Series "Quality criteria of a diamond": Carat

Qualitätskriterien eines Diamanten: Karat
When valuing diamonds, the 4 C's have become internationally accepted as standard criteria. The value and thus also the price of a diamond result from this evaluation. The 4 C's are Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat. The following article takes a closer look at the "carat" quality. In the series "Quality Criteria of a Diamond", articles on the evaluation of diamonds appear on our blog from time to time.

Size does not equal carat

It is a common misconception that carat describes the size of a diamond. In fact, the unit carat indicates the weight of a diamond, with 1 carat being equal to 0.2 grams. In technical language, there is also a system in which carats are divided into 100 points. According to this, a diamond with 0.3 carats is defined as a 30-point diamond.

When choosing a diamond for a piece of jewellery, it is important to remember that carat does not correspond to size. The cut of the diamond has a decisive influence on how big the stone will ultimately look. Depending on the shape and cut of the gemstone, a diamond with 0.90 carat can look much larger than a single carat. In general, proportions play an important role here. For example, diamonds in the marquise or pear cut look larger, while diamonds in the princess cut can appear smaller.

The size ratio must be right

Especially when choosing diamond rings, whether for engagement or other occasions, the actual size of the diamond is usually considered as a criterion rather than the carat weight. On small, petite hands, a large diamond can quickly look disproportionate and clunky, while a smaller diamond on very large hands can easily go under. The carat weight does have an influence on the size of the diamond, but you should not just blindly go by it when buying to avoid the diamond looking too big or too small on your hand after all. Especially when buying an engagement ring, which is usually not tried on beforehand, it is therefore important to consider which stone size is appropriate for your partner's hand.

Carat weight is an important factor in price

What is highly dependent on the carat weight, however, is the price of a diamond. In the case of natural diamonds, this is due to the fact that large diamonds, especially those with a high degree of clarity and colour, rarely occur in nature. Therefore, the price per carat also increases exponentially. In the case of laboratory diamonds, the higher prices for more carats can be explained by the fact that, of course, much more energy has to be expended to produce a three-carat diamond, for example, than is necessary for a one-carat diamond. In addition, the production of lab-grown diamonds is more cost-intensive as soon as one wants to implement this as sustainably as possible. If the energy for this comes from renewable energy sources and fair working conditions and adequate payment for the employees are taken into account along the value chain, this is naturally reflected in the price.

Moreover, diamonds make a big jump in price with every full carat. A diamond between 0.90 and 0.99 ct is visually hardly distinguishable from a diamond with 1.0 ct, but you pay significantly more for the full carat. The reason for this is the higher demand for the full carat weights, especially when it comes to the 1 carat limit. Because even though it is a minimal difference, you can only say you have a single carat on your finger from 1.0 ct.

In summary, it can be said that when choosing a diamond, one should not only pay attention to the carat weight. The actual size should not be neglected and should be matched to the proportions of the hand, especially in the case of diamond rings. Also, it may make sense to buy a diamond just below the next full carat limit and invest in an excellent cut and better quality instead, depending on whether the priority is carat count or pure appearance.

Image: Adobe Stock | 233578240
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