Cut | Clarity | Color

Know your carats

Carat weight is one of the "4 C's" used to evaluate diamonds, and is therefore one of the most important factors in determining the price of a diamond. The term is derived from the carob seeds used to balance scales in ancient times because of their uniformity of weight and shape.

1 carat = 1/5 grams

The carat system is used to express the weight of a diamond and many other gemstones. One carat equals approximately 200 milligrams (0.2 grams). There are 142 carats to an ounce. Carats are also divided into "points," with one carat equaling 100 points. Please note that "Carats" are different than "Karats." Whereas the term "carat" refers to the system for weighing diamonds, the term "karat" refers to the system for measuring the purity of gold.

How Different Carat Weights "Measure Up"

When it comes to jewelry, carat weight is extremely important because it determines the size and appearance of your ring, earrings and other pieces. The tool below illustrates what diamonds of various sizes look like set in jewelry, and how these different sizes look in comparison to one another. Please note that differences in diamond sizes will not always seem in proportion to the naked eye; a 2 carat diamond doesn't appear to be twice as large as a one carat diamond.


Carat Weight Drives Diamond Prices

Diamonds are formed under very rare circumstances, are often very difficult to mine, and are usually found in relatively small quantities. This is one of the main reasons why they are so valuable. Larger sized diamonds are rarer still, making them, in most cases, worth significantly more than smaller sized diamonds. For instance, a 2 - carat diamond is always worth more than two 1- carat diamonds of equal or similar quality. Likewise, a 1- carat diamond will cost much more than a 95 pointer (0.95 carats) of equal or similar quality - even though the two stones are very close in size.

Usually, larger diamond = higher price. Exceptions to this rule would be when other diamond factors such as clarity, color and cut come into play. These factors can have a significant impact on the price of a diamond - for instance, it is entirely possible for a smaller stone of exceptional quality to be worth more than a larger stone of only average quality. The most difficult challenge for any diamond cutter is to preserve the greatest possible weight from the original rough diamond and still produce a finished stone with the best possible quality in terms of clarity, color and cut.

How to Choose the Right Weight!

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding what size diamond to purchase, including quality, style, body type, setting and budget. If you prefer larger diamond styles but have a limited budget, you can get a bigger diamond by looking a little further down the quality scale on clarity, color or cut. Keep in mind that the smaller the person, the larger the diamond will appear, and visa versa.