Carat is a term that refers to the weight of a diamond. Before the twentieth century, diamonds were measured by using the carob seed that is small and uniform and served as a perfect counter weight to the diamond. It is those original carob seeds which are the origin of the word carat we use today. The majority of diamonds used in jewelry and sold loose in the United States are one carat or less in weight. The average engagement ring diamond sold in the US is less than 1/2ct in weight.When rough diamonds are cut and polished into finished diamonds, as much as 2/3rd of the total carat weight is lost. Because larger gem quality rough is found less frequently than smaller rough, a two carat diamond will be far more expensive than two one carat diamonds of the same quality.A diamond will increase in weight much faster than it increases in actual “face-up” diameter. While an ideal cut one-carat diamond measures approximately 6.5mm in width, a diamond of twice its weight is only 8.2mm wide – less than a 30% increase. The graphic to the left helps demonstrate:
Which Carat Weight is best for you?
To select the right carat weight of your diamond, you have to consider your finger size, the size of the mounting or setting, your life style and lastly your budget. Here are few ways to help you pick out loose diamonds with the right carat weight. If you have a tight budget, explore all possible ways. You will probably find that there is a wide selection of carat weights and qualities available within your budget. Diamonds will appear larger on small fingers. For example, a 1 1/2-carat diamond will appear much bigger on a size 4 finger than a size 7. If a large carat weight is your priority but you’re on a tight budget, consider loose diamonds with a decent cut, SI clarity, and lower color grade such as H, I or J. This will help you maximize the carat weight of your diamond without exceeding your total budget. Setting a budget prior to selecting a diamond, this will allow exploring various combinations of Clarity, Color and Carat Weight that works with your needs and budget. Important thing to remember, Carat weight does not always enhance the value of a diamond , the value of loose diamonds is not based on carat weight alone. A diamond’s value is equally influenced by Cut, Color, and Clarity. In other words, bigger does not always mean better.