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The weight of a diamond is represented in carats. Therefore, carat is a measurement of weight NOT size. Weight impacts the price most dramatically out of the various 4C’s diamond characteristics. As such, some diamond cutters poorly cut stones to retain the diamond rough and larger carat size that yields a higher selling price. A large diamond with poor cut, color and clarity will appear less eye-catching than a smaller diamond with excellent cut, color and clarity, so a delicate balance is required. Diamonds with the same clarity and color grades will still increase in price exponentially per carat weight as the average stone size gets larger.
One full diamond carat is divided into 100 points; a diamond that is ¾ of a carat is also 75 points. One carat is the equivalent of 0.2 grams. Since large diamonds are found less frequently in nature, a 1 carat diamond will cost more than twice what a ½ carat diamond costs (assuming all other characteristics remain constant).
Carat weight is the easiest of the four C’s to determine, however, the diamond must be loose. Too many jewelers approximate carat weight. For instance, when you buy a ½ carat diamond, which you would assume to be 50 points, you may actually be getting less than that. Many stores sell a ½ carat with as few as 45 points, and represent it as “approximately” a ½ carat. There is nothing wrong with buying a “light” ½ carat, however, the cost is significantly less. You should know that is what you are buying, and pay accordingly. If you’re looking for a diamond that appears larger but are not able to afford the price tag that comes with a larger carat diamond, keep in mind that the cut and the mounting can make a diamond look larger than its actual weight.
Remember that diamond size is dependent on your budget and needs to be considered equally with the other characteristics of color, cut and clarity in order to purchase a quality diamond. Inter-Continental Jewelers of Houston, Texas is here to help you find the right diamond for you and the perfect mounting to optimize its beauty.
Contact us if you have any questions about diamond carat weight or any of the other 4C’s of diamonds.
SPECIAL NOTE: carat weight" with "karat," the method of determining the purity of gold.