How to choose the best diamond engagement ring

We ask luxury jewellers De Beers what diamond-buyers should consider when searching for the perfect engagement ring…

Diamonds are like people. Every one of us, no matter where we come from, have our own distinctive quirks and characteristics. We are thoroughly individual individuals — each with eccentricities and idiosyncrasies that can never be replicated. It’s a parallel that De Beers recognises more clearly than most brands, and this is why every diamond chosen by their expert jewellers is meticulously assessed by eye and selected by hand.

But, though you may be safe in these certified hands, it pays to also polish your own diamond-selecting skills. Thankfully, De Beers can help out here, too — as the company knows a thing or two about the art of dazzling. Having honed and hewn the world’s finest diamonds since 1888, the London-based jewellery house is the ideal source of information for would-be buyers.

So, before you have a diamond carefully crafted into an engagement ring or start learning about the ‘Four Cs’, here’s a quartet of tips (the ‘Four Ts’, if you will…), that’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing the right gem…

Know your source

For most people, an engagement is the first grand occasion for which they’ll be buying a piece of diamond jewellery. And, with many years of traditions, and the many intricacies of the practice, this can seem like a daunting task. De Beers, however, understands the importance of provenance — and is as transparent about their diamonds’ origins as the clear gems themselves.

As the only jewellery brand at the source, De Beers is in a unique position; one involved at every step along a diamond’s extraordinary journey. The brand selects some of the world’s most magnificent diamonds before transforming these rare, natural treasures from their raw forms into flawless pieces of jewellery.

So, when you choose your diamond, De Beers — which is also committed to ensuring its diamonds uphold the most stringent social, ethical and environmental expectations — can provide direct traceability. Not only that, the brand can also demonstrate the positive impact your diamond has had along its incredible journey. And knowing that will only make it shine brighter.

Learn — but don’t blindly follow — the ‘Four Cs’

You’ll likely have heard the phrase — especially if you’re in the market for an engagement ring — but it’s worth committing the ‘Four Cs’ of diamond quality to heart before you go about choosing your gem. They are ‘Cut’, ‘Clarity’, ‘Colour’ and ‘Carat’ weight — and they are the set of universal criteria used to assess the value of a diamond.

However, while this convenient group of terms is important to diamond-grading reports, De Beers maintains that they don’t actually express the beauty of a diamond. And this, the brand says, is the most important part of the diamond selection process; finding a gem that turns heads, catches eyes and wins hearts. The expert staff are on hand to help here; unrivalled in providing transparency and guidance along the ring-buying journey.

Because, to our untrained eyes, two diamonds may look exactly the same. Even to De Beers, two diamonds could look identical on a laboratory grading report. But, when studied and scrutinised by the jewellers themselves, there will be nuances and niceties that elevate one above the other — and these are what you should rely on De Beers to bring to light. Forget the ‘Cs’, trust the experts.

Open your mind to a diversity of diamonds

Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits deep within the earth are subjected to high temperatures and pressure. But not all diamonds are formed equal. Some take on vivid, vibrant shades when trace elements interact with the carbon atoms during the formation process — and this means buyers have a solid spectrum of coloured diamonds to choose from.

Whether they be yellow, blue, pink, purple or green, there are plenty of options to choose from. And, while clear white diamonds are considered the most covetable, at De Beers, the colour grades of such diamonds are only used as indicators of rarity rather than statements of quality or suitability. While ‘D’ grade diamonds — meaning colourless — are the most rare, the jeweller offers equally pleasing shades right through to ‘Z’, which will have a warmer hue.

The brand carries the full range in order to give clients more choice. A warm white colour might suit you more than an icy white gem — and, because its price is lower, you have the exciting option of buying a diamond that is much larger than you thought possible. So, whilst we’d advise you still stick with a white diamond, don’t necessarily put colourless clarity at the top of your wish list.

Look into the heart of your diamond

It’s an intimate experience, buying a diamond. And, while the reasons behind finding a ring are innately romantic — interlinking two lives — the bond between you and the diamond must also feel right. It’s the third party in your relationship; a beacon of commitment and a symbol of you and your partner’s ongoing connection.

So it’s got to feel right. And there are few ways to become more familiar with a gem than by looking deeply and devotedly into its heart. Thankfully, every De Beers’ client has the opportunity to experience the beauty of their round brilliant diamond for themselves, with the brand’s proprietary technology; the De Beers ‘Iris’.

A unique telescopic technology that affords you the insight of a diamond expert, the De Beers ‘Iris’ lets you glimpse into the core of a diamond to see each microscopic facet perfectly reflecting light. And each store is equipped with this unique demonstrator, meaning that the next time you’re on Old Bond Street (46-50 Old Bond St, London W1S 4QT), you can enjoy this profound experience with your deeply personal, perfect diamond.

De Beers Classic Round Brilliant Diamond Ring

De Beers Classic Round Brilliant Diamond Ring


Buy Now
De Beers Classic Princess-Cut Diamond Ring

De Beers Classic Princess-Cut Diamond Ring


Buy Now
De Beers Classic Oval-Shaped Diamond Ring

De Beers Classic Oval-Shaped Diamond Ring


Buy Now

Want more engagement advice? Book an appointment with De Beers to discuss your ring further here…

Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.

Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?

Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.

Click here to find out more