Diamond Carat Weight
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Diamond Carat Weight
Surprisingly, the term carat is actually derived from a Greek word for “fruit of the carob tree”. What does a diamond have to do with a carob tree of all things? According to Wikipedia, the seeds of the carob tree were used as a reference for official standards for weight measurements in ancient times. This reason they were designated as such owes to the fact that the seeds of this particular tree were almost always exactly the same size and length.
The modern adoption of carat as the unit of measurement for diamond weight was formalized in 1907 and the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures. At the conference it was agreed that a diamond carat would equal 200 milligrams and this has become the universally accepted measurement of a diamond’s weight.
Is the Carat Weight of a Diamond Important?
As we said above Carat refers only to the weight of a diamond- not its physical appearance. You can’t detect weight just by looking at something; you can however see differences in size of some parts of the diamond (usually the surface area or table) and brilliance (how well the light is reflected through the diamond).
As you an see from the diamond cut graphic above (thanks to James Allen for use of this graphic) you can have 3 diamonds that are all exactly the same carat weight but both appear very different in terms of size (surface area that is visible to the eye) and also reflect light very differently. When selecting a diamond you want to make sure you are getting the one that balances these 2 and offers the best overall cut rather then the highest overall carat weight.
This is not to say that carat weight plays no role in the visual appearance of the diamond. Don’t expect to find a 0.5 carat diamond that offers the same visual surface area as a 1.5 carat diamond. This is mathematically impossible. However as you will find I often recommend that people looking for a 1.00 carat diamond also consider 0.90 and up diamonds. In this case it is very likely you find that the diameter of the 2 stones are nearly identical and certainly close enough that an untrained eye won’t be able to see the difference. Since there is a big jump in price for diamonds over a carat this is a great way to save some money.
So to answer the question “Is the Carat Weight of a diamond Important” my answer is no! Focus on the cut and those parts of the diamond that are visible to the naked eye and you will not only get a nicer diamond you will save money in the process.