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Diamond Carat Buying Tips & Guide - Happy Jewelers

Diamond Carat Buying Tips & Guide - Happy Jewelers

Diamond carat is one of the 4 c's of diamonds, and it is often misconstrued as a measure of size instead of a measure of weight. A diamond carat is not how big the diamond is but how much it weighs. Buying a large carat weight diamond doesn't mean purchasing the biggest diamond possible. It simply means you are purchasing a diamond that has been assigned a weight using a specific formula. 

How Is Diamond Carat Weight Determined?

A carat is ⅕ of a gram or 200 milligrams. Two diamonds of the same size can have different carat weights based on their many milligrams. 

Diamond carat fractions are often rounded up or down to the nearest quarter, half, or whole-size number; a 1.05-carat diamond and a 0.95-carat diamond may be considered a one-carat diamond, even though they are slightly more or less than the whole one-carat number. 

This is why it's so important to understand diamond carats. It will help you decide what diamond size you should choose and why.

How to Choose the Right Diamond Carat

Bigger isn't always better. Just because you have a large diamond with a heavy carat weight doesn't mean you will have a diamond that sparkles and shines in the light. You will need to consider the cut, clarity, and diamond color to help you choose the right diamond carat.

A smaller diamond with a brilliant shine will look bigger than a larger diamond that is dull and glassy. We recommend choosing a smaller diamond with a high-quality cut so that it sparkles in the light. This will make the diamond look bigger than it is, which can save you money since much of the value of the diamond comes from its carat size.

Consider the Shape of the Diamond

The shape of the stone can also play a role in a diamond carat weight. Some shapes may make the diamond look bigger than what the carat weight indicates. This means you can purchase a unique diamond shape at a more affordable price without sacrificing size, clarity, or color. 

The ring setting can also make a difference in how a loose diamond will look. A smaller loose diamond in a halo setting can look bigger than some one-carat diamonds in other settings. 

Diamond Carat Price

It takes a large, rough crystal to create a large diamond, and large crystals are more difficult to discover than smaller ones. When a diamond with a large carat weight is also sourced from a large crystal, it will likely have a hefty price tag. 

Many large crystals don't have the color or clarity needed to make a quality diamond, so when these crystals are discovered, and large diamonds are able to be designed, the diamond price goes up. Even large diamonds with a dull cut may have a hefty price tag simply because of the diamond carat weight. But these diamonds won't sparkle the way you want them to, even with a large stone. That's why it's important to sacrifice diamond carat size for diamond cut, especially if you're looking for bright white brilliance. 

Is Carat the Most Important of the 4 C's of Diamonds?

Carat, cut, color, and clarity are the 4's of diamonds. Often, carat is considered the most important of the 4 c's of diamonds, but that's because diamonds are often first described by their carat weight. When looking at the new diamond on your finger, the first thing that someone may ask is, "How many carats is it?" 

But that doesn't mean that carat is the most important of the 4 C's you need to consider when choosing a diamond. You should consider the carat weight of a diamond, but it shouldn't be the most important or only consideration you make when choosing a diamond.

The diamond cut is the most important of the 4 c's of diamonds because that is what will make the diamond sparkle with brilliance. Much of a diamond's price comes from its carat weight when that's not what makes a diamond as noticeable as its sparkle and shine. 

What Is a Diamond Carat Total Weight?

A center diamond will have its own carat weight, but there will also be a carat total weight of all the diamonds in the jewelry piece. It's important to know both the carat weight of a center diamond and the carat total weight of all the diamonds. 

Purchasing a jewelry piece with a diamond carat total weight of 1.00 carats doesn't mean that the center diamond is a 1-carat diamond. It may be as small as 0.5 carats, with the remainder of the diamonds in the ring setting or band making up the carat total weight. 


Diamond carat is one of the four c's of diamonds, and it's an important one to know. There is so much emphasis on the carat weight of a diamond when color, cut, and clarity are just as important. Knowing the diamond carat weight for both a center stone and the total of all the diamonds will help you determine how much money you want to spend on a jewelry piece. 

We recommend opting for a smaller diamond that has excellent clarity, cut, and color grade so that it shines as bright and as white as possible. This will make the stone look bigger without having to pay more.