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Saturday, February 11, 2012

About Carat Weight

Since I’ve received more than a few questions about Carat Weight, I thought it might help to provide information about the subject.

In general the question asked most often is: How many carats is a 30mm x 22mm (for example) cabochon? I assume that since there are many new people joining the jewelry making scene that is why the question keeps coming up.

The answer is: it depends.

  1. There is density or hardness (Mohs Scale) to consider, because we aren’t talking about diamonds here. A porous stone will weigh less, even though it is the exact same calibrated size.
2.   The thickness of a cabochon has to be considered. Most cabochons or focal beads are in the 5mm to 7mm range.

The two cabochons are exactly the same 30mm x 22mm x 7mm. The orbital agate carat weight is 37.8 cts. And the Mookaite is 36.4cts.

For new jewelry designers here are a couple other items that seem to be confusing.
Cabochons for the most part are not drilled. Cabs are generally flat on the bottom and domed on the top. Cabochons can be double domed, in other words, the edges are rounded. Double domed cabs are great for wire wrapping, not good for bezel settings.

Calibrated sizes are standard sizes such as 30mm x 22mm or 40mm x 30mm. If a cut stone isn’t a standard size it is considered a freeform. 

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