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Diamond Education
Ring Education
Metal Education

Diamond Carat

The word "carat" comes from the ancient practice in India of measuring diamond weights with the one thing in nature that is both small and the most consistent in weight -- the carob seed. Thus the name "carat" evolved in the English language, which is still equivalent to approximately the weight of one carob bean.

A diamonds weight is represented in carats. One Diamond carat is divided into 100 points. A 0.25 carat diamond is the same as a 25 points or 1/4 carat diamond. One carat is the equivalent of 0.2 grams. Carat is often confused with size even though it is actually a measure of weight.

Tip: A 2-carat diamond does not appear to be twice the size of a 1-carat diamond when viewed from the top. When diamonds are mined, large gems are discovered much less frequently than small ones, which makes large diamonds much more valuable. Weight impacts the price most dramatically out of the various diamond characteristics. This is why some diamonds have a poor cut to retain a diamond’s larger carat size equating to a higher selling price.

Carat Size Comparision

Cut vs. Size

The cut, not the carat weight of a diamond is going to determine the actual size. Since we generally determine the size of a diamond by its top view because of how it is set into the ring, it is important to measure the distance across the top of the diamond to know the actual size.

Cut is a very important characteristic as we have stated in the cut education section. When a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, the maximum amount of light (or sparkle) is returned out of the top of the diamond. With this done properly, a well cut diamond has the ability to reflect light out of the top making it appear larger even though it may have a smaller carat weight. In other words, you could sacrifice on carat size and maximize on cut grade in order to get a diamond that appears a lot larger than if you were to maximize on carat weight and sacrifice on cut grade.

Once you've decided on the cut, color, and clarity grade for your diamond, it will be easier to determine which carat weight will fit your budget.

Tips For Choosing The Best Carat Weight For Your Diamond & Budget:

  • First things to consider are the size of her finger, the size of the setting and your budget
  • If your top priority is carat weight, but you don't have a flexible budget, go for a good cut diamond with SI1 or SI2 clarity and an H-I color grade. This will allow you to move up on carat weight
  • Diamond prices are much lower just below the full and half carat weights. Choosing to go below a full or half number carat weight will make the very slightest difference in how your diamond will appear in size.
  •  Keep in mind that the smaller her finger the larger the diamond will appear on it!

Still can’t decide which carat weight is right for you? No worries we are here to help! Just give our Customer Service representatives a call at (888) 888-3959 or send us an email at