A Diamond A Carat
When shopping for diamond jewelry, it is important to know some basic facets of diamonds. The first one to come to mind for many people is weight, measured in the carat. Carats are a metric unit, and the name comes from an ancient method of procuring the weight of small (and valuable) items using the seeds of the Egyptian carob tree. The method employed by ancient jewelers was so precise, we honor their ingenuity by still using the term today.
Carats are a metric measurement, adopted in the US as a standard for jewelry in 1914. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram (or 200 milligrams), and carats are measured with precision to the 1/5000 of a gram. In modern times, diamonds and other gems are measured on electronic scales that are amazingly precise, and jewelers only round up or down on the 1/100 of a carat. This system is also referred to as the point system, where—for example—a 0.53-carat gem could be referred to as a 53 point diamond.
Carat measurements are important, but there are other aspects of a diamond that also figure into pricing.