Diamond Carat Weight
Often, when browsing engagement rings, the thing that catches the eye first is the size of the diamond. And it is true that of all the factors going into a diamond ring’s price, carat has the most affect. Many people mistakenly believe that carat is talking about the size of a diamond, but that is not completely true. While larger diamonds are a larger carat, different cuts and shapes influence the appearance, making some diamonds look larger than they actually are.
What is Carat Weight?
Carats refer to the weight of any precious gemstone, including diamonds. The equivalency has changed over time, but for approximately the last hundred years a carat is equal to 200 milligrams. This means that it takes 5 carats to equal one gram. Diamonds are usually classified in ¼ increments, starting at a ¼ carat. Diamonds smaller than that are usually called melee diamonds and are mostly used as accents and not as the centre stone. Carat is often combined with two other criteria – one, the distance across the top of the stone, and two – the diamond’s cut grade.
In the diamond world, price is set based largely on how rare it is. The price of diamonds increases as weight increases. However, because large diamonds are much rarer than smaller diamonds, the weight increases substantially at ½ carat and then much more quickly after a full carat. A three-carat diamond would cost more than three one-carat diamonds together, because it is much more rare to find a large diamond.
All precious stones are rare. Diamonds are no exception, but because diamonds are increasingly rare as they get bigger, the larger stones cost more. To understand how rare a bigger diamond is, statistically speaking a 1-carat diamond is mined every one in one million stones. A 2-carat diamond is mined every one in five million stones. So a 2-carat diamond is worth much more than a 1-carat diamond just because it is many times more rare.
The Right Carat Weight for You
There is a mistaken belief that all women want very large diamonds. But that is not always true. The average weight sold is actually under a carat – between a half and ¾ carats is the most popular weight sold. There are several factors that impact what carat diamond is the best one for you.
• Ring setting – Not all diamond carats will fit in all ring settings. If you already have a ring setting picked out that you love, make sure that the diamond will fit in the setting.
• Price – Obviously, price is going to play a huge role in what size of diamond you choose. But you can find larger carat diamonds with small flaws or diamonds that are not completely colourless that will actually cost less than a smaller, flawless diamond. If you want a diamond that appears larger but are working in a budget, another option is to go for a deeper cut. While they do not reflect the light as well, they appear larger than their carat weight actually is.
• Finger size – A diamond will appear larger on a smaller finger. A half-carat will appear bigger on a ring size 5 than it would on a size 8 or 9.
• Personal taste – Everyone has their own preferences. Some women just do not like large rings. If the ring is going to be a surprise it might require creativity to find out exactly what type of jewellery she prefers, but it will be worth it in the end.