The word “carat” stems from the “carob” seed, the original unit used to measure diamonds by diamond traders up until the mid-15th century. A diamond’s carat weight measures the physical weight of a diamond. One carat equals 0.200 grams and is divided into 100 points. This subdivision into points helps in precise measurements of the diamond’s weight.
The carat weight of a diamond is the most objective of the other 3C’s – cut, color, and clarity. What’s interesting is that a diamond’s market price does not proportionately increase to an increase in its carat weight. As a general rule, the price of the diamond exponentially increases with the carat weight. For example, a 1-carat diamond will most likely be more than two times costlier than a 0.5-carat diamond. This is primarily attributed to the fact that a diamond with more carat weight is perceived to be larger. Consequently, the larger the diamond, the rarer and more desirable it is!
However, the carat weight is not the only factor that determines the value of a diamond. The other three C’s – cut, color, and clarity together determine a diamond’s worth. Two diamonds of equal weight may have very different prices depending on these factors and may appear different as well. For instance, a deeply-cut diamond has a larger proportion of its weight hidden, resulting in a smaller diameter and perceived size than a well-cut diamond.
Some weights are called “magic sizes”, including half a carat, three-quarter carat, and one carat. Visually there will be little difference between a 1-carat and 0.90-carat diamond, but their prices differ significantly. Thus, a buyer can get more bang for their buck if the carat weight isn’t an important factor while choosing a diamond.
0.5 Carat Diamonds
Half-carat diamonds weigh exactly 0.100 grams or half of a carat diamond. They are also called 50-point diamonds (1 carat = 100 points). The sizes of 0.5-carat diamonds vary according to their shape and cut. Generally, it is very difficult to determine the size of a diamond based on its carat weight.
A great proportion of engagement rings are made with 0.5-carat diamonds, making them a popular choice among buyers. While purchasing a half-carat diamond, if the carat weight isn’t the most essential factor, a slight decrease in weight results in a big drop in price. However, if the carat weight is a determining factor for you, it’s a good idea to invest in the cut and carat weight of diamonds to ensure getting a better value for money. In case shape is an important factor, one can consider going for longer shapes such as marquise, oval, and pear options which will make the diamond appear bigger. While buying a ½ carat diamond, downshifting the clarity results in a more economical purchase. This is because a half-carat diamond with visible inclusions or hint of color will be priced much lower than a flawless and colorless 0.5-carat diamond.
Ultimately, the ideal choice really depends upon your requirements and desires.
0.75 Carat Diamonds
0.75-carat diamonds weigh 50 mg more than a half-carat diamond at 0.150 gm and thus create a more prominent impact. They provide a good combination of value-for-money and size, which makes them a fine choice for various wedding ring styles and settings. They can also be used in bands studded with smaller diamonds to create a stunning visual appeal. What’s more, 0.75-carat diamonds can be placed with a variety of gemstones and metals to create unique designs. Although the 0.75-carat diamond is smaller than a 1-carat, it will demonstrate the right combination of brilliance and weight and can be an excellent choice for those within a budget.
A brilliant round diamond in a solitaire ring setting is a popular choice among buyers when shopping for 0.75-carat diamonds. It is a go-to setting for this carat weight. To make the size of a 0.75 carat diamond appear bigger, other shapes such as emeralds can also be a good option. For instance, a 0.75 carat round diamond measures around 5.8 mm in diameter whereas the same carat weight in an emerald cut would measure 6mm x 4.5 mm. The price and size of a 0.75-carat diamond make it a good choice for earrings and pendants as well, thus, adding to its versatility. It brings dazzle to jewelry constrained by budget by showcasing brilliance and fire with the right cut. A jewelry piece with a 0.75-carat diamond is an affordable option that can stir up awe among observers.
1 Carat Diamond
1 carat diamonds weigh 0.200 grams and are a trendy option for engagement rings. The price range of 1-carat diamonds can vary diversely depending on the 4Cs. Among these, the cut quality is of utmost importance for determining the price and appeal of the diamond. A good symmetry 1-carat diamond measures around 6.5 mm in diameter in a round cut. Depending on size preferences, fancy shapes like pear, oval, and marquise may be considered over classic round, princess, or asscher cuts (which are around only 5.5 mm table size.) Even though the price of a 1-carat diamond is much higher than that of a half-carat diamond, the weight category is often of more significance than the carat number itself. For instance, the visual difference between a 1-carat diamond and a 0.95-carat diamond may not be very noticeable, but the price can vary by over 30%! Yet there is a certain charisma in choosing a 1-carat center stone for your engagement ring. Additionally, the easy availability of a 1-carat diamond makes it pretty popular among buyers.
