Understanding Diamonds: Carat

What Is Diamond Carat?

The 4C Series

To complete our lessons on the 4 C’s of diamonds we reach our final ‘C’ - carat weight.  Armed with the knowledge you've gained in the previous three posts and an understanding of diamond carat weight you will be able to determine how to make your ultimate diamond purchase and confidently know you've made an informed decision.

Diamonds and Carat Weight

As you probably have figured out on your own, diamond carat weight is the amount a diamond weighs.  The higher the carat weight, the higher the price because larger diamonds are considered rarer and more desirable. Most people don't spend their time dreaming about a smaller diamond! 

Diamond Carat Weight Terminology

Diamond carat weight is measured very specifically, to the hundredth of a decimal. This means that each carat is equal to 100 points.  For example, 50 points is a ½ carat diamond and 150 points is a 1 ½ (or 1.50) carat diamond.  Some jewelers will use the phrase one point-twenty five which equals a 1.25 carat diamond.  The terms used can be a bit confusing so ask to see the carat weight written down.

Where Can I Find Diamond Carat Weight Information?

The carat weight of individual diamonds will be included in the GIA grading report.  DO NOT confuse this with the jeweler’s tag that lists a Carat Total Weight (CTW).  Sometimes shoppers can be misled by this information and mistakenly think that they are getting a larger diamond than they actually are. A Carat Total Weight (CTA) includes the weight of ALL the diamonds in a setting, not the specific carat of the individual stone.  Ask for the weight and quality of the center diamond by itself.

What To Look Out For When Choosing Carat Weight

Two diamonds of equal carat weight can have different prices based on the other 3 C’s.  That is why carat weight sometimes may be the last factor you look for. However, if the appearance of a large diamond is important to you consider this:

  • Find a diamond with a very good cut since a well cut diamond allows the light to come through making a smaller diamond look larger
  • If you’re buying a diamond ring, keep in mind the size of the finger - a one carat diamond will look larger on a size 5 finger than a size 7
  • The price of diamonds will usually jump at the half- and full- carat points so buying a 1.90 carat diamond will save you money over a 2.00 carat diamond and it will be difficult to tell much of a difference

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 4C's series that covered  diamond colordiamond claritydiamond cut and finally, diamond carat weight.  If you like what you’ve seen on Forever Diamonds come to our Gilbert showroom to test out your diamond knowledge firsthand!  We are always more than willing to help answer any jewelry questions you have.