When taking measurements we always refer to a specific unit of measurement.
To measure distances we have metres, to weigh objects we use kilograms, and so on. We have a special unit for measuring diamond weight: carats.
The historical origin of the carat may not seem very noble, especially compared to other units of measurement in the International System. That’s because the word ‘carat’ derives from carob seeds!
What makes these vegetable seeds special is that they always have the same weight, equal to about 0.2 grams.
In ancient times weighing something with a scale and seeds was the simplest way.
That’s why the carat, a term with Arabic and Greek origins, referred to the seed as a true unit of measurement.
Diamonds are still weighed in carats, with one carat corresponding to 200 milligrams.
Carats can also be broken down into points – 100 per carat to be precise. So we often find diamond weights expressed both in carats and in points.
Speaking in terms of a diamond’s value, price is not directly proportional to weight in carats, but takes on an exponential value, since finding a large diamond in nature is incredibly rare.
This is also why women are happy to wear rings with ethical diamonds, which are that much rarer!
Finally, carats are sometimes classified as a noble unit of measurement because carats also indicate the purity of gold alloys, in particular to indicate how much of the alloy used in the jewellery is in fact made of the noble metal.
So you could say gold and diamonds go hand in hand, perhaps even on an engagement ring.
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