One carat is one of the most popular diamond weights, but it is not among the cheapest. When making such an expensive purchase, it pays to look for ways to save some dollars, but without buying a stone that’s low quality. By being smart about picking the right carat for your diamond, you can end up with a good stone at a reasonable price.
What Are Carats and Points?
A carat is a unit used to measure mass. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams (0.2 grams) or 0.00705 ounces.
A point, used in the context of gemstone weight, is simply one-hundredth of a carat. 100 points are equal to one carat.
How Important Is Carat When It Comes to Price?
Carat weight is one of the most important determinants of diamond prices.
An increase in carat weight will result in a disproportionate increase in the price of the stone.
For example, a two-carat diamond will not be twice as expensive as a one-carat stone; the actual difference in price is likely to be three or four times.
What Are the Most Popular Carat Sizes?
The most popular carat sizes tend to be round numbers (1ct, 2ct, etc.) and their fractions (0.25ct, 0.50ct, 0.75ct, 1.50ct, etc.).
Knowing these in-demand sizes is important because it can help you to save money on your purchase.
How Can I Save Money on Carat Weight?
The most straightforward way to save some bucks on carats is simply to buy a diamond of lower weight.
However, many people are not happy that the lower carat diamond will be smaller and less visible – after all, you’re buying your brilliant to show it off.
So, here’s a trick: Buy a diamond that is just below one of the standard carat weights, usually off by a few points.
For example, instead of buying a 1ct diamond, buy a 0.90ct or a 0.95ct one; don’t buy a 0.50ct diamond, but pick the one that’s 0.43ct or 0.45ct.
Or, instead of going with that nice 1.50ct stone, ask for a diamond that is 1.43ct.
You can save a couple of hundred bucks or even more, and the best part is that the difference in size will not be that visible.
Another important fact you should keep in mind is that in reality, diamonds don’t come in exact carat weights.
For instance, it is rare that you will see a stone that has been cut to be exactly 1.00ct – it will most likely be 0.99ct or 1.02ct.
However, when you ask for a one-carat diamond, you may be shown stones that are slightly above this mark (e.g., 1.01ct or 1.02ct) and not the ones below it (i.e. the 0.98ct or 0.99ct ones).
Keep in mind that the higher the carat, the more the stone costs, so inquire about the exact carat weight of the stone, and ask for carats that are slightly below the benchmark if you want to save some money.
Don’t Focus Blindly on Carat Weight
Carats are important, but they are not the only factor that determines a diamond’s appearance.
How the diamond is cut, for example, is also very important for how big the stone will look and the way it will reflect light.
So, even if you have a diamond that is high in carat weight, if it’s cut poorly and its proportions are off, it may end up looking smaller and less sparkling than one with lower carat weight and a good cut.
Make sure you choose you carat weight wisely, but not at the expense of other factors such as color, cut and clarity. After all, you want to save money, but you also want your diamond to look great.
Where to Buy Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry?
For diamond jewelry, we highly recommend James Allen because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before buying it.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).