What is diamond carat? 

When it comes to diamonds and diamond jewellery, one of the first things that often comes to mind is their size – or, more accurately, their carat weight. You’ve probably heard the term ‘carat’ before, but what exactly is it? The carat is one of the biggest factors effecting the value of your diamond, so it’s very important to become acquainted with the term. Read more about what a diamond carat is, here. 

What is diamond carat? 

A carat is a unit of measurement used to quantify the weight of a diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams or 0.007 ounces. This is a standardised size, allowing for consistency across the world when measuring diamonds. 

How is diamond carat measured? 

Diamond carat weight is determined using highly precise scales designed specifically for measuring gemstones.  

Carat vs. size 

While carat weight is often associated with the size of a diamond, it is essential to understand that carat is just one of the ‘4Cs’ that determine a diamond’s quality and value. The other three Cs are cut, colour, and clarity, and they all work together to make up the diamond as we know it. Here’s how carat weight relates to diamond size and why it’s important: 

  • Size perception: In general, as the carat weight of a diamond increases, so does its physical size. However, two diamonds with the same carat weight can appear different in size due to variations in their cut and proportions. 
  • Value: Carat weight significantly influences a diamond’s price. Larger diamonds are typically more valuable than smaller ones (assuming other factors like cut, colour, and clarity remain constant). 

What to consider when choosing a diamond carat: 

  • Budget: Determine your budget before shopping for a diamond. Carat weight can have a substantial impact on the price – you may have in your mind that you want a certain carat size, but when combined with the other 3C’s, it may not be attainable. A good jeweller will help you balance the 4C’s to find your perfect stone – set a budget and stick to it. 
  • Personal Style: Consider your partner’s or your own style preferences. Some people may prefer a larger diamond, while some may prioritise the quality over the size. 
  • Setting: Remember there are clever tricks you can employ to enhance the magnitude of the centre stone, without really increasing the carat weight. For example, a halo setting makes the central diamond appear bigger. 
  • Hand size: Consider the wearer’s hand size and finger length. A larger carat weight may be more suitable for longer fingers, while a smaller carat weight may look more proportionate on smaller hands.  

Got more questions about diamond carat?

Our friendly team are always here to help – reach out to them, here. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about diamonds, such as about their cut, clarity and colour, you can read our other informative guides.