How to buy and tell if a carat is worth your pay.
Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric "carat" is defined as 200 milligrams.
Each carat can be subdivided into 100 'points.' This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its 'points' alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a 'twenty-five pointer.' Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as 'one point oh eight carats.'
How to choose a diamond...
- First, identify the diamond shape desired by the recipient. If you do not know and cannot find out, consider round or princess cut.
- Set a carat weight minimum based on the recipient's preferences. If they have their heart set on a one carat diamond, even the most beautiful half carat stone will be a disappointment.
- Start with the highest quality diamond of the shape and carat weight minimum you identified in steps 1 and 2, and begin making concessions in the following order until you arrive at a diamond that fits your budget:
- First, lower the clarity. Go as low as VS2 before making concessions in other areas.
- Next, lower the color. Go as low as H before making concessions in other areas.
- Finally, lower the cut. Go as low as Very Good in round diamonds, and Good in fancy shapes before making concessions in other areas.
- If the diamonds that match your revised criteria are close to your budget, consider shaving off some carat weight in order to close the gap. A carat weight difference of 10% or less will be very difficult to detect visually.