Diamond Carat Weight
Of the 4 C’s, diamond carat weight is the most straight forward quality and often the most important consideration of most clients looking to purchase a diamond. This is also usually the first grade to start with as most people, even those with little diamond grading understanding, have a pre-expectation of how big a diamond they would like to purchase. Diamonds are very expensive and very light weight and require a very precise unit of measurement which for diamonds are called carats. A single carat of diamonds is only equal to 0.2 grams and a carat is an ancient measurement made up of the weight of 100 carob seeds. When talking about diamond weigh we often refer to the weight in either carats or points. Large diamond are mentioned in whole carat weights (e.g 1.50 carat) and small diamonds are often spoken about in fractions of weigh (e.g 4 points or 0.04ct)
1ct = 0.02 grams = 100 points (or 100 carob seeds)
What is in the weight of a diamond?
Is bigger always better? It is but not at the expense of quality. As the size of a diamond increase the rarer it becomes to find a diamond of that size especially one that is of a high jewellery quality grade. As the weight of a polished diamond increase the price of the diamond will rise exponentially with the increase in diamond weight. This exponential growth is not a completely smooth increase as diamonds tend to jump in price at specific popular carat weight points. These are points at which the popularity of diamonds become more stigmatically popular.
We find that often people can still get a little caught up in the carat weight. When looking at large size diamonds above 0.50ct a few point one way or the other will not make a significant visual difference the the eye. We generally suggest that to make a jump up in the size of the diamond you wish to choose, a clear jump needs to be around 0.20ct before the visual size is evident between the two carat weights. This weight difference is very similar to many of the popular diamond sizes where the price rises exponentially at that point which often pushes the price up significantly as well.
What are the most popular size diamonds
The most popular size diamonds are those that are the most recognizable:
0.50ct, 0.75ct, 1.00ct, 1.25ct, 1.50ct, 2.00ct…….
Everyone usually wants to achieve the largest size diamond possible and it is a balance between your budget and the requirements of the other three grading qualities that will determine if you can achieve the diamond size you require. Most diamonds are cut by the diamond manufacturers to match the most popular sizes purchased and make the most money however for those people who are not quite as concerned about the popular carat sizes purchasing a diamond just below these standard weights can save significant money. It is rarely ever necessary that a client will be purchasing a perfect D Flawless grade diamond and is generally unnecessary as well. To get the largest diamond for your budget the qualities of the diamond other than the carat weight only need to be at just above the lowest grade that you would be happy to accept. As most diamonds are not perfect and a perfect diamond is quite unaffordable choosing your diamond requires the ability to choose what faults you will accept in your diamond.
Carat weight vs cut quality and diamond shape
Although carat weight is an exact measurement, how big a diamond looks will depend on the cut shape of the diamond and how accurately the diamond is crafted. The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular shape diamond and has a very specific set of measurement that a diamond should have for its corresponding carat weight. For example a 1ct round diamond should measure 6.5mm but when poorly cut a round diamond can often have a diameter a low as 6.1mm and will therefore be less expensive because of the poorer quality. When dealing with fancy shape diamonds some looks quite large for their size and others smaller. Depending on the depth specifications of the stone will in part correspond with the value of the diamond and how big the diamond appears for its size. When choosing a diamond the measurements of the diamond must match the scientific proportions indicated for that size and shape diamond.