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Diamond Carat Weight

One of the first questions usually asked is: "How many carats is it?"  Most believe that carats represent the size of the diamond; however, this is only partially correct.  The carat is actually the weight of the diamond.  Historically, it represented the weight of a carob seed; thus, the term carat. In more precise measurements, 5 carats is equal to 1 gram.  Therefore, two diamonds of the same weight can appear quite different in appearance. 

Shallow vs. Deep cut diamonds

A shallow cut diamond that has more surface area on the top will look larger than one that is cut deep with more of its weight below the surface.  While you would think most would want the larger looking diamond, it is actually a combination of factors (which are described in more detail below) that give a diamond the most brilliance.  Some individuals get too caught up on carat weight and do not give the other Cs (color, clarity, and cut) enough consideration.  It is important to have proper balance and weigh this with what is important to you.

Diamond weight and points

In discussing diamond weight, you often hear the term points used.  For example, you might hear that a diamond is 83 points.  This has the same meaning as .83 carats, because there are 100 points to a carat.  Thus, .50 carats would be the same as 1/2 carat or 50 points, 1.50 carats would be the same as 1 carat and 50 points or one and one half carats.

In making your purchasing decision, it is important to realize that a 2 carat diamond will not look twice the size of a 1 carat diamond. Because a diamond is three dimensional, the carat weight is dependent on both the diameter and depth.  A 1 carat ideally cut diamond averages about 6.45 millimeters in diameter.  A 2 carat ideally cut diamond averages about 8.15 millimeters in diameter. This is about 26% more in diameter than the 1 carat.  The price, however, can be about 4 1/2 times greater.  As diamonds get larger, they also get more rare; thus, the price per carat increases accordingly.

How big of a diamond should I buy?

Carat weight is a personal decision.  Some of our customers choose a smaller diamond in order to have very high color and clarity. Others will sacrifice on the color or clarity to get a larger diamond.  Regardless of the choices made,  we suggest purchasing a diamond that will show off beautifully in appearance.  As an American Gem Society member, we will only sell diamonds that meet our standards for color, cut, and clarity.

Engagement Ring Budget

We suggest setting a budget prior to selecting a diamond . This allows you to explore various combinations of color, clarity, and size that works with your needs and budget.  Remember, weight does not always enhance the value of a diamond, and when a stone is improperly cut, the added weight may serve only to reduce its brilliance.  Sometimes it is wise to look for a spreadier lower carat weight diamond than what you originally had in mind. This diamond might not look much smaller in appearance; it will still be cut well and will help keep you within your budget.

The beauty of a diamond is something seen every time it is worn--often for decades and for future generations. 

Choosing a diamond is an important decision. One you should careful consider.

Need help selecting the perfect diamond?  Give us a call at 1-800-979-1910 or email us and we'll provide the same level of personal service we've provided in our family owned jewelry store for over 99 years!

Learn about Diamond Cut
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