Carat or Diamond Weight


The weight of a diamond is given in carats. The term carat originated in ancient times when gemstones were weighed against the carob bean. Each bean weighed about one carat.

In 1913, carat weight was standardized internationally and adapted to the metric system. One carat equals 200 milligrams – a little more than 0.007 ounces. In other words, it takes 142 carats to equal 1 ounce. Carat weight is closely related to the size of a diamond. There are 100 points in 1.00 carat and 5 carats = 1 gram. Two terms, carat and karat are often confused. In the US, karat refers to the fineness of gold alloys (pure gold is 24 karat; 14 karat is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals) and carat refers to gem weights.The weight of small diamonds is frequently expressed in points, with one point equaling 0.01 carats. For example, five points is a short way of saying 5/100 of a carat and fifty points equates to half a carat.

Sometimes in the jewelry trade, the term size is used instead of carat weight. As diamonds increase in weight, their size becomes less predictable. Diamonds with a shallow cut can have a greater diameter than a deeper cut diamond with the same weight. However, one does not want the diamond to be too shallow or it will not reflect the light properly and will have less brilliance. If size is important to you, focus on diamond measurements rather than carat weight.

Diamonds that look big for their weight may have reduced brilliance and fire so always insist on great cut. Look for diamonds that have a diameter measurement that is at least as large as the average for that weight. In other words, do not pay for weight that can not be seen! The weight of a diamond has an impact on price. All other factors being equal, the heavier the diamond, the greater its cost will be.

Before you start shopping, pay close attention to what size diamond her friends have and what your budget can afford.