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What are the 4Cs when choosing a wedding ring and is that the only thing that matters? with Jodie Gearing

What are the 4Cs when choosing a ring and is that the only thing that matters? Jodie Gearing sheds some light on the subject, not to be missed!

Listen to Jodie on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Jodie Gearing Bespoke Jewellery


Rachel: [00:00:03] OK, so we have a question here that brides to be and grooms to be are asking at the moment, which is “what are the 4 C’s when you’re choosing a ring?”. And is that the only thing that’s important, is it the only thing that matters? You’ve put a presentation together. So I’m just going to pop those slides up and you can talk us through it. 

Jodie: [00:00:25] Brilliant. Yes. It’s one of those pieces of jewellery jargon that’s quite confusing. So yeah hopefully I can shed some light on that for you. So the four C’s basically stand for four areas of classification in white diamonds. And they are Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut. So we’re going to make a start with the Carat, which is probably the one that most people have heard the most of. The Carat refers to the weight of the diamonds.

So when you look at jewellery especially like in a high street jewellery shop, they will usually quite proudly show the Carat weight of diamonds. But it can be a little bit confusing for people, especially if there are lots of diamonds in a ring. Normally it will refer to the total weight of diamonds within that piece of jewellery, not just one of them. That’s an area of confusion. I tend to start with clients when we design from scratch… So instead of talking about the carrot weight, I tend to refer to the millimeter size. Because to me that makes a bit more sense. It’s what you see. To me the carat weight matters more just for perhaps if you want it for insurance purposes, that sort of thing. It is very, very important for the value of the stone. But I think the millimeter size is more important when you’re looking at choosing a ring. So its not a straight line of cost. Like a one carat diamond doesn’t cost double what a half carat diamond costs. And the reason for that is because larger bits of diamonds that are then cut into larger stones are just simply more rare. So it’s a scarcity value as well. So then they increase in price dramatically the higher the Carat. 

Jodie: [00:02:15] So moving on to the next one, which is colour. Now colour we talk about on a scale from D to Z.

And this is a scale that the Gemological Institute of America came up with. And this is a scale that most jewellers and Diamond suppliers will use because its really, really clear. So its an alphabetical scale from D to Z. D means that the diamond is completely and truly colourless and white, and therefore, they’re the most valuable stones, the most sought after. As you go further down the scale towards a Z, more colour will be present. So more yellow and brown tones, which are not so desirable in a stone. In all honesty that kind of second area of that scale from G to J… Unless you put that next to a D coloured diamond, you’re probably not going to see it as anything other than a white diamond. Particularly if it’s set in a coloured metal. The lower down the scale, you might want to set it in a yellow or a rose gold, and then the yellow won’t show up so much. This is only relevant to white diamonds. Diamonds come in all sorts of colours. You get yellow and brown diamonds, and those aren’t sort of Z categorised white diamonds. Those are truly yellow or brown diamonds. So yeah this only matters if you look at white diamonds. 

Jodie: [00:03:39] So moving on to the next one. So, clarity. This one is one that people probably will know less about. What that’s referring to is the inclusions and any imperfections in the stone. Obviously Diamonds are natural products.

So they form deep in the earth under great pressure and heat. So it’s only natural that pieces of carbon and mineral deposits are going to be present in the stone. So a truly flawless diamond is a very, very rare thing. And therefore those are much more expensive. The GIA again have come up with this really good scale that most people use. So it’s quite blunt in its terminology. So you start right down the bottom as included, here it has lots of inclusions in it. Then it’s slightly included. Then very slightly included. And then very, very slightly included. Until we go right up to flawless. So these inclusions, if you’re down the included end of the scale, they can be visible to the naked eye, which obviously isn’t ideal. They can also affect how the light bounces around in a stone. So going towards the slightly included or very slightly included is a nice area to be when you’re selecting a Diamond. And just because the light will probably be less affected by any inclusions in the stone. 

Rachel: [00:04:58] Does the word included mean it has carbon in? 

[00:05:01] Yeah carbon or other mineral deposits. If you have like a white almost feathery look inside the diamond, sometimes that’s actually an internal crack. That doesn’t matter as long as the crack doesn’t actually touch the outside of the diamond. But obviously it can really affect the look and the way that the light moves around in the stone. So it’s a good one to be aware of. Normally I’d advise people to sort of look at the slightly included or very slightly included. 

Jodie: [00:05:30] So then finally our last C is the cut. So this doesn’t refer to the shape of the Diamond, it refers to the quality and proportions of the cut and how it’s been polished.

So an ideal or excellent cut will be like that diamond in the centre there, where the light is able to come in at the top, it’s bounced around beautifully so all the light comes back out the top. A poorly cut stone, either too shallow or too deep, the light will actually kind of flood out at the back of the stone or the side. So therefore when you look at it, it won’t have that lovely fire and sparkle that we associate with Diamonds. So the cut is an often overlooked category when you’re looking at classifications of Diamonds. But actually it’s one of the most important. 

