Understanding Diamond Carat with Stewart Kuper Jewelers

March 10, 2020
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Understanding Diamond Carats

A precise scale will give you the exact value of the stone, no intricate tools or knowledge needed. A carat comes in at 200 milligrams. Believe it or not, this measurement has its roots back to the seeds of a legume plant, the carob. Early gem traders and jewelers would weigh precious gems with the small carob seeds as counterweights.

The carat weight of 200 milligrams is divided into 100 ‘points,’ allowing for incredibly precise measurements of the stone. You may occasionally hear a jeweler refer to the diamond by the ‘points’ alone, saying things like, ‘This is a one point two diamond.’

While we have you here, let’s answer some questions about carats.

How much is a diamond carat?

The price of a single carat diamond has a wide variety of price! This is because carat is just one factor in the Four Cs. A single carat diamond with a fantastic cut, incredible color and clarity will be worth more than a single carat without those other factors in its favor.

If all things are equal in a diamond, the higher the carat weight, the higher the value since larger diamonds are considerably rarer and more desirable. Of course, keep in mind that all of the Four Cs play a role in determining the value of a diamond! A smaller carat with a finer cut will be different from a larger carat with a worse cut (and be valued accordingly).

How many carats are ‘good’?

This is a subjective question to be sure and totally depends on what the stone is used for. If the stone is set in earrings, the carat will likely be smaller but that doesn’t make it worse, it’s the exact right stone for the purpose. Discuss your goal with your jeweler and you will find out the right number of carats for your needs.

So carat determines the diamond size?

Partially. The cut of the stone is often thought of as the shape, but it’s really two factors together that determine the size. A diamond may have a high number of carats but be a ‘deep’ cut, thus appearing smaller at the face. The carat puts a limit on the diamonds dimensions, the cut then determines the appearance of size.

How many carats should my engagement ring have?

According to engagement site The Knot, the average number of carats in an engagement ring is between one and one and a half carats. But that’s just the average. Your ideal ring can have as many carats as you want.

There you have it! You have started 2020 off with a decent foundational knowledge of diamonds. With these in mind you can now start searching for your ideal diamond. These are just the basics of course, speak with your jeweler and work with them closely to better understand the value of the stone you are looking for.

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