Diamond Carat – The 4Cs of Diamonds

Tampa Bay Diamond AppraisalsDiamonds as well as other gemstones are weighed in metric carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams. It is important to not confuse carat with karat,  the term used in describing gold purity like: “18K gold” )

Each carat is divided into 100 points. A 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats. Two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on the other factors of the diamond called the Four C’s: clarity, color and cut. The majority of diamonds used in jewelry weigh one carat or less.

Even a fraction of a carat can make a big difference in cost, so precision is very important. In the professional diamond market, weight is often measured to the hundred thousandths of a carat, and rounded to a  hundredth of a carat.  Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. So a 1.08 ct. diamond would be described as “one point oh eight carats,” or “one oh eight.”)

How did the carat system beging?

The carat is the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other precious gemstones. It  takes its name from the carob seed. Because these small seeds were known to have a fairly uniform weight, early precious stone and gem dealers used them as counterweights in their balance scales. The modern metric carat is equal to 0.2 grams, and was adopted by the United States in 1913, with other  countries following shortly thereafter. Today, a carat weighs exactly the same in every corner of the world and is the global reference for diamond and all other precious stones, whether natural or synthetic.