The Four “C”s of Engagement Rings – and How They Can Help You

With the winter season upon us, the number of marriage proposals taking place is on the rise – and due to peak around the 21st December – one of the most popular days for engagement in the entire year.

But in preparing to buy diamond rings for your proposal, you should know about the four ‘C’s: what they are, and how they can help you choose a ring.


Colour is a key indicator of a diamond’s worth, with clearer-looking diamonds more in keeping with the conventional idea of a diamond’s beauty. Most jewellers use a diamond colour chart issued by the Gemological Institute of America, otherwise known as the GIA.

This chart grades diamonds on their colour using an alphabet scale, with ‘D’ representing an utterly colourless diamond and Z representing the other end of the scale, with strong hints of yellow and brown.

Diamonds that measure from ‘D’ to ‘F’ on the GIA’s scale are the most sought-after as a result of their clear appearance – but also more expensive, as a result.


A diamond engagement ring can be completely colourless, but that does not mean it is a ‘clear’ diamond. Clarity has a different meaning, indicating instead the number and visibility of imperfections in the diamond.

These imperfections appear in the form of blemishes, or inclusions – where the diamond has formed around other crystals, creating irregularities in the crystalline structure and presenting as imperfections within the diamond.

Naturally, the less inclusions and blemishes, the more ‘flawless’ the diamond can be described as, with complete flawlessness an extremely rare trait.


A diamond’s cut describes its treatment by professional jewellers prior to its sale – specifically, its shape and polish, and how those two factors affect the diamond’s ability to refract light well.

Diamonds are not naturally formed the way they appear in engagement rings; instead, facets are cut into them by jewellers, in order to accentuate their light-transmitting properties.

The word ‘scintillation’ describes how much a given diamond sparkles, with higher-grade cuts producing high scintillation and brightness.


Lastly, a diamond’s carat is its physical weight; a carat is exactly 200 milligrams, with 2 milligrams representing one of 100 ‘points’ in a carat.

Larger diamonds are harder to come across, and thus rarer, though all four of the ‘C’s need to be taken into consideration with regard to any diamond’s worth.

Ensure you receive the diamond certification certificate from your jeweller when purchasing your ring as this shows the validity of the diamond grading and will provide you with security in knowing your choice was the right one. 

It helps you to understand these 4 ‘C’s well before shopping around for engagement rings, as the knowledge gives you more autonomy in picking the rings right for you and your partner.

Buying the best possible product for your prices range should be within your grasp and knowing what to look for – and when you’re being mis-sold a lower-quality diamond – can save you money as well as bag you the perfect ring for your engagement.