The carat is the measure of the weight of a diamond. It is the universally agreed unit that describes the weight of these stones. Once carat is the equivalent of 200 milligrams. As many diamonds weigh far less, the carat is subdivided into points. One carat has 100 points. This provides a very accurate measure of these gemstones, thus enabling jewelers to set their prices with better precision.
Diamonds that weigh below one full carat are described by their points alone. For instance, a diamond that weighs 0.25 points may be referred to as a “25 pointer”. Whenever the weight exceeds one carat, the stone is described in carats and decimals. This system works very well, so there’s no wonder it has been universally adopted. A carat weighs 0.2 grams everywhere in the world, so it doesn’t really matter where you intend to go shopping for diamonds, as all jewelers use the same system.
The only thing you need to know is that you can’t guide your choice solely by the carat weight of various stones you may want to purchase. There are other factors that need to be taken into consideration, as they have a direct influence on the beauty of a diamond, and therefore on its market value.
Determining the Value using the Carat Weight
The value of a diamond is determined by a mix of characteristics known as the 4Cs, namely the carat weight, cut, color and clarity. When all other three characteristics are equal, the diamond with a bigger carat weight is going to be more expensive. However, it’s very hard to find two gems with the same clarity, cut and color. Even when they have similar grades, they may look different. For instance, the clarity grade is determined by the size of the inclusions.
However, an inclusion which is located just below the girdle isn’t going to be visible from the top, so this diamond is going to appear better than one featuring the same type of inclusion, but located in another position inside the crystal.
All these lead to the point that the carat system is good, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted. When going through more educational material you will see why there are still more important factors than carat weight though. Sometimes, it’s better to sacrifice a point or two, in order to obtain a better brilliance. Some other times, the good positioning of the inclusions allows for a bigger diamond to fit into a relatively small budget. This is why you have to avoid buying the first gemstone you like. By doing extensive research and by comparing multiple options you can find the true value for money.
Practical Relevance when looking at Prices
There is a correlation between the carat weight and the size of a diamond, but you can’t rely on it when searching for the best stone. For instance, the visual difference between a 0.99 carat stone and a full carat one is very small, yet the prices of the two gems are very different. By learning and applying such tricks during your shopping process, you can find opportunities to buy stunning diamonds while also saving some money along the way. Diamonds are expensive, therefore even a 1% saving may mean quite a nice amount.
The cut of a diamond can also influence the correlation between its size and its carat weight. In diamonds with a very good cut, this correlation is more accurate. On the contrary, diamonds with poor cut may appear smaller, as their diameter at the girdle is also smaller. The result is that two diamonds with the same carat weight may appear very different in size, because of their cut grades. As the beauty of these stones is usually in the eye of the beholder, it comes without saying that you shouldn’t invest in a poorly cut diamond, as you’d be paying too much.
As you can see, the diamond carat weight is a complex measurement. It is reliable, but it can’t be the only decision factor. Anyway, if you want to purchase some diamonds as an investment, you should probably try to find those gems that offer a good value for money, while also being in great demand on the market. This would enable you to sell them quickly, should you ever need cash for an emergency in your life.
If you don’t know anything about diamonds, you should perhaps hire an expert to guide you in your quest for finding the best investment. These experts know better what to look for in a stone, so they can help you discover those gems that are going to make excellent investments. Besides, professional gemologists can help you avoid overpaying for your diamonds, as they know very well the tricks of the trade and the methods retailers use to make you pay more than the real value of a stone. If you are careful and you don’t let yourself guided by emotions, you’re going to make a wise choice. If not, you may be tricked into overpaying.