1.5 Carat Diamond
A 1.5-carat diamond weighs 0.300 grams and is the ideal weight category for those who want a slightly heavier diamond while staying within a budget. It looks almost similar to a 2-carat diamond, the difference in the diameters in a round cut only being 0.6 mm. Compared to a 1-carat diamond, the difference is over 1 mm. So, while you get a diamond that looks close to 2-carat weight, it is priced twice as less!
Because of its size, it looks beautiful on fingers. A 1.5-carat diamond’s price will typically be more than 1.5 times a 1-carat diamond’s price, owing to the exponential increase in price per carat. There is typically no difference in the quality – it’s only a slightly heavier diamond. As we move to heavier diamonds, the color becomes increasingly important due to the higher visibility of tints and larger crown area. As a general rule, it is considered better to look for diamonds in the color range G to I when it comes to higher carat weights.
A 2-carat diamond weighs 0.400 grams, exactly double of a 1-carat diamond. Due to their higher weight factor, they are much rarer than 1-carat diamonds and thus, carry greater prestige and value. They are still differentiated based on the clarity and cut which add to their uniqueness.
A 2-carat diamond with an ideal cut will add brilliance and beauty to any piece of jewelry, especially rings. The halo ring setting allows for the diamond to be embraced by other smaller diamonds, making the center stone seem bigger by offering a wonderful contrast while also increasing the diamond’s sparkle. The character and weight of the diamond make it compatible with any shape, imparting it greater flexibility in the style and setting of the jewelry. Compared with a 1-carat diamond, the rarity and weight of a 2-carat diamond make it stand out and take the spotlight. But because of its scarce nature (you need the perfect raw material to carve a diamond of this size), a 2-carat diamond’s price scales much higher. Due to its exceptional occurrence, many designs have been developed to give the illusion of a larger diamond including smaller diamonds around a 1-carat diamond. However, they can never compare to a ring with a 2-carat diamond as the center stone.
As per the MVI forecast, the consumer demand for lab grown diamonds particularly in the 2- 3 carat range has increased by 10% over the past two years.
3-carat diamonds weigh exactly 0.600 grams. Apart from the 4Cs, a 3-carat diamond’s price also depends on certification. The price can range widely from $15,000 to a whopping $90,000. Buyers can save more money by purchasing a fancy shape instead of a round one, owing to their bigger surface area. So, if size is a priority, fancy shapes like marquise, pear, and oval are always a better option than brilliant round or princess cuts. In fact, the diamond cut remains the important factor while evaluating a 3-carat diamond, even more so than the weight. While a poorly-cut 3-carat diamond may look sparkly, you can get much better value by buying a well-cut 1 or 1.5-carat diamond. LovBe provides the opportunity to choose a diamond that is twice the carat weight of a mined diamond for the same price! A 3.04-carat LovBe lab grown diamond costs $17,267, almost the same price as a 1.54 carat mined diamond priced at 16,484$.
As a general rule, the color of a diamond becomes crucial for bigger diamonds with higher carat value. The clarity of a 3-carat diamond is also essential because inclusions and blemishes appear clearly in larger diamonds. While a VS2 clarity diamond is considered very clear, most SI1 and some SI2 clarity diamonds may also appear flawless to the untrained eye.
4 Carat Diamond
A 4-carat diamond weighs 0.800 grams. 4-carat diamonds are the fantasy of many diamond aficionados. In general, any diamond greater than 1 or 2-carat is rare. One needs to be more aware of market prices while buying a 4-carat diamond. This is where credible diamond certifications like the IGI certification can come in handy for assessing a diamond’s real worth and quality. Typically, the lab grown 4-carat diamond’s price ranges between $16,773 to $33,133. Even so, the diamond’s Cut remains supremely important. The concept of “magic sizes” can be useful to consider here. A lot of customers ask for 3.99-carat diamond owing to the more competitive price tags, but it can be difficult to find a well-cut diamond in this weight category. It is a wise decision to compare the prices and styles of 2 and 3-carat diamonds first so that you can make the best decision.