Jodie: [00:06:17] If we go on this final slide, this one is an example of a TIA report for a Diamonds. So if you were to do the bespoke route and you started with a loose diamond, you will get something that looks like this.

That tells you about the quality of it. So this certificate was for quite a valuable stone. So in the middle on the left, you can see the Carat weight was 0.7 Carats. So that’s quite a sizeable stone. The colour was D, so that’s the best it could be. The clarity grade is very, very slightly included, so that’s high up the scale. And the cut grade is very good. So that would be quite a valuable stone that one. 

Jodie: [00:06:58] So just to conclude. Personally I think there’s a couple things you need to be aware of when you’re looking at a diamond. And first of all it’s whether you can afford it. I think people get a little bit over focused on getting the biggest Carat or the best Colour, when actually it’s kind of weighing up all the four elements of it.

And to enjoy it, you want to make sure you can afford it. And B that you like it in the flesh. If you go in a bespoke route, you can always ask your jeweler to find you a selection of Diamonds that you can choose from, because they’re natural products and the inclusions will sit in a different way, and the cut will always be slightly different from stone to stone. Actually seeing them in real life, you might like a technically less good stone on paper. You might just like the fire, the personality it has in the flesh. So I think that’s the most important thing. Hopefully that answers the questions that came in. 

Rachel: [00:08:04] So my ring, here we go. This is a good example. There you go. So my engagement ring is James’s great grandma’s. I think it’s quite sparkly. I had this wedding ring made to fit it and that has tiny little diamonds. But I’m so paranoid about having this because of the age of it, and the family heirloom kind of thing. But yeah and another thing about having diamonds is you can’t be scared to wear it. 

Jodie: [00:08:50] No. Definitely yeah. Especially with antique jewellery. I just advise to have it checked over by a jeweller every so often. With claw settings, the claws can just slacken over time, so it’s quite good to get that looked at and the setting tightened up. So then you don’t have to worry quite as much. 

Rachel: [00:09:09] Yeah. I’ve had to have the claws replaced twice. 

Jodie: [00:09:15] Ah yeah right. 

Rachel: [00:09:19] It’s really interesting actually the different things that you need to think about when buying diamonds. I suppose for the most part it’s the person who’s proposing that needs then think about that. But if you’re going to have diamonds in your wedding bands as well, you need to be fully aware of it. 

Jodie: [00:09:41] Yeah. Yeah it’s nothing to worry about. It’s just something that’s good to get some nice advice on. I think it’s more important to choose a diamond that you like, that has the right personality for you, rather than worrying about it’s gradings. Because once it’s on your finger, only you know those pieces of information. You’re not walking around with a placard saying “oh this is D grade diamond”. So yeah it matters more that you like it and you’re happy with it. 

Rachel: [00:10:13] Totally. I have a couple of fun questions for you. So rate these in the order of importance: experience, passion, excitement, and creativity. 

Jodie: [00:10:30] In a job sense or just in life in general? 

Rachel: [00:10:35] In your work. 

Jodie: [00:10:37] Oh passion definitely. I think that would be top. Being really passionate and interested in what you do I think is key. And I think that comes across when you’re talking to a jewllery designer that really cares. Then we have creativity didn’t we? And then what were the other two? 

Rachel: [00:10:56] Excitement and experience. 

Jodie: [00:10:59] I think excitement comes with passion. Creativity is definitely very, very important, and that’s often what people are paying for. They’re looking for your ideas. They might be different to theirs, you might come up with something never seen before and is perfect for them, and that’s very, very important. Experience, probably less important. Just more your knowledge base really. It doesn’t matter I think how long you’ve been doing it, as long as you know your stuff then that’s what’s important. 

Rachel: [00:11:31] Fabulous. So I know you are married. So if you were going to get married again, where would it be and why? 

Jodie: [00:11:38] Well my husband proposed to me in this lovely town in the Cotswolds that we visited quite a few times. It’s quite a sentimental place to us and perhaps if we were to do it again, we might go back there if we were going to renew our vows or something. Yeah that would probably be top of our list. It’s a place called Burford in the Cotswolds. We like it there. 

Rachel: [00:12:06] I think for us, I probably wouldn’t change where we got married. But I do see that some people like elope to Iceland and get married on waterfall and things like that. That’s kinda cool. 

Jodie: [00:12:20] Or an Ice Castle. I’ve heard of in Iceland, that would be spectacular. 

Rachel: [00:12:23] Oh yeah. Well that’s all we have time for today but thank you so much for coming to talk to us Jody and we hope to see you again soon. 

Jodie: [00:12:35] Yeah thank you for having me. 

Rachel: [00:12:38] Bye. 

Jodie: [00:12:38] Bye. 

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