If you have ever shopped for diamonds you would have certainly heard the word ‘carat’ often enough. It’s the one thing that people quote and talk about above all else, but what does it really mean when you start looking for a stone that will be with you for a lifetime?
The term carat dates back to ancient India; the birthplace of the world’s diamond trade. Sellers and traders used the consistency of size and weight of the tiny carob seed to define a new weight and measure, specifically, for the precious stones we now call diamonds.
The carat of a diamond is simply how much it weighs. In general, the more carats (the heavier) a diamond is, the more valuable it will be. But it is important to note that, things like the skill of the cut and the intrinsic quality of the stone will alter the value and so it is not expressed by the carat alone.
For precision, a carat is divided into 100 points. So 0.40 carats would be 40 points of a single carat. For ease of comparison 1 carat is equal to 0.2 grams. We are telling you right away how valuable these highly sought-after precious stones are.
Choosing a carat can often be a matter of budget. With larger stones not only containing more precious material, but also being less frequently discovered in the mines, the price points quickly escalate. At Abelini, we keep things simple so why not check out the 4 main points to consider:
The aim is not to get the biggest possible stone at any cost. You need to find something that looks beautiful on your own hand. Long delicate fingers will enhance the apparent carat size, whilst shorter thicker fingers will reduce it. Finding the right stone is a matter of trying on many different styles before you find the one, so don’t feel like you have to find the perfect match straightaway.
To find the right ring you need to create a harmony between the setting and the stone. Thicker and more robust-looking settings will make the apparent carat size look smaller, and vice versa. It’s all about finding the perfect balance.
Elongated cuts such as the marquise will look larger at a fixed carat size than the princess shape, for example. Don’t be afraid to shop around for a shape that maximises the apparent carat size, if you are keeping an eye on your budget.
0.5 or 1 carat weights are the most popular weights. This is fantastic for the shopper who is browsing with budget in mind because it means less popular sizes such as 0.85 ct will be sold at a small discount per carat. Shop around and find the right balance between price and size and you’ll be surprised at what you can find for your money.