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The 4Cs: A Guide to Diamond Carats

Purchasing an engagement ring is an exhilarating experience. But picking a ring to symbolize the tying together of the past of a relationship with the promise of the future is no easy task. And with so many options and criteria to look at, it’s easy for people who know a lot about jewellery to get confused, let alone those whose interests lie elsewhere.

Some of the most important criteria of choosing a diamond engagement ring include the 4Cs: clarity, cut, colour and carat. People have varying degrees of knowledge about each one, but carat in particular can cause some confusion for a couple of reasons.

We’ll explain everything you need to know about the carats and how they play an important factor in choosing the perfect engagement ring.

Carat or Karat?

Diamond carats can be confusing enough without throwing in a synonym. When shopping for engagement rings in Toronto, it’s important to know the difference between carat and karat.

A carat is the international standard for determining the weight of a diamond or other gemstone. A karat, on the other hand, is a measurement indicating gold purity. Basically, a carat has to do with diamonds and a karat has to do with gold.

Size or Weight?

Many people are under the impression that the carat of a diamond is a reference to its size, but that’s a common mistake. Movies and TV shows give us that impression when a character sees their friend’s engagement ring and exclaim ‘Look at the size of that rock! How many carats is it?’ However, a carat is a unit of measurement used to determine the mass of a diamond or other stone.

Carat Ranges

Because carat has to do with weight rather than with size, it becomes less straightforward to determine the size when you start looking at different diamond shapes and cuts. For example, a round diamond has less depth than other shapes, which tend to have more weight, but less size. A one carat round diamond will be approximately 6.40 millimetres in length or width, in comparison to a one carat princess cut diamond at approximately 5.50 millimetres in length or width.

The Importance of Carat

For many, carat weight is a priority when diamond shopping because it tends to be the most popular of the 4Cs. However, there is a delicate balance to be played with the 4Cs. For example, as the carat is increased, issues with colour and clarity become more noticeable. Additionally, a larger carat size at the expense of the cut will take up more space on the hand, but will be lacking in sparkle.

As you can see, there is a lot more involved in carat than most people believe when they start looking at choosing a diamond ring. Between confusion in spelling, misinformation on the definition, the effects different shapes have and how carat interacts with the other 3Cs, there’s a lot to learn about carat and the role it plays in choosing your ideal diamond engagement ring.

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