The Magic One Carat Number
27th July 2016
by Tara W.
“I want a one carat.” you or your partner thinks.
The one carat might be the most recognised measurement when it comes to jewellery. In that sense it’s also the most famous; when you think carat you think 24-carat gold or something in similar categories of luxury.
So what’s the fuss behind the one carat? Some might say that it’s purely a size thing, or that it’s about achieving perfectly round numbers. You might be surprised at some of the more “hidden” aspects of having a one carat engagement ring.
Size isn’t as important as you think
To start with, the carat measurement does not actually indicate size; it’s a weight measurement first. This means that one-carat could theoretically differ in sizes but have identical weight. Generally speaking if you increase the carat you can increase the size of the diamond but always by weight first.
If you’re still considering a one carat ring for its size, does it actually look good on the hand that will be wearing it? As hands can come in many different shapes and sizes, there really isn’t a standard size for everyone. Add the fact that we all perceive things differently makes the whole process even more subjective.
Quality over quantity
A one carat diamond isn’t going to guarantee that the diamond is going to be a good quality one. The cut, clarity and colour grades determine how good that individual diamond will be. You can go for a cheap one carat, but we find that a large poor quality diamond is equally as visible as a smaller, yet higher quality one.
Given that the national average is around 0.4 ct, anything above that measurement is above average. The cut, clarity, and colour grades are what determine the diamond’s “sparkle” if you like (although it’s a lot more complicated than that!) and the carat determines the size. It’s best to strike a balance between the two.
A choice of lifestyle
If the engagement ring is going to be worn every day, then you would need to take measures to protect both yourself and the centre diamond (though put yourself first!).
Larger stones understandably sit much higher on the hand and are therefore much more prone to being caught on doors or expensive fabrics. In order to avoid any untimely accidents, you would have to be a lot more aware of the engagement ring on your hand, which can be difficult for people who are newly engaged and can tend to forget that they’re wearing something extremely expensive.
In the worst case scenario, repeated damage to the head of the jewellery can loosen or knock the diamond right out of the ring itself, which would cost a lot of money to replace. Make sure you or your partner are ready to make a few minor lifestyle changes in order to accommodate keeping the engagement ring safe.
One carat trinkets
If you’re looking at treating yourself with a pair of earrings or a nice pendant, you’d want to consider how one carat might feel when its worn elsewhere. A total of one carat for earrings with 0.50 in each ear might feel too heavy for some or light for others. It also depends on the occasion too; diamond earrings draw a lot of attention to the face, especially if the diamond is of a good quality since it will shine pretty much anywhere.
It’s common to find one-carat pendants as special gifts or as a luxury treat. Pendants are a lot more subtle and so you may want to try on a few one-carat samples before you commit to buying something larger and heavier.
If the price is right
The diamond market changes everyday, and so one of the big advantages of having your jewellery manufactured is that you’re able to get the market’s best price for that day. Since one carat rings are in so much demand, you would see a decent price decrease for any jewellery under a carat, so if you pick something around 0.80 ct or 0.90 ct, you can find a great balance between price and size.
You’ll also find that differences in carat weight are often indistinguishable to the naked eye. If you’re not actively comparing two pieces of jewellery, you wouldn’t naturally be able to tell the difference. Of course, keep in mind that increasing carat weight is one of the biggest factors that increase the price, since a bigger diamond also needs to be a clearer diamond, and so on and so forth.
Got to have it
If your heart is set on having that big diamond, then go for it. We find that in the office every now and then a huge diamond will absolutely draw the attention of the whole office, and we will keep staring. It’s one of the world’s most coveted of luxuries, and the light and sparkle that comes out of a large and clean diamond is incredibly beautiful to look at and wear.
If you’ve got a partner who you think may propose to you, you might want to consider having a conversation about the whole thing. It’s becoming a lot more common for couples to communicate much more openly about proposals and long term plans. At the very least, drop your partner a hint about the one carat by sharing pictures or thoughts on jewellery in general; try to help your partner pull off one of the most frightening things he/she has ever done by offering hints or direct help wherever you can!
What if you’re buying all of this in secret? It can be a pretty frightening experience, but one thing to pay attention to is whether or not your partner has a similar taste for big jewellery in general. Or does she/he go for something more sleek and minimalistic? Looking at the other kinds of jewellery pieces that your partner wears can be a great indicator for what you could use for a surprise proposal.
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