We’ve all heard to description of ‘carat’ when it comes to diamonds, but what does it mean? Is high or low good or bad? It’s a common misconception that it refers to size, but this is incorrect.
Carat is a way of defining the weight of a diamond. The larger a diamond is the more a diamond weighs, but in actuality a carat has no actual relation to a stone’s size. One carat translates to 200 milligrams of actual weight.
There are a couple of common abbreviations a buyer needs to be aware of. ‘ct’ is carat and refers to the weight of one diamond. ‘ct TW’ is the total weight of a group of diamonds in a single piece of jewellery. Smaller diamonds are measured in ‘points, not carats, with each point being 0.01 (1/100th) of a carat (so 0.50 points means half a carat). Diamonds weigh slightly under the next full carat are usually less expensive than full carat diamonds (an excellent way of saving on expenditure in settings that will only be noticed by professionals). Also, the difference in cut and shape can make diamonds of similar weights look very different.
The higher the carat rating the rarer the diamond by their nature, and how rare something is always an indicator of price. Once again there’s some leeway here. Multiple diamonds (ct TW) of the same carat value are not worth the same as single diamonds, which are naturally rarer. A one carat solitaire ring is invariably worth more than a ring made up of multiple smaller (but similar) diamonds, even though they total one carat or more.
Value of a stone is also related to how it’s shaped. When diamonds are cut it is possible to highlight certain things, though often in doing so it can affect other qualities. Two stones with the same carat rating doesn’t mean they are cut the same. This is a delicate balance, stones cut too thin lack lustre and brilliance even though they can be made to appear larger.
And the real value of diamonds? Surely the real value of diamonds is what they mean to the individual. Since the 19th Century they have been a gift of love and a timeless investment that crosses boundaries of class and style. A symbol of commitment and of a 75 year anniversary, diamonds say ‘you’re the only one’ and the rarity of the gift reflects the uniqueness of the individual and the relationship. What could possibly be worth more?
Shopping for diamonds is every girls dream, Vanessa Wade gives you some information of this gemstone, writing for Nigel O’Hara Diamond Jewellers Limited