Diamonds are not alike. There are perfect ones, but the vast majority of diamonds found in engagement rings are imperfect, whether they are mined or lab grown. Choosing a diamond is an exercise in deciding how big, how perfect and how much it’s all worth to you.
When jewelers use the terms "fire" and "brilliance" it relates to how much sparkle comes with the cut. There are lots of ways to cut a diamond. From very precise and expensively done, to cheap and sloppy. A common jeweler’s trick is to sell a big diamond with a bad cut at a "bargain" price. Most people just buy on the size. Reality is that the cut is actually the most important C as it’s the thing that makes the stone beautiful. We don’t skimp on it. In fact, we have one of the most comprehensive grading models around. We would call it the "gold" standard, but we don't want to toot our own horn.
This is how big. A decent-looking solitaire that you’re going to be happy with for a long time is at least one carat. Much smaller than that and it won’t look right. If it’s a smaller stone you want, surround it with tiny diamonds in a halo setting for a bigger look for fewer bucks.
This is graded with letters. Perfect starts at D and goes all the way to Z. (Nope, we don’t get it either why it doesn’t start at “A”) Most rings sold in the U.S. are H/I/J range, so they have a cast of color, which makes them imperfect (but cheaper). Diamonds can even be muddy dark brown, which is a Z. We don’t sell anything really bad.
Grown diamonds have imperfections, like inclusions and micro bubbles, exactly like mined diamonds. Can you see them with the naked eye? Sometimes. Few diamonds are flawless. We don’t offer anything we deem too unclear for everyday wear, but the bigger stones are the more you’ll want them clear.