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Carat is probably one of the first words you associate with diamonds. Though the term "carat" or "carat weight" is one of the most common assessments of a diamond, very few people actually know what a carat is.
The Carat Weight
The carat of a diamond refers to the weight of the stone. A carat is equal to about .2 grams, which can be compared to the weight of a standard size paper clip. Carats are used to measure a diamond's weight because they are a universal standard of measurement. This means that no matter what country you visit, a carat weighs the same worldwide.
A diamond carat is divided into points. Each carat is equal to 100 points, much like a dollar is equal to 100 pennies. Therefore, a 75-point diamond is equal to .75 carats, or 3/4ths of a carat.
Why Is It Called A "Carat?"
The term carat is derived from the word "carob seed". Carob seeds tend to be similar in weight and size, so the tiny seeds were used as a reference point for early gem sellers.
Though a carat is a measurement of a diamond's weight, it does not necessary refer to the diamond's size. Though weight does play a part in the size of the diamond, a bigger weight does not necessarily equal a larger stone. For this reason, two other factors play a part in the diamond's size. The first is the the Shape or way a diamond is cut, which affects the way the diamond reflects light, and therefore contributes to how large it looks. Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, and a stone with a bigger Table can look larger than a diamond with a larger carat weight.