The terms ‘carat weight’ and ‘total carat weight’ are often used interchangeably by many diamond merchants. Well, it is not the same! It is not even close. Let us see how the difference is often conveniently disguised in fancy names when it comes to the weight of diamonds we purchase.
Carat Weight Of Diamonds
The weight of a diamond is represented globally in terms of carat weight. For example, a 1 carat solitaire is a single diamond with 1 carat weight. A cluster of diamonds set in jewelry may also have 1 carat weight; only this time it is the combined weight of all the small diamonds used to form the cluster design. The weight of a cluster of diamonds should ideally be represented in Total Carat Weight or TCW. Few diamond merchants also used the term Guaranteed Carat Weight, which to some customers may be a misleading term.
When comparing the weight of diamonds in carats, the weight of a single stone should always be compared to the weight of another single stone, and not a cluster of diamonds. Similarly, the TCW of a cluster of stones is comparable only with another cluster of diamonds and never with single stones. In other words, a 1 carat cluster diamond ring and a 1 carat solitaire ring are not comparable using the same criteria.
The Sparkle And Carat Weight
As with the carat weight, the light performance is also different for solitaire and cluster diamonds of similar weight. Cluster diamond jewelry would look sparkly when it moves because of the property of the small diamonds to catch and reflect light. But the effect of a cluster of small diamonds begins and ends with the beautiful twinkle they have.
The light performance of a solitaire that has a carat weight equal to the TCW of the cluster of diamonds will be incomparable. The solitaire will have a larger surface area that can catch more light, and disperse it through reflection and refraction, resulting in an unmatched brilliance that would make it seem like the solitaire possesses its own light.
Before you go with diamond jewelers who offer a huge discount on high carat weight diamonds, make sure that you know what you are paying for. That beautiful 1 carat cluster diamond ring may even look better on your finger than a 1 carat solitaire ring that would cost you much more. Nonetheless, ensure that you get good value for your money.