Carat vs Karat. The carat weight of a diamond is expressed in carats. The percentage of gold content in a piece of jewelry is expressed in karats. Thus when we talk about diamonds and jewelry, you will continually be presented by the challenge of discussing Diamond Carat vs Karat Gold. This can be a bit confusing when you first start shopping for a diamond engagement ring. Knowing the difference between Diamond Carat vs Karat Gold ensures that the clerk at your local jewelry store takes you seriously.
Diamond Carats are abbreviated as ct or cts. Karat Gold is abbreviated based upon the gold content, such as 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k, or 24k pure gold. Diamond Carats are expressed in parts per hundred. Karat Gold is expressed in parts per 1000, but it can be easier to think of it in terms of 24 parts.
If you are shopping for a one carat diamond, you would simply say that you are shopping for a one carat diamond. But if you were shopping for a diamond weighing between 0.90 – 0.99 carats, you could simply say that you are shopping for a ninety pointer. Or you could say that you are shopping for a diamond weighing between 0.90 – 0.99 carats. Whereas if you are shopping for a diamond weighing a bit more than a carat, such as this 1.10 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round hearts and arrows diamond, you would simply say that you’re looking for a carat-ten diamond.
They’ll just stare at you all confused. Give you that blank look. Oh wait, they’re going to do that anyway. If you think I’m kidding, read about my experience Secret Shopping Tiffany & Co. But I digress… We were talking about the differences between Diamond Carat vs Karat Gold.
Diamond Carat weight is expressed in points, or in terms of the “magic marks” of quarter carat, third of a carat, half carat, three-quarter carat, one carat, one-point-two-five carats (1.25) a carat and a half, two carats, three carats, etc., or might be expressed as 0.25 / 0.33 / 0.50 / 0.75 / eighty points, ninety points, zero point ninety to ninety nine points, and so on. The Price Per Carat (PPC) of a diamond changes at those magic marks.
The price per carat (PPC) of this “zero-nine-two-eight carat” 0.928 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond, is less than the PPC for this “one-oh-two-three carat” 1.023 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond. There is a substantial increase that occurs between the 0.99 – 1.00 carat marks. There are price increases that occur at different ranges of carat weight, such as between 0.49 – 0.50 carats, 0.69 – 0.70 carats, 0.89 – 0.99 carats, 1.49 – 1.50 carats, and so on.
There are also price differences in the PPC caused by diminishing discounts offered at the wholesale level for volume dealers. The discount off the Price Per Carat for this 1.342 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond ($7,421.00 per carat) will be less than that offered for this 1.082 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond ($6,943.00 per carat) because the larger diamond is further from the 0.99 – 1.00 carat marks, and closer to the 1.49 – 1.50 carat marks. Thus the PPC of diamonds tends to be higher for diamonds that weigh more within a specific range of carat weight, such as 1.00 – 1.49 carats, even though the list price stated on wholesale price guides appears to be the same for that range of carat weight, color, and clarity.
The degree of diamond cut quality also affects the price of a diamond by as much as sixty percent. Let’s say that the wholesale list price of a diamond is 10,000 per carat. If the proportions and overall cut quality of the diamond are poor, then the actual price of the diamond might only be 4,000 per carat. While if the proportions and overall cut quality of the diamond are very good, what is considered to be normal production quality, then it might be 10,000 per carat.
The price per carat of super ideal cut diamonds, which have proportions right in the middle of the spectrum designated for the zero ideal cut rating, and which exhibit the exceptional degree of optical precision necessary to create a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows is frequently higher than the list price indicated. This is because diamonds of this cut quality are produced to degrees of quality that exceed normal standards.
24k Pure Gold is comprised of 24 parts pure gold. The gold has not been mixed with any other alloys. The gold content of jewelry will usually be in the form of 10k, 14k, 18k or 22k gold, which has been mixed with other alloys to make it more durable and to change the color. Gold is commonly mixed with other alloys to change it from yellow to white, pink, or green. Yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold are the most common types of gold used for jewelry.
Units of Karat Gold are expressed differently in Europe. Gold is expressed in terms of purity as parts per thousand. Thus jewelry that is manufactured in Europe is likely to feature a gold content stamp in a numerical format:
If you happen to run across a piece of white metal jewelry that is stamped 925 that would be silver jewelry with a silver content of 92.5% which is considered to be sterling silver. Platinum jewelry is also expressed in parts per thousand, it PT, PLAT, PT900, or PT950.
Jewelry manufacturers are not required to stamp the alloy content of a piece on the item. However if they do stamp the alloy on the jewelry item, then they are required to stamp the item with their hallmark. A hallmark is the registered mark or identification of the manufacturer. The idea behind this practice is to prevent “under-karating” which is the practice of stamping a ring or jewelry item with a karat stamp indicating a higher gold content than what was actually used to make the piece. There was an instance of under-karating investigated in 2002 by a joint task force comprised of Nassau County District Attorney’s office and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.
Six businesses failed the karat test. They were each issued two violations. One for deceptive practices, and one for unconscionable trade practices per sale. Businesses face fines of up to $2,500 for a first violation. $4,000 for a second violation. And up to $5,000 for each additional violation. This means that for a store where investigators purchased eight items that all failed a karat test, fines could be as high as $76,500.00
I hope that this explanation that focuses on the differences between Diamond Carat vs Karat Gold was helpful and that you enjoyed reading it. Feel free to take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service if you would like help finding a diamond, or if you have any questions pertaining to jewelry.
With 50% of marriages ending in divorce, many people want to know "How do I sell my diamond ring?" Including…
There are lots of reasons why somebody might want to sell their engagement ring. We live in challenging times and…
Do you know where to find ASET Scope images for James Allen True Hearts diamonds? Most people assume ASET Scope…
This buyers guide will help you select the best one-carat diamond engagement ring based on light performance and sparkle factor.…