Diamond Carat Weight

Buying Tips

  • Carat is the most misunderstood of the 4Cs. It actually refers to a diamond's weight, not its size.
  • Consider cut and carat together; a larger carat diamond with a poor cut grade can appear smaller than a smaller diamond with a higher cut grade.
  • To maximise your budget, "Buy Shy," which means selecting a carat weight slightly below the whole and half carat marks. For example, instead of a 2.0-carat diamond, consider buying a 1.9-carat weight. This will save a considerable amount of money and the slight size difference will never be noticed.

Carat Weight considers two factors:

  1. A Diamond's Top Diameter
    It is important to measure, in millimeters, the distance across the top (diameter) of the diamond as this is how it is viewed when set into a ring.
  2. A Diamond's Cut Grade
    A diamond's cut grade should also be considered. When a diamond is well cut (grades Very Good or higher), the light reflected out of the top making it appear larger.

How do these two Carat Weight factors help when purchasing a diamond?

The diamond's diameter and cut grade reveal that smaller carat weight diamonds will appear larger with higher cut grades (Very Good and Ideal). On the flip side, a larger carat weight diamond could appear smaller with lower cut grades (Good, Fair and Poor).

More Expert Tips

  • If a large carat weight is important to you, yet you're working within a strict budget, consider a diamond with a good cut, SI1-SI2 clarity, and an I or J colour grade.
  • Diamond prices jump at the full- and half-carat weights. Diamonds just below these weights cost significantly less, and, because carat weight is distributed across the entirety of the diamond, small size differences are almost impossible to detect.
  • Keep in mind that the smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1.5-carat diamond solitaire looks much larger on a size 4 finger than a size 8.
  • Not all settings will fit all diamond carats or shapes. If you have already selected a setting, check the diamond specifications of your ring or ask your Hispek Diamond and Jewellery Consultant (0800-206-1160) for help. If you need a special jewellery piece created, Hispek can accommodate almost any request.