Diamonds are considered one of, if not the best, gemstones for an engagement ring. Apart from the main attraction of your ring – the gem – the band itself is made out of some precious metals, typically gold. Have you ever wondered: Do diamonds weigh more than gold?
Diamonds aren’t the heaviest gemstone, and they are known to weigh less than most precious metals – gold included. That is due to their structural designs and chemical compounds.
Everybody knows that a diamond’s weight is measured in carats. But how much does one carat weigh, anyway? In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about weighting diamonds, as well as weighting gold. Let’s get to it!
Understanding Diamond Carat
Carat is one of the essential aspects when buying a diamond. It’s a globally accepted standard for measuring the weight of a diamond. Not to be confused with karat, which is a measure for gold purity – which we will talk about more later on.
A one-carat diamond weighs 0.2 grams. However, note that the carat doesn’t represent the size of the diamond. A diamond’s size is actually measured in millimeters, length by width.
What’s fascinating – at least to us – is that it takes about 250 tons of rock mining to produce a single one-carat diamond. That is the reason (well, one of) why diamonds are pretty rare and oh-so-expensive.
Gems come in a broad range of shapes and carat weights.
A diamond cutter’s number one priority is to maximize carat weight. The larger the gem, the rarer and more expensive it is. Diamonds are weighed precisely to the nearest 0.01 carats.
Before the adoption of the carat back in 1907, a lot of measurements were used for diamonds. Over time, carat weight became standardized.
Today it’s a common point of reference found any diamond certificate, regardless of which lab certifies it.
Diamond Carat Size Comparison
Even though each diamond is unique in its way, it’s possible to estimate visual size, especially due to modern diamonds being cut with machines to ensure precision.
On that note, diamonds have an average size measured in millimeters within each carat range.
Well-cut fancy-shaped diamonds have more depth than well-cut round diamonds. A one-carat round diamond has around 6.40 millimeters in length/width, while a one-carat princess diamond measures around 5.50 millimeters.
Fancy shapes usually have less size and more weight. So, round-cut diamonds often cost more than fancy shapes of the same carat weight.
Visually, it’s generally hard to differentiate between diamonds that vary 5 to 10% in carat weight. For instance, a 0.95-carat and 1-carat diamond are nearly indistinguishable.
Take note of that if you want to purchase a 1-carat diamond – but don’t want to pay the price for that well-liked round weight.
A diamond will also look smaller than a lower-carat stone if it’s cut too deep.
When looking at carat weight and size, it’s essential to consider length to width ratios for each shape. These will help you determine if a stone is too deep or shallow – and if it has desirable proportions.
A 0.95-carat shallow-cut diamond might look more prominent than 1-carat deep-cut diamond.
Remember that a carat is an indicator of weight, so a gemstone’s measurement in millimeters can vary based on how it’s cut.
Select diamonds that are cut very well. These diamonds usually have less depth and more spread – which means their measurements are more prominent, making the stone appear visually bigger than its carat weight might indicate.
See Also: What Size Diamond Is Considered Big?
Carat Price Effect
As diamond carat weight increases, the pricing increases exponentially. That means once a stone hits its critical weight, the price bumps up. The critical weights are 0.30, 0.40, 0.50, 0.70, 0.90, 1.00, 1.50, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 10.0 carats.
Diamond cutters do everything they can to keep diamonds’ weight at – or above – each critical weight. Diamond suppliers and manufacturers also know about this trick. So, they’ll price their stones accordingly.
It might be a good idea to purchase a 0.95-carat diamond instead of a one-carat gem. However, the former option is usually pretty tricky to find.
When buying within the same budget, you can also look at lab-grown diamonds. These gems will have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as their natural counterparts. The only difference is where they were created.
Let’s look at the table below, which shows comparisons of round natural and round lab-grown diamonds.
|Carat Size||Natural Diamond Price||Lab Diamond Price|
You can save a lot on your engagement ring if you are aware of the so-called “magic sizes.” These are the numbers that cost more because they’re in demand or at a critical weight.
Even though there’s no visual difference between a 0.99-carat diamond and a 1-carat diamond, the 1 carat can cost far more just because it’s a “magic size.”
Diamonds that aren’t magic sizes are called off-size diamonds – which sounds not as appealing, but they might be the key to getting your diamond ring for less money.
How Diamond Carat Is Weighed
Jewelers measure diamond carat by using scales, and the process is very simple. All one needs is a highly calibrated scale that is capable of measuring minimal weights. The GIA and AGS are examples of organizations that have these highly accurate scales.
What Is The Average Diamond Carat Weight?
The average diamond carat weight is 0.90 carats. Try to find a diamond below the critical weight – the point at which diamond prices substantially increase. For instance, 0.95 carats vs. 1 carat: The price will increase exponentially because 1 carat is a critical weight.
