The 4 C's: Carat

Last, but certainly not least, the most well-known of the 4 C’s: Carat.




Carat is the unit used to express the weight of diamonds and other precious stones. The word “carat” has its origin in the carob seeds: these small seeds had consistent weight, so early diamond merchants used them as scale weights in their transaction. Today, one carat equals exactly 0.2 grams, and is divided into 100 points. A 70-point (or 70 pt.) diamond weights 0.7 carats.

Many believe that a larger diamond will necessarily be more valuable. If you have been reading this blog series, you now know that no variable alone can determine a diamond’s value. It is the combination of the 4 C’s that regulates the worth of every diamond. A large, brownish, diamond with a low clarity grade is less valuable than a small, colourless, and near-flawless diamond, so do not let carat-weight alone influence your decision.

Jewels that combine more than one stone are measured with total carat weight, that is, the sum of the carat weight of every stone comprising the jewel. If you are shopping for diamonds, it might be a good idea, when possible, to ask for the individual carat weight of each stone. If you are looking for an engagement ring keep in mind that the majority of diamonds used in fine jewellery weigh one carat or less.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to carat weight. Some prefer an eye-catching larger stone with more blemishes or maybe a hint of colour. Others love the luxurious feeling of an understated diamond: small, but flawless.