Carat is the unit of measurement used to determine a diamond’s weight. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 100 points. Half a carat is equal to 50 points.
Carat is often thought of as the size of a diamond, as diamonds with greater weight are often visibly larger. However, a diamond’s carat weight may not accurately reflect its size. It is important to also consider their proportion and cut, particularly the following two factors:
1) the diameter of the diamond when viewed from the top, and
2) the diamond’s cut grade.
Diamonds with well-cut proportions will allow light to reflect through the top making the diamond appear larger. Diamonds cut too deep may have the same carat weight as an ideal cut diamond but appear smaller as much of the weight is hidden in the base of the diamond.
Larger diamonds are rare and have greater value per carat. Thus, the price of a diamond rises exponentially to its size. Diamond prices increase most significantly at the half and full carat weights.
For many, size is the most important factor when presented with a diamond. Within a given budget, should carat weight be important to you, you would need to select diamonds with a lower grading in terms of the other 4Cs such as colour and clarity. It is also worth considering that diamonds may appear larger depending on the setting and size of the wearer’s finger.