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Understanding the Four C’s of Diamond Earrings

By Alexandra Gulkin Subscribe to RSS | June 12th 2012 | Views:
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A pair of diamond earrings is the quintessentially appropriate accessory for virtually any occasion. As such, every woman should really have at least one pair hiding in her jewelry box, ready for wear on a moment’s notice. But before you head out in search of the perfect pair of diamond stud earrings for the woman in your life, take a moment to brush up on your diamond knowledge. This will help ensure you get the best quality diamonds at the most affordable price.

Sure, we’ve all heard the term “the four C’s” thrown about with regard to diamonds. But what are they, really? More importantly, how do the four C’s impact your wallet when it comes to the debate of quality vs. value in your purchase of diamond earrings?

To break it down in the simplest of terms, the four C’s reference the primary characteristics of loose diamonds: Carat Weight, Cut, Clarity and Color. And while the highest “grade” in each of these categories is indicative of the highest quality, it’s also a marker that can raise the cost of a diamond considerably. From a consumer perspective, a diamond’s value often lies in the personal perception of beauty, rather than a particular stone’s pedigree. It is for this reason that you stand to save a lot of money by gaining a simple understanding of just how these four characteristics affect a diamond’s appearance. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.

So, how do you find the most brilliant diamond stud earrings at the best possible price? The answer lies in knowing where it’s okay to “skimp” a little on the certified grading of a diamond, without sacrificing anything in the area of beauty and sparkle. While there’s not much to be adjusted in the area of carat weight when it comes to diamond stud earrings, there is a little wiggle room with regard to the other three C’s.

A diamond’s cut is the most important element contributing to it’s “sparkle factor.” An Ideal cut is the optimum grade in diamond earrings. However, a rating of Excellent is often just as brilliant, while the cost can be somewhat less. The same holds true for a diamond’s color grading. Colorless is the top range, but diamond earrings with a rating of Near Colorless look practically the same, especially to the naked or untrained eye. When it comes to clarity, it’s important to note that most diamonds, especially those of any significant size, contain internal flaws. Most of these flaws, also known as inclusions, do not affect a diamond’s appearance whatsoever, unless you plan on viewing it under a high powered microscope. On the other hand, diamond earrings possessing slight inclusions are going to cost much, much less (upwards of 400%!) than those with a grading of Flawless.

When it comes to diamond earrings, a little knowledge can go a long way, especially where your budget is concerned. Happy shopping!

Alexandra Gulkin - About Author:
Alexandra Gulkin is a reporter, writer and columnist in the jewelry industry. She is celebrated for her real-time coverage of trade shows, jewelry trends in diamond earrings, gemstones, events and secrets on where to find the highest quality diamond engagement rings.

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