Carat weight is an important factor which determines the value of a diamond. It is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. It is also an important factor that affects the price and rarity of a diamond.
What is carat weight?
Carat is one among the 4Cs of diamond that is set by the GIA to determine the quality of diamond. The other Cs are cut, color and clarity. Carat is the stone’s weight. When you buy a 1 carat diamond ring, it means that the diamond on the ring weighs 1 carat which is equal to 0.20grams.
How is carat weight measured?
Diamonds are normally weighed using an electronic micro-balance scale which measures its weight accurately. At the GIA laboratory, the weight of a diamond is measured up to the fifth decimal (1.12345), or a hundred-thousandths of a carat. This will ensure great precision in weighing diamonds. But in the trade, the carat weight of a diamond is typically stated to two decimal places (1.12).
The rules for rounding up the last digit of the carat weight are very strict. GIA roundup the carat weight of a diamond only if the last digit in the thousandth’s place is 9. Consider that the weight of a diamond is 1.128, then it will be considered as 1.12. If the weight is 1.129 it will be rounded as 1.13. This weight which is rounded to the hundredths place will be also recorded on the grading report.
The total price of a diamond is determined by multiplying the price per carat with the carat weight. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the carat weight is precise as there will be a significant difference in pricing even if there is a slight difference in the weight. For example, a 0.98 carat diamond is not equal to a 1 carat diamond, and it should be also visible in the price difference, assuming that both diamonds have similar qualities.
Carat weight and diamond size are not the same
All the diamonds with the same carat weight may not be equal in their sizes. The cut of a stone can affect its size in a significant way. If a round brilliant diamond is cut poorly, then it can be too deep or can have a thick girdle. Therefore, the extra weight will be hidden under the girdle where no one will be able to see it when it is mounted on a ring or any other jewelry.
As a result of this, a diamond ring with a poorly cut diamond that has 1.20 carat might have the same size of a 1 carat ring, given their other qualities are the same. Hence, the additional weight will not be of any benefit for the first ring. This is a situation where you have to wisely choose between a diamond’s carat weight and its cut grade.
It is advised to avoid estimating the size of a diamond based on the carat weight alone. Instead, look for the cut grade of the diamond that will be represented on the GIA grading report to make sure that you are not wasting money on a poorly cut diamond that has more carat weight but less cut grade.
How diamond carat weight impacts the price?
Diamonds with higher carat weights are rarer. Therefore, you will have to pay a good fortune for such diamonds. As the carat weight increase, the value of a diamond also increases. The same rule is applicable to diamond rings. The smaller diamonds are a lot common than larger diamonds, this factor reflects in their prices too.
The price per carat of a larger diamond will be more than the price per carat of a smaller diamond, which means, the price per carat of a 2.00 carat diamond will be more than the price per carat of a one carat diamond. Hence, a 1 carat diamond ring can cost you a significantly high amount than a ring that has two 0.50 carat diamonds, given the other features of the ring are the same.
The price of diamonds jump at certain carat weights
The size difference between a 0.97 carat diamond and a 1.00 carat diamond is nearly impossible to determine with naked eye. However, the price of a 1.00 carat diamond will be considerably high than a 0.97 carat diamond. Whole carat diamonds (0.25 ct, 0.50 ct, 0.75 ct, 1.00 ct, etc) are more preferred by people who like symbolic numbers like rounded ones. Hence they have more demand in the market than diamonds that are slightly less or high in carat weight than whole carat diamonds. If you are not a fan of symbolic numbers you can save a significant amount of money by choosing a 0.97 carat or 1.02 carat diamond instead of a 1.00 carat diamond.