Guide to Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring: The 4C's

Guide to Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring: The 4C's
At Paul Sheeran Jewellers, we emphasise that the most important factor is how an engagement ring makes you feel. Does it make you feel special? Does it make you smile? These are the things that will count in the long-term. We advise our customers to invest in the highest quality ring possible, as this an engagement ring must be durable enough to withstand daily life. We understand that it can be overwhelming for couples who are starting out on their engagement ring search. To make things easier, the key factors to consider when choosing a diamond can be remembered as the 4C‚Äôs.  

The 4C's of Diamond Quality:


The cut of a diamond is the most visible factor to consider when choosing an engagement ring. It’s important to remember that the cut of a diamond is different from the diamond shape.  Firstly, the precision with which a diamond is cut determines how brilliant and sparkling it will be. The quality of a diamond’s cut ranges on the following scale: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. At Paul Sheeran Jewellers, we recommend diamonds that have an Excellent or Very Good cut to ensure your diamond has maximum sparkle! Secondly, the shape of a diamond outlines the overall style and look of a gemstone. Everyone has different shaped hands and fingers so certain shapes will complement individual hands differently. Our specialist team at Johnson’s Court will guide you through this process and ensure your ring will satisfy you for a lifetime. Check out different shapes of diamond engagement rings!


The GIA, who is the international authority on diamond quality, grade a diamond’s colour on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow tint). The scale is broken down as follows:
  • D to F is ‚Äúcolourless‚Äù. Colourless diamonds are the rarest, which therefore can make these diamonds more expensive.
  • G to J are ‚Äúnearly colourless‚Äù where the colour is only noticeable to professional gemstone graders.
  • K to M are ‚Äúfaint‚Äù where there is a hint of yellow that is difficult to detect to the untrained eye.
  • N to R come under the classification of ‚Äúvery light‚Äù and a hint of colour is visible to the untrained eye.
  • S to Z is ‚Äúlight‚Äù where diamonds can appear yellow or brown.
Note: Coloured diamonds (pinks, blues and yellows) are graded on a separate colour scale and are known in the industry as ‚Äúfancy coloured diamonds‚Äù.  


The clarity of a diamond is dependent on how many blemishes or “inclusions” a gemstone has. The term “flawless diamond” refers to a completely unblemished diamond. However, such a gemstone is so rare that only 1% of diamonds in the world come under this classification. The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the more light can shine clearly through, and the more brilliant it will be! The scale of diamond clarity is broken down as follows:

Source: GIA 4C's Clarity

However, we stress to our customers that though a diamond may have a higher clarity, it doesn‚Äôt always mean a diamond is more suited to your needs. The clarity grade does not necessarily affect a diamond ring's overall beauty and impact.¬†At Paul Sheeran, we understand that a diamond engagement ring is a significant purchase for our customers. We want our customers to feel confident with their purchase and encourage them to gain as much knowledge as possible regarding all aspects of diamond quality.  


Finally, the carat refers to the weight of a diamond and is measured using a points-based system, for example, 0.5ct, 1ct, 1.5ct and so on.  The carat weight is completely dependent on individual budget requirements and, of course, personal taste. In general, most of our customers express a preference for a 1-carat diamond. However, at Paul Sheeran we emphasise that size doesn’t necessarily equate to quality. Carat must be considered along with cut, colour and clarity, in order to get the best quality diamond for your budget.

A Lifelong Investment

At Paul Sheeran Jewellers, we don't recommend our customers from following fashion trends when choosing their engagement ring. This is an item of jewellery that must stand the test of time. Therefore, it‚Äôs vital to carefully consider how you will feel about your chosen design in 5 years, 10 years or 50 years‚Äô time! Prices for our engagement rings range from €2,000 upwards. Traditionally, the amount spent on an engagement ring amounted to 2-3 months of a person‚Äôs salary. However, we encourage our customers to spend the most they can depending on their stage in life, as an engagement ring is an investment that will last a lifetime!¬†Click here to browse our exclusive line of engagement rings.   Our team at Johnson's Court are more than delighted to help assist you in choosing the perfect engagement ring. If you would prefer a private appointment, please contact us¬†here.

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