What is Carat Weight?
...and is Carat Weight the most important quality attribute of a diamond? Many friends reach out to me with this question, so one clarification in advance, because this question comes up again and again: My personal answer: NO! Because it says nothing about quality, but rather about quantity.
It is always the same:
Usage of Carat as a quality attribute
When you buy an engagement ring and have proposed, the first question all friends ask is: Wow, how much Carat is that? This has strengthened the impression that Carat is apparently THE indicator for a diamond. It seems to be very important. Bullshit!
Personally, I think most people just don't understand much about diamonds and Carat is the quickest thing to get stuck in their heads. "Somehow Carat has something to do with size and somehow it also influences the price." So everybody wants to shine with this dangerous half-knowledge. Besides, all the stars always boast about dozens of Carat diamonds, which makes it a dream for many girls to be like their heroes. Who does not have the desire to wear a 1 Carat diamond on her finger? Doesn´t sound fresh saying “my diamond is 0,75 Carat”, right?
So first of all from my side: Please do not let this confuse or influence you. After studying and understanding everything about diamonds, you will realize that Carat Weight is the last factor to be included. So just let the others talk...
Conversion Carat To Gram
Carat Weight refers to the weight and not the size. It starts with the fact that most people only talk about carat, which makes the weight quickly forgotten. But this word actually reveals and explains everything.
Little excursion into mathematics:
1 carat = 200 milligrams
So with 1 Carat Weight, one speaks of a mass of about 200 milligrams, that is 0,2 gram. And of course this implicitly influences the size, but depending on the shape of a diamond you don't see the difference between 0.8 carat and 1 carat. Especially not when the diamond is in the setting and half of it is buried anyway. In addition, every shape has to be cut differently. So with increasing weight, more mass has to be processed and also consumed to cut the diamond into a certain shape. Hence this leads to a higher price of the diamond because it's like everywhere: more mass or units of something means paying more money.
Maybe now you understand why I say that Carat Weight is the last priority for me in the 4C's. It's not about the quality of the jewel like the cut or the clarity, but only about the mass and therefore the optical size. Prestige should be left out.
Here is an overview to give you a feeling for the size (mm to carat):
You can see again: different shapes lead to a different look and size in mm of the diamond. That means that you don't always have to pay for 1 Carat if it looks oversized at the finger of your girlfriend. Let's take the example that you want to buy a pear diamond. Just compare the mm and optics to a round diamond of the same carat weight. Could be that a smaller pear diamond looks better due to the visual size. If you want to go deeper into the mm to carat conversions please read my article about it.
So it is important that you first think about the other 3 C's and then check how much space is left in your budget, which you fill up with Carat. But always keep in mind that diamonds on different fingers and women look different and maybe your fiancée is not a fan of giant diamonds. Then you are not making her and your wallet happy with it.
Set your budget, determine your desired quality and see how much budget is left. After that, you can, if you want, take more Carat Weight than originally planned. But for the look it is important to get the best possible cut. Therefore you can read my article about the Diamond Cut and its implication on the quality and price of a diamond.
I know, for many people it is the magic number if my diamond has 1 carat, but always ask yourself if this is necessary considering your budget. If you don't have a limit then go for it and enjoy it. There is nothing more beautiful than a diamond that you can look at in its full glory. But if you have a limit, just keep the price in mind.