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A Complete Guide to Diamond Carat

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When looking for a diamond engagement ring, you'll quickly become familiar with the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. While all of these define important aspects of a diamond, the carat weight is one that many buyers pay close attention to.

What Exactly Is a Diamond Carat?

A carat is the weight of a diamond, and a metric carat is 200 milligrams. It is also related to size, but carat weight and size are not synonymous: two stones of the same shape and carat weight can appear very different depending on the cut.

The Value of Diamond Carat

The significance of diamond carat is mostly subjective, but it does have a real impact on the price of the stone. According to Oliak, carat weight is frequently the most important of the 4Cs used to determine a diamond's price.

However, diamond carat is only as important as you make it. Carat weight may be at the top of your must-have list if you want a very large stone. Those who do not believe that a larger stone is required may discover that other characteristics of the diamond are more important than the carat weight.

How Carat Affects Diamond Pricing

In general, the higher the carat, the higher the price of the diamond. If all other factors are equal (cut, clarity, and color), the price of a diamond increases with carat weight because larger diamonds are more rare and desirable. However, depending on the other three Cs, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values.

In other words, while diamond carat has a significant impact on the price of a diamond, it is not the only determining factor. You could have a diamond with a high carat weight, but if the clarity is poor and the color is poor, the price will fall.

The Effect of Carat on Diamond Size

Many people believe that diamond carat equals diamond size, but this is not the case. The carat weight of a diamond refers to its mass. The dimensions of the stone and where it holds its carat weight ultimately determine how large a diamond appears.

A larger carat diamond with a poor cut can appear smaller than a smaller carat diamond with a better cut, believe it or not. A one-carat round diamond, for example, is not half the size of a two-carat diamond. A one-carat round will be 6.4mm in diameter, and a two-carat round will be 8mm in diameter.

How Is a Diamond Carat Measured?

The process of measuring diamond carat is very simple, and jewelers use scales. All you need is a highly calibrated scale that can measure extremely light weights. Scales will be extremely accurate at organizations such as the GIA or AGS.

The System of Carat Points

When discussing carat weight, jewelers typically use a point system, which is not often communicated to buyers. It's still useful to know in case it comes up. In the diamond industry, a stone may be referred to as having x-number of points or an x point. If you consider a carat weight to be 100, each point is.01 carat. So a 90 pointer is another term for a.90 carat diamond.

It is simply a method of expressing diamond weight for very small diamonds. As a buyer, you are more likely to hear that a stone is one carat, two carats, or three carats.

Shopping Tips and Money-Saving Strategies

Many buyers place a premium on diamond carat weight because they believe that a larger carat weight is automatically more impressive. There's nothing wrong with wanting a larger carat weight, but keep in mind that bigger isn't always better. You'll notice that the highest quality diamonds excel in all four Cs, not just carat weight. If you ignore the other three Cs in order to get a larger diamond, you may end up with a diamond with hidden inclusions, poor color, or a dull sparkle.

Bonus!

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Want to check and calculate diamond per carat instantly? Go to DR’s diamond price calculator to know how. Reliable and trusted carat calculator in the diamond industry since!

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