NEED TO KNOW: DIAMOND CARAT
Carat, as we know, is a measure of a diamond. Typically associated with size, it is actually a measure of a diamond’s weight.
Diamonds, like all precious stones, are measured using this unique unit for weight, which for carat is ct. Since varying types of gems have diverse densities, their bulk is just a manifestation of their weight. For example, since diamonds are less dense compared with a gem like sapphire, a diamond that weighs say .5 ct will be slightly bigger in size compared with a .5 ct sapphire. In effect, carat is a measure of a gem stone’s density.
Should a single piece of jewellery contain several diamonds or other gems, jewellers will often use the unit “total carat weight” or t.c.w. to describe the quantity of precious stones present. “Total carat weight” is simply the sum total of all the individual carat weight of each diamond or other gemstones in a single jewellery piece. Take, for example, a ring that has a .25 ct diamond set in it as well as four other precious stones each weighing .1 ct. The t.c.w. for this particular piece of jewellery will be .65 ct.
DIAMOND CARAT SIZE AND WEIGHT
In general, the higher the carat weight, the bigger the size of a particular diamond. However, differences in cut, dimensions and unique physical makeup of each diamond can cause two stones with similar carat weights to visibly look different size-wise. It is still possible to estimate a diamond’s size by its carat weight though.
DIAMOND CARAT PRICE AND WEIGHT
When considering the price of a particular diamond, the stone’s carat weight is the primary thing to consider since price and carat weight are directly proportional. In simple terms, the bigger the stone, the heftier the price.
The individual carat weight of a particular diamond will determine its market value. A bigger stone will always be more expensive than a smaller one. The value of a single 1 ct. diamond is significantly higher than, say, two .5 ct diamonds combined even if their t.c.w. is also 1 ct. The market value of a particular diamond is approximately quadruple that of a similar diamond half its size.
Industry standards dictate that carat weights increase in .25 carat increments. Sometimes, however, a stone’s carat weight is just short of the next standard increment and is therefore considered to be “undersized”. In the jewellery industry, the standard weights ranges from 2.00, 1.5, 1.0, 0.90, 0.750 and 0.50 carats. These are the so-called “magic numbers”.
There are certain instances where you might encounter a “undersized” diamond, meaning they’re simply short on the standard weight. These are offered, however, valued lower compared with diamonds of standard weight.
A well-balanced decision, considering other factors, will lead to a wedding engagement ring that will paint the perfect smile in your fiancée. It relatively doesn’t matter if you gift her with a diamond ring with a 0.90 carat. Always take into consideration the other C’s.