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What Is Diamond Carat: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Alicia Briggs | January 9, 2023

Alicia Briggs | January 9, 2023

Out of all of the diamond 4Cs - cut, color, clarity, and carat, the diamond carat is arguably the most well-known. When it comes to carat, people commonly mistake diamond carat with diamond size. Carat, however, actually refers to a diamond's weight so bigger isn’t always better when it comes to carat.

Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about diamond carat including how to select the perfect carat weight for you. You may also book an appointment with our diamond experts for more personalized guidance.

What is Diamond Carat?

Diamond carat refers to the weight of a diamond. A carat is essentially the unit of measurement for a diamond’s weight. One carat is the same as .02 grams and divided into 100 points. However, while a higher carat weight indicates that a diamond will be bigger, the ratio isn’t 1:1 — a diamond that is 2 carats won’t necessarily be double the size of a 1 carat diamond. Diamonds can also look very different at the same carat weight, due to their shape and cut.

How Important is Diamond Carat?

Carat weight is important for several reasons. Carat weight helps determine how rare a diamond is and in turn, how valuable it is. This is because the carat weight suggests the size of its rough diamond. If you’re considering a 2 or 3 carat diamond ring, then the rough diamond it was cut from had a greater carat weight and is rarer.

Since diamonds at higher carat weights are more valuable, they also come at a higher price point. While many customers seek higher carat weights for their diamonds, several other factors besides carat weight determine how brilliant and big a diamond is.

All VRAI created diamonds are produced through innovative and sustainable technology that ensures a beautiful diamond with optimal shine at any carat size.

Diamond Size Vs Carat Weight

Diamond carat and diamond size are often mistaken for one another. Diamond size refers to the measurements of the diamond, so the height and width of a diamond. Diamond carat is the diamond’s weight. While diamond carat weight will affect the size of the diamond, higher carat weights will only appear larger by a certain percentage. If you’re trying to determine the actual size of a diamond, it’s best to refer to its measurements instead of just the carat weight.

How Big Do Diamonds Appear At Different Carat Weights?

How large diamonds appear primarily depends on their cut and shape which determines their measurements. If you’re wondering how big is a 1 carat diamond, you’ll need to take into consideration the measurements of the diamond.

An easy way to see how big a diamond will look at different carat weights is to use our diamond carat size chart. Each VRAI created diamond has a diamond carat chart available to show what each carat weight will look like on a size 6 hand.

How to Select Diamond Carat Weight

When it comes to selecting the right carat weight for you, personal preference and budget are the most important things to consider. Whether you’re choosing your engagement ring or wedding ring, consider a diamond that you’ll love to wear every day, for any occasion. Read on for what else to consider when choosing carat weight.

Diamond Carat Weight and Cut

The diamond cut will greatly determine the appearance of your diamond including how big different carat weights look. A poorly cut diamond at a higher carat weight can look smaller than a diamond at a lower carat weight with a high-quality cut.

While carat weight will impact the price and rarity of a diamond, the difference between .10 carat is almost impossible to see unless you’re a Diamond Expert. A poor-quality cut, on the other hand, will noticeably impact your diamond’s overall appearance.

If you choose a high-quality cut diamond, like VRAI created diamonds, you can choose a slightly lower carat weight and still have a beautiful diamond. This is especially important for those on a lower budget, as this will typically lower the total price. For those who prefer higher carat weights, however, you can indulge guilt-free with our sustainably created lab-grown diamonds.

Diamond Carat and Shape

Another important factor to take into consideration when selecting your ideal carat weight is the diamond shape. The diamond shape will determine the size of your diamond and in turn, how it looks at different carat weights.

If you’re trying to figure out how big a diamond will look when selecting a carat weight and shape, look at the measurements. Diamonds with higher weights on the top or table will appear larger while diamonds may look smaller if they have more weight on the bottom. Certain shapes, like Oval, Pear, Emerald, and Marquise cut diamonds will look bigger than Round Brilliant diamonds, for example.

The ideal diamond shape and carat weight for you will depend on your personal preference and how you’d like your diamond to appear.

Diamond Carat Weight and Setting

The engagement ring setting you choose can help maximize your diamond’s carat weight, as well as highlight its beauty. If you’d like to enhance the shine and carat weight of your diamond, choose a Halo or Hidden Halo setting. The handset perimeter of pavé diamonds will increase the ring’s carat weight while highlighting the center diamond. This makes it appear larger and more brilliant.

Another beautiful setting to help showcase the size and shine of your diamond is the Three Stone engagement ring, which features a row of three diamonds. This setting will create the illusion of one large, brilliant diamond, no matter the carat weight.

Whichever setting and carat weight you choose for your ring, make sure it’s one that you’ll cherish wearing and that reflects your personality.

Frequently Asked Questions About Diamond Carat Weight

Below, we answer the most common questions about diamond carat:

What Diamond Carat Weight is Best?

The best diamond carat weight is the one that you prefer. When it comes to engagement rings, a 1 carat diamond ring is the most popular carat weight. Most engagement and wedding rings are between 1 and 2 carats. If you’re on a budget, you can buy a diamond at a better value by choosing a carat weight just outside of your ideal range.

Is A 1 Or 2 Carat Diamond Better?

If you’re deciding between a 1 carat or 2 carat diamond ring, consider its measurements and appearance to determine which is better for you. A 2 carat diamond will typically be more than double the price of a 1 carat diamond. While a 2 carat diamond will appear larger and more brilliant than a 1 carat diamond, how much larger greatly depends on the shape and cut of the diamond.

Is It Better To Have A Higher Carat Diamond?

A higher carat weight simply means that the diamond is rarer. If having a more valuable diamond is important to you, you’ll want to consider a higher carat weight. Higher carat weight will also help increase the size and even the brilliance of your diamond, but the diamond cut and shape will also greatly determine this.

How Much Is a 1 Carat Diamond?

Carat weight significantly impacts the diamond price, but it’s not the only factor that determines the total price. The diamond carat price can increase significantly when the carat weight increases by just a few points. The price per diamond carat can also differ depending on the shape and popularity of the diamond.

At VRAI, we’re able to sustainably create diamonds from less than a carat to more than 10 carats. Since we create our own diamonds from start to finish, with no middleman, we’re able to provide beautiful, high-quality lab grown diamonds at a higher carat weight at an affordable price.

Explore VRAI Created Diamonds With A VRAI Diamond Expert

Book an appointment with our VRAI Diamond Experts to choose a beautiful lab grown diamond, sustainably created by VRAI. They can help you select the ideal carat weight for your style and budget.

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