What is a Diamond Carat?
When you're looking to buy a new diamond there's a few C's you'll want to keep in mind. Cut, clarity, colour, certification and carat weight are the five most important ones, though not everyone knows exactly what a carat is other than a unit of weight. So what is a diamond carat exactly, why is it important? What does carat weight mean to you as a buyer?
One carat (ct.) is roughly 0.2g. If this instantly seems incredibly small, that would be because you’re probably used to weighing large items by the hundreds of grams or even by the kilogram. Diamond rings usually start at around 0.13ct.and work their way up from there. The carat weight is so important that it is one of the first measurements written on the diamond's certification papers, and as a standardised unit of measurement it also ensures consistency between different jewellers worldwide. It also directly affects value to the point where most respectable jewellers will use special diamond scales which are calibrated to one thousandth of a carat (0.0002g).
Understanding Carat Weight
Because diamonds are of a given density, people often use carat weight as a measurement of size – while it's a measurement of weight, not size, it can be a useful indicator size between several diamonds of the same cut. However because carats measure weight, a 1 carat diamond is not twice the size of a 0.5 carat diamond. On top of this, size and value don’t necessarily go hand in hand, and as far as diamonds are concerned, heavier isn't always better.
Carat weight is just one of the five C's which affect the value of a diamond; a diamond of 2ct. which falls down on cut, colour and clarity will most likely be worth less than a 1ct. diamond of pristine cut, clarity and colour. However, if both diamonds are of similar cut, clarity and colour, and if both diamonds are independently certified by a recognised body such as GIA, the 2ct. diamond will be worth a lot more than the 1ct. diamond. This is partly because of the limited availability of larger diamonds, which means that the value a diamond will rise disproportionately with its carat weight. This also means that five 1ct. diamonds will not be worth nearly the same as a single 5ct. diamond, even when all six diamonds are of similar quality. A real life example of this would be the De Beers Centenary Diamond which weighs an awesome 273.85ct. (54.77 grams) and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. If weight and cost operated on a linear scale, a 1ct diamond would cost around $1m!
Why Choose Marlow’s Diamonds?
Here at Marlow's Diamonds we have three generations' worth of experience trading high quality diamonds. We have accumulated a wealth of knowledge working the heart of the world famous Birmingham Jewellery Quarterover the years, and we want to use that knowledge to help you make an informed purchase with us here today. If you have any questions about diamond carat weight, or about anything diamond-related, feel free to get in touch today. A member of our team will be more than happy to answer any question you may have.