Most people are sold “light” carat diamonds and don’t even know they exist.
“Light carat weights?”
The fact is, you may be buying a certain carat weight, and come to find out, it’s not what you thought you were buying…
It’s actually smaller than what you thought.
Did you get ripped off by the jewelry store?
Did the jeweler lie to you?
Maybe, maybe not. Let’s take a look…
“It’s a half carat…”
You walk into a jewelry store Searching for a half-carat diamond. The salesperson pulls one out of the case and hands it to you, and tells you the color and clarity of the diamond, then proceeds to tell you the carat weight.
“It’s a half carat”, he says..
But is it?
If it’s a half carat, which is 50 points, then why does the tag say 44 points???
If it’s 6 points shy of a half carat, why are they still calling it a half carat?
Is this legal?
Are they trying to pull a Fast one on you?
Here’s the truth…
Yes, it’s legal!
And yes it happens all the time.
This is because jewelry standards allow it.
Did you ever see an ad in the newspaper for a diamond ring that says “half carat” with an asterisk next to it that states “approximate carat weight“? Take a look next time. It’s there.
Diamonds are not perfect in weight
Diamonds are like people, some are tall and thin, others are short and squat. No two diamonds are perfectly alike. Diamond weight fluctuates. It’s rare to get a diamond that’s exactly dead on a particular carat weight as well, like an exact half carat (50 points on the dot).
If the diamond cutters cut every single diamond with exact carat weights, like 50 points, 75 points and 100 points, they’d be disrupting the whole jewelry industry. They’d be changing the quality of the diamonds and changing the entire pricing structure.
That 44 point diamond may be a VVS clarity now, but if you didn’t cut away those 6 points, you’d probably see lots of black inclusions around the stone’s edge, which would lower the clarity rating down to an I clarity diamond (and that’s the lowest clarity range there is) and turn it into an ugly stone. Just a couple of points could totally change what the diamond grade is.
Diamond cutters scrutinize diamonds to maximize the diamond’s best quality. They cut the stone to get the best possible clarity, while still getting as much diamond as they can from the rough rock. If the diamond ends up being a little bit smaller in the process, then it’s a good deal.
Why leave bad inclusions in if you don’t have to?
If you can cut them out, it makes the diamond look better, and it makes it more valuable.
Plus, a couple of points aren’t going to matter that much anyway.
It all makes good business sense.
So what is the actual leeway on diamond carat weights?
When it comes to the jewelry industry and “light” carat weights…
Diamond standards state that diamonds can fluctuate in weight as long as they fall within a certain number of points.
They state that anything between 43 points and 50 points is considered a half-carat (1/2 carat – also called “light-half“).
3/4 carats are between 69 points and 75 points.
One carat diamonds (light-carats) are given a range between 93 points to 100 points.
Now some jewelers will vary these ranges slightly, like calling a 42 point diamond a half carat diamond, but generally it’s around 7 points or less.
Light or light?
Keep in mind, when I’m talking about “light” carats, this has nothing to do with the way light reacts with the diamond to cause brilliance and sparkle. Light carats are only referring to a diamond that’s smaller than what it really is called.
But since it’s still in the “acceptable diamond carat range”, they can be rounded up to the next nearest carat weight and sold as that.
It’s almost like people…
When people ask us our weight, we don’t say we’re 177.14 lbs. We would normally just say 177 (of course we’d round down), or most of us would actually just say 175. Right? We’re used to rounding things up or down to simplify matters.
It makes it easy for everyone to understand.
Is a 44 point diamond really a half carat? No. But chances are if you put them side by side with a true half carat diamond, you’d never be able to tell the difference.
A couple of points one way or the other is not noticeable with the bare eye. A 44 point diamond will still look like a half carat diamond. A 72 point diamond will still look like a 3/4 carat. A 93 will still look like a one carat diamond.
So they look the same, but does it really benefit anyone?
And in a big way:
Light carats are cheaper than exact carat weight stones.
Pricing a 93 point diamond and a 1.00 carat diamond of the same color, clarity, certification and cut, could save you hundreds of dollars.
See the examples below… (prices good at the time of this post).
So is it worth it?
You saved $2,000 that fast…
So I highly recommend going light.
The diamond won’t look much different, but it will save you greenbacks and that’s a huge bonus when dealing with such expensive items.
Do note, that if your fiancee says she wants a 1.00 carat diamond, she may get a little upset with you buying a 92 point diamond instead…
You could tell her it’s “considered a one carat”, but this is one instance, where “considered” may not be a great thing. HA!
But if you want to save money and still get a great diamond with no visible difference…
Then look into light carats.
Less weight is definitely a point worth taking.