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4 Things to Know Before Buying a Diamond

Twinkling holiday lights. Glowing fireplace logs. Sparkling celebratory Champagne. Are they subtle reminders that it’s time to put some brilliance in your special someone’s life? Do it with a diamond.

If you’re thinking of giving a diamond as a holiday gift, knowing what to choose can be overwhelming; diamonds are complex little gems. Understanding their characteristics — the 4Cs — before visiting your jeweler can make the process easier.


The shape of the diamond is its cut. Whereas all diamonds are beautiful, all cuts are not created equal. Choose the highest cut grade within your budget. It’s the greatest influence on the diamond’s appearance — the “sparkle factor.” Among the most popular cuts are the round shape that offers a good balance of cut, color and clarity. A princess cut diamond (square with pointed corners) is a preferred shape for engagement rings. An emerald cut has rectangular facets (the flat faces of the gem that reflect light), whereas a marquise is an elongated stone that maximizes carat weight and gives the illusion of a larger diamond. The heart cut is an ideal choice for necklaces.


This is actually a measurement of the number and size of natural imperfections in the diamond. Those with the fewest and smallest blemishes have the highest clarity rating and a price point to match. Basically, you want a diamond that is “eye-clear” (one that has no visible imperfections as seen with the naked eye).


Color is not as important as the lack of it. Although they range from pale yellow to white to clear, the best-quality diamonds are colorless.


Size does matter with diamonds, and bigger is better. Carat refers to the measurement of a diamond’s weight, calculated by the distance in millimeters across the top of the stone. Carat size and cut grade are the two greatest indicators of a diamond’s quality.

When choosing a diamond holiday gift or engagement ring, seek the advice of experts. Those at Royal Jewelers, winners of “Best of Boston 2015” and “Best of North Shore 2015,” are waiting to help you find the perfect diamond.