Carat weight is one of the Four C’s and is one of the first things to consider when purchasing a diamond. If you’re willing to give up a few carat points, you can literally save thousands on purchasing a diamond. If you’re willing to get a diamond with a few more carat points, your investment can be worth that much more.
What is a Carat?
Carats are a unit of measurement used by the ancients and are used today to measure diamond weight.
Juxtaposed against the metric system, about 5 carats make up one gram, or one carat is approximately 200 milligrams.
Carats are referred to as points, where 100 points equate to one carat, or one point is 0.01 carats.
The Size and Carat Dilemma
Because of how they’re formed, diamonds with higher carat weights are disproportionately more valuable than diamonds with lower carat weights. Also, because people like even numbers, you can often see big price breaks around 0.25, 0.30, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00 carat stones.
For example, 2.00 carat diamond will be thousands more than a 1.99 carat diamond. However, the price between a 1.99 and 1.98 diamond isn’t very noticeable.
The Illusion of Size
Although the carat weight directly relates to how big the stone is, the cut of the diamond can play a huge role on how big the stone appears once its set. You can easily find a diamond with a cut that has less carats but appears just as big as its heavier counterparts.
However, the tradeoff comes with a compromise that can be a huge deal breaker.
Making sure you’re aware of how many carats you want your diamond to be and whether you’re willing to give up carats for the other C’s or vice-versa is key when considering to invest in a diamond.