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Carat Weight (one of the 4C’s) is simply the Weight of a Diamond, be it One Carat or a Half Carat. It’s all about how much the Diamond Weighs. Back in the days, Diamonds were weighed by seeds from a Carob Tree. These seeds were roughly the Weight of one Point (1 pt) to a Diamond. Since there are 100 Points in a Full Carat Diamond, there would be 100 Carob Seeds to balance it on a Scale.
Things were never exact until the Diamond Scale was invented in the early twentieth century. Now, getting the exact Carat Weight of a Diamond is easy and only takes a couple of seconds.
Take a look at the image below to see all the different sizes of Carat Weights
The Standard Millimeter (mm) sizes of Diamond Carat Weights are as follows:
Take a look at the chart below to see what the Points are, Carats are and Fractions are of your Diamond. Plus, see what that Carat Weight is often referred to as.
One thing to note here about Carat Weights is that there are different types of Carat Weights that shouldn’t be confused. If you’re looking at a Diamond Solitaire (Single Diamond), then the Carat Weight is simple; it’s the Weight of that single Diamond. But, if you’re looking at a Diamond Wedding Set, then things can change. You’ll have the Carat Weight of the center Diamond and the Carat Weight of the side stones.
The Jeweler was giving you the Total Carat Weight of the ENTIRE ring (or Carat Total Weight written as ctw), and not the breakdown of the Center Diamond Carat Weight and the side stone Carat Weight. This makes a HUGE difference. The center Diamond could only be .33 Carat and the other .92 Carat could be in the little side Diamonds. Not good! Especially if the ring down the street had a much larger Carat Weight in the center. The point is, if they give you a Carat Weight of the ring, make sure you find out if that’s the Carat Weight of the center Diamond or the Carat Weight of the entire ring. Knowing this info can help you compare rings and prices elsewhere. Otherwise you could really be taken!
Two One Carat Diamonds put side by side can also look totally different in size as well. It’s like two people standing side by side could be the same weight, but one could be tall and skinny, the other short and fat. Diamonds are no different. From the top view, one could look 25% smaller than the other Diamond, if not more. It all depends on how the Diamond is Cut (which all depends on how much profit they can make from the initial parent rock). Things like mm sizes, Ideal Proportions and Girdle Thickness all come into play (which we will all get into with other posts). Everything is affected by Carat Weight, even the Inclusions in the stone (or more appropriately, the Clarity of the Diamond). Carat Weight affects how strictly Diamonds are graded as well. Bigger Diamonds get graded more thoroughly. Larger Carat Weights make it easier to spot Flaws and Imperfections, plus larger Carat Weights also show off the Color of the Diamond better.