We all talk about diamonds quite often – especially if you work in an industry closely related to these precious stones, or you’re just a person interested in diamonds overall.
But, there are some things we must clarify about the size of these diamonds we talk about on specific occasions in order to keep being precise and clear about what we’re talking about here.
Like with all precious stones, metals, and the like, it’s imperative to emphasize what size we’re talking about since that changes a lot of things. That’s how we came to the idea of writing this article and telling you all about the diamond size and what’s considered big in the world of gemstones.
Now, we know that you’re all probably impatient to find out what size diamond is considered big exactly. So, let’s dive in – and see what we have in store for you when it comes to this topic!
How To Measure Diamonds?
For this specific topic, it’s essential to know how to measure (or weigh) diamonds in order to confirm how big they actually are. The way this is done may seem complicated at first, but trust us when we say – it’s not rocket science.
Measuring diamonds is something that can be done in very few ways. The most commonly used one is weighing them and seeing how many carats they have based on their weight.
The majority of you have probably heard about the term “carat,” but it wouldn’t surprise us if some of you didn’t quite realize what exactly a carat is. It happens more often than you’d think. So, don’t be embarrassed about it.
A diamond carat is a unit of measurement that is equal to 0.200 grams or 0.007-ounce avoirdupois. Why is this unit of measurement used when it comes to weighing diamonds and other precious materials, such as gold, silver, and platinum?
Well, it’s mainly used since people don’t buy these materials in large quantities and usually go for something small like a one-carat diamond. What’s the last time you’ve heard that someone bought a kilogram of gold, for example?
Probably never, huh? And, well, the same goes for diamonds.
To weigh diamonds in carats, highly precise scales are used to be as accurate as possible in your measurements. If a precise scale capable of measuring finer amounts of materials isn’t used, it usually means that one side in the transaction will get scammed or deceived.
The 1210N scale is a perfect example of a specialized scale capable of weighing diamonds in carats. These scales aren’t used for measuring anything heavier than a couple of grams.
So, they’re specifically made for jewelry stores and diamond dealers to use.
If you see someone using a scale that isn’t specialized for fine jewelry components, including diamonds, gold, and silver, don’t trust them. They’re likely not getting an accurate reading, and you might end up paying more than you should.
These scales have been calibrated to weigh fine materials that are often lighter than a gram, so for maximum accuracy, these types of scales should be used without exception.
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- Diamond’s Measurements: The Complete Diamond Size Charts Guide
What Size Are We Looking For In Diamonds?
Generally speaking, a big majority of diamonds that are found for sale are the same size. That size is one carat, and that’s pretty much the gold standard. Or the diamond standard, if you will.
This gem size is usually preferred because they’re the best fit for most jewelry pieces that are already expensive enough to make. A bigger diamond would only make it even more expensive.
Other sizes are used for heavy machinery that uses industry-grade diamonds, such as diamond saws and drills, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re here to discuss jewelry.
So, when they look for a diamond, most people look for a one-carat diamond. But we are talking about diamonds that are considered big here.
And, well, if you ask us, anything over one carat is big – but that’s just too common to take into consideration.
Two-carat diamonds are not seen that often. However, they can be purchased very easily if you do your research, find a good diamond dealer, and, most importantly, have the money to buy them.
Diamonds that are closer to 1 gram (which would amount to 5 carats) are always considered big. Although diamonds do rank as the hardest material in the world, that doesn’t mean that their density is all that impressive.
Five-carat diamonds are extremely hard to find and are considered very valuable in the diamond world.
The chances of the average Joe getting their hands on such a big and valuable diamond are pretty low, and you shouldn’t expect to be given the opportunity even to see one – let alone buy it.
Anything over that is like a fairytale, considering how hard it is to find diamonds bigger than that in nature.
Take a 10-carat diamond, for example. It’s the dream of every person involved in any kind of diamond-related business. As for you, the buyer, you shouldn’t expect to see a diamond that big.
Even if a diamond that big gets found and excavated, it will probably end up just being cut down into multiple smaller pieces. Some mass will likely be lost in the cutting process. So, there will probably be nine 1-carat diamonds made from that one big diamond.
That’s a fairly common practice amongst diamond cutters since it’s much easier to sell 9 or 10 1-carat diamonds than one massive 10-carat diamond.
Considering the fact that 1-carat diamonds can be worth over $15,000, a massive one would be worth somewhere around $140,000 – or somewhere in that neighborhood. Either way, it will cost a lot.
