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How to choose a diamond ring

We asked Laurent Cathala, vice president of emerging markets at Tiffany & Co, to give us some insider tips on choosing a sparkler for that special someone

  • Diamonds
    Image Credit: Jose Luis Barros/alpha. magazine
  • Diamonds
    Image Credit: Jose Luis Barros/alpha. magazine

1. The word ‘carat' in the context of diamonds refers to the weight of the diamond. Two stones of equal weight can vary widely in price because of differences in quality. At Tiffany & Co we focus on precision cutting over carat weight to create diamond engagement rings of superior brilliance.

2. The ‘cut' of the stone refers to the facet proportions on the surface of a diamond. The precise positioning of these facets determines the beauty of the stone. There are two other important ‘C's that should be considered: colour and clarity. Colour in white diamonds is actually measured by their lack of colour. Clarity measures the flawlessness of a diamond. A stone is said to be "flawless" if, under 10-power magnification, no external imperfections or internal flaws are visible.

3. Couples are advised to think long-term when choosing the style of a ring (solitaire, cluster or alternative). The diamond will last a lifetime and should reflect the taste and personality of the wearer. One popular option, the Tiffany mount, is the most common setting for a diamond solitaire engagement ring. This innovative six-prong setting lifts the diamond away from the band, permitting a more complete return of light.

4. The price of a diamond ring will always be determined by the combination of its cut, colour, carat and clarity as well as by the type of metal in which it is set. Our prices range from around $1,000 (Dh3,670) to more than $1 million.

5. Some people want to know how you can spot a fake. Our laboratory's Master Diamond Graders give individual grades for cut, colour, clarity, carat weight and presence. In the process, other diamond reports are frequently overruled. These top-tier diamonds are placed in the hands of skilled diamond cutters who cut for brilliance, adhering to a strict geometric plan with exacting measurements, including precision of cut and symmetry.