Of the 4 C's, Carat Weight is probably one of the most important considerations
with respect to rarity, value, and consumer preference. In fact, Carat Weight, or
how much the diamond weighs is the most significant value factor in a diamond. Because
diamonds by nature are rare, a 2 carat diamond is actually about 3 times more valuable
than a comparable quality 1 carat size. Statistically a 1 carat is one in a million
diamonds mined, and a 2 carat is one in five million diamonds mined. Therefore,
all things considered a 2 carat diamond is really "value priced" based on the rarity
To assist in you in selecting the right size diamond here is a review of some key
Carat Weight concepts. The term "Carat" is derived from the "Carob Seed", which
is today used as a food flavoring. In ancient times this fairly consistent seed
was used in "pan-balance" scales to determine the weight of precious items traded
like gold, silver, and yes gemstones and diamonds! In the early 1900's the "Carat"
was standardized to equals 1/5 of a gram or .20 gm. Therefore, 5 carats = 1.00 gram.
The Carat is further broken down into "points". There are 100 points to a Carat,
just like 100 pennies to a dollar. Common diamond Carat Weights sold typically range
from 1/5 Carat (20 points) to 1 Carat (100 points) and larger! Diamonds smaller
than 1/5 Carat are referred to as "melee" diamonds, and are quite often used to
accent a center or feature diamond.
Larger diamonds are much more rare, thus commanding a higher price/per/carat. Carat
weight affects the value of a diamond by about 10-20% for each step in size difference.
Also, "magic sizes" refer to major carat weight categories, for example exactly
1.00 carat, or larger, and can prompt "price premiums". To calculate the price of
a diamond you multiply the carat weight by the price/per/carat. For example: if
a 1.25 carat diamond was priced at $10,000 per/carat the diamond would be sold for
Choosing The Right Size
In the selection process, most women today aspire to owning an engagement diamond
of at least 1 carat. Statistically, the average size sold for engagement is between
a half and three-quarter carat. The carat weight however, doesn't necessarily reflect
how the diamond appears. The most popular diamond shapes sold are the Round and
Princess Cuts. The outer diameter of a 1 carat round diamond is about 6.5mm, however
if the diamond is cut too "deep" it will be smaller in diameter, or if it's too
"shallow" it will appear larger in diameter. When you review the section on "Cut
Quality", bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. The final decision is always up
to YOU, the consumer.