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Carat Weight

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We focus on facts to ensure you have the information to make the right choices when buying diamonds. Sit back and watch our videos or read our articles to get the whole story. Our impartial advice will help you make the right decision, because Diamonds are Forever...

Information about Carat Weight - Carat or Karat? History and Origin
Carat of Karat? This confuses many people but the correct word is carat! It is sometimes incorrectly spelled as “karat” which refers to the fineness of pure gold and gold alloys. What about the history and origins of the word 'carat'? Where does the term 'carat' originate? The word carat derives from the Greek word 'keration' meaning fruit of the carob. The Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is an evergreen tree, with an edible pod containing seeds, which is native to the Mediterranean region. The seeds of the Carob were used on precision scales as units of weight for small quantities of precious gemstones because of their uniform size. The weight of an average carob seed is 200 milligrams. The weight of one carat is precisely 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams.

Carat Weight defines the weight, not the size, of a Diamond
The term 'carat' is often misunderstood to mean the size of a diamond. The size of a diamond relate to the dimensions or measurement in terms of length, width and height.  The carat weight is the standard unit of measure that defines the weight of a diamond. 

Information and Definition
The following definition can be used to clarify Carat Weight:

  • Definition: A Carat is a standard unit of weight for diamonds.
  • Carat weights are also expressed as "points" with a one carat diamond equalling 100 points
  • A carat is abbreviated as "ct." 1 ct. = 0.2 grams and 100 points = 1 carat 1 ct. = 100 points

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Ct. Weight - 'Points'
Carat weight is also expressed as "points" to describe diamonds which weigh less than 1ct.:

  • 1 ct. = 100 points
  • ¾ ct. = 75 points
  • ½ ct. = 50 points
  • ¼ ct. = 25 points

A hundredth of a carat is also called a point.

Hundredth of a carat
A hundredth of a carat is also called a point. Ct. weight is also expressed to the nearest hundredth of a carat:

  • 75 points = 1/75 = .75 ct. diamond
  • 50 points = 1/50 = .50 ct. diamond
  • 25 points = 1/25 = .25 ct. diamond
  • 10 points = 1/10 = .10 ct. diamond
  • 1 point = 100th of a carat diamond

Therefore a .50 carat diamond can be called either 50 points, or 1/50 of a carat.

Ct. Weight and the Price of a Diamond
The price of a diamond does not increase in proportion to the weight of a diamond! There are various weights above which there is a steep increase in value. The most notable example relates to the price of a one carat diamond. Buying a diamond is not an everyday occurrence. This website will testify that the subject of diamonds is literally a minefield of information! Most of us are not aware of the complexities of diamonds. But nearly everyone will have heard of a carat! So when we go to buy a diamond the one thing that we have in mind is that a diamond weighing 1ct. is what we should buy. The demand for a 1ct. diamond is therefore very high. Consequently, the price of a highest quality 1ct. diamond will cost significantly more than an equivalent diamond quality weighing 0.95 carats.

The Size and Cut
As a ct. is a unit of measure, and not size, two diamonds both weighing 1 carat may appear to be different sizes! The final size of a 1ct. diamond  depends on how the diamond is cut. Some diamonds will have extra weight on the
bottom part, or pavilion and therefore appear smaller. A well cut diamond will therefore appear larger than many diamonds of a heavier ct. weight.

The 4 C's
The Ct. Weight of a diamond is important but must always be considered in conjunction with other import aspects - the Color, Clarity and Cut. Together, these are referred to as the 4 C's - Carat weight, Cut, Color and Clarity. For more information on these subjects please click one of the following links:

The 4 C's to Diamonds

Diamond Clarity

Diamond Color

Diamond Cut

Diamonds Index

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