When shopping for jewelry that features gemstones, there are a few abbreviations and shorthand descriptions that you will encounter that require some explanation so that you can find exactly what you want and make a smart and informed purchase. One of these commonly used descriptive terms is “tw,” a condensed form of “total weight.” Specifically, total weight is a term that references the combined carat weight of a particular gemstone type featured in any jewelry item. This applies to diamonds and indeed any kind of gemstone that is weighed in carats, i.e. sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, etc.
Larger, higher quality diamonds warrant explanation beyond just their carat weight (think about each of those 4 C’s!) and you will see those particulars in an item’s description. However, total weight becomes important if the item that you are interested in purchasing has more than one stone, particularly if some or all of those stones are on the smaller side. For instance, you may come across a ring that includes many small diamonds along the band in addition to a large central diamond. In this case, a seller will use “tw” to refer to the total carat weight of all diamonds including the big one. A professional and experienced seller will make this clear in their description. You should also be aware that, when it comes to earrings, “tw” will be used to describe the carat weight of both earrings combined so that you understand what you are getting from the pair as a whole.
It is possible that “tw” may appear more than once in a description because it will never refer to multiple types of gemstones at the same time. For example, if a ring has both multiple diamonds and multiple sapphires, you might see a “tw” of diamonds and a “tw” of sapphires, but you will never see “tw” of both cumulatively. Again, this should be made clear in the description.