Carat Weight: What Is It?

Carat weight (otherwise known as ct) is a measurement used specifically for the physical weight of gemstones, and has been the unit of diamond measurement since 1907. Before this was put into place, diamonds were measured differently depending on where you were on the globe but initially, the glittery gemstones were weighed using carobs – a long, green bean filled with seeds. It was the uniform shape and size of these seeds that made them the perfect solution for traders when assessing the weight of a diamond. One seed was equal to one carat, which is believed by many to be the origin of the term carat, today’s universally recognised measurement for gemstone weight.


Carat Weight Does NOT Refer To The Size Of A Diamond!

Very often, carat weight can get confused with the size of a diamond – carat weight can’t be seen with the naked eye, so just because a gemstone is large in size, it doesn’t necessarily equate to having a high carat weight.


How Is Carat Weight Measured?

The most objective of the 4C’s, carat weight can easily be measured using a digital scale, provided that it’s highly accurate with an expertise on precision in small scale measurements. As of today, a singular carat is equal to 0.200 grams (⅕ of a gram). It’s important to remember that each carat is subdivided into 100 points, as this allows for an extreme precision with all measurements taken. A common phrase used amongst jewellers when referring to carat weight is ‘pointers’ – for example, a diamond that measures 0.30cts may be referred to as a ‘30 pointer’, or a 2.05 ct stone called a ‘2 points oh 5 carats’.


How Does Carat Weight Impact Price?

Diamonds are a precious and incredibly popular gemstone which makes large diamonds especially hard to come by. So as you may expect, the higher the carat weight, the more expensive the diamond. Because smaller diamonds are far less rare, they cost considerably less than that of a large diamond. In fact, doubling the size of your diamond can cost you three – even four times – as much, yikes!


Learning About ‘Magic Sizes’:

As mentioned earlier, diamonds weighing an exact amount such as 1ct, 2ct or 3cts dramatically increase in price. These weights – half carat, three- quarter carat and carat –  are referred to as ‘magic sizes’. We recommend trying to avoid these sizes, as there is no visible difference between a diamond weighing 0.99cts and 1ct. However as 1ct diamonds are so high in demand, they come with a premium price tag. It’s believed that you can save around 10% by staying slightly shy of the popular carat weights and deciding on a diamond that is approximately 0.10cts lower than the sought after ‘magic sizes’ .


In conclusion, it’s definitely worth not conforming to these infamous carat sizes, as a high carat weight doesn’t necessarily equate to a jaw- dropping gem. It’s always worth visiting a jeweller you can trust to discuss diamond properties before purchasing, and it’s now so simple to do so via our free design consultations here at Artisan.