Manhattan Beach

How to Create Your Perfect Engagement Ring: Looking Beyond the 4Cs

Written by Altaf Amlani; Owner of Blue Diamond Jeweler

Use this powerful approach to look at diamonds differently. When you see beyond the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity and carat) you’ll be amazed and in love with the unique piece you can create.

Getting engaged is possibly one of the most important events in a couple's life. Most of the time it is celebrated by a gemstone, usually a diamond engagement ring.

Many jewelry shoppers are familiar with the 4 Cs of diamond assessment: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. While it’s useful to know the basic characteristics of a diamond, it’s also important to understand why these factors do not solely encompass the essence of a diamond any more than a 4-point profile fully describes the soul of your prospective life partner.

Having spent four decades specializing in the process of creating engagement rings, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. The client experiences we foster are based on a conscious awareness, and it is this very state of being that inspires our 5-step approach for anyone seeking to create their perfect engagement ring.

STEP 1 | Consider the true meaning of your engagement ring

It is both a conscious and sacred experience to ultimately choose the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Therefore, creating an emblem that will be the embodiment of that love and commitment must be an equally mindful and enchanting journey. Such a lofty event deserves an experience that is worthy of the specialness of the occasion.

After three generations in the custom engagement ring space we’ve learned that creating the perfect ring, one that captures your partner’s unique love, taste and lifestyle, requires a process quite different from mechanically going through the 4 Cs, acquiring the stone, and plugging it into a stock mounting. The process we specialize in aims to reignite the passion and romance of the magical journey your ring symbolizes with just a casual glance at its brilliance. Your engagement ring should radiate this unique love.

We also strongly feel that that process of finding your life partner had a magical quality to it. Some aspects of your love story can be explained while other parts remain more of a mystery, as they simply did not occur in the rational thinking of the brain, and instead unflowered in some intuitive space. The experience of creating your ring, the symbol of your love and commitment, can be equally beautiful and organic.

STEP 2 | Adjust your state of mind accordingly

Take inspiration from nature. The first flowers ever to bloom were not the product of technical specifications or left-brain human engineering. No, their delicate petals, brilliant colors and fragrance simply bloomed when the conditions were right. Once in good soil, a seed mystically pulled to itself all that was needed to achieve its destiny.

The same goes for creating the perfect ring. The seed of your desire is to make a beautiful and eloquent statement of your love. The good soil can be likened to the consciousness in which the experience is cradled. Creating the mindset from where your highest and best creativity flows with ease requires a deliberate pause to move from the conditioned self to a more intuitive place. From this state you will create your most meaningful and important work of wearable art fashioned in precious metal and diamonds.


Once you understand the importance of adjusting your consciousness you can seek the external conditions that will help facilitate the process. This is where your jeweler comes in. At our jewelry store we set the optimal tone from which your best energies can flow. This may involve a few minutes of sipping champagne, getting comfortable in the space, and simply becoming acquainted with your jeweler. For more adventurous souls, a mini meditation with the help of some aromatic soothing essential oils to leave the chatter of the conditioned mind may be helpful.


In either case, it’s important to begin the process in a place where your preconceived ideas from social media (or elsewhere) evaporate from your pool of clarity. Clear your mind of uninvited and self-serving advertising that may be lingering in your space of thought. You will know that you’re in a space of higher intuition when you have a sense of peace and ease as you begin the process.

STEP 3 | Intuitively make comparisons between stones

Choosing a diamond is the first and most important step in the design process. After some discussion of your general preferences, ask your jeweler to curate an appropriate selection of diamonds for you. Look at the different shapes, sizes and variety of colors and clarities. Allow yourself to experience the diamonds and let them “speak” to you. This incredibly special experience allows you to truly connect with each of the stones.


Request to view the diamonds side by side and at an appropriate time ask to see them in natural sunlight. Explore both ground-mined and lab-created diamonds. As you are viewing the stones ask your jeweler to leave out the details of the 4Cs so that your preference is made free of any outside influences. Let nothing interfere with this intuitive experience. 

Often the jeweler’s opinion and laboratory reports at this stage will pull you out of your clear headspace and drown out the whisper of your heart gently taking you to your best stone. You deserve to resonate and connect with one stone by just purely looking, feeling and experiencing a pristine and unadulterated energetic exchange between the diamond and yourself.

If you do not feel a strong pull towards a particular diamond, then request another set of diamonds to be brought in. Do not be pressured into selecting from the ones available at this viewing.


At some point there will be one diamond that you feel a connection with. Consider this sparkling jewel a gift from the earth to symbolize this sacred moment in your life. It has journeyed far to ultimately arrive at this moment of brilliance. What started as a dirty rock has been chiseled and polished, only to reveal a unique natural beauty. Can you liken this change to your own evolution in life? While this journey of transformation may have been painful or aggressive, it is through resilience and strength that the sparkle could shine through.

STEP 4 | Appreciate the details of your favorite stone

At this point, review the certification and become familiar with your diamond from a gemologist’s perspective. This doesn’t mean that you should depart completely from the emotional quotient of diamond selection. As you’ve hopefully come to understand, it’s the organic energy that should draw you to your favorite stone. However, it’s still wise to afterwards understand the technical traits of the stone with which you’ve connected.

