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We have reached our fourth and final C in this 4 Cs of Diamonds series – Carat!

Don’t let carat weight distract you from assessing a diamond’s grades in the other 4 Cs!

When it comes to diamonds and the 4 Cs, the one with the most impact on the final cost of a diamond is the carat. However, this does not mean that two diamonds with the same carat will have the same price tag.

Carat is commonly thought to be a measurement of a diamond’s size, but this is incorrect. It is actually a unit of a diamond’s weight. There are various ways that diamonds can be cut, which directly affect the weight but not necessarily the size. For example, a diamond can be cut to have a very wide table (a flat facet on the top of the diamond) and appear large. However, it is typically shallow and thus weighs less than it appears. On the other hand, two diamonds can have the same carat weight, but one will look smaller than the other if it is poorly cut with a thick girdle (the perimeter of a diamond that separates the stone’s top and bottom halves).

The word ‘carat’ comes from the carob seed, which early traders commonly used to weigh diamonds because the seeds had a relatively consistent and reliable weight. However, some traders used different seeds or grains, so for a time, actual carat measurements varied geographically. Today, gemologists use specialized digital scales to accurately calculate carat weight, and 1 carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams.

Although carat weight plays a major role in determining a diamond’s price, it should not be the only consideration when making a purchasing decision. In fact, the American Gemology Society states, ‘Only comparing diamonds by carat weight is like only comparing paintings by canvas size!’ The other Cs — color, cut, and clarity — are equally important factors to keep in mind. A diamond can have a high carat weight, but low ratings in the other Cs may dampen its brilliance or sparkle and lower its value. A diamond with a lower carat weight and higher ratings for color, cut, and clarity will look better and be a better use of one’s diamond budget.

The key to assessing all 4 Cs and how they affect each other within a single diamond can be difficult. Work with an experienced and trusted jeweler at Joslin’s, where the staff is always ready to share knowledge and expertise in the hunt for the perfect diamond. Customers who are confident and happy about their diamond purchases make for a rewarding experience all around.

Brush up on your knowledge about the other 4 Cs of Diamonds:


Watch the video below to hear what Joslin’s Jewelry’s very own diamond expert, Gary Joslin, has to say about diamond carat!