Carat, Karat and Carrot?!?

carat vs karat vs carrot When you are looking at jewelry, you will often hear the word ‘carat’ or ‘karat’ used. Yes, it sounds the same, but they mean two totally different things! What is the difference between carat and karat? Sometimes I see customers use the wrong version when talking about jewelry. Here are their definitions so you won’t get them mixed up.


This is the term used that refers to the actual weight of the diamond or gemstone.   According to the GIA, “A metric ‘carat’ is defined by 200 milligrams.” One carat is divided into 100 points so therefore a diamond that weighs 0.50ct is often referred to as a fifty pointer (meaning 50 points). Keep in mind that carat weight is just the measurement of the weight and that diamonds can vary in measurements depending on how well or poorly they are cut. I’m sure you’ve seen my recent blogs about not getting too caught up on carat weight. 🙂 It’s good to know that carat is often abbreviated to ‘ct’.


This is the term used that refers to the actual purity of gold. 24kt is 100% pure gold. Often you’ll see jewelry sold in 14kt, 18kt and even sometimes 10kt. When you purchase 14kt gold, you are actually getting 58.5% pure gold mixed in with other alloys. When you purchase 18kt gold, you are actually getting 75% pure gold with other alloys mixed in. It’s good to know that karat is often abbreviated at ‘kt’.

Just for fun, I threw in a curve ball.

Carrot: Yes, these are the delicious orange vegetables that you buy in the grocery store or at your local farmers market. 🙂 I know it’s funny but sometimes customers use this term in lieu of the two others.

All joking aside, it is very important to know which is the correct term to use when you are talking about either gold, gemstones and/or diamonds.

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