We suggest approaching these details not with a critical eye, but with one of appreciation. Just like diamonds, we all have our imperfections. But these very imperfections have come to mark our identity with a uniqueness that cannot be imitated. We are unique beings of energy, each with our own way of emanating love. So much like the partner that will be wearing this ring, the diamond used to represent your love is a representation of perfect imperfection.


There are very few perfect diamonds in the world, and diamonds that are classified as “perfect” are incredibly expensive. Therefore, most diamonds purchased by customers will have inclusions. Keep in mind that if a diamond has inclusions (otherwise known as flaws or imperfections) this does not necessarily diminish the diamond in brilliance and/or quality. These are simply a signature of its natural geological formation.

Most inclusions are impossible to see with the naked eye — which is why they should only be a point of interest when it comes to learning more about the stone, and not in influencing your purchasing decision. If you have any concerns about the inclusions of the diamond, your jeweler can show you the stone under magnification, and explain these characteristics to you.

Trust your inner guide and intuition to direct your choice. Proceed with confidence and appreciation in the connection that you’ve made. Once you feel pleased with your decision you are ready to proceed to the design of your stone’s setting.

STEP 5 | Choose or design the setting for your stone

Now is the time to let your creativity flow. For some this begins with exploring different metals and styles from a showcase. For others this step invites pencil and paper to sketch a setting that’s entirely unique to your taste and needs.


Regardless of whether you have a preference for the contemporary, vintage or classic, you don’t need to be bound by what has already been created. A good jeweler should offer you the option of customization. You may only desire to make slight adjustments to the setting from a showcase, or you may prefer something entirely from scratch. You may even opt for a combination of design elements from different settings, or draw inspiration from a photo that you or your partner have been drawn to online. Your imagination is the limit. Again, if the jeweler is committed to your process and allowing a natural flow, the appropriate design will emerge.


Once there is a clear picture of your preferences, request a computerized drawing so you can view the prospective design in a 3D format and make any changes you see fit. This is where the details come into play. A CAD drawing is the digital representation of your ring, with all specifics accounted for, including spacing and sizing of each element. We recommend not proceeding until you’re completely happy. This is also a great time for the ring’s recipient to bow out if they were participating in the decision making process. It’s when they see the final piece firsthand that their breath will be taken away.


 For those hoping to see their creation in three dimensional before the metal is chiseled, your jeweler may also offer the option of a wax model. These temporary forms can hold the stone(s) you’ve chosen so that you can better grasp the scale of the design and make any final changes.

Remember these key takeaways

Diamonds are all classified on a grading system, with each physical characteristic taken under consideration. However, there is one characteristic that no institution can quantify: the emotional quotient. How does a stone make you feel? This factor is often undervalued or simply overlooked. When you’re able to disconnect from any preconceived notions or other preoccupations that may be clouding your judgement you’ll enter a space of conscious awareness from which your perfect stone can be found. Take pause, find clarity and allow your energy to find it’s match.


The key to this process, having done your part, is to work with a jeweler that you feel listens to you and “gets” you as you communicate your ideas. One who honors you and your timing. One who has access to a large inventory of diamonds to accommodate your preference. Clearly, he or she must be competent and make you feel comfortable in every way and make the experience as memorable as the love you are celebrating.


There’s more to a stone than its cut, color, clarity and carat size. It’s a feeling. It’s a connection. It’s a decision that is deeply personal and should be treated as such. My four decades of co-creating unique custom engagement rings have led me to the anecdotal evidence that these 3 important conditions will result in the flowering of your perfect engagement ring:

1. Shifting your awareness from the conditioned mindset to your intuitive essential self

2. Comparing stones side by side and holding out for the one that speaks to you

3. Actively collaborating with a jeweler that is kind, considerate and competent

Most importantly, remind yourself of why you’re buying this ring to begin with. You are honoring your partner with a piece as unique and special as the love that brought you together. You are creating a symbol of union, and a physical representation of your love. It only makes sense for your needs and wishes to be respected and served by a reputable jeweler, above all else.

We invite you to give us the privilege to be a part of this very special milestone in your life. We promise to make the process as memorable as the love you are celebrating.

By Altaf Amlani; Owner of Blue Diamond Jeweler

Altaf Amlani is the owner of Blue Diamond Jeweler since 1974. During his early years in the industry he witnessed a number of engagement ring presentations to clients made by the jewelers that his father supplied jewelry to. None, he felt, were what a client deserved. Over time he created a special process that was born in the crucible of his own personal life journey. His mission was to introduce this way of being to the jewelry business, whereby clients could experience a space of mindfulness and approach decisions from this place of higher consciousness. 

With an eagerness to share their knowledge and hospitality, Altaf and his team invite couples of all backgrounds to experience this more personal and intimate approach to creating the perfect engagement ring. Blue Diamond Jeweler has three locations and has consistently been voted best jeweler in the Westside and Long Beach area.

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