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Diamond Carat Weight

A carat is the standard unit of measurement used to weigh diamond and gemstones. One carat (1.00 ct) equals 200 milligrams, or 0.200 grams. You may also have heard jewelers talking about "points". In common jewelry parlance, when referring to a diamond weighing less than one carat, jewelers use points, just like pennies are used for prices lower than one dollar. A point equals 0.01 ct. So, for example, a 15 point diamond is the same as a 0.15 ct diamond.

As large diamonds are rare, they have a greater value per carat and the price of diamonds rises exponentially in relation to size. Accordingly, a one carat diamond with a certain color and clarity will be much more valuable than two separate half carat diamonds of the same quality. Due to higher demand, diamonds increase in value after they reach the half and full carat mark.

It is a common misconception that a half-carat diamond is half the size of a one-carat diamond. While a half-carat diamond is half the weight of a one-carat diamond, the size difference in Round stones is only 1.35mm. The average measurements for a half-carat diamond and a one-carat stone are 5.00mm and 6.35mm, respectively.

Carat Origin
A four-grain diamond is also known as a one carat diamond. The word carat is derived from the word carob, which refers to the bean grown in the Mediterranean region. In ancient times, if a diamond weighed equivalent to that of a carob bean, it was one carat or one carob.

Selecting A Carat Weight
The best carat weight for a diamond often depends on the desired style, the size of the ring finger, the size of your setting, and your budget.

While the size of the diamond significantly affects its price, it does not guarantee beauty. Before you buy a diamond, it is best to first make a decision about preferred quality and then choose the size of diamond that you can afford in that quality range.

Remember that diamonds appear larger on smaller fingers. A 1.50 ct diamond solitaire will look bigger on a size 4 finger compared to a size 8 finger.

If you prefer a 1.00 ct diamond but are limited by your budget, consider a 0.90 ct one. Size difference between 0.90 ct and 1.00 ct diamonds is only very slight — even imperceptible to the untrained eye. A well-crafted 0.90 ct will comparatively have more sparkle, fire and brilliance than a 1 ct one for the same price or even less. This same argument also applies to other diamonds of comparative size ratios.

You must be cautious while shopping for diamonds that are mounted or set. If the jewelry piece has more than one diamond, the price tag will indicate the CTW or Carat Total Weight. This is not an indication of the carat weight of each stone in the piece. By asking for the total carat weight of the largest diamond in the piece from the jeweler you can understand what you are actually purchasing.

How Did The Carat System Start

The carat, the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones, takes its name from the carob seed. Because these small seeds had a fairly uniform weight, early gem traders used them as counterweights in their balance scales. The modern metric carat, equal to 0.2 grams, was adopted by the United States in 1913 and other countries soon after. Today, a carat weighs exactly the same in every corner of the world. Read More on GIA.org

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