D through Z. D is the most colorless and most valuable, whereas Z has the most color.
A diamond’s clarity is a measure of the ability of light to pass through it unimpeded. Loose diamonds typically have “inclusions” or small blemishes that hamper its brilliance. However, only those flaws visible at 10x magnification are considered when assigning the diamond’s clarity rating. Clarity is graded from F for flawless through I1, I2 and I3 for inclusions visible to the naked eye. Diamond jewelry rings with higher clarity grades will appear more sparkling and brilliant. The true value, though, lies in the eyes of the one who wears it. It should reflect her tastes or his style.