Having no idea how to pinpoint the perfect engagement ring can deter even the most eager proposers of marriage. So we teamed up with Tiffany & Co. to break down the most important points in their proprietary diamond guide. All you really need to understand: the “four Cs” of evaluating any diamond — cut, clarity, color, and carat weight — and the unique-to-Tiffany & Co. quality of “presence.” Check out the cheat sheet on those below; then go get a superlative ring with confidence.
This is the most critical factor in sizing up your diamond. Tiffany & Co. describes cut as “the precise positioning, shape and angle of a diamond’s facets,” which cumulatively impact its brilliance. Cut precision and shape go hand-in-hand, as the former can greatly enhance the latter. Speaking of shape, here are your options: cushion, square, emerald, oval, princess, round brilliant, and pear. Learn more about the anatomy of a diamond’s cut and the different shape varieties. Then shop by shape.
Unlike with your would-be fiancé(e), being a tough critic is a good thing when diamond shopping. And looks definitely count: A “ten” in human-desirability standards is to “flawless” in diamond clarity. According to Tiffany & Co., truly flawless stones are extremely rare, and must show neither internal flaws (known as clouds, feathers, and pinpoints) nor external imperfections (scratches, picks, nicks) under 10-power magnification. Compare perfect clarity with the subpar below. Then exercise your newly trained eye.
Diamonds are clear, right? Well, a beautiful, classic-diamond engagement ring should be. But, as “minute impurities” can give stones a slight tinted effect, there’s actually a scale for color-grading them. “D” signifies “colorless,” while “Z” means “saturated.” Tiffany & Co., naturally, is a stickler in this category, only accepting diamonds that are categorized as “I” (near colorless) or better. Find out how Tiffany & Co. uses UV light to weed out "milky" stones. Then see some winners.
Here we’re talking about a diamond’s weight. Despite the air of flashiness around the term’s use, a diamond isn’t valued on carats alone. (Ones with equal weights may vary significantly cost-wise.) Notably, at Tiffany & Co., carat weight comes second to brilliance, which they amplify by how they cut each diamond. As the brand puts it, “beauty trumps size every time.” See the results of Tiffany & Co.’s higher standards.
After 130 years of making standard-setting, obsessively sought-after, and just-plain stunning engagement rings, Tiffany & Co. knows something about what elevates one above all others. So, fittingly, the brand’s ultimate litmus test for any diamond goes beyond the fundamental four Cs. This exclusive quality, presence, is a testament to the precision of the cut, its symmetry, and polish, all contributing to the stone’s brilliance, dispersion, scintillation, and overall appearance, says the jeweler. And if you’re looking for the best of the best, here are some other considerations to take note of.
The art behind a uniquely designed, hand-cut, hand-polished engagement ring shows. (Tiffany & Co.’s are crafted by devoted, highly skilled artisans.)
Simply, make sure you’re making a strong investment. An exemplary route: Tiffany & Co. rejects 99.96% of the world’s gem-grade diamonds in favor of the scarce elite.
- Social Conciousness
A beautiful diamond should be a responsible one. Transparent sourcing and crafting Tiffany & Co. rings in-house allow for a positive environmental and social impact.