How Important Is Carat When Buying A Diamond?
Carat has to be the most popular of the 4C’s. Thus some people consider carat weight first. But carat weight isn’t the only factor that matters – these factors must be well-balanced.
When pricing diamonds, think about its carat on one side and cut, clarity, and color on the other. As you increase the carat weight, you might need to downplay the other C’s to stay within your budget.
On the flip side, if you increase the other C’s, you might need to select a lower carat stone. If you don’t maximize clarity and cut, the bigger diamond will have less sparkle – despite the larger carat size filling up more of the hand.
Related Read: Can You Measure Diamond Weight In Grams?
Let’s Talk About Gold Measurement
Measurement of gold could refer to two different factors of a gold item: weight and purity. Both of these are vital measurements in determining what a gold item is worth. However, physical size is less accurate as an indicator here.
The weight of gold is commonly measured in units called Troy Ounces. However, given the wide use of the metric system, grams are also used in measuring the weight of gold.
On the other hand, gold purity is measured in units known as Karats – this is where most people get confused when talking about carat or weight. Karat, unlike carat, is a measure of fineness.
Most gold used for practical purposes is typically mixed with a harder metal, as 100% pure gold is incredibly soft. What we usually refer to as “gold items” are, in most cases, gold alloy and not pure gold.
As we mentioned above, the purity of the metal is measured in karats or fineness, and these are often quoted as a percentage. Karat measures the amount of pure gold to alloyed metals in 24 parts.
So, in that sense, 24 karat is pure gold; 9 karats would equate to 9 parts gold to 15 parts of other metals.
Fineness is used to measure the amount of pure gold to alloyed metals in parts per thousand. Pure gold would be 999.999 fineness.
Gold is typically weighed in grams, but the commonly used measurement for gold bullion coins is the troy ounce. One troy ounce equals 31.1035 grams.
Investors in precious metals should take note of the difference between a troy ounce and an avoirdupois ounce, which is still used in certain countries.
A common belief is that the troy weight system was introduced at the famous trade market of Troyes because of the need for a standard unit of measure for traders who came from far.
Its specific use for measuring precious metals is because the value of money used to be fixed to a certain amount of silver. So, for example, one pound contained one troy pound of silver.
Even though the value of money isn’t fixed by precious metals anymore, the troy ounce is still used due to the London Bullion Market Association’s use of beam balances to weigh gold.
Gold Bar Weight
Banks and bullion investors typically deal in 24 karat gold bars.
The London Bullion Market Association outlines that a standard bar should be 400 troy ounces. These bars measure between 55 to 85 millimeters in width, 210 to 290 millimeters in length, and 25 to 45 millimeters high.
Talk about the golden standard, huh?
While bullion bars are generally all pure, bullion coins can be minted from alloys to improve their durability. The quoted weight of a coin is usually its pure gold content, though.
For instance, a one-ounce gold Krugerrand weighs 33.93 grams, which is 2.827 grams more than a troy ounce. That’s one troy ounce of pure gold plus additional 2.827 grams of alloyed metal.
Are Diamonds Heavier Than Gold?
While gold quality is measured in karats, diamond weight is measured in carats.
This distinction between “K” and “C” when it comes to evaluating the quality of gold and weight of a diamond has been mixed up by many people who aren’t aware of the vital difference behind these numbers.
Because of this, we need to make sure we’re on the same page when talking about the weight of gold vs. the weight of the diamond.
How To Measure Diamond And Gold
A 2-carat diamond weighs 400 milligrams because each “carat” when it comes to diamonds is considered to weigh 200 milligrams.
On the other hand, gold is considered to be pure when it’s produced of 24 karats. As we already mentioned, the weight is categorized in troy ounces.
Thus, an example of a 24-karat gold coin weighs 1.091 troy ounces. If we were to convert that to milligrams, that gold coin would weigh about 34,000 milligrams or 34 grams.
So, which one is heavier? Based on this info, it’s relatively clear that a gold coin is going to weigh more than a diamond, which is far less dense and, not to mention, smaller.
In order to reach the same density of that gold coin, the diamond would have to be about 170 carats – which is impossible for an average diamond.
It’s hard to determine how much a gold item will weigh compared to a diamond that has a similar shape and size without accurately weighing them. However, it’s conceivable to say that gold weighs far more than diamonds.
Related Read: In Which Metal We Should Wear Diamond?
So, to answer your question, “Do diamonds weigh more than gold?”:
No, diamonds weigh far less than gold. A 1-carat diamond is going to weigh 0.2 grams. A pure gold coin of 24 karats will weigh 1.091 troy ounces. And if you convert it to grams, that is 34 grams. Therefore gold weighs more than diamonds.
What people usually confuse are carat and karat. One is used to measure a diamond’s weight, and the other is used to measure the purity of gold. Remember that the next time someone is talking about the two measurements.