She knows that you love her, but now you want the world to know you love her. You’ve heard the saying, "diamonds are a girl's best friend and a man’s worst enemy."  They don’t have to be your enemy any longer! Shopping for the ring - you know, THE ring - can be overwhelming. To make it a little easier, here are are the Five Characteristics of a Diamond you should know: Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight and Certificate.

Cut is the Most Important

Ask a girl what kind of diamond she wants in her engagement ring, and she'll tell you the cut she likes. Princess, round, marquise, etc. Not only that, but it's the only characteristic of a diamond that is totally dependent on man. It refers to not only the shape and style, but its proportions, polish and symmetry. A diamond's cut is crucial to the stone's final beauty and value. The cut of a diamond also determines its brilliance. The better a diamond is cut, the more sparkle it will have. You know how much girls LOVE sparkle! While most important, cut is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze of the five characteristics.

One of the things diamonds are graded on, is the quality of the cut. Those grades are Excellent, Very Good and Good. You definitely want the most sparkle in the diamond, so choose the best cut grade that your budget can handle.

Then There's Color

The human eye detects sparkle first and the color second. The "color" characteristic of a diamond is actually used to describe the absence of color in the stone. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue and no color, similar to a drop of clean water. The color of a diamond is determined by comparing it to a registered set of master diamonds in a lab under controlled conditions. As a diamond's color grade improves, its price increases. Want to maximize your budget? Choose "near-colorless," because the naked eye will not see traces of color in this particular diamond.

Don't Forget About Clarity

Clarity refers to the presence or absence of inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds are formed by an immense amount of heat and pressure deep below the earth. This results in a variety of internal characteristics called inclusions and external characteristics called blemishes.  Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades. Clarity - sometimes called purity - is just another factor that determines the overall diamond quality and value. To get the most bang for your buck, choose a diamond that is “eye-clean.” This means it does not have any visible inclusions to the naked eye.

Carat, Not Carrot

Carat weight is the term most of us are familiar with and is the most misunderstood. Most of us think in terms of size, but the measurement of a diamond is weight-specific only. A diamond's cut can impact how much the carat weight will be. However, smaller carat weight diamonds will appear larger with higher cut grades. The price of a diamond increases with carat weight, because larger (and heavier) diamonds are scarce. That scarcity makes them more desirable. Two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and, therefore, prices) depending on three other factors of the diamond. Color, Clarity and Cut.

The value of a diamond is not just determined by the carat weight, but by all characteristics. Consider choosing a diamond just below the full and half-carat weights. Prices tend to jump at the full and half-carat marks. Diamonds just below those weights cost much less and the small size difference is practically impossible to detect with the naked eye.

Certificate - It's the Blueprint of Your Diamond

There are only 4 true characteristics of a diamond - the ones I've discussed above. There is, however, a fifth category that needs to be considered. The certificate is a complete, accurate report that describes the specific characteristics of a diamond. It is issued by a recognized and independent diamond grading laboratory. A diamond certificate, known as the Diamond Grading Report, lists all the characteristics of a diamond. This determines its current appraisal and fair market value. A diamond certificate is not an appraisal and does not contain a monetary value but can be used as proof of the diamond's quality when obtaining an appraisal. It's a must-have, especially if you're going to add the ring to an insurance policy.

If you would like more information regarding any of the Five Characteristics of a Diamond, visit the Gemological Institute of America.

You will spend hours looking for the right diamond to define your love for her. This is only the first gift she will receive after she screams, “YES!”

There will be tears of joy and lots of "I love you's." I know you'll want to remember that moment forever. Contact Meto help you plan the perfect surprise proposal.

Special Thanks to Jewels By Simpson for the beautiful jewlery.