What is a diamond carat?

Carat indicates the total weight of a diamond, not the visual size.

Diamonds and gemstones are weighed in metric Carat, one modern metric carat equals 0.20 grams.

The Carat gets its name from the carob seed, these small seeds had a fairly uniformed weight that early gem traders would use as counterweights in their balance scales.

Mill & Way specialises in diamonds that are cut to emphasize beauty, not carat weight.

Is a higher carat weight better?

Carat weight alone does not determine a diamond's value.

Years of marketing campaigns have presented the carat weight as the most important of the 4 Cs, this misleads customers into believing that the larger the carat weight, the bigger the diamond will look when this is not always the case.

It's important to remember that the Carat weight is not the visual size of the diamond but just the total weight of the diamond on the scale.

Just like with people, you cannot estimate a person's height based on their weight alone. The carat weight only tells you the total weight of the diamond, not the stone's visual size.

Because there has been so much focus placed on the carat weight, many diamond cutters will cut the diamond in order to retain as much weight as possible to create a heavier stone that they can sell for a higher profit rather than create the most beautiful stone. The easiest area to retain weight on a diamond is on the pavilion or ‘belly’ of the stone.

A stone that has been cut in order to retain weight rather than create the most beautiful stone will result in a stone that weighs more i.e. a high carat weight but will look visually smaller from above as the weight is in the belly of the diamond. A stone that is cut with bad proportions will not only look smaller, but the proportions will not reflect the light in the correct way, resulting in a duller and less sparkly stone.

Diamond carat weight chart: