Pugh’s Simple Guide to Diamond Buying

An Easy to Understand Guide to the 4 C’s of Diamond Buying

Why should it be such a scary thing to buy an engagement ring? Well, there is the fact that this might be the biggest life changer ever, or that it is a decision you want to get exactly right, or that you only plan to do it once; but, no pressure! We humbly submit our easy to understand Diamond Buying Guide for those who want to get it right!

So, what’s the big deal about the 4 C’s? Why not just click diamonds on a local shopping channel and pick out what you can afford? Because the old adage coined by gold miners “All that glitters is not gold,” could just as easily be applied to diamonds with a bit of a variation, “All that sparkles isn’t as it appears!”

What are the 4 C’s anyway? Basically, it’s the way your diamond’s value is figured out, so it’s important you have a handle on what they each mean. Keep in mind this guide is your basic guide.


This is the one factor that man has control over, as all other aspects of the diamond are determined by nature. Your cut determines how the stone reflects light and thus, how brilliant it is regardless of the diamond’s shape. A true ideal cut diamond is best. Also, there are several shapes to choose from: Emerald, Marquis, Oval, Princess, Round, Radiant, Pear, Heart, Marquis, Asscher, and Cushion Cuts, to name a few.


How many imperfections does the diamond have? Unlike your intended who we are sure is flawless, most diamonds have some flaws, imperfections, or natural inclusions. The clarity affects the diamond’s value, appearance, and sometimes durability.


How much color is in the diamond? Typically the “colorless” diamond is more valuable and the most desired, but diamonds come in many colors.

Carat Weight

This one simply measures how much the diamond weighs on a scale. Bigger does not always mean more valuable or more expensive. Two diamond may weigh the same, but one may be a spread, or thinner cut, much more susceptible to chipping, and less brilliant. The other extreme is to be cut too deep, making the diamond look comparatively smaller and less brilliant.

One Last C to consider: Certificates. A Certificate from a qualified gem lab can insure that your diamond has been assessed by a professionally qualified gemologist. Stones that have been certified by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (American Gem Society) will come with a certificate. A certificate is a description of a diamond, it tells you the diamond's exact measurements and weight, as well as the appraisers opinion regarding its cut, color and clarity. It precisely points out all the individual characteristics of the stone If you choose to buy your diamond loose- (not pre-set in a ring or other setting )it is important to see that diamond’s “papers” or certificate.

However, all certificates are not the same! There are several labs that create certificate that are not accurate or true. We can help you see the actual differences between the stones themselves, and see which certificates are accurate. The certificate is not the same as an appraisal! Certificates serve as proof of the diamond's identity, while an appraisal assesses value. We offer certificates on most of our diamonds as well as free appraisals on engagement rings brought in our store.

That’s it! Now all you need to do is come in to the store to “C” our wonderful sales staff. We take great pride in helping couples pick the stone that custom fits their needs. We look forward to serving you.

Click here to see an example of a GIA report
Click here to see an example of an AGS report