Diamond carat weight is, along with color, cut, and clarity, one of the “four C” diamond rating criteria. Much like the other criteria, carat weight has an impact on the price of an individual diamond. The higher the diamond carat weight is, the more expensive it will be.
In many respects, carat weight is the easiest of the “four Cs” to understand and measure. It’s also the variable that has the greatest direct effect on the price of a diamond. When you browse diamonds, you’ll find that diamonds with a high carat weight carry extremely high price tags.
What is diamond carat weight?
Diamond carat weight refers to the actual mass of a diamond. A carat is actually a unit of measurement applied specifically to diamonds. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams.
Naturally, the bigger a diamond is, the higher its carat weight will be. However, for practical purposes, there are a couple of other things that can make a difference in terms of how large a diamond looks, especially when it is set.
The diameter of the diamond’s table (the highest point on the diamond) is one thing that has a significant influence. A bigger table on a set diamond can make the diamond as a whole look larger than one that is actually the same size, but has a smaller table diameter. In some cases, you can get a larger-looking diamond even with a lower diamond carat weight by paying attention to this variable. Also, a particularly good cut will accentuate the size of a diamond.
What this means is that, although some diamond buyers and vendors tend to emphasize the importance of carat weight, it’s not the be all to end all of diamond characteristics. Also, don’t confuse carat weight with karats, a term which refers to the purity of gold.
Actual Size Diamond Chart
What diamond carat weight represents the best value?
As indicated, the other rating criteria are well worth considering when buying a diamond. If you’re judging primarily by carat weight, the best value can usually be found with smaller diamonds. For one thing, anything above two carats is usually well beyond the means of most buyers. The difference between two and three carats can mean tens of thousands of dollars. The difference between a half carat and one carat, on the other hand, can be relatively minor, so, for many buyers, one diamond carat weight can often represent the ideal combination of size and value.