To orient us on the topic of Carats, I’d like share a few words by Gregory David Roberts from his novel Shantaram. You will agree, I think, that there is a need to define a common measure of length, yes?’ ‘You mean, in yards and meters, and like that?’ ‘Precisely. If we have no commonly agreed criterion for measuring length, we will never agree about how much land is yours, and how much is mine, or how to cut lengths of wood when we build a house. There would be chaos. We would fight over the land, and the houses would fall down. Throughout history, we have always tried to agree on a common way to measure length. Are you with me, once more, on this little journey of the mind?’ Origin of Carat Like length, Carat is a unit of measure for pearls and gemstones, including diamonds. The word Carat was derived from carob seeds that were believed to have low variability in mass and were hence used as a unit of measure in the 15th century. It was not until 1907 the current definition of carat was developed and later adopted worldwide. Carat vs. Karat Unlike Carat, Karat (with a “K”) is a unit of measure for fineness of gold. You’ve probably heard of 24 Karat gold, which is the most pure form of gold. Carat (with a “C”), is one of the 4C’s that determine the quality of the diamond. The other C’s are Cut, Clarity and Color. Diamonds are weighed in Carats. Quantitatively speaking, one carat = 200 mg = ⅕ of a gram. Carat and Diamond Prices
- More carats generally means higher the price of the diamond
A diamond with a higher Carat weight will cost more than a diamond with a lower Carat weight.
- 1 +1 ≠ 2
The total cost of two or more smaller diamonds is less than single larger diamond with the same carat weight combined. The reason being that larger diamonds are more rare than smaller diamonds.
- Carat preciseness comes at a cost
Diamonds prices are published weekly in a professional publication known as a Rapaport. The price of a diamond is based on the Carat range in which a diamond falls on the Rapaport. For example, all diamonds within the 0.90 – 0.99 Carat range fall under one price bracket and all diamonds within 1.00 – 1.49 Carat range fall under a different (higher) price range. Therefore if you are shopping 1 Carat diamond, you will end up spending more money than if you were shopping for 0.95 Carat diamond. The savings can be significant for a slight difference in carat weight. Key Takeways In summary, this is what you need to know
- Carat is just a fancy word for weight of a diamond
- Carat is one of the 4C’s that quantify diamond quality. The other C’s are Cut, Color and Clarity
- Generally speaking, higher carat diamonds cost more
- The total cost of two or more smaller diamonds is less than single larger diamond with the same carat weight combined
- Be flexible when it comes to diamond carats. A very small difference in carat weight can lead to significant savings