What Does the Total Weight (TW) of a Diamond Mean?

The weight of a diamond is one of the most important diamond factors. In fact, it is of such importance that it is one of the main attributes looked at when assessing a diamond. The 4Cs, the most important characteristics of a diamond, include color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

Fancy Yellow, Radiant Pave Cross-Over Diamond Dress Ring (3.92Ct TW)

Fancy Yellow, Radiant Pave Cross-Over Diamond Dress Ring (3.92Ct TW)

A diamond’s size is largely determined by its weight, although it isn’t actually the same thing. Two stones can be identical in weight but differ greatly in terms of appearance, depending on where the majority of the weight is. Some stones have the majority of weight in the top of the stone and therefore show a larger table, while others are cut with more depth and have more weight but a smaller table. Nevertheless, the weight of a diamond is incredibly important.

Having said that, there is a distinction between the carat weight or diamond weight of a diamond (CW or DW for short) and the total weight of a diamond. This term, which can also appear as TW, CTW (carat total weight), and DTW (diamond total weight) refers to the collective weight of all the stones in a package or on a piece of jewelry.

3-carat fancy grayish blue cushion and a 2-carat fancy grayish blue emerald diamond

Two stones that look relatively similar in size, although the cushion cut is 3-carats and the emerald cut is only 2-carats

 

The Importance of Differentiating Between CW and TW

While it may seem like common sense, understanding the difference between carat weight and total weight is of utmost importance when pricing the goods. A diamond ring marked 2 carats TW is not actually a ring with a 2-carat stone, but rather, one with several diamonds that make up 2 carats in total. On the flip side, a diamond ring labeled as 2 carats CW is actually a ring with a 2-carat diamond. Since diamonds increase significantly the higher the carat size, it is imperative to distinguish between many stones totaling a number as high as 5 carats, and one stone that weighs 5 carats.

Fancy Color Collage Designer Diamond Ring (4.53Ct TW)

A Fancy Color Collage Designer Diamond Ring with 4.53Ct TW - Meaning, all the stones together equal 4.53 carats

 

It’s All About the Center Stone

There are many types of ring settings for diamonds, but the main ones are solitaire, halo, side stones, and three-stones. The former option is relevant here because discovering the weight of the diamond will be less complicated when it is the only stone on the ring. Halo and side stone settings generally consist of one large diamond and either several or two smaller stones. When considering such ring settings, ask about the center stone because that is what matters the most. The bulk of the cost will be due to this diamond and you want to ensure that it is in fact worth its cost and not marked up because of the final ring product. Lastly, in a three-stone-ring where each stone is of significant size, inquire about the size and dimensions of each stone so that you are fully aware of the CW of each stone as well as the TW.

Fancy Intense Purplish Pink Pear Halo Diamond Ring

Fancy Intense Purplish Pink Pear Halo Diamond Ring

 

Weight Is Not Everything

As mentioned earlier, the carat weight of a diamond is just one of the four main factors of a diamond to consider before buying a stone. That is why, even though the center stone of a multi-stoned ring is the most important one to find out about, the other stones matter as well. You don’t just want to find out about their weight and how much they contribute to the total weight of the ring. You also will want to know about the overall quality, which of course includes the clarity, cut, and color. These diamonds are often of lesser quality, and when they are thrown in with other diamonds, especially an impressive center stone, it is important to determine whether they can truly account for the remaining cost of the ring.

Sometimes, regardless of the carat weight of the center stone, some are after only the best of the best and search specifically for flawless diamonds. It is always important to consider who you are buying the piece and from there determine how appropriate the item might be.

There is so much to know about diamonds, but the main things consumers should be aware of are the terms used by jewelry and diamonds sellers so that they can make educated decisions when purchasing diamonds. A packaged item is not always what it seems and there can be lots hiding in the small print, and not such small print of diamond descriptions. Understanding every single detail of a diamond will help ensure that you are not being scammed and that you have actually bought what you think you have purchased.

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