Easy 30-Day Returns & Financing

Free U.S. Shipping & 90-Day Resizing

Every Purchase Funds our Non-Profit

How to Choose a Diamond for Your Engagement Ring: The 4 C's

How to Choose a Diamond for Your Engagement Ring: The 4 C's

How to Choose a Diamond for Your Engagement Ring: The 4 C's

Choosing the perfect diamond jewelry can be an extremely overwhelming process. Rather than worrying about the style of the setting, we say focus on the highlight of the piece, the diamond. Understanding the 4C's is a great way to maximize your budget and make the process easier and stress-free. You can scroll to the bottom of the page to view a brief, 2 minute video detailing the information.


Diamond Cut - Actual Shape


A diamond's shape (pear, oval, round) should not be confused with the cut. The shape is a style choice, whereas the cut refers to the brilliance, symmetry, proportioning and polish of a diamond. Out of the 4Cs, a diamond’s cut has the greatest influence on its appearance and price, as it is the quality of the cut which creates the sparkle we love so much. The higher the cut grade the greater the ability to reflect light.


Tip: To maximize your diamond budget, choose a diamond with a higher cut and lower clarity grade. This will not compromise the beauty of the diamond to the naked eye but it can significantly reduce the price of the diamond. The brilliance of the cut will mask the imperfections in the clarity. This is also a great way to get a larger stone without spending more than you planned.

Diamond Cut Diagram from GIA

Diamond Color - Grading System


Color grades the diamond’s actual lack of color. The highest quality diamonds are colorless, while those of lower quality have noticeable color, which manifests as pale yellow in diamonds. Grades D, E and F are considered colorless diamonds, while grades G, H, I and J are considered near colorless.


Tip: To maximize your budget, chose a higher quality cut and a lower quality color. The brilliance of the cut will make your diamond look more colorless. If your budget only allows for an I-J color diamond, place it in a yellow gold setting. This will mask the yellow color in the diamond.

diamond color chart depicting full grading system of colors from d to z

Diamond Carat - Size


Diamonds are sold by the carat (shown as ct.) which is actually a unit of weight, though most think of a carat in terms of size. Diamonds are priced by a tiered per carat system. To maximize your budget, go just below the 1-carat mark (or half carats) for a big drop in price. For example, a 0.98ct will be lower in price than a 1.02ct while having no visual size difference.


When choosing a carat weight, think about the wearer’s ring size. Generally, a ring size 6 can accommodate a diamond 1.50ct or below, while a ring size 7 looks best with a 1.5ct and above. However, always consider your budget and the wearer’s personal style. Halo settings create the illusion of a larger center stone, which is a great option if you are shopping on a budget.


Diamond Clarity


Clarity is the least important of the 4Cs. It grades the absence of inclusions or blemishes. However, a good cut will hide some of the blemishes to the naked eye and some inclusions can be seen as the diamond’s fingerprint or birthmark because they make each diamond unique.

Diamond Clarity Scale from GIA



At MiaDonna we believe there is a 5th C, and that is Community. We believe in a global community and the need to empower those negatively affected by the mined diamond industry. MiaDonna was founded along with The Greener Diamond (TGD) to work as a system. MiaDonna is the sole funding source for TGD. Each time you purchase an eco-friendly MiaDonna product, a portion of the proceeds go straight into programs that help restore the lives and land in diamond mining communities. However, we do more than just that. The MiaDonna team also donates countless hours of their time developing projects as well as making sure each project is successful, which allows TGD to run with no administrative costs.


MiaDonna Team

MiaDonna is the world’s first retailer exclusively selling Lab-Grown Diamonds and Gemstones, created in 2005 by a mother determined to free families from a lifetime of poverty and mining. We specialize in designer-style fine jewelry that is beautiful, sustainable, and affordable. We are B-Corp certified, environmentally responsible, and donate 10% of profits to support communities negatively impacted by diamond and gold mining. MiaDonna is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and ships to all 50 states plus more than 30 countries internationally.