Shopping for a diamond ring became a lot easier with the creation of the “4C” system in the mid-20th century. The Cs assign a separate grade to four qualities of a diamond: Cut is for symmetry and brightness, clarity signifies transparency and lack of flaws, color classifies how much of a tint is present, and carat refers to weight. While the 4Cs can give you an objective measure of worth, says Fiona Druckenmiller of FD Gallery, in New York City, “a ring’s value is also about its sentimental or emotional meaning.” So listen to your heart, but keep in mind that ring designs do cycle in and out of fashion. “For a forever piece, think classic rather than trendy,” says Gemvara’s Emily Parker. Her choice for enduring appeal: “A solitaire round diamond is always in style.”
The Details: Tiffany & Co. round solitaire, tiffany.com. Leon Megé “True Antique” cushion-cut with trapezoid side stones, leonmege.com. Van Cleef & Arpels 1920 marquise-cut with diamond shoulders set in platinum, siegelson.com. McTeigue & McClelland “Classic Flora” emerald-cut, mc2jewels.com. Harry Winston marquise-cut with diamond baguettes, harrywinston.com. Martin Katz emerald-cut with diamond baguettes, martinkatz.com. Norman Silverman oval-cut with pavé set in rose gold, normansilvermandiamonds.com. All prices upon request.