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Diamond Buying Guide: Carat Weight

Two Diamonds of Similar Carat Weight

Understanding what rarity factors determine a diamond’s value is essential. They are often referred to as the 4 Cs and are cut, color, clarity and carat. Carat is often mistaken for the size of the diamond, but it is actually a measurement of weight and isn’t solely responsible for determining a diamond’s size.

What is Diamond Carat Weight?

A carat is the unit of measurement for the physical weight of a diamond. It gets its name from the carob seed, which was historically used to determine the weight of jewelry. One carat is equal to 200 mg or 0.2 grams. Be careful not to confuse this with karat, which has to do with the composition and content of gold alloys. 

Diamond Size: Carat Weight, Cut & Shape

While it seems logical that as the carat weight increases, so too does the size of the diamond, but carat weight is not the only factor that determines the apparent size of a diamond. Cut, shape and carat weight together all play a factor in the apparent size of a diamond.

Diamond Cut

A diamond cut with less depth and a wider surface area will appear larger than a deeper cut diamond of the same carat weight. The deeper cut diamond will appear smaller because more of it will be hidden underneath itself once set in a piece of jewelry.

Diamond Shape

There are certain diamond shapes that simply look larger than others of the same carat weight when viewed side by side. These include elongated shapes such as a pear or emerald shaped diamonds when compared to equal weight round diamonds.

Carat Weight & Price

Carat weight is a major factor in determining the price of the diamond. Diamonds with higher carat weights are cut from larger rough crystals. Larger rough crystals are rarer and in higher demand than smaller ones, making them more expensive. But bigger is not always better when it comes to diamonds.

As with size, carat weight is not the only factor when it comes to a diamonds price or value. There is cut quality, color and clarity to also consider. An experienced jeweler can help you find the right balance of the 4 Cs to get you the highest quality diamond for your price point.

Pick the Perfect Diamond with Skyline Gems

Whether you are looking for a formal engagement ring or a “just because” gift, contact Skyline Gems. We are Lake Country, Wisconsin’s private jeweler and we can walk you through the 4 Cs of diamonds to help you find the perfect one from our premium hand-selected diamond collection. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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