The Four C’s – Carat Weight
How big is it? Within every diamond buying decision, the conversation very quickly turns to the size of the diamond. But dimensions of length, width or diameter do not show up on the scale reading when the loose diamond is weighed in carats. Carat is a direct measure of a diamond’s weight or mass, with 5 carats equaling 1 gram. There are about 30 carats to the ounce, which gives over 2200 carats in a 1 pound bag of garden variety carrots.
As most jewelry is viewed from above, the “other C” of Cut (proportion and shape outline) play an important role in the appearance of carat weight. A poorly proportioned, then diamond will appear large in surface area, just as a thick diamond will appear smaller compared to its carat weight. Both will suffer from a lack of brilliance (reflected white light) and fire (refracted colors) as well as scintillation (sparkly) because of their deviations from the combination of “sweet spot” proportions as compared to an Ideal or Premium cut stone as discussed in our section on Cut.
The fact that every diamond cutter in the world would like to keep all the carat weight on the rough crystal of a diamond as it starts out, is balanced by the way each cutter evaluates beauty. A meat cutter with picky customers wouldn’t dare sell filet mignon by the pound with an inch of fat left around the cut. His customers can see the effect of extra weight remaining on the steaks, and will reject it compared to those that are closely trimmed. So it should be with diamonds. A poorly cut stone can have extra weight in the stone that offers nothing towards its beauty, and only inflates the buying price.