This Emerald Diamond Solitaire Ring Features a 2.00 Carat Emerald Cut Diamond

If you are in the market for a loose diamond or an engagement ring, there is a good chance you have come the term "diamond carat." Read on to learn about what diamond carat means and how it might affect your loose diamond or engagement ring purchase.

At Gold & Diamond Source, we believe educated customers are happy customers. We are very proud of the education we give to our customers as we know that with knowledge comes power.

Diamond sizes and how diamonds are measured is the most commonly discussed aspect of any diamond. Diamond carat size is on many wish lists, and it's in every headline when a celebrity gets engaged. But have you ever wondered what carat size really means?

Read below for a breakdown on the carat weighing system used for diamonds and why the weight of every diamond is unique.

 

Why Carats?

Carats (ct) are a unit of mass used to weigh diamonds, gemstones, and pearls. The carat is a very old standard of measurement that extends back to at least the 16th century for measuring diamonds. The carat probably has its origins in the carob seed used in Greek and Roman times as a standard form of small measurement. Even though we think of carat as a measuring the size of the diamond this is not the case. The carat is a weight measurement so the appearance of two stones that are both 1 carat diamonds can be somewhat different.

Today a carat is equal to 200 mg. This standard of measurement was adopted early in the 20th Century by the General Conference of Weight and Measures (Conférence générale des poids et mesures – CGPM). Interestingly, the CGPM, established in 1875, is the same organization that established the metric system and encouraged its adoption throughout the world for the standardization of all weights and measurements.

Each carat is divisible by 100 points, each weighing 2 milligrams. Prior to the standardization and adoption of the carat system different countries used slightly different standards of measurement for diamonds and gemstones making it very difficult to compare one stone to another without placing them side by side. The adoption of the carat meant that a diamond seller in Africa and a diamond buyer in Brussels could reach an agreement concerning a particular stone much more easily.

However, the carat system has its limitations because diamonds are shaped and cut differently. A 1 carat diamond can be cut long and deep and it will look visibly smaller than a diamond that is cut shallower. The different cuts of the stones, for example cushion, round, marquise, square, emerald or pear will also weigh different amounts because the cuts are different. In other words, how the stone is cut and its shape can have a dramatic impact on the presentation of the stone.

The size of a diamond dramatically influences its price. This is where the carat becomes a very valuable tool. Larger diamonds are rare compared to smaller diamonds so the price per carat substantially increases based on the weight of the stone. For example, a 5 ct diamond may cost $45,000 per carat while a smaller stone less than 1/2 ct may cost $2,400 per carat for a diamond that is graded the same in all the other categories. For further information about diamonds and to see how stones in different sizes look, please use the free interactive tools on our diamond education page.

 

Learn more about diamonds and explore our vast inventory at Gold and Diamond Source at our Clearwater showroom.

 

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"I have visited GDS a few times since I got engaged and the customer service has been consistently great! Someone is always at the front door to greet you and show you in the right direction. The sales people I have been paired up with always seem happy and eager to please!

Besides the customer service, who wouldn't enjoy themselves while looking at all the shiny diamonds?

I had the pleasure to work to Alexis (the brunette) about what kind of wedding band would match my uniquely shaped engagement ring. She gave me so many options and went above and beyond by requesting a price quote from the designer who made my engagement ring for a matching wedding band. She emailed me on her days off to keep me in the loop!!

Alexis was with another customer when my fiancé and I came back in to buy, but Veronica took care of us as if we'd been working with her all along. She made the check out experience painless and quick.

I will always recommend GDS when a friend is getting engaged. We've already sent two happy couples their way!" — Nina M. on Yelp