how to select the perfect engagement ring
When first setting out to buy a diamond ring many customers are confused as to the meaning of “Carat.” What does it refer to? Why is it important? And why do slight variations in size affect the price of a ring as dramatically as they do? These are some of the common questions that I’m asked when helping customers decide on what type of ring is best for their purposes, and this article will serve as a tutorial to help anyone who is interested in purchasing a diamond ring at a great price.
A carat is a unit used in the diamond industry to measure the exact weight of a diamond. The term has been used since ancient times when diamonds were weighed against Carob seeds to judge their weight. Since these seeds are consistently the same size they were considered reliable counterweights on diamond scales. With time the term transformed slightly to “carat” and thus became a permanent part of the industries terminology.
A carat is equal to about one fifth of a gram. It is then divided into one hundred points for a more precise description of the true weight of the diamond. The average engagement ring for example is approximately one point five to two carats depending, but since weight is only one aspect of the many variables that make up a diamonds worth, customers must first determine which aspect of the diamond is the most important for their purchase goals.
When setting out to buy a diamond the customer must choose from a variety of variables. A diamonds weight is only one of the five important considerations made when deciding the worth of a diamond. In the industry they are referred to as the four C’s. They are: Color, Carat, Clarity, and Cut. All of these influence the others as far as price is concerned, so a diamond that weighs two carats could be worth as much as a higher quality diamond that weighs just 1 carat.
Even for variables within a category that logically seem consistent there are price variations. For example, if you buy a one carat diamond it will likely be worth more than 5 small diamonds whose sum weight is also one carat. Larger stones are harder to come by, so the prices for diamonds go up exponentially as their sizes increase.
The “one carat margin” is also important, as diamonds that weigh just below one carat will be significantly less expensive than ones that weigh one carat or above. This is likely because the term “carat” has become a popular term to describe the size of a ring. When the diamond reaches the one carat margin it affords the owner certain “bragging rights” as it were. But this also works in the favor of those on a budget. Settling on a diamond that is.98 carat can save you a lot of money, and it can allow you to purchase a ring with a better color or cut. This is just one of the many variables you must consider when choosing your diamond.