Understanding Jewelry Carats

The term carat is used in multiple industries, however when discussing jewelry, it has a very specific meaning. Carat refers to the weight, size and the fineness of a diamond or other precious stone. In the jewelry trade, carats are the unit of measurement used to determine the weight of a precious stone and therefore, their value.

Carat Weight

The size of the diamond or other precious stone is expressed in carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. Small stones will have a fraction of a carat, such as 0.5 carat or 0.25 carat. It is important to remember that two stones of the same carat weight can still have a significantly different size and appearance as the cut, clarity and shape of the stone also plays a role in their overall size and appearance.

Carat Finesse

The term carat is also used to explain the fineness of a precious stone. This fineness is the gold and silver content of a stone, expressed as a set of numbers such as 18K gold or 18K platinum. The higher the number, the more gold or silver is contained in the stone and the higher its value.

Carats Side Up

When it comes to jewelry, understanding the ‘carats side up’ concept is essential. This refers to how the stone should be set in order to maximize the value of the piece. Containing a precious stone using an incorrect setting can significantly reduce its worth, even if the carat weight is the same.

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The Benefits of Knowing Carat Weight and Finesse

Knowing carat weight and fineness of a precious stone is essential for anyone in the jewelry or fashion trade. If you are making a purchase, it is important to know the implications of the weighing and fineness of a diamond or other precious stone. It is also important to understand the carats side up theory when setting the stone in order to maintain its value.

By understanding the basics of jewelry carats, including the carats side up concept, you can ensure you are getting the most value for your purchase or creating valuable jewelry pieces.

What is a carat in jewelry?

A carat is a unit of measurement used to express the weight of gemstones, diamonds, and pearls. One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams and is divided into 100 points. A diamond weighing 1.00 carat is referred to as a “one carat diamond”, and a stone weighing 0.25 carats is referred to as a “quarter-carat diamond”. Carats can also be used to measure the purity of precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum, and are often denoted as 18K, 14K and 10K.

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