Diamond Carat Meaning (+ Important Buying Tips)

Diamond Carat Meaning (+ Important Buying Tips)

In this diamond carat meaning article, we look at the definition of the term as well as what different carat weights mean.

Diamonds are sold in carats. Different carat weights have different prices. If you are wondering what a diamond carat is and why the price differences exist, you have come to the perfect place.

Here, you will get answers to questions like:

  • What is a diamond carat?
  • How does the carat weight affect the price of diamonds?
  • Crucial tips when analyzing a diamond carat weight

diamond carat

Two terms seem to be the same but are different: carat and karat. Carat is to diamonds as karat is to gold (purity). Historically, the term carat was gotten from the “carob” seed. This seed was in the past used as a unit of measure for diamond traders. Later on in this guide, you will learn that the carat in diamond deals more with weight and not shape or size.

You will also learn that the shape in which a diamond is cut affects its carat weight resulting in price differences even with small cut differences. There is a price difference between a 2.13carat diamond and a 1.92 carat diamond with identical cuts.

This guide will completely cover details about buying diamond rings that have similar or larger cuts, different sizes of cuts, and also review diamond cuts.

Let’s get started on diamond carat weights and some money-saving tips, shall we!

Diamond Carat Meaning

A carat (or less) is the unit measure of diamond weight, normally abbreviated as “ct”. In comparison to the commonly used weighing scale, a carat is equal to 0.200 gram, 200 mg, or 1/5 of a gram. One carat of a diamond is divided into 100 points and each point of measurement denoted in decimal numbers like .5ct, 3.33ct, and 1.34ct. And so on. Carats are not only used to measure diamonds but other gemstones too. It is the metric of measurement for gemstones

The effect of diamond carat weight on price

The price of diamonds is not determined by how heavy the diamond is. This sounds confusing, right? If you base the diamond price on carat weights, larger diamonds are considered pricier. Why is this so? Because large diamonds are rarely found.

GUIDE: How Diamond Clarity Affects its Price

You will find that the price for each carat in a 2-carat diamond is double that of four 0.50 ct diamonds, yet the carat weight is similar. When analyzing diamond price in terms of carats, it is important to note that when the diamond carat weight increases by one whole number, the prices shoot up drastically compared to when the rise is below one carat. For example, a 0.80-carat diamond stone that costs $800 may increase by $50 for a diamond with 0.90ct weight. However, when the weight moves to 1.00ct the price may be well above $900.

This means the 1.00ct diamond is put in a separate price bracket that appeals to customers more than the less carat weight. The price bracket for diamonds looks like this:

-90 – 0.99ct

-00 – 1.49ct

-50 – 1.99ct

-00 – 2.49ct

And so on.

Diamond Carat Weight vs Diamond Cut: Which is Important?

Most people who want to buy diamonds online usually wonder whether to go for ideal cut diamonds or large carat weight diamonds. Carat weight is a major aspect to consider. Carat weight, together with the size and cut grade of diamonds will be largely affected by what you consider large especially in terms of the diamond’s diameter. So, which of these two are you willing to overlook to get quality diamonds?

When pushed to a corner, I would pick diamond cut over carat weight. The cut will bring out the diamond’s brilliance. A 0.25ct ideal cut diamond ring would be a better option than an unattractively cut 1.00ct diamond which is no doubt more expensive.

A diamond-cut rates higher than its carat weight, but how? You may ask.

The only two things that can answer this question are the diamond’s diameter and the diamond’s cut grade. The diameter is measured across the crown on top of the diamond.

  • Diamond’s Diameter Across The Crown

The top of the diamond, most especially in rings is the part that customers see first. It is important to know the exact measurement of this part. The diameter is usually gotten by measuring the top part of the diamond. Two diamond stones that may have the same carat weight and shape may still appear different depending on the cut proportions. A properly cut diamond will have the stone appearing large whereas a deeply cut diamond will have most of its weight hidden in the stone.

deeply cut diamond

This difference in appearance is a result of the varying stone diameters. When compared to a deeply cut diamond, a well-cut diamond has a big diameter and will still look large even with smaller carat weights.

  • Diamond Cuts

When shopping for diamonds online, you will see (and likely choose) diamonds that are more brilliant, shinier, and appear large. This is because these are well-cut diamonds. This is the best diamond cut grade to pick.

Not considering carat weights, select diamonds that are more than just “very good” in terms of cut grade. This makes the diamond look bigger than it is. If you pick diamonds with a large carat weight that are poorly cut, they will appear small.

In simple terms, it is wrong to choose a diamond ring based on its carat weight only. It would be better if you look at the cut first since it carries more of the diamond’s beauty than a carat, clarity, or color. Go to online stores like Blue Nile and James Allen and compare their diamonds based on carat weights, cut grades or other jewelry scales.

Diamond Carat Explained

Large diamond carats are the thing for you if you like to show off. However, relying on size only will not give you the best quality diamond ring. Buy diamonds basing on brilliance and sparkle, this way you know between cut, carat, color, and clarity, which comes first.

On the good side, you can save a lot of money when buying diamonds based on carat weight. The best way to do this is to shop for diamonds that have carat weights that fall below the ideal spot carat weights. Think in terms of 1,49ct and not 1.50ct diamonds forego the 1.00ct and buy a 0.99ct diamond. By appearance, the diamonds may look the same since the difference in carat weight is 0.01ct almost not being seen by the naked eye.

If you must get a high carat weight diamond, consider saving some money by compromising on the other 3Cs. Go for slightly lower clarity grades or diamond colors, but be careful not to go so low. Remember also, that large diamond stones tend to fit only in specific settings.

In this case, you would start by choosing the setting you like before filtering diamonds by size and carat weight. All in all, you must consider all the 4Cs when buying diamonds since all of them play a role in determining the quality of a diamond stone.

GUIDE: How to Save Money on Diamond Engagement Rings

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