Carat is a term that refers to the weight of a diamond. Before the twentieth
century, diamonds were measured by using the carob seed that is small and uniform
and served as a perfect counter weight to the diamond. It is those original
carob seeds which are the origin of the word carat we use today. The majority
of diamonds used in jewelry and sold loose in the United States are one carat or
less in weight. The average engagement ring diamond sold in the US is less
than 1/2ct in weight.
When rough diamonds are cut and polished into finished diamonds, as much as 2/3rd
of the total carat weight is lost. Because larger gem quality rough is found less
frequently than smaller rough, a two carat diamond will be far more expensive than
two one carat diamonds of the same quality.
A diamond will increase in weight much faster than it increases in actual "face-up"
diameter. While an ideal cut one-carat diamond measures approximately 6.5mm
in width, a diamond of twice its weight is only 8.2mm wide - less than a 30% increase.
The graphic above helps demonstrate.
Which Carat Weight is Right for you?
When deciding on which carat size is best for you, there are many things to consider.
First and foremost, however, are her expectations. Which of the Four C’s does
she value most? Is her heart set on a full "one-carat", "vvs" clarity or perhaps
"D" color? If you’re not sure, ask a close friend or relative for advice.
When determining carat it's also helpful to consider things such as her own personal
style, her finger size, and the limitations of the engagement ring.
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