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Diamond Carats - One of the 4 C's To Consider

Here's what you need to know about the carats of a diamond...

So, What's A Carat?

In short, a carat is a unit of measurement that determines the weight of any gemstone, including diamonds.

Often, jewelers describe carats in 1/4 increments and in jewelry pieces with more than one diamond, the carats may be described in terms of total carat weight (TW). This is the combined total weight of all the stones in the piece.

A metric "carat" is defined as 200 milligrams. Each carat can be subdivided into 100 'points'. This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. The weight of a diamond below one carat can also be described by its 'points' alone. For instance, a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats could also be referred to as a 'twenty-five pointer: Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carats’.

All else being equal, diamond price increases with carat weight, because larger diamonds are more rare and more desirable. But two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on three other factors within the 4Cs: clarity, color, and cut.

*All diamond images and diagrams are for reference only and may not reflect true diamond carat weight.

Carat Diagram Examples

Diamonds can range in size from a fraction of a carat to several carats. Given the rarity of large stones, however, the price increases rapidly with size; therefore, a single 2-carat diamond will cost much more than two 1-carat diamonds. Very large diamonds with good color and clarity are very rare.

Expect to pay a premium for stones that are above a full carat weight. For example, a .95 carat diamond will cost a bit more than a .90 carat diamond.

Because round brilliant cuts follow exact standards, you can make a good estimate of the carat weight of the stone based on the stone's diameter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1:

Q: Q: What is the difference between carat and karat?

A: Karat (abbreviated K or "Kt') is a unit of measure that describes the purity or fineness of gold

Question 2:

Q: How did the carat system start?

A: The modern carat system started with the carob seed. Early gem traders used the small, uniform seeds as counterweights in their balance scales. The carat is the same gram weight in every corner of the world.

Question 3:

Q: What are "magic sizes"?

A: Some weights are considered "magic sizes-half carat, three-quarter carat, and carat.Visually, there's little difference between a 0.99 carat

diamond and one that weighs a full carat. But the price differences between the two can be significant

Question 4:

Q: How is diamond carat weight measured?

A: To determine carat weight, the graded weighs the diamond using an extremely accurate electronic micro-balance that captures the weight to the precise fifth decimal place (the nearest one hundred-thousandth of a carat.