Trying to navigate the tricky world engagement rings is tough. You’ve most likely been given a budget (which is always going to be just that little bit too low), and you’re lugging your Birkin all over town to find a jeweller that understands exactly what you want.
The trick for a pain-free shopping excursion is to understand the 4 Cs of a ring – cut, clarity, colour and carat – because once you know this, your jeweller will be able to fit you with the perfect ring quicker than you can say ‘I do’.
So fairies, we spoke with Antonio from Oroginale Jewellery to get the cheat’s guide to the 4 Cs of an engagement ring.
Clarity is an important part of choosing a diamond and obviously reflects the price of a diamond. Clarity refers to the natural imperfections that are in the diamond – the larger the imperfection, the lower the clarity. The first thing a bride should do is choose a reputable internationally certified diamond such as GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) which will almost guarantee the diamond being purchased and the clarity stated on the certification is fairly accurate. It is also important to see a selection of diamonds with the naked eye because this allows you to understand that a diamond is as unique as you are and an imperfection isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Avoid purchasing a diamond online or without having seen it in real life. If you’re buying based on the certification alone, it is incredibly risky, as you might have two diamonds with the same clarity certified by the same certification company, yet one has a much more noticeable imperfection.
When purchasing a diamond in the VS to SI category ask your jeweller to present to you diamonds without Black Carbon imperfections, as they can be visible to the naked eye. My preference for clarity without overspending would be a VS2 to an SI1. Bear in mind that an excellently cut diamond can make all the difference – it can counteract any imperfections and leave you with a high-sparkle piece, without having to spend extra on an imperfection-free stone.
For me, colour is the most important consideration when purchasing a diamond. The best colour on the diamond chart is D and it can go as low as Z. The higher the colour, the more expensive and the whiter the diamond is. When purchasing a diamond, it would be a good choice to keep the colour anywhere from D to G, as anything lower and you’ll start seeing a tinge of yellow. If you had a budget in mind and wanted to choose between the colour and clarity, I would highly recommend prioritising colour. This is because diamonds are traditionally known to have a white sparkle, so this colour is the first thing people notice.
Before you purchase, make sure you’ve viewed the diamond in real life (not via images) and I also recommend taking the diamond outside to see how it sparkles in natural light.
Although every bride-to-be injects her own taste into the final piece, universally the most popular cut of a diamond is round. At Oroginale Jewellery, we’ve designed countless cuts – heart, oval, marquise, pear-shaped, emerald, radiant, oval, trillian, princess and cushion. My piece of advice is to stay away from seasonal trends and instead go for a diamond that is classic and timeless.
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond, for example, a quarter carat weighs on the diamond scale 0.25 pts, half a carat weighs 0.50 pts, etc. If it’s cut correctly, the heavier the diamond, the larger it is. To ensure the proportions of the carat and cut are ideal, opt for a GIA certified diamond and check that it is rated as ‘excellent’ under the cut and symmetry section of the certificate. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that bigger is always better. The design of the ring may mean you need to opt for a small diamond. Choose the style first and then pick the diamond according to the design and your budget.
Oroginale Jewellery is a Sydney-based family jeweller run by Kris and Antonio Kelzi. With more than 50 years of industry experience, Kris has instilled honesty and integrity into the family business which specialises in guiding couples to finding their perfect wedding and engagement rings.