Your Guide To Diamond Carat Weight
Carat Weight: the definitive guide.
Diamond carat is one of the 4 Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat) that determine the quality of a diamond. Similarly to the other 3 factors, the diamond carat can affect the price of the stone, so it is of the utmost importance to be well informed about it before you go diamond shopping.
In fact, the diamond carat weight has the most direct connection to the price tag. A higher carat weight always equals a higher price. With that being said, the higher carat weight does not necessarily mean impeccable quality or the most eye-catching sparkle.
In this article, you will find out all you need to know about the diamond carat to ensure that the next time you go diamond shopping you will get the best stone for your dollar.
Defining the term “diamond carat” and dispelling some of the myths associated with it?
The majority of consumers misunderstand this term and think that it refers to the size of the stone, which it does not. When experts use the term “diamond carat” they are actually talking about the weight of the stone (1 carat equals 0.2 grams).
Another misapprehension is that the carat weight correlated to how well the stone sparkles, which is also incorrect. The stone’s ability to sparkle is influenced the most by the cut (which depends entirely on the skills of the expert).
In fact, if a relatively large diamond has been cut poorly, it will sparkle less and thus might even appear smaller than a well-cut smaller stone.
Larger carat weight does not automatically mean better quality or more sparkle. It is however a status symbol. So if you buy a 4-carat ring what you are actually paying for is just the ability to boast to your friends that your diamond weighs 4 carats.
The influence of the diamond carat on price.
All of the 4 Cs influence the price of the stone, but out of all of them, diamond carat is considered to be the most objective factor. The price-to-carat correlation is mostly based on simple math.
The higher the carat (i.e. the more the stone weighs when it is placed on the scale) the more you have to pay for it. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? Well, in reality, it is not quite as simple as that.
There is also the fact that rough diamonds with higher carat weight are significantly harder to find. Logically, large diamonds need to be cut from larger rough stones and those do not come along that often. So this rarity of large rough crystals is another factor that increases the price of large-carat diamonds.
Also do not be surprised if you come across two diamonds that look the same and have the same carat but still differ in price. The price is influenced by all 4 Cs, so even if the cut and the carat are the same, the color and clarity grades might be different. And in most cases, it is very difficult to see the difference in tint and clarity with a naked eye, but they do, nevertheless, affect the price tag.
Diamond carat; top buying tips.
The best way to cut the cost on the diamond carat is by buying stones that weigh ever so slightly less than a full (or half) carat. For instance, if we have a look at two nearly identical stones that weigh 2.9 and 3 carats (or 2.4 and 2.5 carats) we will not be able to tell the difference between them. The difference in weight is so slight that a human eye cannot detect it. The stone that weighs 0.1 carats less will, however, be less expensive.
If you are buying a ring for a special someone in your life keep in mind the size of her finger. If the person is rather petite with dainty fingers a 4-carat diamond might not be necessary. A 2-carat one will look just as respectable (and it will save you a lot of money).
Also, some shapes might make a diamond look larger than a round stone with the same carat. So if you have to spend some extra money on one of the 4 Cs spend it on the cut.
And keep in mind that the round diamonds are usually more expensive than diamonds that have been cut into other shapes since the round cut produces the most waste during the cutting process. So if you are minding your budget then go with the fancy shape.
If you hear the salesperson say “total carat weight” know that they are referring to the combined carat weight of all the diamonds that have been used in that piece. So make sure to ask about the carat of the individual diamond.
Another thing that makes a lot of difference in how a stone looks is the setting. In fact, certain settings, such as the halo setting, for instance, can make the stone appear much larger than it actually is. Halo setting means that the larger central diamond is placed in the middle and is surrounded by a multitude of small stones. This created the illusion of the central diamond being larger than it actually is.
Also, when buying a diamond ring pay attention to the band size. A thin band creates the illusion of the diamond stone being larger, and the wider band does the opposite.
And keep in mind that carat weight might influence how the stone looks when viewed from above. So if you are curious about how your diamond with certain carat weight and a specific cut will look there are many charts you can view online that will help you visualize it. But, in general, a 1-carat round stone will be approximately 6.5 mm in diameter.
And if you think that the diameter increases proportionally with the increase of the carat you are wrong. We can double the weight but the diameter would not double at all (so a 2-carat round stone would be about 8.2 mm in diameter).
Where does the word “carat” come from?
No one can say with 100 % percent certainty where the word originated, but there is a popular theory going around the industry.
Diamonds have been adorning the noble ladies and gentlemen for hundreds of years. But before the electrical scales were invented Mediterranean traders had to use their ingenuity to weigh these precious gemstones. They supposedly turned to the carob plant (a type of bean) for the solution.
The beans contained within the pod were used by the traders for exclusively weighing gems. One gem equaling one carob seed, which is how the term carat has supposedly originated. Modern-day traders do not need to use such tactics. They have super precise scales that tell them exactly how much your stone weighs, and one carat is exactly 0.2 grams.
Diamond price comparison by carat weight and cut.
Although we need to take all 4Cs into consideration to determine the precise price of the stone we can still say approximately how much a 1-carat diamond would cost you, and how the price might fluctuate depending on the cut.
The round-cut stone tops the list as the most expensive one.
- A 1-carat round diamond will cost you about USD $ 7850.
- The oval cut is the second most expensive option with one carat stone reaching about 6470 dollars.
- Then comes the princess cut, closing off the top three with about 5800 dollars.
- The marquise cut might cost you $ 7060.
- The pear cut 6500.
- The cushion cut $ 4600.
- And, last but not least, the emerald cut $ 4850.
And do not forget that the stones that are missing that fraction of a carat may be more affordable while appearing the same size to the naked eye.
The average carat weight for an engagement ring.
The engagement ring is perhaps one of the most important things you will have to purchase throughout your entire life, so it is important to get it right.
On average consumers choose engagement rings that are slightly less than one carat in weight. But if you go for a slightly colored diamond that has some inclusions then you will have enough money left in the wallet to buy a stone with a higher carat weight.
So to sum up, the term carat refers to the weight of the stone and not the size. The carat weight of your diamond is entirely a matter of preference. If you want to boast to your friends about a multi carat stone you bought, then who am I to stop you? That’s what diamonds are for after all. And high carat weight is seen as a status symbol.
But the larger carat weight does not mean that the stone will sparkle more or that it will actually look bigger when you are wearing it. The sparkle and dimensions are influenced the most by the cut. And although the higher carat weight automatically increases the price, you should take all 4 Cs into consideration when shopping for diamonds.