Diamond Carat Size and Weight

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Choosing the Carat Weight?

The carat weight of a diamond is just that, its the weight of the diamond. In non technical terms this can also be described as the size of the diamond. Its quite common, and also advisable, to buy an engagement ring, that has a diamond with the largest Carat you can afford, with a very good to excellent Cut, a reasonable Colour and a reasonable Clarity. Reasonable means anything around H or I in colour, and anything around SI1 to VS2 in Clarity. VS2 is probably a necessary choice in diamonds above 1 carat in size.

The carat weight, or the size of the diamond is probably the first thing that you and others around you will notice about your diamond. Colour and Clarity, provided they are above a certain threshold, are very difficult for people to notice. For this reason it is advisable to spend your money on a larger Carat Weight and a higher Cut grade as these will have the most impact on how your diamond appears.

On this page we will cover the following on diamond carat weight:

  • What is Diamond Carat Size / Carat Weight?
  • What is the difference between Carat Weight and Total Carat Weight?
  • What Diamond Carat Weight should I buy?
  • What changes as Diamond Carat Size increases?

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What is Carat Weight?

The Carat weight of a diamond is not to be mistaken with Gold Karat which is used to describe the purity of the Gold.

So, what actually is a diamond Carat? Well it might surprise you to know its neither a measure of purity or size. It is actually a measure of weight; 1 Carat is approximately 0.2 grammes (0.00705 ounces). Of course, as the weight increases, so does the size.

The diagram below shows approximately the relationship of weight to size, for diamonds cut in the traditional and popular round-brilliant shape:

diamond carat size

The Carat weight of a diamond is usually the first attribute of the diamond that is discussed. This again highlights its importance when purchasing a diamond.

Its very common to hear diamonds discussed as a quarter carat, half carat, three-quarters carat or one carat diamonds. These specific sizes are commonly sought after. However, you may find that if you look for a diamond just below these common sizes and you can often buy a Diamond Engagement Ring at a substantially lower price. i.e. buy a ring with a 0.9 carat diamond instead of one carat diamond or a 0.47carat diamond instead of a half carat diamond.

Are Carat Weight and Total Carat Weight the same?

The carat weight (ct) and the total carat weight (ctw) are not the same:

  • Ct refers to the diamond carat weight of one single diamond.
  • Ctw refers to the 'total carat weight' of a number of smaller diamonds.

This is very important difference. A Diamond Engagement Ring with five x 0.20 carat diamonds has a total carat weight of 1.00ctw, the diamonds in this ring would cost a few hundred dollars whereas a Diamond Engagement Ring with a single large 1.00 carat diamond would cost thousands. This is because a single 1.00ct diamond is more scarce than smaller diamonds and their rarity is reflected in the price.

We have a number of Diamond Engagement Rings with many small diamonds, and these are not only great value, but are also very practical for people with very active lifestyles, someone who is more conservative or who has a job where a more flamboyant design would be inappropriate.

marquise engagement ring The The Spellbound Engagement Ring from our Cluster Engagement Rings Collection.
platinum engagement ring The Ignite Engagement Ring from our Modena Engagement Rings Collection.

What Diamond Carat Weight should I buy?

Your budget plays a major role in what carat weight you should buy, here is the approximate budget for diamond engagement rings with different carat weights:

  • 0.30 ct = approximate budget of $2,800
  • 0.50 ct = approximate budget of $4,500
  • 0.75 ct = approximate budget of $7,000
  • 1.00 ct = approximate budget of $11,500

The above budget amounts are approximate as diamond cut, diamond colour, diamond clarity and also the metal chosen play a part in the value of your Diamond Engagement Ring.

Why not take a look at our full collection of Diamond Engagement Rings, choose a ring design and then select 'choose a diamond' to change the diamond to find the one that best suits your budget.

All o four staff have attended diamond grading courses so if you would like any help or advice on which is the best diamond for your budget please contact us.

Diamonds with a Larger Carat Weight

Whilst it is great to have a huge diamond the size of the diamond has a big influence on the cost of the diamond. This is because larger diamonds are much rarer than smaller ones.

When buying a larger diamond you will also need to be concerned with the clarity of the diamond. As that carat weight increases that inclusions within the diamond may become more visible. Whilst an SI2 Clarity is fine below 0.50 carats, it is advisable that above this you choose an Sl1 clarity, above 1.00 carats a VS2 clarity, and above 1.5 carats choose a VS1 clarity.

Let's Go Shopping

engagement rings online Hopefully we have covered all the important things you need to know about engagement rings. If you still have any questions, please use the enquire button at the top of the page.

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