A carat is a unit of measurement, it's the unit used to weigh a diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams.
The word carat is taken from the carob seeds that people once used in ancient times to balance scales. So uniform in shape and weight are these little seeds that even today's sophisticated instruments cannot detect more than three one-thousandths of a difference between them.
Don't confuse it with 'karat', the method of determining the purity of gold.
The process that forms a diamond happens only in very rare circumstances, and typically the natural materials required are found only in small amounts. That means that larger diamonds are uncovered less often than smaller ones. Thus, large diamonds are rare and have a greater value per carat. For that reason, the price of a diamond rises exponentionaly to its size.
What Size Diamond Should I Buy?
How important size is to you is probably contingent on how important it is to the person you're giving it to. A few tips to keep in mind will help guide you to the right decision.
- The general rule of thumb when buying a diamond is "two months salary". This is just a guideline, it's not carved in stone, but it's useful in establishing a budget for how much you can comfortably invest in her diamond
- Deciding on carat size is really about striking a balance between size and quality. If she prefers larger jewelry items, and you are working within a budget, you can still find a larger diamond of excellent quality gem by selecting one which is graded slightly lower in terms of color and clarity.
- Remember that slender fingers make small diamonds look bigger. If she has small fingers, a 1-carat diamond will look proportionately large--and an even larger stone may appear stunningly big!
- Think about what sort of setting will hold the diamond. You'll have to be sure that the setting you choose is made to fit the carat weight of your diamond. Mondera's "Design Your Ring" tool has been designed to ensure that both diamond and setting are perfectly matched in terms of size.