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  • Writer's pictureValerieBound

Which of the 4 C’s is the most important?

If you’ve been shopping around for a diamond, chances are you already know about the 4 C’s. But I understand it can still be confusing. After all, there’s a lot of details in each of the 4 C’s. My advice – focus on just one C. The most important one! The one that makes the biggest difference, both to your pocketbook and to the person wearing the ring.

Want to know which one it is? It’s carat!

That’s right! Carat weight is by far the most important C when you’re buying a diamond. Let me explain why.

Carat weight most important of 4 C’s

Dollar for dollar, carat weight is basically where your money goes. The difference between a 1 carat diamond and 2 carat diamond is about $25,000. The difference between a “D” color stone and an “I” color stone? Negligible.

Clarity doesn’t move the needle, and neither does cut.

<img class=" wp-image-5518 lazyload" src="" alt="Neil Lane diamond engagement ring" width="501" height="520" srcset=" 1042w, 289w, 768w, 988w, 610w, 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 501px) 100vw, 501px" /> Neil Lane diamond engagement ring

The other truth that I probably don’t need to tell you is that carat weight is something everyone notices. And when people notice, people compare. I, for example, have noticed that most other women have larger diamonds than mine (more on this later). When the vast majority of American women have round diamonds, they’re going to be checking out not only their own, but their friends’ too. So carat weight, far more than color or anything else, is what YOU need to pay attention to!

Why the 3 other C’s don’t really matter

If you don’t believe me, here’s of quick overview of why the other 3 C’s are largely irrelevant.

First up, color. Obviously, you want a bright, sparkly diamond. Diamonds are graded based on how much yellow or blue tint they have in them. The more tint, the lower the grade. However, the difference between grades is so, so slight that you probably won’t be able to notice. Diamonds are graded from “D” to “Z.” You could go all the way to “I” before you’d start to see a difference.

<img class=" wp-image-6653 lazyload" src="" alt="Color range for diamonds is one of the important 4 C's" width="500" height="273" srcset=" 1008w, 300w, 768w, 610w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> The range of colors for diamonds

Next up, cut. Cut is all about making sure your diamond is cut to ensure maximum sparkliness. Spoiler alert – most of them already are! That is, after all, the main selling point of a diamond They sparkle like nothing else. So, of course, that’s what you want. The market essentially ensures that you’re getting diamonds that are cut well. So no worries.

Finally, clarity. Clarity looks at little impactions in a diamond. Chips or scratches on the outside, little things (like air bubbles) on the inside. Honestly, this C is the most worthless, in my opinion. Mainly because everything is invisible to the naked eye. That’s right! These diamonds are graded on things you can’t even see unless you have a microscope. Why would you even care???!!!

What size carat matters?

So now that you know carat is the most important, you probably want to know what size you should get. I’ll make it easy for you. Get a nice one carat diamond. Millions of Americans every year purchase a diamond right around the one carat mark. It’s by far the most popular size. It will set you back, though, about $2500. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less. But right around there. If you can’t afford that, you can’t afford it. Get something smaller. That’s what we did. My ring is 0.57 carats. It’s smaller than most other women’s rings because the most common carat size is one carat. I don’ really care. Looking back, it’s the truth of where we were financially at the time. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

<img class=" wp-image-5328 lazyload" src="" alt="My own wedding ring, in white gold" width="505" height="673" srcset=" 810w, 225w, 768w, 610w, 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 505px) 100vw, 505px" /> My own wedding ring, in white gold

Most people are interested in saving money when they’re buying a diamond. So one of the tricks you can use to your advantage is to buy at slightly under one carat. You can easily save hundreds of dollars buying a 0.93 carat diamond versus a 1.05 carat diamond. And no one will know the difference. They’re both one carat diamonds, for all intents and purposes.

How much should you spend?

You should spend how much you can afford, and the only person who knows what that amount is, is you. And your partner. For goodness sake, I hope you’re communicating about this topic! If someone tells you that you need to spend two month’s salary on a diamond, I want you to just start laughing! Like, no one does that anyone. That’s been out the window for a long time now….

And don’t hold any illusions about your diamond being an investment. You will never be able to resell it for anything close to what you bought it for. Ever. Just get used to that.

Enjoy your diamond

If you think I’m down on diamonds, don’t let this blog post fool you. I LOVE diamonds! But I’m an advocate for you, the consumer. And I don’t want to sugar-coat things. I want people buying diamonds with their eyes wide open. They are a gorgeous gemstone, and I treasure my own diamond ring.

And so should you! So go shopping, have fun, and remember that carat is the most important of the 4 C’s.


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