Carat

It's a given that most people would prefer a large diamond. However, there are a number of factors that play into how large a stone will appear against how heavy the carat weight might actually be. As one of the basic 4C's of assessing a diamond, it is important to understand exactly what carat weight entails in order to select the perfect stone.

The higher a diamonds carat, the more valuable it becomes. Carat refers to the unit of weight used to measure all diamonds. One carat is divided into 100 points (IE. one carat equals 100 points) and each point weighs two milligrams. Diamond prices do not follow the logic that a 1/2 carat stone will cost half the price of a One Carat stone. This is because finding a one carat stone is far more rare. When weighing jewelry set with multiple stones the total weight of diamonds is referred to as its Total Carat Weight (T.C.W).

The carat weight significantly affects the value of the stone since the cost increases considerably per carat. For example, a 1.00 carat diamond is not exactly half the price of a 2.00 carat diamond. If the weight drops, even by only a few points down to the lower carat weight, the price of the stone will be significantly lowered.

When looking to purchase a new diamond try to find one that is as close to the next carat weight as possible. For example, a stone that weighs 1.91ct will cost significantly less than another diamond that weighs 2.00ct, even though it is only a difference of 0.09 points. In this case the difference in size would be extremely difficult to see however the reduced cost will be quite noticeable.

Carat Measurement

Diamonds that come with a grading report will indicate the exact weight to the nearest one hundredth of a carat. Each carat is divided into 100 points. For example, If a diamond weighs 3/4 of a carat, its weight would be recorded as 0.75 ct. In the industry, the price of a diamond is often referred to by the price per carat (price per unit of 1.00) and is written as P/C (per carat) as opposed to the overall cost of the stone.

Two beautiful heart shaped fancy blue diamonds

Carat Weight Vs. Size of the Stone

The carat weight and the size of the stone definitely have a lot to do with one another. However, there are a number of other factors that are different between the two. Regardless of the stones weight, when someone looks at a diamond they often concentrate on the size of the table. Since the table is what everyone (other than a jeweler) assessing the stone will see, this is the most important aspect of a diamond's appearance.

In the images below we see that the appearance of size between all of these stones is quite similar. However, upon closer inspection you will notice that the carat weight is drastically different between each one of these diamonds as a result of the Depth of each stone.

The image above displays specifically what affect diamond depth has on the appearance of the diamonds shown. From left to right: a 0.45ct stone with a 28% depth, a 1.24ct stone with a 46% depth, 0.56ct stone with a 58% depth, and a 1.14ct stone with a 70% depth.

The 0.45ct, pear-shaped diamond in the first image above is extremely shallow at only 28% depth. As a result, it possesses a very large face-up size. The 1.24ct, pear-shaped diamond has a 46% depth, which is also quite shallow. The 0.56ct, pear shaped diamond has a 58% depth (which is closest to the most average of 60%) and finally the last 1.14ct, pear-shaped diamond has a 70% depth. With such a deep depth, even though it has a 1.14ct weight, it appears somewhat smaller in size, although the color of the stone is a little more intensified as a result of the light being trapped within the stone for a longer period of time.

The Size vs. The Shape

The piece of jewelry that you choose and the setting in which you place the stone will have a significant effect on the appearance of the size of the diamond. Also, certain shapes always look larger than others (even though they might be a lower carat weight). For example, an Oval shape will look longer then a Round Diamond thus it will appear to be bigger. A Marquise shape, due to its longish look, also reflects a big appearance in comparison to the other shapes.

Also, there are many variations of the same shape that will appear different from one another in regards to the size. For example, the stones below are all Radiant Cuts but present a different face up appearance between a Square Cut Radiant, an elongated Square Cut Radiant, a Regular Style Radiant and a Rectangular Cut Radiant.

Many characteristics affect the appearance of a stone. For example, a colourless diamond that is cut very well will actually appear slightly bigger from the sparkle. Fancy Coloured Diamonds work in a similar way, except the cut should cause the light to remain within the stone for as long as possible to help accentuate the colour.

The 4C's define the scientific guidelines of assessing the diamond quality and therefore define the overall value. However, especially with regards to Coloured Diamonds, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.

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