Terms To Know When Ring Shopping

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When shopping for a ring, it is very important to know what you are looking for before you buy. Understanding ring and diamond terminology is a basic necessity in order to get the perfect ring for your money. It all comes down to knowing your preferences and knowing what you can afford to purchase. When you have adequate knowledge of these basic terms, you'll be able to buy the perfect ring for your perfect someone. Before you leave the house, brush up on these common terms before searching for your ring.

The Four C's

The cut of the stone refers to the shape of the stone. You can get a round, pear shaped, oval, princess-cut, emerald-cut, heart-shaped, marquise, or radiant-cut stone. The "make" refers to the quality of the stone's cut. A combination of these things will determine how much sparkle the stone will have in the light.

The color of the diamond is measured depending on the amount and tone of the color in the stone. A colorless diamond is rated a D, and that means that it is exceptionally white. Letters D through H are white in color, while I-through-Z-rated diamonds are tinted. The Z rating indicates a yellow or brown tone in the stone. Someone who is not familiar with this color scale can still see the difference between shades of the stone.

The clarity of the stone refers to any imperfections within the diamond. These are called inclusions. When there are obvious flaws or inclusions, the diamond is less brilliant because of the inability of the light to properly pass through the diamond. The diamond is magnified 10 times and graded on its clarity based on the number of inclusions, the size, the color, and the reflectivity of the light.

The carat is the weight of the diamond. One carat is equal to 200 mg in weight; most people assume that the carat is the size of the stone. The cost of the stone is based on the carat weight first, then based on the cut, clarity, and color. When the carat weight increases, the cost of the stone will increase as well.


Solitaire refers to a ring that is a single diamond in a plain metal setting. There are no other decorative diamonds on the ring or in the setting: The single diamond is the featured stone on the ring. In contrast, a multi-stone setting has several different featured stones.


A semi-mount ring is one that has a place for a featured stone, but the setting is already adorned with decorative stones. These stones can be diamonds or another type of stone. They will enhance the featured stone.


A pavé setting is a semi-mount setting with tiny stones set extremely close together so that hardly any metal from the ring shows through. The word comes from the French word for "pavement" because it looks as if it is paved with tiny stones. The pavé setting gives the appearance of lots of sparkle and shine.

Ring Metals

The actual ring is made up of metal, and you can choose which metal you'd like for your ring. The most common rings metals are yellow gold, white gold, silver, platinum, tungsten carbide, and titanium. The strongest metals are platinum, tungsten, and titanium, and they will not be as susceptible to normal wear and tear or possible damage as gold, white gold, or silver.