Diamonds are sold by carat represented as ct. Though often confused with size, carat is in fact a unit of weight. The origin of the carat system can be traced back to the tradition of using uniform and small ‘carob’ seeds by gem traders as counterweights in the balance sheets. The carat refers to equivalent gram weight in all corners of the world. Carat weight is the precise measurement of a diamond’s weight. A metric ‘carat’ is defined exactly as 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. However, carat weight is completely unrelated to the identical sounding karat that refers to purity of gold.
To many, it might seem that two diamonds of equivalent weight will cost the same. It couldn’t be further from the truth! These two diamonds weighing seemingly equal can have starkly different price based on key factors like cut, clarity, and color. As the carat weight of a diamond goes up, its price escalates at an impressively mounting rate. The reason is that the larger a diamond, the rarer it is. You would be surprised to know that less than one in 1 million mined diamond rough stones are big enough to ultimately produce a finished one-carat diamond. Hence, when carat weight of a diamond increases, get ready to fork out more not only on the total price but on the price-per-carat as well.
Though the cost of a diamond skyrockets exponentially with its carat weight, the dimensions or actual size of the stone does not. The perceived size might increase with increased carat weight, but the diameter and crown area does not enlarge in equal measure.
While buying a diamond, make sure that you get the price-per-carat, so that you can compare the costs of different carat weights. While evaluating diamond of any shape, one must remember that an increase in the diameter will result in a bigger increase in crown or surface area and therefore in perceived size.
Search for diamonds that weigh just under most popular carat weight like 1 ct., 1/2 ct. 3/4 ct. etc. As these diamonds fall just short of these popular weights, they are frequently sold at a discount compared to these full weight diamonds. In many cases, a lesser carat weight diamond sometimes may have a diameter similar to that of a weightier diamond, making it look virtually the same carat size when it’s viewed from top.
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