When you’re buying engagement rings, you’ll get to know your carats from your karats. (Unless you go with platinum for your setting, that is.) What does each mean? What’s the difference between 18-karat and 24-karat gold? Carat and karat many sounds the same, but they’re different terms, and it’s vital to understand the difference.
Carat vs. karat: What’s the difference?
Diamond carat (ct) is the globally recognized standard for the weight of a diamond or gemstone. One carat weighs 0.20 grams. Karat may be a measure of gold purity. 24-karat gold — additionally to being the name of a fairly great Stevie Nicks album — is pure gold. By comparison, 12-karat gold is 50 percent gold and 50 percent base metals or impurities.
What you would like to know about diamond carat
First, and most importantly: a better carat size means a better price. Which price rises significantly — and not by a linear scale — as carat increases. Contrary to popular belief, the carat isn’t the size of the diamond. It’s weight. A diamond’s size is measured in millimeters, length by width — in other words, the diameter of the stone.
Carat will influence the opposite of the 4Cs (cut, clarity, and color) you’ll need to prioritize when buying a diamond to fit your budget. As an example: If you’d like a larger carat size, you’ll need to choose a diamond with a better color grade, as that color is going to be more apparent. You’ll also need to go with a better clarity grade if you want a really clear, bright stone.
The most popular engagement ring size is 1 carat. Visually, it’s hard to recognize the difference between diamonds that vary 5 to 10 percent in carat weight. For instance, a 0.95ct and 1ct diamond will be nearly indistinguishable.
What you would like to understand about gold karat
In its purest form — 24 karat — gold is bright yellow. When utilized in rings and jewelry, gold is usually mixed with other metals to make an alloy, which lends the metal both strength and hue. The more metals are mixed with gold, the lower the karat becomes. With Clarity crafts jewelry using 14-karat and 18-karat gold. you’ll see the differences in hue, even within a similar gold color, within the images below:
The difference in gold karat can drastically change the design of your ring, even within a similar color. For example, 18-karat yellow gold looks very different from 14-karat yellow gold — it’s less yellow in tone. That distinction between the two might acquire if you decide on a diamond with a lower color grade that’s slightly yellow in tone; setting it in yellow gold can mask that effect, and might make a difference during which karat you decide on.
The karat can have some effect on the strength of your ring. Pure gold is relatively soft — not ideal for something you wear every day on your hands, which most of the people use a lot — which is why lower karats are more common. Likewise, a 14-karat gold ring is going to be a bit more durable than 18-karat gold, so if you’ve got a very active job or lifestyle, that’s something you might want to think about.
The karat you select will affect the value of your setting, but far but a change in carat.
It may sound like a lot to think about, and it quite is! The great news is that Clarity has expert on-staff gemologists who are here to help. They’re highly experienced at working within any quite budget to assist couples in finding the right engagement ring. Reach out to one below.
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