Definitions. “Carats” with a “C” refers to the weight of a diamond, other gemstone, or pearl. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. The weight of a smaller stone may also be expressed in “points”, with one carat being equal to 100 points.
“Karats” with a “K” refers to the purity of gold; 24 karat (24K) gold is pure gold.
Carats. People generally think of carats as designating the size of a stone. While knowing how many carats a stone is may give you some idea of the size, it is not an accurate indicator. Different gemstones have different densities, and therefore different weights, for the same size stone. Densities may even vary from diamond to diamond, or from pearl to pearl. So your one-carat diamond may be slightly larger or smaller than another one-carat diamond.
To give you an idea of how much a one-carat diamond weighs, I compared the weight of that diamond to the weight of a small glass marble. If a small marble weighs about .65 ounces; it would take almost 95 carats of diamonds to equal that weight!
The number of carats in a diamond is not the only factor in determining the cost of a diamond. There are other criteria that go into establishing the value of a particular diamond. These factors are known as the “Four Cs”: cut, clarity, color, and carats. I will talk more about the other factors another day.
Karats. Most commercial gold jewelry is made of 12K, 14K, or 18K gold. As you now know, that tells you how much pure gold is in each piece. 12K gold jewelry is one-half pure gold, and one-half other metals, often silver, copper, nickel, or zinc.
The price of pure gold has fluctuated dramatically over the past 45 years. In 1970, an ounce of gold could be purchased for $37.00 (All prices are US dollars.) Between 1975 and 2005, gold prices went from $140.00 per ounce to $500.00 per ounce. By 2013, gold prices had reached a high of $1,800.00 per ounce. Gold prices can change considerably from day to day. On November 22, 2013, gold closed at $1,244.00 per ounce.
Memory Tip. Here is how I remember the difference between carats and karats; maybe it will help you too. “C” stands for 100, and there are 100 points in a carat of diamonds. So “carats” with a “c” reminds me of 100 points in a carat of diamonds.
Can you come up with a clever way to remember the difference? Or do you have any other thoughts, or questions? Please let me know in a comment. I would love to hear from you!
What Is The Luxury Lifestyle, and How Do I Achieve It?
Now, let’s do a little reality check. No matter what you may have heard elsewhere, there is no magic formula to increasing wealth. And relying on luck or chance is not an effective strategy! Your ability to achieve your goals is directly related to how hard, and how smart, you work at achieving your goals. Most people do not ever achieve their goals, usually because they aren’t willing or able to put in the time and effort necessary to do so. And, of course, there are sometimes outside factors, beyond your control, that may prevent you from achieving your goals.
A few people seem to be born with the ability to make money. A few people seem to get lucky. But the rest of us have to learn the skills and develop the traits necessary to achieve great financial success. And after doing that, we need to apply those skills to our efforts, and keep at it even when we feel as though success is eluding us.