Not many people have that kind of cash to buy such a big precious rock – and if you think about it, there aren’t many occasions where you could utilize that kind of diamond. It’s too big for a necklace or a ring – and it can’t be worn in any other context. It’s not like you can carry it around in a pouch or something.
On the other hand, some people might collect diamonds, and that might be more interested in a diamond that big for their personal reasons. But diamond dealers want to sell their diamonds as soon as possible – so waiting for that one special buyer isn’t realistic.
So, all-in-all, a diamond that you should aim to get if you’re looking for a gem that’s considered “big” is north of 5 carats. Then again, anything more than that is flat-out insane – at least for the average buyer.
Related Read: How Big Is A 1 Carat Diamond?
Biggest Diamonds Ever Discovered
The majority of you reading our diamond sizes guide have probably asked yourself, “What is the biggest diamond ever found?” That’s what we took an interest in, as well.
According to every source of information we combed through, the biggest diamond ever found was a 3,106-carat diamond that was discovered in South Africa in the year 1905. It’s called the Cullinan Diamond.
Now, for the sake of clarity, 621.2 grams is more than around 1.4 pounds. Can you imagine a diamond that big?
If nothing from this article seemed big enough to fit your criteria and be recognized as “big,” this one definitely fits in those parameters. Some of the other diamonds considered the biggest in the world all go well over the 1,000-carat number.
The second biggest diamond ever found is a 1,758-carat diamond found at the Karowe mine in 2019. We know that these numbers might not mean much to people that haven’t seen these diamonds – at least in a video – but just try to imagine how big these diamonds really are.
For something like this to form underground and be discovered by people is nothing short of a miracle. It’s quite a rarity for a diamond to grow this big – let alone get excavated.
How Are Such Large Diamonds Formed?
Another thing you must’ve asked yourself is something along the lines of, “How are such large diamonds formed?” And this next section is all about answering that question because, quite frankly, the mere thought of it is mind-blowing.
First off, how are even regular diamonds formed? And how is that different from the large ones? Let’s see.
Diamonds first formed over 3 billion years ago within the Earth’s crust, under intense heat and pressure – extreme enough to influence carbon atoms to crystallize, creating precious stones. These stones begin their journey at the depths of roughly 150 to 200 km below the surface of the Earth.
Now that we know how regular diamonds are formed and what it takes for them to do so, how could these gigantic diamonds form instead? Well, the answer could end up being a bit underwhelming for some of you that expected volcano eruptions, splitting the Earth’s crust, and tectonic disturbances.
The only difference between an enormous diamond and a regular one-carat diamond is the time that needs to pass while the diamond is still underground and the number of carbon atoms that are present in the process.
Instead of 3 billion years that need to pass for a small diamond to be formed, bigger diamonds need between 5 and 7 billion years to do the same. Time is the main factor here.
Not only do they need more time, but they require a bit more extreme conditions underground – and there need to be more carbon atoms present in order for a huge diamond to form and grow.
Considering how many things need to fall in place to see a diamond that weighs multiple carats, you should start to understand why these diamonds are so rare.
The bigger the diamond, the possibility of finding it is smaller. That’s why we don’t usually see bigger diamonds every day – not even once every few years, to be honest.
Why is that? Well, let’s recap what needs to happen to form a big diamond:
- More carbon atoms
- More pressure
- Higher heat
- Longer time under the Earth’s crust
As you can imagine, there are a few extreme requirements to secure the forming of a diamond that’s bigger than one or two carats in weight.
What are the chances? Well, let’s just say that in the last 110 years or so, just half a dozen of these enormous diamonds have been found all over the world.
Our Final Words
Based on everything that we’ve stated so far, big diamonds aren’t found that often. So, you won’t be able to stumble upon big diamonds every once in a while.
But, what size diamond is considered big?
Well, we would say that everything above 5 carats (or 1 gram) should be looked at as bigger than usual – and, as a result, quite rare. A few extreme examples that we talked about in the form of the biggest diamonds in the world are considered significant solely because they are the biggest ones in the world.
But these can be seen as an “error” made by nature, so they should be considered rare cases and shouldn’t be taken as a rule – let alone a reference point.
If we take those diamonds out of the picture, all that’s left are the gems heavier or bigger than 5 carats. The bigger the gem, the rarer it is. So, you should take your time if you get an opportunity to get your hands on one of them.
We hope you will because it’s a mind-blowing experience when you see a diamond that’s over 5 carats. But you shouldn’t expect to see them in every jewelry store you walk in!
See Also: Do Diamonds Look Bigger Once Set?