Carat not Karat

A diamond is measured as a unit of weight known as a carat.  The larger the carat weight of a diamond, so the greater its weight. Today, the internationally recognized standard for one carat is 200 mg.   One area that can often cause confusion is the similarity between two terms that sound the same but that have two totally different meanings: “carat” which is a definition of weight and mass and “karat” which defines the levels of purity in gold alloys.

The tern “carat” originates from the pre-biblical Middle East when the seeds of the carob tree were used as a standard measurement of weight as they were thought to be uniform in weight.  Up until the late 16th century, “carat” was used to measure gold weight but from the 1570s it has also been used to calculate the weight of diamonds.

Did you know that the vast majority of diamonds sold in the world weigh 1 carat or less?

Rough diamonds mined from the depths of the earth bear little resemblance to the dazzling stones used in JRD creations.  Turning a rough diamond into a glittering object of beauty is an exact and skilled process of cutting and polishing during which the original raw stone can lose up to two thirds of its original weight.

The vast majority of mined diamonds, after cutting and polishing, weigh one carat or less.  In fact, larger raw diamonds are a comparative rarity which means that the price for a three carat diamond can be considerably higher than the price of three one-carat stones. 

Even though we said it above, it’s important to remember that the term carat refers to weight and not to size.  So, don’t expect a two carat diamond to be twice as big or a three carat diamond to be three times larger than a one carat diamond.  In fact, sometimes the physical size difference can be confusing with a 2 carat cut stone often being just 30% larger than a one carat cut stone.

And now for some diamonds that you won’t find at Jordan River Diamonds

The Golden Jubilee diamond – at 545.67 carats (originally 755.1 carats) this is the largest cut diamond in the world weighing in with a price tag in the region of $12,000,000



The Star of Africa is the largest uncut diamond ever found.  With an uncut weight of 3106.75 carats, the stone was divided and cut into a number of polished stones.  The largest is the 530.4 carat Cullinan I followed by the Cullian II at 317.4 4 carats.  In all, 9 major diamonds were cut from the Star of Africa with the smallest, the Cullian IX weighing “just” 4.4 carats.  Diamond experts have said that the entire “Cullian collection” is worth in the region of $2 billion.




The Incomparable – at 407.48 carats this is the fourth largest cut diamond in the world.  Today it is set in the L’Incomparable diamond and pearl necklace that has an estimated value of $55,000,000



The Spirit of de Grisogono – at 312.24 carats this is the world’s largest cut black diamond and is set in a white gold ring surrounded by 702 small white diamonds with a combined weight of 36.69 carats.



Did you know that the word famous Hope Diamond weighs ONLY 45.52 carats.  Mind you – it’s still insured for a reported $250,000,000