The four c’s of diamond grading – carat

Continuing our series on the Four C’s of Diamond Grading, this article will explore carat weight.

In some ways this is the simplest and most straight forward of the 4’cs. Diamond carat weight measures how much the diamond weighs. To give you an idea of what this means, a metric carat is equal to 200 milligrams. You may hear us describe the weight in terms of points as well, where each carat is divided in to 100 points. So, for example, a 0.30 ct diamond would be referred to as a thirty pointer. 

If all other factors remain the same, prices increase exponentially as the carat weight increases. So, a 1.00 ct diamond would be more than double the price of a 0.50 ct diamond, as larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. Two diamonds of the same carat weight will not necessarily be the same price though due to possible differences in the other 3 of the 4’cs – colour, clarity and cut.

There are also small price differences between different shaped diamonds of the same carat weight (if all other specs remain the same). The best comparison would be with the two most popular shapes – Oval and Round Brilliant Cut. A 1 carat Round Brilliant Cut is more expensive than a 1 carat Oval Cut as round diamonds are the benchmark and the most in demand of all of the shapes. Another reason is the fact that when cutting the shapes, you cut away less of the stone with an oval than you would a round, hence getting a slightly larger diamond for the size rough diamond.  

Another thing to point out is that carat is a measurement of weight and not size. This means that 2 diamonds of the same carat weight can appear to be different sizes based on their face up appearances. This is because some diamonds will be cut to hold more weight on the face of the stone as opposed to the back end. This is particularly the case with coloured diamonds as the idea is to cut to hold the colour in rather than have the colour disappear. This can lead to deep cut diamonds which face up looking smaller for their carat weight. 

Shown above:  1 carat Round Brilliant Cut, 1 carat Oval cut and 1 carat Oval cut yellow diamond

When clients come in to see me, they are either pretty definite about a carat weight that they would like or we work through the other C’s first – Cut, Clarity and Colour and then see what Carat Weight diamond works with the budget. We do stock a range of loose diamonds in varying sizes so if you wanted to book in today to get a better idea on what different carat weights look like, feel free to book an appointment today. 

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