4 Essential Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Engagement Ring

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4 Essential Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Engagement Ring

So, you are ready to pledge your troth and ask your sweetheart to marry you. Before you buy your engagement ring, however, you most likely will have many questions. Here are the four essential questions to ask before buying your engagement ring.

What are the Four C’s? 

Whenever you read about diamonds, you will always find refer to the Four C’s. What are they and what do they stand for? The Four C’s stands for carat, clarity, color, and cut. Together, these four aspects to a diamond determine a diamond’s beauty, desirability, and its price.


Carat refers to how much a diamond weighs. The larger (heavier) the diamond, the more expensive it will be because larger sized diamonds are more rare. Usually a high carat diamond will look larger in size, but it depends on the cut.

The most common carat size for an engagement ring is one carat or larger. You can often find a larger diamond for less money per carat weight when it has a different style of cut. The suitable carat weight for your engagement ring depends upon your style, budget, and preferences.


Although diamonds are available in a rainbow of colors, the traditional diamond for engagement rings is close to colorless. Sometimes called a “white diamond,” a diamond that is nearly absent of color is the purest form of the gem. Without color distortion, light can pass through the diamond and disperse with fiery flashes. Clear Diamonds chosen for engagement rings are usually chosen in the color range of D (colorless) through I (having a gray tinge.)


Every diamond, because it is a creation of nature, has some kind of flaw of blemish called an “inclusion.” The cleaner the diamond, the more valuable and the more expensive it becomes. Many inclusions can only be seen through a microspore. The “map” of the inclusions is how each diamond is differentiated, making it possible for distinguish each diamond from another. 

Scratches and inclusions that are visible to the naked eye can greatly detract from a diamond's beauty. Most purchasers select diamonds that have invisible inclusions to avoid the expense of a near perfect diamond. The larger the diamond, the more likely it will have inclusions. A clean, large size diamond is rare and costly.


While each of the Four C’s contribute to the overall beauty of a particular diamond, the cut is crucial for a diamond to have brilliance (sparkle.) A poorly cut diamond will not properly reflect light. It can look out of proportion and unattractive on the finger. Whatever shape you choose, the quality of the cut of your diamond will determine whether the gemstone looks dull or has fiery luminosity.

A high-quality cut is proportional. It allows light to enter through the top of the diamond, angle into the core (or pavilion,) and reflect out the opposite side. A high-quality diamond cut will project the most symmetry of reflected light. It will refract a mesmerizing light that boasts the sharp precision of the shape of the diamond. Round brilliant cut diamonds are usually the most expensive because of their fiery brilliance, and they are the most popular shape.

What Are Popular Diamond Shapes?  

For more in-depth descriptions of the different Diamond Shapes, use this link.

Round brilliant cut diamonds are the most popular shape and offer 360 degrees of radiance. They provide exceptional brilliance.

Emerald cuts have a long, rectangular shape. Because they do not have many facets, the clarity of the diamond is crucial because it is easy to see any impurities. Although it does not have the sparkle of some of the other shapes, it has a singular, clear beauty.

Pear cut diamonds are tapered at one end. They are considered one of the most romantic of diamond shapes.

Similar to an emerald cut, an Asscher cut diamond has four sides, but is more square-shaped. It is more brilliant than an emerald cut.

Cushion Cut diamonds have a square shape with rounded corners. They offer a brilliant and feminine appearance.

Oval Cut diamonds work well in almost any setting and are especially attractive with side gemstones.

The Princess Cut diamond is sweet and sophisticated with four corners. It is versatile enough to fit any engagement ring setting. It is the second most popular cut after the round brilliant cut.

Radiant Cuts are square or slightly rectangular and have exceptional brilliance.

Marquis Cut diamonds are oval shaped with pointed ends. They help to elongate the appearance of the finger.

The Trillion Cut is a triangular shape, with an emphasis of three sharp points on each end. It needs a special setting to protect the points. It is considered a contemporary shape. Often, trillions are used as side gems to a primary gemstone.

Baguette Cut diamonds are long and slender, marked by clean lines. They are most often used as accent stones.

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What Alternatives to Diamond Engagement Rings?

Diamonds are not the only gems suitable for engagement rings. Many women want the color and novelty of colored gemstones. There is a rainbow of colored gems to choose from. Rubies, aquamarines, emeralds, sapphires, amethysts, opals – there are unlimited colored gemstones to suit every taste. Make sure to select colored gems that are durable enough to be worn every day!

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What Types of Precious Metal Settings Are Used in Settings?

The metal is the foundation, the support that showcases every admirable asset of your engagement ring. Selecting a proper metal that compliments the factors of your tastes and lifestyle is important. The precious metals for engagement rings include platinum,  yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold. Come, pick out your fave!

Platinum is considered the finest of rare metals. It is the heaviest and withstands abrasions better than softer metals. Its white color enhances both clear diamonds and colored gems.

Yellow gold has been favored throughout history, especially with royalty, because of its rich color and high shine.

Charming and feminine, rose gold is gaining in popularity for those who want a more distinctive metal setting. It looks great with pink colored gems, as well as clear diamonds,

White gold is often used with diamonds because it offers a non-competing color background. White gold tends to work well with other materials and offers a fresh look. It is often used in contemporary styles.

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Before you set out to make your engagement ring purchase, keep the answers to these four questions in mind. Knowing the Four C’s, diamond shapes, stone center alternatives, and types of rare metal settings are all crucial for making the right decisions about buying a gift that will last a lifetime - your diamond engagement ring.


Turley Jeweler carries a full inventory of diamonds and colored gems in all price ranges. We have a wide variety of settings, from demurely traditional to bold, contemporary designs. If you don’t find exactly what you want, we will custom design an engagement ring that will be treasured for a lifetime. Visit our store at 11219 South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest Village, Miami, Florida, 33156. (305)252-1123 and Info@TurleyJewelers.com