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1 Carat Engagement Ring - How to Buy a 1 Carat Engagement Ring

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When most people decide to pop the question for the first time, they get an idea for buying an engagement ring based solely on the carat size of the diamond. Many soon-to-be fiancés choose a 1 carat engagement ring, which is a very respectable size that most people would be proud to wear. However, once you get to the store, you will very quickly discover that there is much more to buying a 1 carat engagement ring than deciding upon the size of the stone.

One consideration major consideration about buying a 1 carat engagement ring has nothing to do with the size of the stone but everything to do with the ring – the band. There can be no ring without a band. Most engagement ring bands are made of precious metals, the most popular of which is gold. For those on a budget, some people make do with silver, but let’s face it, if you are already choosing a 1 carat engagement ring, then you want to go for gold or platinum. If you decide on gold, you still have several more choices to make: white or yellow gold; 10-karat, 14-karat, or 18-karat gold; thick band or thin band; etching or smooth; etc.

Another choice you must make is the type of setting. The setting is what holds the stone into place. The setting can either be pronged or “invisible.” Some prefer the prongs, while others like to see the stone appear to be floating over the band. If your fiancée is active, you will want to choose a strong setting that may include a bezel and six prongs.

Now that you have decided on the size of the stone, the band, and the setting, you may believe that you are ready to choose the perfect ring. This belief would be wrong. There is much more to a diamond than its size. You may have heard of the term “the four ‘C’s.” This refers to all of the features of a particular diamond. Since you have already decided on the first of the four “C”s, by choosing a 1 carat engagement ring, you still have 3 more “C”s to consider: color, clarity, and cut.

Color
While many people believe that diamonds are simply clear and glasslike, this is far from reality. While it is true that white or colorless diamonds are the most desirable, they are also the most rare and most expensive. You may have to resign to the fact that you cannot afford a near colorless 1 carat diamond. Colorless diamonds carry the grade of D. The more color they have, the higher the letter. Most diamonds of quality will be between grades F and H, and they are very respectable.

Clarity
Clarity refers to how many impurities are in the diamond. The less impurities, the clearer the diamond will be. Impurities can cause cloudiness and in diminishes the sparkle of the diamond because it blocks the light from reflecting through it. Perfect diamonds without flaws are very rare and costly. The scale for clarity starts at F1 for flawless. VVS1 and VVS2 are the next two grades for clarity and are typical for a quality 1 carat engagement ring. SI1 and SI2 are the next two grades, and these too are very nice diamonds that will work if you have your heart set on a 1 carat size, but do not have enough for a VVS2. At the bottom of the scale are I1, I2, and I3. These grades are considered imperfect.

Cut
While the cut of the diamond is purely a matter of individual choice, certain cuts enhance the brilliance of the diamond and thus are more popular. The most popular cut for a 1 carat engagement ring is the brilliant cut. This is a round cut that makes the stone sparkle the most. The princess cut has been gaining popularity in recent years. This is a square cut that helps to hide any flaws and imperfections. Other cuts are the emerald cut, so named because it was originally used for emeralds which are susceptible to cracking if they are overcut, and the oval cut. Which cut you choose, you will want to make sure it is done by a master. A flawed cut can make an otherwise perfect diamond almost valueless.

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