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Carat

Carat is the unit of measurement used to describe the weight of diamonds. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Carat weight is commonly expressed in points or fractions. There are 100 points in 1 carat. For example, 0.33 carats is generally expressed as 33 points, or 1/3 of a carat. To understand diamond size, carat weight should be considered along with the cut grade and the distance in millimeters across the top of the diamond. Diamonds of exceptional cut, color, and clarity are rare, but even more extraordinary is finding a diamond of substantial carat weight. To recover a single gem-quality diamond, more than 250 tons of earth must be processed. Of these diamonds, only 1,800 will weigh a carat or more. A two carat diamond is even rarer and will be many times more valuable than a one carat of comparable quality.

Choosing a Carat Weight:

Diamonds of exceptional cut, color, and clarity are rare, but even more extraordinary is finding a diamond of substantial carat weight. To recover a single gem-quality diamond, more than 250 tons of earth must be processed. Of these diamonds, only 1,800 will weigh a carat or more. A two carat diamond is even rarer and will be many times more valuable than a one carat of comparable quality.

Carat weight refers to a diamond's weight, however, carat weight, by itself may not accurately reflect a diamond's size. To gain a better understanding of diamond size, Bailey's recommends considering carat weight along with two important characteristics:

  1. the distance across the top of the diamond measured in millimeters
  2. the diamond's cut grade. Measuring the distance across the top of the diamond is important as this is how we view a stone when it is set into a ring.

A diamond's cut grade should also be considered. When a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, the maximum amount of light (or sparkle) is returned from the top of the diamond. When a diamond is well cut, the light reflected out of the top makes it appear larger. When a diamond is poorly cut, much of the weight may be hidden in the base of the diamond, making the diamond look smaller than its carat weight would suggest. So it is entirely possible to have a diamond of a lower carat weight, but higher cut grade that appears larger than a diamond with a larger carat weight, but poorly cut.

Helpful Hints

  • Consider the size of her finger. Keep in mind that the smaller her finger the larger the diamond will appear
  • For those working within a tight budget, who still want a larger carat, consider a diamond with a good cut, a VS2 clarity, and an H or I color grade

Not all settings will fit all carat weights. If you have already selected a setting, contact our customer service team at for help. If you need to special order a piece, our team can help place the order and help you on the path to perfecting your engagement ring.

The 4C's Carat
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