How Carat Weight Affects Diamond Price



Sometimes life just isn’t fair.  This applies to relationship savviness, athletic prowess, work place politics and…diamonds.

The primary properties which dictate a diamond’s worth are slightly subjective.  One gemologist may categorize a diamond’s clarity as VS-1 (very slightly included 1) and another may say that same diamond is VS-2.  This seemingly small discrepancy in grading can actually have a quite an impact on the diamond’s value.  The same goes for a diamond’s cut and color; both of these are determined by (the albeit expert) eye of a human.  Hence, there can be a disagreement from one diamond professional to the next if a diamond is K or J in color, or if its cut is ideal or not.


However, the one steadfast quality of diamond that transcends interpretation is a stone’s carat weight.  First, let’s clarify exactly what a carat is.  A carat is a universal unit of measurement used for gemstones (and also pearls, the gemstone’s circular, clammy cousin).  One carat equals 20 milligrams.   People often confuse “carat” for only indicating a diamond’s size, but, technically, carat weight is simply what a diamond weighs.

Got it?  More info on this here, here, and here.

The “unfair” aspect of carat weight is in relation to the different tiers.  A diamond that is .99 carats versus a diamond that is a true 1.0 carat be valued at far less than the full carat specimen.  “But it’s only .01 off!”  Sorry, thems the brakes, kid.


This is why it’s very important to take good care of your diamonds.  If a diamond gets knocked around a lot, and accrues a bunch of surface scratches, a jeweler may need to polish it to get rid of them.  Uh-oh!  Your now gleaming new diamond may have just lost .01 in carat weight during the buffing…and you know what that means…

Ok, so now that we fully understand the significance of carat weight, we have a better comprehension of our diamond’s overall worth.  Since it is so mathematical in nature, we can assume that a diamond that is 2.00 carats is equal in value to two diamonds that are both 1.00 carats (and have the same exact other properties as the 2.00 one), right?  WRONG.  Wow, we’ve still got a lot to learn.  The larger a diamond is, a.k.a. the higher the individual carat weight, the greater the amount people are willing to pay for it.  That’s just how it is: bigger is better.  The reason for this is primarily because the larger a diamond is, the rarer it is.  When diamonds are found in the “wild”, in rough form, they need to be cut.  Obviously it’s easy to slice it into a bunch of small diamonds, each with a good cut,  as opposed to sculpting a large diamond with a good cut.  It simply is harder to achieve this, as it depends on the cooperation of the raw diamond’s initial shape.  So (in addition to collective carat weight), the scarcity, rarity and stand alone giganticness really do play a part in determining the diamond’s price.


For more information on carat weight, and other scintillating diamond characteristics, please visit our online educational platform: Diamond University.  Once you graduate from raw diamond pupil to polished alumni, you can sell your diamond with the unparalleled confidence that you are getting the most money possible for it.  Find out more here.



-Joe Leone


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