Last updated on February 16, 2020
Diamond size and carat weight terms are often used interchangeably, however, these two actually refer to different characteristics. Let’s see what’s the difference between size and carat weight and why it is important to check both when buying a diamond.
How Diamond Carat Weight is Measured
Diamond carat is the measure of its weight. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams.
If you want to know the price per carat of a diamond you should divide the price by its carats. This technique is used to compare different diamonds to see which is more expensive.
How Diamond Size is Measured
Diamond size refers to the height and width as well as other dimensions of a particular stone.
The measurements people are usually interested in are the size of the stone’s table and some key proportions that determine the quality of the cut.
The reason why the table size is so important for the buyers is simple: this is the most visible part of the stone.
However, you should not forget about the overall proportions of a stone as well. Meaning if the stone’s depth is too high or shallow, the stone won’t reflect the light properly and won’t have the maximum amount of sparkle and brilliance as a result.
Difference Between Diamond Size and Carat Weight
As you can see from the above explanations, diamond size and carat weight are not the same thing. Carat refers to the stone’s weight, while the size refers to the stone’s dimensions.
This means that two stones can have the same carat weight but different dimensions (table size, depth, etc.). And vice versa two sones can have the same dimensions but different carat weights.
Carat Weight vs Size vs Diamond Price
Carat weight is one of the most important price determinants. The bigger the diamond, the higher its price per carat. This is the reason why cutters try to minimize the waste of the rough and maximize carat weight of the finished stone.
This doesn’t mean that cutters have unlimited leeway when deciding on a stone’s size since carat weight puts a certain limit on a diamond’s dimensions.
The proper dimensions that determine the stone’s cut quality are also one of the major price factors. That’s why cutters try to balance carat weight and proportions to find the right size that will provide the best price for the stone.
Diamond Size or Carat Weight: What to Focus on?
A lot of people think that they should get the biggest diamond for the price they are ready to pay.
This is quite understandable, however, you should not forget about the right proportions.
The more proportional the stone, the better cut it has and the more sparkle and brilliance it shows. The stones that have poor cut quality do not reflect the light in a proper way and look dull as a result.
So, when looking for a diamond, you should always check its cut grade. The best stones balance carat weight and proportions.
Cover image credit: The Diamond Works