Carats have been used throughout history to determine the weight of diamonds and gemstones, with each carat equivalent to 200 milligrams, or 0.20 grams. The term carat is believed to derive from the carob tree, the seeds of which each weigh approximately 0.20 grams. To determine the approximate weight of a diamond, ancient jewellers would use carob seeds placed on balance scales, and while this archaic method has been replaced with high-precision electronic weighing machines, the terminology has endured.
Carat size is often one of the most, if not the most important factor when choosing an engagement ring, with many clients already having a good idea of the approximate weight they are looking for. What they might not know, however, is that the value of diamond increases exponentially. For example, a 1 carat diamond could be three or four times more expensive than a 0.50 carat diamond with exactly the same cut, colour and clarity grades. This is because 0.50 carat diamonds occur more frequently in nature than 1 carat diamonds. Or, to put it another way, the discovery of a 1 carat stone at a diamond mine is a much rarer occurrence than a stone half its size.
The carat weight of a diamond is precisely measured to the hundredth decimal place (for example 0.75 carats), with diamonds weighing under 1 carat often described in points rather than carats. Each point is equivalent to 1/100th of a carat, so a 0.50 carat stone can also be referred to as a 50 point diamond.
If you are looking for a 1 carat diamond, it pays to be flexible. It is impossible to discern the difference between a 0.95 carat diamond and a 1 carat diamond without using digital scales, and with the value of a diamond increasing dramatically from 1 carat upwards, this is a clever way to optimise your budget.
An engagement ring is the most personal of jewels and buying your first diamond the most special of occasions. We invite you to discover a selection of beautiful diamonds and engagement ring designs at our Hatton Garden workshop.
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14 Arundel House, 43 Kirby Street
Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8TE
+44 020 7430 1138