Carat weight is without doubt one of the key factors that goes into deciding which diamond to purchase. It is best considered in conjunction with the cut grade and its physical diameter since the face up size is what most people would observe. In my opinion, cut is more important because it determines how brilliant the diamond is and its overall beauty.
A smaller, well cut diamond would look visually better than a bigger one that is poorly cut. Think about it, would you rather have a beautifully cut 0.90 carat diamond that is 6.2mm in size and comes with a lower price tag or would you rather pay more for an ugly looking 1.00 carat diamond that measures up in similar physical size?
0.91 Carats E Color VS1 Clarity – True Hearts from JamesAllen.com
This beautiful stone costs $8290 and measures up at 6.19mm x 6.22mm x 3.86mm
Let’s compare this using 1 carat rounds (Good cut grade) with similar specifications…
These steep-deep diamonds are both 1 carat round brilliants with E color and VS1 clarity. Let’s start with comparing the diamond on the left that costs $10,350. This diamond has a depth of 65.4%, table of 57.0% and a slightly thick – thick girdle. Could you guess what the mm measurements of the diamond are in terms of length/width/depth?
It measures up at a width of 6.19*6.25*4.07 mm. Are you surprised to find that a 1 carat diamond faces up as big as the 0.90 carat ideally cut diamond? This diamond costs more because its weight hits the 1.00 carat sweet spot. Unfortunately, the bulk of the weight lies within the depth of the diamond which cannot be appreciated once it is mounted in a ring.
The diamond on the right fairs slightly better in a similar comparison and costs $11,220. With a depth of 64.2%, table of 60.0% and a slightly thick to very thick girdle, it measures up at 6.20*6.26*4.00 mm.
In the examples listed above, all 3 diamonds have a similar diameter with differences of less than 0.1 mm. Based purely on dimensions alone, the human eye won’t be able to pick up these negligible differences.
Besides a significantly lower pricing, the only HUGE visual difference lies in the brightness and light optics of the ideal cut round. This by itself will make the 0.91 carat choice look whiter and bigger under different lightings. The other added benefit of better brilliance and scintillation is that it helps mask inclusions in the stone and allows you to go even lower in clarity grades for an eyeclean stone.
Does bigger carat weight necessarily mean that the diamond appears bigger? No.
Does a bigger carat weight means that the diamond will be more beautiful? No.
Given a choice, I think the answer is very clear on which diamond you would pick.
The point to take back here is that if you fall in love with a particular gem, make sure your decision is based on more than size alone. In my humble opinion, cut is king. The factor of cut alone can give you the benefits of the other 3 Cs.
Coming up, did you know that the biggest influence in a diamond’s price is its weight? On the next page, we’ll reveal some tips on how you can use this knowledge to your advantage…