A Guide to the Four C’s of Choosing an Engagement Ring

The days of spending three months’ salary on an engagement ring are long gone. Simply spend the right amount for you. Here we talk about what to bear in mind when buying an engagement ring.

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The Four Cs

The four Cs are cut, clarity, colour and carat.


Cut refers to how the gem was sliced and given facets to create a shine. A brilliant is the classic diamond look which is super-shiny in the sun, while a muted romantic rose cut reflects light more subtly. Marquise cuts are shaped like a boat, and baguette cuts are rectangular.


Inclusions are little marks which are part of all stones. Diamond quality ranges from FL (flawless and extremely rare) to 13 (visible and large inclusions). Many rings have small inclusions which can only be seen with a microscope.

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White diamonds are graded on a scale according to colour. Pure white is D, while Z is yellow. Note that pink, black and champagne diamonds don’t fit into this system.


A carat is a measurement used to describe the weight of a diamond. It does not always reflect the diameter of a stone, as different cuts can alter a stone’s profile.

Your Fiancée’s lifestyle

Think about your fiancée’s lifestyle before buying. Try to get a ring that will harmonise with her style. For example, is her aesthetic classic, edgy, vintage or eccentric? Bearing her preferences in mind will help you to narrow down your options to something that will suit her perfectly.

Stone Options

Diamonds can be ethically sourced and conflict-free. Sapphires and rubies are good alternatives, while softer emeralds and opals are a more unusual choice.

The Metals

Gold and platinum are the most durable. Gold may be rose, yellow or white and comes in different karats – 14k 18k and 22k are typical (the higher the karat, the softer the gold and the warmer the colour). Platinum is the strongest metal and looks good with white diamonds.

You will find many styles when Buying Diamond Engagement Rings online from https://www.comparethediamond.com/diamond-engagement-rings. See  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2002/feb/13/shopping.familyandrelationships1 for more advice.

Ring Sizing

If you don’t know her size, you could choose the jeweller’s sample for the ring you want to propose with and then come back later for her to get properly sized.

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