If you are in the market for a diamond, it is important that you understand what “carat” is. Many people are under the impression that a larger carat number means a bigger diamond. This may or may not be true. Let’s look at what exactly carat is and how it affects your buying process. Carat actually refers to the physical weight of the diamond, not the size of the diamond. In most cases, the more a diamond weighs, the larger the size will be. In the case of “good” to “ideally” cut diamonds, the weight and size should remain consistent. In the case of poorly cut stones, a one carat diamond could look bigger or smaller than an ideally cut one carat diamond.
How Diamonds Are Weighed
Diamonds are weighed using a specific scale that measures in carats (abbreviated as: ct). Because of the precise measurement that is needed to determine the actual weight, it is important that such scales are calibrated to ensure precise weights. Many of the scales that jewelers use are made solely for the purpose of determining how many carats diamonds weigh.
Carat Effect on Diamond Price
Without a doubt, a diamond that is two carats is going to cost more than a diamond that is one carat. That is why it is important to first determine what quality you want in your diamond. Work with a jewelry professional that you trust to help you find the quality and size diamond that best fits your budget.
Aside from carat weight, there are other factors that contribute to the price of a diamond including cut, color, and clarity. When it comes to the “4 C’s”, carat weight is last in importance. Cut, Color, and Clarity will drive retail pricing in all diamond weights. While the most popular carat weight for a diamond is usually one carat, there are smaller diamonds that are much more affordable and are just as beautiful. Remember that size is not the only thing that will make your diamond stand out, you also want to consider the cut!
Higher Carat Doesn’t Always Mean Better
A higher-carat diamond does not always mean that you are purchasing a diamond that is of high quality. There are multiple factors that go into determining the quality of a diamond including cut, color, and clarity. If a diamond is two carats but has an imperfect cut and does not have a lot of clarity, it might not be as expensive as a one-carat diamond that is perfectly cut and has plenty of clarity.
Try not to focus too much on the carat weight of a diamond when you are out shopping. You might find a smaller diamond that you absolutely love and are less inclined to buy it simply because of the carat size. A ¾ carat (.75ct) diamond that shows a lot of fire, sparkle, and brilliance can easily be more valuable and more beautiful than a 1 carat diamond that is included and doesn’t appeal to one’s eye. Remember, if the diamond is beautiful to you, it will be beautiful to others as well. Size may matter, but when it comes to diamonds . . . quality will win out every time.