Once you’ve chosen your diamond’s cut, color and clarity, the next step is finding a carat weight that fits within your budget. Carat weight is also an extremely important factor in determining a diamond’s value. But what exactly is a carat?
determining carat weight of diamondsA carat is a small measurement equal to 200 milligrams. Each carat is divided into 100 parts which are called points. So a 1ct diamond has 100 points, while a ½ct diamond will have 50 points. The weight of smaller diamonds is often expressed as points rather than carats, where larger diamonds will be expressed as carats. The abbreviation ‘ct TW’ stands for carat total weight, and refers to the overall carat weight of all diamonds used in one piece of jewelry.
Because larger diamonds are more rare and in more demand than smaller diamonds of the same quality, they command higher prices. You will find that a one-carat, single diamond solitaire will always have a higher price than a ring with one carat’s worth of smaller diamonds.
Diamonds that weight just under the next full carat weight will be significantly less expensive than diamonds that weigh in just over that next carat mark, and offer a great opportunity for savings. Purchasing a .9 ct diamond will be more economical than a 1 ct weight diamond, and once it’s placed in a setting, the size difference will be virtually unnoticeable to the naked eye. This is a great method for getting a higher quality diamond at a lower price point.
A diamond’s cut, color, and clarity will make a substantial difference in the price, whereas a stone that is 1ct may vary anywhere between $20,000 for a high quality stone to $1000 for one that is less. Be aware that a diamond will often hide it’s weight near the bottom if it has been cut too wide or too shallow – making it’s brilliance of less value and dropping the price per carat.
It’s important to take a look at all the factors of how a diamond is graded, in order to get the best valued stone for its price. Just taking a look at the carat weight can be a deceiving characteristic when purchasing your ring. To determine the price per carat of any stone you are considering, try dividing the cost of each diamond by its carat weight. This will give you a solid means of comparing stones.