Diamond Carat: What to Know When Ring Shopping

Posted by Gillian Burgess on 20th Dec 2022

Diamond Carat: What to Know When Ring Shopping

For the last few weeks, we have been taking a closer look at the 4 C's - the most important guidelines for diamond ring shopping. When you are trying to choose the perfect diamond for him and her, it can sometimes feel overwhelming, but these four standards make the process more accessible. We have already covered color, cut, clarity and finally, we arrive at our final characteristic: carat.

What is a carat?

A common misconception is that carat refers to the size of a diamond. A carat is actually a measurement of a diamond's weight, defined as 200 milligrams (and there are 142 carats to an ounce). Each carat can be further subdivided into 100 points, which allows us to measure each diamond precisely, to the hundredth decimal point. For example, you can have a diamond that is .75 or 2.09 carats.

Why do we use carats to measure diamond weight?

The origin of the carat system dates back to early gem traders who used carob seeds - because of their uniform weight and size - to determine the weight of stones. Now we use incredibly sensitive scales to determine a diamond's weight.
Diamonds are weighed using an extremely sensitive electronic micro-balance scale.

How does diamond carat influence value?

Larger diamonds are more rare, so they usually carry greater value per carat than smaller diamonds. But because carat is only one of the 4 C's, the value of diamonds also are greatly influenced by color, clarity, and cut.

How should you think about diamond carat to find the best value when ring shopping?

Because one large diamond will cost more (sometimes much more) than several stones equaling the same weight, it's a good idea to shop for wedding ring sets for him and her that are made up of many smaller diamonds, or diamond clusters. These rings have just as much eye-catching sparkle - but they often cost a fraction of the price of rings set with larger stones. Browse our selection of diamond wedding ring sets for him and her.