If you are shopping for fine jewelry, you would have seen or heard ‘carat’ or karat’ being used pretty often. While Carat is the weight of the gemstone, Karat measures the purity or ‘fineness’ of gold. How are the terms different?
All About Carat
- A carat is a unit of weight used to describe diamonds (mined diamond as well as lab grown diamonds). One carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams.
- You will often see carat abbreviated ‘Ct’ or TCW’ for total carat weight when referencing more than one diamond.
- The term carat originates from a Greek word, meaning “carob seed” used by ancient gem traders. At a time when the only way to weigh something was with a balance scale, and traders believed that carob seeds had such uniform weight that they made perfect unit weights for smaller objects (like diamonds). According to Merriam Webster, earlier in the 20th century, the weight of the carat was set at 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams.
- While important, carat is not the sole determinant of a diamond’s price. It is one of the 4Cs along with cut, clarity and color, which are important when evaluating diamonds’ value.
- One of the most popular diamond sizes in an engagement ring is 1 carat, which is 6.4 millimeters in size. However, it’s hard to visually tell the difference between diamonds that have a 5 to 10% difference in carat weight. For instance, a 0.95-carat diamond placed along side a 1-carat diamond will look almost same in size.
- Remember that, even if two lab grown diamonds have the same carat weight, they may still be valued differently. This is all dependent on the famous 4Cs: cut, clarity, color and carat.
All About Karat
- A karat, on the other hand, is a measure of purity when referring to gold. 24 Karat is known as the purest gold form and it comes in bright yellow color. Higher the carat, costlier would be the diamond. The same rule applies to gold too.
- In order to prepare durable and structurally sound jewelry, gold is mixed with alloys (pure gold is too soft to retain shape in jewelry form). A karat is equal to 1/24 pure gold, so an 18-karat gold ring would be made with 18 parts gold and 6 parts of another metal.
- The difference in karats (and the alloys used) can substantially change the look of jewelry. For example, 18-karat gold contains 75% gold and 25% other metals. If you compare it to 14-karat gold, which contains 58.5% gold and 41.5% other metals, you’ll notice the 18-karat gold looks more yellow in tone than the 14-karat gold.
- Fine jewelry is usually crafted with 14-Karat or 18-Karat gold (white, rose or yellow gold) to ensure it’s long life and use.
Here at LovBe, we offer you an extensive collection of fine jewelry in 14K and 18K gold (and platinum) with diamonds ranging from 0.3 carat to above 7 carats! With our endless customization options, we can help you build just what you desire.