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Understanding total carat weight in jewelry

November 12, 2013 1 min read

Working in the jewelry industry and being surrounded by jewelry professionals all the time, it’s easy for me to get in the groove of jewelry lingo. I sometimes forget that most people out there don’t know a whole lot about jewelry. I think most people just know the basics. A common misunderstanding I’ve encountered is understanding what total carat weight is, so I thought I’d dedicate this blog entry to explaining it in depth.

I think most people associate the word “carat” with either size or weight. Carat by definition refers to a diamond or gemstone’s weight when you put it on a scale. It can also help to be an indicator of size as well (just like 300 lbs can give you an idea of how big a person is), but in the strictest sense it is the weight only. Just like people, measurements in gemstones can vary. Someone who is 6’5″ and 300 lbs will be a different size than someone who is 5’5″ and 300 lbs, but they both weigh the same.

Total carat weight refers to the carat weight of all the gemstones in the piece of jewelry. Unless a piece of jewelry is a solitaire style, meaning there is only one gemstone, like a diamond solitaire engagement ring, the concept of total carat weight will come into play.


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