When you’re shopping for diamond jewelry, it is extremely important to know the lingo. If you haven’t studied what different terms mean and tried to identify what you want in a ring, you could end up feeling overwhelmed or completely lost. Moreover, if you know the basic characteristics that jewelers use to determine the value of diamonds and diamond rings, you can start making a budget and narrowing down your choices.
One of the most important diamond characteristics to understand is the carat. Carat is one of the 4 C’s of diamonds — carat, cut, color, and clarity. It also happens to be one of the most relevant factors when determining the value of a diamond, as well as the value of a diamond engagement ring.
But if you’re new to the world of diamond jewelry, you probably have a few questions. First and foremost, what is a carat? Does carat refer to weight or size? How does a carat convert to other units of measurement? How do you determine the carat weight of a diamond? What is the best carat weight for your budget? Finally, where can you find high-quality diamond engagement rings at affordable prices?
In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, so let’s get started!
What Is Carat Weight?
Carat (CT) is the measurement used to calculate the weight of a diamond. The term comes from ancient measuring methods in Rome and Greece, when market vendors would measure the weight of goods using carob seeds. The term “carob” would later become “carat,” which offered a more exact measurement for small objects — specifically diamonds and other gemstones.
One carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. It may not sound like much, but it can make a huge difference with the size of a diamond. And while carat is not a direct measurement of size, it does stand to reason that heavier diamonds are typically larger. That said, there are some variations in the density of different diamonds, which can affect the relationship between weight and overall size. Therefore, you cannot precisely gauge the size of a diamond using carats alone.
It’s also important to note that many people get confused between carats and karats. They are both pronounced the same way, and sometimes they are even spelled the same (using the more familiar “c” spelling). However, carats are the measurement of a diamond’s weight, while karats refer to the proportion of gold in a metal alloy. Since both terms are highly relevant to jewelry, it’s easy to mix them up.
How Is Carat Weight Calculated?
Since carats are very small units of measurement, they must be calculated using very precise tools. While you may be able to get an idea of a diamond’s weight using a household scale, an exact measurement should be given using a high-end jeweler or gemologist scale. Electronic scales used in professional settings can often measure a diamond’s weight within a hundredth of a carat.
Fortunately, you can still get a pretty accurate measurement of a diamond without having to invest in a professional scale. Moreover, you can even get an idea of how heavy a diamond will be based on its measurement in millimeters. For example, a 3mm round diamond would roughly equate to a carat weight of 0.10.
Here are a few more examples to help you better understand the relationship between diamond weight and size:
- 1mm diamond = 0.03 carats
- 5mm diamond = 0.05 carats
- 2mm diamond = 0.07 carats
- 3mm diamond = 0.15 carats
- 4mm diamond = 0.25 carats
- 5mm diamond = 0.50 carats
- 6mm diamond = 0.80 carats
- 7mm diamond = 1.3 carats
- 8mm diamond = 2 carats
- 9mm diamond = 2.75 carats
- 10mm diamond = 3.8 carats
Keep in mind that these are just approximations, and the cut of a diamond (as well as the density) can greatly impact the relationship between size and weight. However, you can see from the conversions above that carats tend to increase at a faster rate as the measurements get larger. The same principle generally applies to the relationship between carat weight and price.
For instance, you might find a 1-carat ring that is valued at $1,000, but this does not mean that a 2-carat ring with all of the same features and characteristics would be valued at $2,000. Instead, it might cost $2,500. And as you go up in carat weight, you’ll often find that the value of a diamond ring increases at a faster rate. This is due to the fact that larger diamonds are more rare and in higher demand than smaller diamonds.
But it’s not always as simple as these examples make it seem. As previously mentioned, the price of a diamond ring can be determined by a wide range of factors. While carats are extremely important, they are not the only thing to consider. You could find a ring with a very large diamond that is less expensive than a much smaller diamond. The reasons could include the color, cut, and clarity of each diamond, as well as the presence of accent stones and even the brand of the ring. This is why it’s so important to research different rings before making a final decision!
Total Carat Weight
The total carat weight, recognized by the abbreviation TCW, refers to the weight of all diamonds on a ring. This is necessary because many engagement rings include a central diamond, as well as various side stones and accent stones. Calculating the TCW can help you get a better idea of the value of the ring as it relates to the weight of all the diamonds.
For example, let’s say that you have an engagement ring with a single one-carat diamond. The TCW would be easy to calculate, as it would be one carat. Alternatively, if you have a ring with a three-carat center stone, two one-carat side stones, and eight quarter-carat accent stones, you would need to do a little math to figure out the total. Here’s what that calculation would look like:
- 3 carats x 1 stone = 3 carats
- 1 carat x 2 stones = 2 carats
- 25 carats x 8 stones = 2 carats
- Total Carat Weight = 7 carats
Get More Carat For Your Dollar With Have You See The Ring
It’s easy to get caught up in the process of finding the perfect diamond ring. However, even if you know the exact number of carats you want, you may struggle to find a ring that fits your budget. Fortunately, there is a way to get more bang for your buck when it comes to diamond rings.
At Have You Seen The Ring, we offer a marketplace of pre-owned diamond rings that often sell for less than the market value. In fact, you could find the ring of your dreams and negotiate a price that is as much as a 50% discount from what you would pay through a traditional jeweler. So, if you want to get the perfect ring and get even more carats for your dollar, be sure to check out our wide selection on HYSTR!
We hope you enjoyed our diamond carat weight guide! Are you currently trying to buy a used engagement ring? If so, be sure to contact HYSTR today!