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DEPTH PERCENTAGE


Depth percentage is the measurement of a diamond's depth, relative to its diameter. A diamond's depth is measured from its table (top) to its culet (the point at the bottom). This depth-to-width relationship is largely responsible for the diamond's being properly proportioned, resulting in the proper refraction of light and maximum fire and brilliance. Depth percentage is often indicated on diamond grading reports provided by independent gemological laboratories.

Since a well-cut diamond should have even brilliance throughout the stone, its depth percentage is probably the best indicator of a diamond's cut. If the stone has a dark center, then the depth of the diamond's pavilion is probably too great, letting light escape out the sides of the stone, instead of out the top (sometimes called a 'nail head' by jewelers). If it has a ring-like shadow when viewed through the top (sometimes called a 'fisheye'), the diamond's pavilion is probably too shallow. Shallow pavilions can also cause a diamond to look watery and lifeless.

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