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diamond education

Diamond CARAT

 
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SHAPE  |  CUT  |  COLOUR  |  CLARITY  |  CARAT  |  COST

NEED TO KNOW: DIAMOND CARAT

Though carats do have an impact on the size of a diamond, this member of the Four Cs is all about weight. 

Carat (ct.) is the unique weight measurement for diamonds and other precious stones. Different gems have different densities, and as such, the weight of a stone will display its bulk in varying sizes. For instance, a diamond that is the same carat weight as a sapphire will be marginally bigger, because diamonds are not as dense.

 
 

As well as an individual gemstone’s carat weight, jewellers often refer to ‘total carat weight’ (t.c.w.). This is the combined weight of all diamonds or other gems that are included in a single piece of jewellery. For example, a diamond halo engagement ring’s total carat weight would include the central stone and those surrounding it, and a pair of diamond earrings would have their total carat weight calculated from both earrings in the set.

DIAMOND CARAT WEIGHT & SIZE

Diamonds that carry a higher carat weight are, inevitably, larger. That being said, even equally-weighted diamonds may not look the same – this will be because of differences in dimensions and cut, and of course each diamond’s unique makeup. However, it is possibly to roughly estimate the size of a diamond based on its carat weight, and to demonstrate the way in which size grows with carat increase.

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DIAMOND CARAT WEIGHT & PRICE

Carat weight may well be one of the final things that you consider when shopping for a diamond engagement ring. If you know the cut, colour and clarity that you are going for, you can find a diamond with a carat weight that is appropriate to your budget.

The biggest diamonds are of course the most expensive. They are simply much rarer, and therefore more highly prized. Because of this, a larger diamond will always have a higher value than two smaller diamonds that add up to the same weight, even if they are of equal quality. A diamond that weighs twice as much as another will actually be worth approximately quadruple the amount. 

Standard carat weights rise in 0.25 degrees, but occasionally you might come across a diamond that is an ‘under size’. This means that they are just a little short of a standard weight. Cut-off weights in the industry are 0.50, 0.750, 0.90, 1.0,0 1.50 and 2.00 carats – these are sometimes referred to as the ‘magic numbers’. While not that common (most cutters will aim to reach one of the cut-off weights), if you do come across an under-size diamond, they will likely offer good value for money.

The carat weight of the diamond you choose might seem very important when you first start shopping for an engagement ring, but your fiancée will love a 0.90 carat diamond ring just as much as she will a 1.00 carat if the style, shape and design has been thoughtfully considered. Balance your decision with other factors that you know will be important to her.


SHAPE  |  CUT  |  COLOUR  |  CLARITY  |  CARAT  |  COST

 

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