When searching for an engagement ring, you’ll hear about the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. While these are all crucial characteristics of a diamond, many buyers focus on the carat weight.
What Is Carat?
A diamond carat is 200 milligrams in weight. In terms of size, it is connected to a carat weight, however carat weight and size are not the same thing.
We spoke to two experts about diamond carat and how it influences the cost of your diamond, as well as how to obtain the greatest price for greater size.
Diamond Carat Value
Diamond carat is largely subjective, however, it does affect the stone’s price. The 4Cs used to determine a diamond’s price are carat weight, cut, clarity, and color.
However, a diamond carat is only as valuable as you make it. “If you want a big stone, carat weight may be important,” explains Matt Luck. Others may decide that other qualities of the diamond are more essential than the carat weight.
How Carat Affects Diamond Value
The bigger the carat, the more expensive the diamond. “If all other factors are equivalent (cut, clarity, and color), bigger diamonds are more uncommon and desirable,” Florman explains. A diamond of similar weight might have wildly varying values based on the other three Cs.
In other words, while diamond carat is an important component in deciding to price, it is not the sole one. A diamond with a large carat weight will lose value if the clarity and color are poor.
If you’re ready to sacrifice cut for carat, go for a shape that’s more forgiving of diamond quality.
How Carat Affects Diamond Size
Many people believe that diamond carat equals diamond size. Less important than carat weight is cut in determining diamond size.
In fact, a larger carat diamond with a poor cut can appear smaller than a lower carat diamond with a superior cut, adds John. One-carat diamonds are not half the size of two-carat diamonds. 1-carat rounds are 6.4mm in diameter and 2-carat rounds are 8mm. That’s why John emphasizes the value of smaller carat weight.
Diamant Carat Weighing
Diamond carat is measured by jewelers using scales. “All you need is a finely calibrated scale,” Matt says. “The GIA and AGS will have precise scales.”
Carat weight is usually expressed in jewelers’ terms, not by purchasers. It’s good to know in case it arises. According to John, the diamond business uses terms like “x-points” and “x-points” to describe stones. “If a carat weighs 100, each point is.01 carat. So a 90 pointer is a. 90-carat diamond.”
As Matt explains, it’s basically a means to indicate very little diamond weight. As a buyer, you’re more likely to hear that a stone is one, two, or three carats.
Shopping and Saving Tips
Many consumers prioritize diamond carat because they believe a bigger carat weight inherently makes a diamond more striking. It’s fine to want a bigger carat weight, but as Matt notes, “bigger doesn’t always mean better.” The best diamonds are remarkable in all 4Cs, not just carat weight. Buying a larger diamond at the expense of the other three Cs may result in a diamond with hidden inclusions, poor color, or a dull sparkle.
And, as John points out, carat weight isn’t everything. She suggests smaller carat weights for a reduced price. According to her, the difference between.10 carat and.20 carat is unnoticeable to the untrained eye. “In the diamond industry, ‘Magic Sizes’ are popular and consequently more expensive. For example, a two-carat stone may be much more expensive than a 1.90-carat stone.”
If you want a greater carat size but are on a budget, John recommends a diamond shape with a larger face, like a round brilliant, which looks the largest owing to weight distribution.
“An emerald cut diamond has fewer facets than a round brilliant,” John explains. “This makes inclusions in the stone easier to observe than in a round brilliant (many facets) cut.” You might choose an emerald with a higher carat size but a poorer clarity to save money.
Keep an open mind and let your private jeweler hand-pick some stones, adds Matt, if you want to favor carat weight over another C.