Diamond Education — Carat
What is a Carat?
This is the easiest of the 4Cs to determine: The loose diamond is weighed on a scale calibrated in carats. A carat equals 1/5 of a gram or 1/142 of an ounce. Each carat is divided into points; each point represents 1/100th of a carat. So, a “half carat stone” contains fifty points.
Carats and Cost
As diamonds increase in size, their cost tends to increase geometrically. Thus, a one-carat diamond will cost considerably more than twice as much as a one-half carat stone of equal quality. But carat weight can be very misleading. For example, a diamond might have far greater brilliance and more value if more of it were cut away, and it consequently weighed less. Diamonds of equal carat weights can have huge disparities in price.
You Be the Judge
Some diamond shapes, like the cushion cut, do not really lend themselves to small stones, whereas even a small round brilliant stone can be very striking. You can decide what diamond size will work best for you and your budget by balancing carat weight against the other characteristics.