Diamond Carat – How Big is Enough?

2018-06-21T21:32:49+00:0015th March 2018|Education|


When it comes to diamond carat, bigger is not always better! A 0.9 carat diamond is almost indiscernible from a 1 carat diamond, which costs significantly more! Furthermore, the cut of a diamond is of paramount importance when it comes to choosing the right diamond for you. A diamond of lower carat weight that is cut perfectly can look bigger than a diamond cut poorly but of higher carat weight, due to the brilliance that a perfectly cut diamond exudes.

What is a Diamond Carat?

Carob Seeds

A carat is a measure of weight for a diamond. The word carat comes from the word “carob”, which is a bean from a carob tree. Back in the day, carob seeds from the bean of the carob tree were used to measure the weight of jewellery, as the weight of each individual seed was believed to be almost the same as one another. This gave traders a very convenient and natural standard of measurement.

Later on, as we close on to modern times, we have adapted the word carat to mean 0.2 grams, or 200 milligrams. This is known as the metric carat, and has been used as the standard for measuring the weight of a diamond ever since.

As a side note, do not confuse the words carat and karat! Carat, the focus of this article, is a measure of weight for diamonds. Karat, or the other hand, is a measure for gold purity.

How much does Carat matter?

Carat Comparison Chart

Like many things in life, bigger is not always better! Carat, while a foundational factor in the 4C’s of a diamond, is not the most important factor when you are choosing your perfect diamond. After all, when it comes down to it, the most important thing when people look at a diamond is how much a diamond shines and sparkles to the naked eye – and this relies more on the cut of a diamond than anything else to ensure the maximum amount of light is reflected through a diamond to give it its fire, brilliance and scintillation.

While a diamond’s carat weight does have an impact on the diamond’s final size, it is an exercise of diminishing returns, as a diamond which is 2 carats only appears slightly bigger than a diamond of 1 carat in weight, and the difference between a 2 carat diamond and a 3 carat diamond is even smaller. This is because the bulk of the weight of a diamond is at the bottom, where it is mounted onto the jewellery and hidden from sight, while the visual size of a diamond when viewed is the width of a diamond.

With that taken into account, you should start your search using the cut of a diamond to decide on your price range, and then get a diamond of a carat weight that looks acceptable to your visual range. The balance between getting the biggest carat weight for your budget as well as not wasting your money on a stone that is just too big is a pretty fine art in itself, so when in doubt, feel free to contact our resident diamond experts to help you along the way!

The Secret Cost Cutting Technique

The one carat diamond is by far the most popular weight of a diamond on jewellery – this is because people want the prestige of being able to say that they are wearing a one carat diamond (and not anything less than that!). But as a result, the demand has caused jewellers to cut diamonds in ways to preserve the one carat weight at the expense of the other factors in the 4C’s, even the diamond’s cut! The popularity has also caused a huge difference in prices of 1 carat diamonds over a 0.9 carat diamond.

So what do you do? Take a look at 0.9 carat diamonds. They are almost the same weight as a 1 carat diamond, and with the right cut, they can have a width that is the same as a 1 carat diamond. In fact, a diamond of 0.9 carats that is cut ideally can be more brilliant and as a result look bigger than a diamond that is of 1 carat weight!

Always Prioritise Cut

Diamond Cut Proportions

It cannot be emphasised enough that out of the 4C’s of a diamond, the cut is by far the most important. A smaller diamond with a better cut can easily outperform a heavier diamond that is cut too shallow or too deep. What matters most when it comes to a diamond is the visual aesthetics – the fire, brilliance and scintillation of the diamond, giving it an amazing sparkle and a life of its own. Do not be tempted by the lure of a heavier stone and compromise on what matters the most! The additional weight often just adds price, and nothing more!

Need Help?

The search for the perfect diamond for that one special occasion can be a very difficult one. But worry not, we are here to help! Contact our diamond experts today and get 1 on 1 consultation to find your perfect diamond!

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