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Understanding Diamond Carat Weight

Carats are measurement units of mass typically used to determine the weight of a diamond.

The word carat originated from the seeds found in the pods that grow on carob trees. Centuries ago gem trader’s used the seeds for their uniform size and weight to balance a scale when weighing precious gems. By the early 1900’s, the metric carat was adopted as the official measurement weight for gemstones.

Diamond Carat Weight

When buying a diamond it is essential to understand the measurements by which diamonds are weighed and how the weight of a diamond effect’s its value.

Diamonds weighing one carat and over are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1 carat diamond is equivalent to 0.2 grams, or 200 mg, and is divided into 100 points. Diamonds under a carat are expressed only in points; a quarter carat diamond has 25 points, a half carat diamond has 50 points, etc.  The diamond carat weight is the largest determining factor to a diamond’s value regardless of its quality. The reason for this is simple: from 250 tons of diamond ore only a single 1 carat diamond of gem quality may be found.

Diamond carat weight and diamond physical size are also two very different things. In the jewelry industry these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, however, they are not the same. The size of a diamond typically refers to the physical measurements of the surface area of the stone, while carat weight refers to the actual mass of the stone. In many cases, a smaller (deeper) diamond is actually the better cut diamond because it is proportionate and symmetrical. A diamond that has been ‘spread’ to look bigger tends to emit light from the side or bottom rather than the top like deeper cut diamonds, making it less brilliant. Though both will have the same diamond carat weight, they will both be different in size.

Diamonds of over one carat begin to cost more per per carat than smaller stones.  In addition to carat weight affecting prices, high clarity and color grade diamond prices skyrocket for stones over one carat: they are the most difficult to find stones. One 10 carat stone of exceptional high-quality can sometimes sell for $30,000 per carat while a lower quality stone of the same carat weight could sell for $1000 per carat.

At Diamonds Studs Wholesale we stock over 10,000 conflict-free diamonds. Our knowledgeable staff is eager to help you find the perfect diamond engagement ring, diamond earrings or beautiful diamond pendants. Our competitive prices will bring you in, and our incomparable quality gems will bring you back.