The Four Cs of Engagement Rings

Written by Cynthia Findlay Antiques.

Understanding how diamonds are evaluated is critical to getting the best value on engagement rings. It doesn’t matter if you are getting a custom piece of jewellery made or if you are planning on purchasing estate jewellery – it’s critical to know how diamond rings are appraised in order to feel comfortable with a purchase.

The good news is that the quality of a diamond comes down to the same four basic concepts whether they are used to evaluate new rings or antique engagement rings. Take a look at the four “Cs” that are used in the diamond ring evaluation process:

Color: A truly perfect diamond would be completely colorless in the same way that water or glass doesn’t have a color. However, most diamonds will have at least some small amount of tint, often seen as a yellowish hue. A diamond’s color rating refers to how close it is to colorless.

Clarity: All diamonds will have some blemishes or imperfections – this is a natural part of the process of tremendous heat and pressure that is put on carbon when it is formed into a diamond. The clarity of a diamond reflects how many – or few – blemishes are in a diamond and if their presence or size will impact the look of the gem.

Cut: While different styles of diamonds require different cuts, this factor measures how well the diamond is cut to showcase the natural sparkle of light reflected through a diamond. The cut is truly the mark of the quality of the jeweller.

Carat Weight: When it comes to diamonds, bigger usually is better. The carat weight of a diamond is a measurement of its size. For example, a round cut diamond weighing 1.03 carats would have approximate measurements of  (L/W/D) of 6.53 x 6.56 x 3.94 millimeters.


Countless customers in the Toronto area have purchased vintage engagement rings from Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Their collection encompasses all styles and types of antique jewellery.