Diamonds - The 4 Cs
Diamonds and other gemstones are measured by carat weight. A carat is 1/5 of a gram, or 200 milligrams. (The word carat comes from the carob bean, which weighs about 1/5 of a gram and was used as a measure in earlier times.)
Stones lighter than a carat are measured in points. There are 100 points in a carat. A point is equal to .01 ct.
Caution: Do not confuse this term with karat, the measure used for the fineness of gold.
Shopping Considerations and Caveats
- More carat weight does not necessarily mean more beauty or more value. A diamond that is poorly cut may weigh more than one that is well cut, but it will lack brilliance and may have other problems.
- A low rating for color and clarity will also bring down the gem's value.
- Each of the Four Cs plays an important part in determining a diamond's worth.
In general, most shoppers prefer a diamond of at least one carat. Consequently, stones that are fractionally smaller than one carat (i.e., .98) can be considerably less expensive. It's worth checking out.
The other 3 Cs...