You know that feeling when you sit down to take a test and, even though you’re fully prepared, your mind goes blank?
Diamond shopping can feel similarly overwhelming. There’s so much to know about the details of a diamond – how to spot an imperfection, how a diamond’s shape affects its shine factor, whether carat or color is more important for maximum sparkle ... the list goes on.
Avoid flashbacks to high school test anxiety with these handy cheat sheets as your diamond shopping sidekicks. No memorization required.
Diamond Size Chart
One of the most helpful tools is a diamond size chart. While lots of jewelers and jewelry industry sources provide size charts for round diamonds, not as many allow you to compare carat weights across the most popular shapes.
Check out our Diamond Carat Size Chart, a visual comparison of diamonds in the 10 most popular shapes, ranging from 0.25 to 5 carats. It also lists the actual diameters of each diamond, as measured through the girdle.
Just make sure to set page scaling to “none” when you print so your chart displays accurately.
Especially important when gifting jewelry, a printable ring sizer is a simple way to determine your ring size. Print our Ring Sizer, grab a ring you (or your recipient) already own, and find the circle that matches in size. Easy as that!
Like the diamond chart, make sure you set page scaling to “none,” as the ring measurements are very precise.
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Alternatively, most jewelers will provide a physical ring sizer free of charge. Great if you’re measuring your own finger, not so great if you’re trying to secretly get the ring size of your significant other. (Please take a video if you attempt this in their sleep. We’d love to see that.)
- When considering a wide band, move up a size from your measurement, for comfort’s sake.
- Your ring size will be about half a size larger on your primary hand (i.e. the hand you write with).
4Cs Quick Guide
There’s a lot you can learn about the 4Cs if you have the time and desire to dig deep. However, if you want a simple crash course in a printable format, Jewelers of America has just the thing.
They created a visual Guide to the Diamond 4Cs that shows the scales for carat, clarity, color and cut, as well as 12 of the most common diamond shapes.
For a more comprehensive resource, you can read their Guide to Buying Diamond Jewelry or head to Ritani’s Diamond Education section for a fun, interactive way to learn all about the 4Cs (or is it 7?).
Diamond Grading Report
Important for appraisals, you’ll want to make sure to get a copy of the grading reports for each diamond you’re considering. While this isn’t something you can do ahead of time, you can learn a little bit about them beforehand.
Jewelers of America has an overview of diamond grading reports in general. You can also learn more about diamond reports and services from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and from American Gem Society (AGS), the institutions most commonly used for grading.
Last but not least, we couldn’t talk about portable tools without talking about apps.
GIA created a free 4Cs app, providing diamond knowledge on-the-go as well as access to their Retailer Lookup and Report Check services. (That way you’ll know right away if your jeweler has given you an official GIA diamond grading report or not.) Download it for iPad, iPhone or on Google Play.
With all these resources, you’ll be a diamond expert in no time. Be gone, diamond shopping anxiety!
Bonus Fun: Want to try on some of your favorite styles before you get to the store?
Go ahead, throw a 6 carat heart-shaped diamond on your finger and pretend you’re Lady Gaga. A girl can dream, right?