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Diamond Carat - Why it's Important
Carat is the term used to define the weight of diamonds and may be the first (if not only) characteristic you will hear about when discussing a purchase with friends. It is often confused with size even though it is actually a measure of weight. The cut of the diamond can make it appear larger or smaller than its actual weight. When diamonds are mined, larger diamonds are discovered less often than smaller ones. Therefore, as diamonds get larger, the value can greatly increase.
The last of the 4C's, diamond carat, named from the seeds of the carob tree were used to balance the scales in ancient Oriental bazaars. One carob seed equaled one carat, and about 142 carats weigh an ounce. To easily quantify diamond carats, jewelers assign 100 "points" to each carat and discuss weight based on portions of those points. A 50-point diamond, for instance, is the equivalent of a half-carat.
Naturally, the price of a diamond is closely tied to the carat weight of the stone. When diamonds are mined, larger cleaner diamonds are less often discovered compared to smaller ones. Therefore, as diamonds get larger, the value can increase exponentially due to the rarity of the stone.
What Does Diamond Carat Mean to Me?
There are two schools of thought on how to best determine the proper carat weight for your diamond purchase. For some, the size of the diamond is not as important as the quality of its internal properties. If this describes you, begin by selecting your desired cut, color and clarity grades to make sure your diamond will dazzle. Then determine a diamond carat weight that meets those grades and still adheres to your budget.
If, on the other hand, the carat weight of your diamond is your most important criteria, you may wish to select your ideal weight and tailor the other 4 C's to fit. If you decide to go this route, keep in mind that a large ring with poor cut, color and clarity may not satisfy your recipient. When working on a budget, you may need to concede a little in terms of diamond carat weight to make sure you purchase a brilliant, quality diamond.
It is important to consider the recipient's style and taste when selecting your diamond ring. Make sure the diamond fits her personality. If she wears large jewelry, a larger stone may fit the bill. If this concept terrifies you with respect to your budget, consider a setting with a smaller center and side stones, three stone rings or a wider wedding band. These options will give you a large look, without breaking your wallet. If she is understated or modest, she may not want a ring with a great deal of carat weight. If she does not wear much jewelry, a smaller stone and setting likely will feel more natural to her. In addition, consider the size of her hand when selecting your diamond. Smaller hands make diamonds appear larger.
Lastly, because diamond carat is a measure of weight, our diamond experts sort and eliminate any diamonds that are cut too deeply. Deep cut stones will have smaller diameters, therefore making the stone look smaller. This service helps you by narrowing your diamond ring search to the best possible choices.
Use the links below to learn more about diamonds and the 4 C's:
Now that you’ve learned all about diamonds; use your knowledge to shop for your perfect diamond engagement ring.