There’s something about the allure of a diamond that’s irresistible. Whether they’re adorning a royal tiara or delicately embellishing a watch face, circling circling an engagement ring or sitting effortlessly on the clavicle, diamonds are as timeless as they are eternal. But do you know your carats from your cabochons?
Where does ‘carat’ come from?
‘Carat’ is the term used to describe the weight of a diamond. This term descends from the Carob trees found in the Mediterranean along the trade routes. Before scales and units of mass were invented, diamond traders compared the weight of a diamond to the seeds of the Carob tree. Each Carob seed has a uniform weight, equal to 0.20 grams or 200 milligrams – hence determined the weight of the diamond.
What are ‘magic’ sizes?
Half carat, three-quarter carat and carat are often known as ‘magic sizes’. This is because to look at there is very little difference between a 0.99 carat diamond and one that weighs a full carat. However, the price difference between the two can be significant. So, if you’re looking to invest in a piece of diamond jewellery for yourself or a loved one, but you’re on a budget, looking for these ‘magic sizes’ will mean you get the same impact, but at a fraction of the price.
Diamond carat buying tips
If you’re looking at investing in some diamond jewellery, there are some key things you should consider.
Weight that suits the wearer – Some of the most well-loved and coveted engagement rings are because they sit well on the wearer’s finger. Selecting a smaller carat for thicker fingers will diminish the look of the diamond, whilst simultaneously making the finger look larger. Equally, selecting a higher carat weight for thinner fingers will make the ring look more prominent and potentially gaudy.
Size and budget – A higher carat – and therefore higher price – doesn’t always mean the best. You should look for other characteristics when choosing your diamonds including, colour, clarity, and cut. A large diamond with poor clarity and colour may not always have the impact you’re looking for, whereas a cluster of small but clear diamonds can be truly striking.
Compare similar diamonds – Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred specifications with regards to size, cut, and colour, you should compare similar stones to determine which one to buy You’ll want to consider aspects like how brilliant the diamond is, if it’s eye-clean, and what the price is.