What Does CTW Stand for in Relation to Diamonds?


CTW stands for Carats Total Weight. A carat is .007054 oz. It seems like a tiny amount, but a 1-carat diamond of fine quality might be valued at $25,000 or more as of August 2009.

Carats vs. Karats

  • Carats refer to the weight of gemstones. Karat refers to the gold content of gold alloys.


  • CTW refers to the weight of all the individual stones in a setting. A setting comprised of many tiny diamonds might have a 1 CTW, but this does not mean there is a 1-carat solitaire diamond in the ring.

Large CTW

  • If a ring has other gemstones in addition to diamonds, the CTW could be 5 carats, but it makes an enormous difference in value if 4.75 of those carats are amethysts (of little value) instead of diamonds. A necklace of low-quality opaque rubies of 500 CTW might appraise for as little as $30.

Significance of Carat Weight

  • Gemstone solitaires are significantly more valuable in larger sizes. As stone sizes increase, the price per carat jumps exponentially, reflecting the rarity of such stones.

Pave Settings

  • A pave setting contains many tiny diamonds that create an intricate design. CTW is a significant measure when purchasing pave set rings.


  • A diamond semi-mount is the perfect setting for an engagement ring. A semi-mount might have a CTW of 1 carat or more of diamonds; add a solitaire diamond weighing 1 carat and you can brag about your ring's 2-carat total weight.

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