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May 06, 2019 2 min read 3 Comments

You've likely seen "CTW" on diamond jewelry labels, but not everyone knows what it stands for, and it gets a bit tricky when it applies to earrings. 

The abbreviation CTW stands for "Carat Total Weight" and is the sum of the weights of all diamonds in the piece. Earrings are sold as a pair, and therefore their Carat Total Weight is the combined carat weight of both diamonds. For example, let's look at a pair of 1CTW studs. Each earring would be about a half carat (0.50), equaling one Total Carat Weight. 

lab grown diamond stud earrings

Above is a pair of our lab-grown diamond studs at 1/3 CTW. This means that each earring has a carat weight of between 0.14 - 0.17, with a combined carat total weight of 1/3, or between 0.29ct - 0.34ct. 

Of course, there are other types of earrings as well that include multiple stones, like in cluster earrings or halo earrings. 

You may see halo earrings that say "1 CTW", which means that all of the diamonds, both center and halo, in both of the earrings, add up to 1.00 Carat Total Weight. Below is a good example of 1.00 CTW halo earrings (Rounded Square Double Halo Earrings).

Rounded square lab-grown diamond earrings

Also something to consider is that all of these "total weights" are always an approximate, or a range, as long as the stated Carat Total Weight is within the range accepted by the FTC. As an example, 1 CTW may be within 0.95 - 1.10 carat total weight, and 1/2 CTW may be within 0.45 - 0.59 CTW. 

Hopefully, this little bit of knowledge on carat total weight has been helpful and will guide you to a more educated purchase when pursuing diamond earrings! Click here to see our collection of lab-grown diamond earrings.

3 Responses

Handcrafted Jewellery
Handcrafted Jewellery

April 24, 2024

It’s especially helpful to clarify that for earrings, CTW represents the combined carat weight of both diamonds. This information is valuable for consumers looking to make informed choices. Additionally, the insight that CTW can have a slight range gives buyers a realistic perspective when evaluating diamond earrings. Well-explained and informative – a great guide for those navigating the world of diamond jewelry! https://ertisun.ie/

Soha Diamond Co.
Soha Diamond Co.

February 09, 2021

Hello Pat,

That is a great question. Carat Total Weight applies to all jewelry pieces with diamonds (or gemstones) in it, including necklaces. If you purchased a 1.5 CTW, that means the carat total weight is 1.50, whether it is just one solitary stone, or multiple stones combined. Carat Total Weight represents the total weight of all diamonds or gemstones in a piece. It is not related to another “Four C”, Clarity, which is the certain characteristics (inclusions and/or blemishes) and the visibility of them under 10x magnification.


February 09, 2021

Thanks for thee information. However, I bought a 1.5CTW pendant from Police Auction sight, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
I am still a little confused as to why it’s called Carat Total Weight? Doesn’t this confuse people with carat or clarity?

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