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What's The Difference Between Carat And Karat?

Carat and Karat

A Diamond Ring can have Two Different types of “Carats“.

They can have a Carat, and they can have a Karat.

Both types mean Different Things.

So Let’s Begin…


Carat (with a C), means Carat Weight, as in the Weight of a Diamond.

A Diamond’s Weight is Broken down into a Point System, One Hundred Points Equals One Full Carat (1.00 Carat).

Carat can be Written as Carat, CW (cw), or CT (ct). A Half Carat Diamond is 50 Points. A 1/4 Carat Diamond is 25 Points.

It Breaks Down Pretty Much like Pennies to a Dollar.

75 Points is 3/4 Carat, just like 75 Cents is 3/4 of a Dollar.

When you see Carat, ct, cw or Carat Weight, think the Weight of the Stone.

Carats and Points

All Diamonds are Weighed by Carats and Points. The Word Carat comes from the Carob Seeds that Diamonds were Originally Weighed with. One seed = 1 Point. Carob Seeds were Not Perfect in Uniform, Size or Weight though, so once the Diamond Scale was Invented, these Seeds were a Thing of the Past.

Carat Weights

Carat Weight is one of the 4C’s in the Diamond Grading System. The Bigger the Carat Weight, the More Expensive the Diamond becomes.

Any Diamond 1 Carat or Larger is Pretty Rare in Nature. One Carats are the “Dream Diamond” weight. It’s the Carat to own! :)

Now let’s look at Karat


Karat, with a K, refers to the Gold Content of the Mounting or Ring, as in 10k, 14k or 18k

Gold is Broken down into Parts. 24k Gold is Pure Gold or 24 Parts Gold.

14k is 14 Parts Gold and 10 Parts Alloy (Alloys make the Gold More Durable).

18k is 18 Parts Gold and 6 Parts Alloy (More of a Rich Yellow Gold Tone that is Softer and More Malleable than 14k).

10k is More Durable because is has only 10 Parts of Gold, and 14 Parts Alloy. But, with more Alloys than Gold in the Mix, I’m Surprised they get away with still calling it Gold. :)

14k is the Standard

That’s why 14k is the Standard across the Country for Jewelry, Bridal Rings, Gemstone Rings, Bands… It looks Great, and Remains Durable Enough for every Day Wear and Tear.

14k White Gold

14k White Gold is still 14 parts Gold, but the 10 Parts of Alloy change a little. It incorporates Zinc or Palladium to give the Gold more of a Whiter Appearance.

When you see Karat, think Gold Content. The Stamp Inside your Ring should Reflect this with a k or K, as in 14k.

Plumb Gold

If you see 14kp, the P stands for Plumb Gold, and means the Gold Content is Accurate to the Stamp Marked or higher. Which means, if it’s Stamped 14k, the Gold Content is at least 14 Parts Gold or more (Nothing Less – Gurananteed!).

So now you know the Difference between the Two Carats. A Ring could easily list these Both on a Receipt or an Appraisal, as such…

Diamond Ring Appraisal

One Lady’s Diamond Engagement Ring containing One Round Brilliant Cut Diamond with the following Features:

1.27 Carats

S11 Clarity

D Color

GIA Certified and Laser Inscribed (GIA 11720127) – Copy Attached

This Diamond is set in a 14k White Gold 4-Prong Head, and mounted on a 2mm 14k White Gold Tiffany Style Ring. Ring Size 6.5, 1.2 TDW

Replacement Value: $9850

As seen below…

Diamond Ring Appraisal!

You will see both Carats, and they mean 2 totally different things.

And Carats aren’t the only Confusing Terms

Other Misleading or Confusing Terms in the Jewelry Industry are:


Crown could mean the Crown of a Diamond (Top Portion that Sticks up above the Girdle), or it could mean the Crown on a Stem on a Watch.


Fancy could mean either Fancy Cut (as in Marquise, Princess, Oval Cut… or any Cut other than the Round Brilliant Cut Diamond), or it could mean Fancy Color, as in Blue Diamonds, Pink Diamonds, Yellow Canary Diamonds, Chocolate Diamonds, the Famous Hope Diamond is a Fancy Blue Colored Diamond.

Fancy Cuts are Cheaper than Round Brilliant Cuts, but Fancy Colors are Rare, and command a much Greater Price (See James Allen HERE for Prices).


Crystals could be a type of Flaw or Inclusion inside a Diamond, or it could be the Glass or Sapphire Face on your Watch.


Finish could mean how Smooth and Perfect the Facets are Polished on your Diamond, or it could mean the Finish of your Jewelry, as in High Polished, Satin Finished, Brushed, Sandblasted…


Polish could mean the Polish on a Diamond, or it could mean the High Polish of the Gold or Metal (The Jeweler Polished up the Mounting).


Diamond Cut could mean the Actual Cuts and Faceting of a Diamond, or it could mean a Style of Finish on a Piece of Jewelry that Mimics the Sparkles of a Diamond, Seriously, the Jeweler digs out Small Knife Edged Marks in the Gold so it Catches Light and Sparkles. A lot of Jewelry has Diamonds Cuts on it, like the Popular Diamond Cut Rope!


Extra Facets could mean the Extra Facets a Diamond Cutter adds to a Diamond to Remove any Unsightly Inclusion that Resides on or Close to the Surface of the Diamond…

Or, it could mean a Style of Cutting a Diamond that Purposefully contains many More Facets than the Standard cut Diamond, to Add More Sparkles of Small Light to the Stone. As in the Leo Cut, King Cut Diamond, Ariella Cut, or a Centillian Diamond (with 100 Facets, as opposed to 58 on a Normal Diamond).

Something else that could throw people off


I Quality could mean either I Clarity, or it could mean I Color.

I Color is a Color Grade in the Near Colorless Range. Where as I Clarity (Included) is the Lowest Range of Clarity there is and contains the I1, I2 and I3 Clarities. These Clarities will all have Flaws that you can see with your Naked Eye.


F Quality could mean either F for Flawless Diamonds (The Highest Clarity Range there is, the BEST), or it could mean F Color, which is in the Pure White Color Ranges.

So If a Diamond reads F, I… it could be F Color, I Clarity, or I Color, F Clarity. BIG BIG Difference!!!

See, out of all the Confusing Terms there are in Jewelry, Carat and Karat are the Easiest Terms to Comprehend.

Just don’t get me Started on Luster

Recommended Jewelry Supplies:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner Complete Jewelry Cleaner Kit Diamond Dazzle Stick
Gold Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloths Jewelry Making Supplies Kit Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter 10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope

Recommended Jewelry Supplies:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner
Complete Jewelry Cleaner Kit Diamond Dazzle Stick
Gold Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloths Jewelry Making Supplies Kit
Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter
10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope

Recommended Diamond Vendors:

James Allen

James Allen

James Allen is a leader in diamonds. Their real time interactive diamond inspection is the best in the industry. View and rotate any diamond under 20x magnification. Their prices, selection, lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer support and hassle free returns are unbeatable. Visit James Allen today.

James Allen

Blue Nile

Blue Nile

Blue Nile is the largest and most well known respected diamond dealer online. They are highly trusted, have a huge inventory, and low low prices (compare anywhere and see for yourself). If you want to save money, or build your own ring, this is the place to shop. Visit Blue Nile today.

Blue Nile

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