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Knowing the Four C's for Your Diamond Earring
by: Kaitlin Carruth

When selecting a diamond earring set, it is important to have an understanding of the 4 C's. But what are the four C's and what in the world do they actually mean? Here is a brief explanation of clarity, cut, color, carat weight and what they mean when you are picking out diamond earrings.

1) The Clarity of a Diamond. Out of the four C's this is probably the most difficult for an ordinary person to distinguish when looking at a diamond earring, but is possibly the most important. The clarity determines how brilliant or dull the diamond will be depending on how much light can reflect without the disturbances of flaws (also known as inclusions). There are 12 different symbols that are used to describe the clarity of a diamond. An "F" denotes that the diamond is flawless while at the other end of the spectrum, an I3 explains that a diamond has obvious flaws that are easily seen with the naked eye. The ten grades in between these two describe how easily flaws can be seen and with what type of magnification.

2) The Carat Weight of a Diamond. While usually thought to explain size, the carat weight of a diamond actually is a measurement of the weight of diamond. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams or 0.007 of an ounce. It is therefore, not a measure of quality but a measure of quantity. The larger the diamond, the more valuable since larger diamonds are more rare than smaller ones. It is also important to remember that just because one diamond maybe double the weight of another diamond doesn't mean that the diamond earring will double in price. The price of diamonds rises exponentially.

2) The Cut of a Diamond. The term "cut" for a diamond has two different connotations. The more basic of the two, is the shape of the diamond. Diamonds come in various shapes such as the round, oval, emerald, pear, heart, and marquis. While these cuts are easy to distinguish and to choose from, the more difficult "cut" to decipher is the different angles, proportions, symmetry, finish and polish of the diamond earring. This plays a large part in the beauty of the diamond and how well it will reflect light. If it is a "shallow cut" light will be lost from the bottom while if it is a "heavy cut" light will be lost from the sides. The goal is to get a "fine cut" where no light is lost. The quality of the cut depends on the jeweler. A diamond is usually cut with 58 different facets. If the cuts are mathematically correct and precise, then the diamond earring will be able to reflect light with brilliance.

4) The Color of a Diamond. The color of the diamond helps determine the value of a diamond whether it is completely without color or is tinted yellow. There is a scale from D-Z that grades the color of the diamond. The letter D is used for diamonds that are completely clear. Before assuming that the farther along the scale you go less valuable the diamond is, think again. Within the scale there are canary yellow, blue, pink, and red diamonds that are considered to be very precious. For example, the rare and valuable Hope Diamond is not clear but blue.

Each of the 4 C's plays a large part in the value of a diamond all must be taken into account when purchasing your diamond earring set. After gaining a better understanding of these important factors that affect the value of the diamond, decide what is important to you so that you can find yourself the perfect pair of diamond earrings.




 



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