To find a good 1-carat engagement ring, a person needs to understand the four "Cs," carat, cut, clarity and color. If a diamond is not the only stone the person is interested in, there are alternatives such as birth stones or heirlooms that can be considered.
The typical stone for an engagement ring is a diamond. If a 1-carat diamond is too expensive, other stones to consider would be colored stones like amethysts or garnets, moissanite, a colorless stone similar to a diamond, or a heirloom stone, such as one passed down through a family.
When purchasing a diamond, a person should identify the four "Cs." These include carat, which in this case will be one, cut, which determines how brilliant the stone is, clarity, the number of imperfections in the stone, and color, which ranges from colorless to yellow. For a colorless stone, buyers should look for diamonds graded G or D. These are clear to the naked eye. Diamonds with the grades H or I don't look much different, although they may show some yellowing that could make them undesirable.
When buying the diamond, the buyer should be sure to get the GIA certificate, which verifies that the stone is real.