A remarkable gift of Mother Nature, diamonds represent beauty, and brilliance like nothing else. Their sparkle, shine, and allure are hard to resist. When buying a diamond, it is likely that these are the very qualities that attract your attention. But there is a lot more to buying diamonds than just blindly giving in to their gorgeous appearance. While cut, clarity, and colour are important parameters to select a diamond, there’s another vital aspect to consider as well.
It is the carat!
These four factors are known as the 4Cs of a diamond. Experienced diamond buyers know that the carat weight can be the game changer, as far as the worth of a diamond is concerned. It’s something that you must not overlook when you buy a diamond. So, here’s everything you need to know about the carat weight of diamonds to help you make an informed decision.
What is Carat Weight of a Diamond?
Like everything else around us, diamonds also have weights. To put it simply, the term carat weight refers to the weight of a diamond. Most people tend to confuse carats to be a measurement of a diamond’s size. This, however, is a popular misconception. Diamonds and other gemstones are measured using a unit called metric carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams, which is the average weight of a raindrop.
A carat is further split into 100 points and jewellers use the point system to weigh smaller diamonds. So, if you buy a diamond ring having a 50-point stone, it will mean that your diamond weighs 0.50 carats. Even a fraction of a carat can bring about a considerable difference in a diamond’s price. So, the point system is used to maintain precision in weight, which, in turn, will determine its monetary value. Most of the diamonds used to make fine jewellery are of one carat weight or less.
When you buy diamond pendants, bracelets, and other types of jewellery, you are likely to hear the term total carat weight. What exactly is it? And how does it differ from carat weight of a diamond? Be aware that it is the total weight of all the diamonds in the ornament. So, if your jeweller says that the total carat weight of the solitaire diamond earrings you selected is 1 carat, it means the combined weight of the diamonds for both the ears in 1 carat and not for each individual ear.
Understanding the Difference between the Carat and the Karat
A carat is not the same as the karat and it’s not just the difference in spelling that we are talking about. Carat is the standard unit for expressing the weight of precious stones like diamonds and gemstones. Karat, on the other hand, refers to the purity of gold. The purity of gold is scaled from 1 to 24 where 24 Karat is the purest form of the metal. The abbreviation for carat is ‘ct’ while that for karat is ‘k’ or ‘kt’.
So, next time when you go to buy that diamond ring with the stone mounted in yellow gold, you will know your carats from the karats.
Is Carat a Universal Measuring Unit?
The carat derives its name from the carob seed. They are a variety of small seeds that were supposed to have fairly uniform weight. Gem traders in the early days used these seeds to weight precious stones. The current unit of metric carat was first adopted in 1907. Today, it’s a universal unit used all over the world to weight diamonds and gemstones.
How Does the Carat Weight Impact a Diamond’s Price?
The price of a diamond increases with its carat weight. A diamond of high carat weight will be more expensive than those with fewer carat weights. This is because diamonds with higher carat weight are rare and so, are more desirable. But it’s important to remember that a diamond’s value depends on all the 4Cs, and not just the carat weight alone. So, two diamonds of equal weight can vary significantly in their prices if the cut, colour, and clarity of the two stones vary.
Does Carat Weight of a Diamond Correlate to Its Size?
The answer to this question is no. The carat weight of a diamond has no direct correlation to its size. Two diamonds having the same weight can vary in diameters and depth. This will make them look like two stones with different sizes when they are set in jewellery like a ring, earring, etc. The cut of the stone also impacts its size. For instance, a round cut diamond may look smaller compared to an oval or a marquise cut diamond, even though they are all of the same carat weight.
Can Two Diamonds with Same Carat Weight Differ in Value Due to Their Different Shapes?
Yes, they can. This is because the combination of certain shapes and cuts produce more brilliance than the others. Based on such factors, the price of a diamond can differ much. For instance, a diamond with a round brilliant cut will have much more sparkle and fire than one with an emerald cut. Due to this, the price of the first diamond will be more than the second one, even though both of them may have the same carat weight.
What are Diamond Magic Sizes?
There are certain weights that are known as magic sizes, such as 1 carat, 0.5 carat, etc. You won’t find much difference between the sizes of a 1 carat diamond and a 0.99 carat diamond. But due to the threshold sizes, the prices of diamonds with magic sizes can differ significantly.
Does a Larger Carat Weight Mean a Better Diamond?
Well, when it comes to the carat weight, the larger the better is not the policy to follow. Though the rule of the thumb is that a larger diamond will be costlier than a smaller one, the rule does not translate to the quality of the diamond always. For instance, you may have a diamond with a high carat weight. But if it’s not well-cut, it may not have much brilliance to boast of. On the other hand, a smaller diamond may sparkle brilliantly due to a proper cut. Which one would you like to have? The choice is all yours.
A Few Buying Tips for You
Next time when you go to buy diamond jewellery like pendants, bangles, nose pins, etc. don’t depend blindly on what your jeweller says. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.
Consider the carat weight and the cut together. A diamond with high carat weight but poor cut may look smaller than a diamond with less carat weight but a good cut.
If you want to make the most of your budget, buy shy. This means you go for a diamond that is just short of the magic marks. For instance, if you opt for a 0.99 carat diamond, there will be no noticeable difference between its size and that of a 1 carat diamond. But you will be able to save much on your budget.
When sparkle is the most important factor for you, start with the cut, colour, clarity, and finally go for the carat weight.
If size is the defining factor for you and budget is a concern, go for a diamond with high carat size but low in colour or clarity rating. The cut is something that is best left uncompromised.
You always thought there is so much to pay attention to when you buy diamonds. Whether you are purchasing diamonds in the form of jewellery or as part of your investment portfolio, carat weight is something you shouldn’t neglect.