Daily Wire Tip Mar. 1: Determining Carat Weight

By on February 28, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
March 1, 2011


I grind and polish my own stones from rough slab pieces. How do I determine the carat weight of a finished stone?

-Pamela in Plaistow, New Hampshire


Hi Pam, the easiest way to determine the carat or gram weight of a single stone is to use a small Digital Scale. I personally own a small Digital Gemstone Scale and have been using it for about 10 years with no challenges. Most scale choices have modes that will weigh in either carats, grams, ounces and pennyweight (dwt).

Digital Scale

With regards to jewelry: Carat weight is most often used when weighing precious or semi precious gemstones (from diamonds through amethyst and really good lapis for example); Gram mode is the choice for most semi precious gemstone cabochons and rough, as well as the amount of precious metal in an object (such as a finished diamond ring that is made using 5 grams of 18kt gold and labeled for sale as such); Pennyweight can be used for the weight of any metal from gold through ready-made construction nails! (The term “pennyweight” comes to the world from England and has an interesting origin, as I found in this brief article, Pennyweight.)

Here’s another bit of information: when spelling, Karat is used with relation to the purity of metals, and Carat it refers to gemstone weight.

For more scales, please check out these choices on JewelryTools.com! Jewelry Scales

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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