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Carat - Diamond Education - NYG Laboratory Resources
Carat Weight
Total Carat Weight ( T.C.W. )
Diamond Carat Weight
A carat (ct.) is the unit of measurement specifically used to describe the weight of a diamond (or other gemstones).
The carat is probably the most familiar of the 4C terms because it is the easiest one to understand just by looking at the stone.
Total carat weight (t.c.w.) is a phrase that represents the total weight of all diamonds or other gemstones in a piece of jewelry, when more than one gemstone is used. Diamond solitaire earrings, for example, are usually quoted in t.c.w., indicating the combined weight of the diamonds in both earrings.
The term 'carat' is often misunderstood to mean the size of a diamond. The size of a diamond relate to the dimensions or measurement in terms of length, width and height. The carat weight is the standard unit of measure that defines the weight of a diamond.
However, people often mistakenly assume that a diamond’s size is synonymous with its weight, though that’s not necessarily true. The way a diamond is cut can actually obscure its size and true weight.
One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. Size does matter.
NOTE: Carat and Karat - Don’t get confused between these 2 terms. Karat - is the method of determining the purity of gold.
The process that forms a diamond happens only in very rare circumstances, and typically the natural materials required are found only in small amounts.
That means that larger diamonds are uncovered less often than smaller ones. Thus, large diamonds are rare and have a greater value per carat. For that reason, the price of a diamond rise exponentially to its size.
Weight and Price
Weight and the Price of a Diamond
Ct. Weight and the Price of a Diamond
The price of a diamond does not increase in proportion to the weight of a diamond!
There are various weights above which there is a steep increase in value.
The most notable example relates to the price of a one carat diamond.
Buying a diamond is not an everyday occurrence.
Most of us are not aware of the complexities of diamonds.
It’s important to note that it’s not just the carat weight, but also the quality of the stone at that weight that helps determine the diamond’s value. Factors that determine quality include the cut, color, clarity, and finish.
One exceptionally high-quality diamond can sell for $20,000 per carat while a lower-quality one sells for just $1000 per carat.
Diamond values also increase disproportionately to the size of the stone, since larger diamonds are more rare.
In other words, a three-carat stone with equal color, clarity, and cut can end up costing significantly more than three times the cost of a one-carat stone.
Weight and Size
Which Carat Weight Is Right For You?
What Size Diamond Should I Buy?
The price of a diamond does not increase in proportion to the weight of a diamond!
It really depends. First, determine your budget.
This is just a guideline, it's not carved in stone and your first consideration should be what you can comfortably afford -- not what the diamond industry or a jeweler tells you.
Deciding on carat size is really about striking a balance between size and quality.
The carat weight that is right for you depends on your budget and preferences.
Remember that slender fingers make small diamonds look bigger. If she has small fingers, a 1-carat diamond will look proportionately large !
Think about what sort of setting will hold the diamond. You'll have to be sure that the setting you choose is made to fit the carat weight of your diamond.
Although weight clearly does matter because it influences cost quite a bit, it is advisable to focus on diamond cut and diameter.
Carat Weight
Carat Weight Measurements
Different Terms and sizes of Carat Weight
Cents = Points. A diamond of 10 cents (points) is a diamond that weighs 0.10 carat.
  • 1 Carat = 0.2 Gram
  • 1 Gram = 5 Carat
  • 1 Carat = 100 Cents (Points)
  • 1 Carat = 4 grain
  • 1.00 Carat = 0.200 Gram = 100 Cents = 4 Grains
  • 1 grain = 0.25 cents (Points)

1 grain equals to 0.25 carat, A diamond of 4 grains is a diamond that weighs 1.00 carat.
Different terms are used to describe different sizes such as star, melee, pointers, quarters, halves, solitaire.
The weight of small diamonds is frequently expressed in points, with one point equaling 0.01 carats.
For example, five points is a short way of saying 5/100 of a carat and fifty points equates to a half carat.
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