You’re busy—even in your downtime, it always feels like there’s something on your mind. And ever since your sweetheart started hinting that he’ll be popping the big question soon, you’ve been stressed about another thing: how to pick the right diamond engagement ring for you. Numerous questions arise as you’ve started the hunt: What should I look for in a diamond? And how do I choose the right diamond engagement ring that works for my style and budget?
Our Approach To Diamonds When Selecting Your Engagement Ring
The engagement ring buying process can certainly be intimidating, even if you’ve narrowed down your budget and the styles you like. Equally nerve-wracking is trying to educate yourself about diamonds and not knowing quite where to start. Figuring out how to pick a diamond engagement ring can and should be an enjoyable process, but is often stressful for couples.
For most people, researching what to look for in a diamond and how to pick a diamond engagement ring can feel a lot like learning a new language. Our philosophy at Jean Dousset uniquely places ease and effortlessness at the forefront; rather than inundating our clients with information in need of translation, we aim to give you an “à la carte recommendation” of what the right diamond is for you, with your budget, style, and unique preferences in mind. We guide you through the process of how to pick a diamond engagement ring.
“Our clients shouldn’t have to do any of the dirty work,” Jean notes. “I’ve learned how to appreciate and select diamonds over decades so that you don’t have to figure it out in the short amount of time you’re given to search and select your diamond. So, from all the diamonds available, we rule out all of the stones you should never consider—whether that’s because they’re unnecessarily expensive and out of your budget, or simply unacceptable due to low quality and a lack of beauty.”
At Jean Dousset, our digital diamond feed is composed of stones that have been uniquely selected according to our strict standards. We find the very best stones available on the market, so you don’t have to. You can use our online diamond shopping filters to find the perfect stone for your diamond engagement ring. We believe in making the process painless, but we also believe it’s useful to know the basics of how diamonds are evaluated, so you feel empowered when shopping for the right engagement ring.
The 4Cs® of Diamonds
There are a few universal diamond education concepts and tips that you may find helpful during your engagement ring journey. One of these concepts is the 4Cs of diamonds, which refer to the characteristics—cut, color, clarity, and carat—that maximize the beauty of a diamond. And though the universal 4C characteristics are anything but the end-alls of identifying the right diamond for you, understanding the meanings of cut, color, clarity, and carat can be convenient when shopping for an engagement ring, or diamond jewelry in general.
When it comes to the 4Cs and the right diamond, the most important characteristic is a diamond’s cut. “Cut is everything, and diamond cutting is a traditional art form that requires skill, vast experience, insight, and, of course, taste,” Jean says. “And as with any art form, there are artists with better execution, or better product than others. So we focus on identifying the diamonds that have the best cut, crafted by only the best artists—and we exclusively work with diamond cutters that specifically cut for beauty, not just value and profit.”
The cut of a diamond is paramount because it’s “what the diamond delivers and what the world sees; [a diamond’s cut] delivers the light, the scintillation, and the brilliance,” Jean emphasizes. A diamond’s cut is what makes it so eye-catching.
Another important (and super-visible) aspect of a diamond is its color, which can be described as the distinction between a diamond that’s exceptionally white, perfectly white, or has a hint of yellow that becomes increasingly noticeable, according to Jean. “Those who aren’t used to handling diamonds often describe a diamond’s ‘color’ as the thing that makes it look ‘clear’—so the better the color, the more clear the diamond appears to be to the average individual,” says Jean.
Perhaps the most well-known aspect of the 4Cs when it comes to engagement rings is carat weight. To put it simply, carat weight measures how much a diamond weighs. Generally larger diamonds with a higher carat weight are more expensive because they are rarer. It’s important to remember, however, that a diamond’s value is determined using all of the 4Cs, and not just carat weight. An engagement ring with a large diamond that’s big on carat weight, but has a poor cut, can very well be less striking than a diamond with smaller carat weight and skillful cut.
In terms of a diamond’s appearance, clarity—which is the number of inclusions that were sealed into a diamond at the time of its formation—is a characteristic that impacts a diamond’s price far more than its beauty, Jean notes. “To a certain degree, clarity doesn’t have any impact or influence on the visual appearance and experience of a diamond itself—inclusions are actually microscopic, so you can’t see them with the human eye,” Jean says. “So our approach is to have a very focused selection of diamonds [in terms of clarity] so that you can have a ‘clear’ diamond without the clarity making the cost of a diamond prohibitive. It’s all about balance,” Jean notes.
How To Pick The Right Diamond Engagement Ring As A Couple
And, perhaps even more notably, none of the 4Cs of diamonds are relevant if the shape and style of the diamond engagement ring aren’t right for the woman wearing it. “The number-one rule I always tell someone shopping for rings is to not improvise when it comes to choosing a diamond’s shape,” Jean emphasizes. “In these modern times, an engagement is a conversation that should have many elements. Women are so much more plugged into the topic of engagement rings—they research, they Pinterest, they bookmark, even if their partner doesn’t know it. Plus, they know their personal tastes more than anyone else. So her preferences really need to be front and center of the decision-making process. And unfortunately, if a man must improvise, it’s always best to go with the ‘safest’ option.” There are many different journeys couples take when figuring out how to pick a diamond engagement ring. We suggest using our Your Dream Ring® tool to design your dream ring together in the privacy of your home, or solo to drop a hint later, to make sure you’re buying the right engagement ring you both love.
Jean Dousset’s Beyond the 4Cs® Approach
The 4Cs are merely a start to the basics of diamonds—which is why we approach diamond selection with our Beyond the 4Cs® approach, from a unique financial, analytical, and impartial perspective that travels beyond what’s listed on a GIA certificate.
For instance, because prices vary widely between stones with identically graded 4C characteristics, we choose to identify a stone’s total brilliance and overall beauty as it pertains to your budget; thus, when shopping with us, you know your diamond engagement ring will be set with the most beautiful diamond available to you. Our team of experts can source diamonds without bias because we don’t own diamonds—we only find them, and propose the right stones we truly believe in.
“Our philosophy is not to inundate you with an excess of information that you need to digest, but rather offer guidance of what the ideal diamond is for you, from a financial, analytical, and quality perspective—and that’s our promise,” Jean says. “Learning about diamonds doesn’t have to be exhausting or intimidating. We believe people deserve to enjoy the rush of emotion and excitement that arises in their most treasured moments because getting your dream engagement ring isn’t about studying up… it’s about the feeling, the experience, and the celebration of starting a new chapter in your story.”