Diamonds Q and A: What are the 4 Cs and why are they important?
At least 13
factors affect diamond value, including fluorescence, table percentage,
symmetry and other crucial details. The 4 Cs are just a good
place to start.
When you are done here,
read How to Read a Certificate
to take the next step in defining your dream diamond. You can
also go directly to one of the top-rated Best of the Web diamond dealers and ask the most helpful, expert
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Contrary to what most dealers will tell you, knowing the 4 Cs
is NOT enough to compare diamond prices.
The 4 Cs:
The cut actually
pertains to both the shape of the diamond and to the make
(how well a diamond was fashioned to good proportions and polish).
Shapes include round, marquise, princess, radiant, pear,
oval, emerald, and heart, and a few rare shapes. The Make
includes details such as table percentage, depth percentage,
polish, and symmetry, among others.
The color of
diamonds varies from colorless (highest quality) to many shades
of yellow (less rare). Some people ignore the “popular”
trend toward the colorless and prefer the warmth of light yellow
a natural substance, and no two diamonds are exactly alike. Nature
signs each of its creations with telltale inclusions, or internal
flaws. A diamond with more inclusions will be less rare, so it
will be less expensive. But this does not necessarily mean it
will be less beautiful to the naked eye.
The weight of
diamonds is measured in carats. Larger diamonds are much more
rare, so a 2-carat gem will be worth significantly more than
2 diamonds of the same quality weighing 1 carat each.
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