What Size Diamond Should You Buy for an Engagement Ring?

Choosing an engagement ring, which is given by a man to his partner when he proposes marriage, is usually the first experience men have about diamonds and therefore, a difficult process for them. When you start looking for the best engagement ring for your loved one, you will find a lot of options that sound unfamiliar to you. One of those options is “diamond size”, which is one of the important features that should be chosen carefully as well as other details about the ring.

Then, what size diamond should you buy for an engagement ring? People think that the bigger a diamond is, the better it is, but that is not the case. The ideal size of a diamond for an engagement ring will vary depending on where you live, but the 1.0-carat center stone is the most desired size for engagement rings. However, more recently, this trend has a little changed, and there is a trend shift from smaller stones to larger stones. Couples now mostly prefer diamond sizes between 1.25 and 1.50 on average.

At the same time, there are some researches about the average diamond size. According to an independent survey that was conducted in major cities of the United States, the results are as follows:

  • Los Angeles: 0.83 carat 
  • Dallas: 1.04 carat 
  • Miami: 1.08 carat
  • Chicago: 1.29 carat
  • New York City: 1.45 carat

What Is the Average Size of Diamond Engagement Rings Around the World?

We can think that all women want a large and flashy diamond to sparkle on their fingers. However, size is not always everything, and the average diamond sizes differ all over the world. For instance, in the United States, the middle size for a diamond ring is 1-carat and it costs roughly $6000. 

However, this is only average and you should know that there are people who can only buy a ring as tiny as 0.25 carat. Also, some persons able to buy a ring over the 2.0-carat.

The figures showing the average carats in countries around the world are as follows:

On average, the buyers in the US choose diamond sizes around the 1.0-carat. However, some segments have started to choose the rings under this carat number and the number of these people is increasing day by day.

Within the US, the average size can vary based on where you are in the country. However, in large cities like New York or Los Angeles, the average diamond size is larger than in a smaller city in the U.S. On the other hand, with the average diamond size being .6 carats, buyers have a little more modest figures in the United Kingdom.

Europeans and the Chinese are similar to each other in that they have a more practical approach to their engagement rings because the average size is being just .5 carats. In China, the tradition of giving a diamond ring to your lover is quite new and is only just beginning to gain popularity. At the same time, if this trend grows, Chinese people may have more desire for larger and more sparkling diamonds.

On average, the buyers in Japan prefer .3 carats diamonds. So, they tend to prefer smaller diamonds, and these size rings being a popular size for their engagement ring. The reason for this is maybe related to ring size. Ring sizes of Asian women between 5 and 6 and are much smaller than the fingers of women living on other continents.

Finally, Australia, unlike other regions around the world, does not prefer a certain size for an engagement ring. The reason for this is that Australians care about quality in the diamond instead of buying a larger diamond and override the size of diamonds. 

Choosing The Best Diamond Size Engagement Ring for Your Partner

Although certain diamond sizes are frequently preferred around the world, you should choose the most suitable size according to your tastes and features. Some people want the biggest diamond because they can afford to buy it, while others prefer smaller diamonds. You might think that choosing an engagement ring is all about price and quality, but there are other factors if you want to choose the best diamond.

Just like that, choosing a diamond size may sound like a simple price matter. However, it is not just about the price, or 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, carat), it is more than them. So, before you buy your engagement ring, there are some steps you should follow regarding your partner’s tastes, life, and your budget.

Step 1: Determining the Best Diamond Size For Your Partner

One of the most questioned issues is the best carat sizes of an engagement ring, or whether a diamond is too tiny or too large for a certain type of hands. So, the size of the stone is one of the most important considerations if you want to buy the best engagement ring for your partner.

Depending on where you are, the average engagement ring size can vary. For engagement rings, the 1-carat diamond ring is standard and the popular choice, and it is called “magic mark” because the weight is so iconic. The reason for this is that the 1 carat round brilliant cut diamond is quite suitable for every ring style and finger size.

1-carat Princess Cut Engagement Ring

Also, diamonds that are a bit larger and a bit smaller than the 1-carat weight size, are quite popular as well. So, the 1.5-carat diamond ring is a popular choice in recent times. Some women care more about quality than the size. However, other women focus only on the size of the diamond, leaving aside all other features like clarity, color, and cut, and think that the larger the stone, the more magnificent they will look.

If your partner is someone who cares more about the size of the diamond than the quality of the stone, we recommend you more than 1 carat. You can choose a 2-carat, 2.5-carat, or even a 3-carat engagement ring. However, the finger size of your partner is determinant to choose a diamond size. If her ring finger is smaller than a 6.5 ring size, you should buy a 1.0 carat or under 1.50 carats diamond. However, if her ring finger is larger than a 6.5 ring size, you can choose a larger diamond like a 1.50-2.0 carat without hesitation.

2-carat Round Cut Engagement Ring

Step 2: Consider The Lifestyle and Physical Characteristics Your Partner

How is the lifestyle of your partner? For instance, she can be a woman who works with their hands like a chef or a teacher. Also, she can activities like gym and gardening. In such a situation, you should choose an engagement ring that has a smaller center stone.

Also, if your partner wears any other jewelry, you should choose a larger stone engagement ring to come into prominence among other jewelry, and suit them. However, she does not wear other jewelry, it is better to consider her general appearance and match this ring with her style.

As well as her lifestyle, the size of your partner’s fingers and hands is another factor when you pick a diamond size. If your partner’s hand is smaller, a smaller diamond will be good for her. Similarly, if she has a little bigger hand, a small diamond size will appear smaller than it is.

Step 3: Do not Forget Your Budget

The process of determining the best diamond size starts with how much you are prepared to spend. So, if your budget is pre-determined, it is easy to find a diamond size suitable for your budget. 

As large diamonds are rarer, they are more high-priced than smaller diamonds even though both of them have the same color and clarity. As the size of the diamond, the carat, increases, the ring’s price increases as much. For instance, the cost of a 2.0-carat diamond will be undoubtedly higher than the two 1.0ct stones, even though they have the same features.

However, a large diamond size does not always make you look more stylish. So, it does not mean it will make you look better than smaller diamond sizes. 1 carat is both an ideal and elegant choice for people from all segments, as well as they, are a relatively affordable choice for engagement rings.

Nothing more expensive will make you look more stylish. There are also engagement rings that look minimal, stylish, and reasonably priced. Therefore, if your budget is not suitable for a 1-carat diamond size rather than over 1-carat diamond, keep in mind that the smaller size diamonds also look quite elegant.

There is a smart tactic to get the best value called “buy shy”. To explain, prices od diamond at the half and one-carat distinctly increase. Applying the tactic of “buying shy” helps to buy a diamond just below these carat weights and more affordable than it is. So, you should buy diamonds between 0.90 and 0.98 carats, instead of buying a 1.0ct diamond. If you try this tactic, people definitely will not aware of this difference and you will get the same look cheaper.

Step 4: Get to Know Your Partner Very Well

Although the question of the best diamond size is simple, the answer is mostly a question based on personal tastes. In other words, although all the steps are quite important, the most important step to consider your partner’s expectations and aware of what your partner likes about an engagement ring.

You can determine the best ring for your partner based on the clues. Especially, if you are in a long-standing and marital relationship, you probably know her very well. This way, you can know whether she cares about size or non-size features in a ring, and know which diamond size will make her more satisfied.

After all, your partner likes and thoughts matter more than all options and ideas. When you know these details, you will have less trouble choosing an engagement ring. The reason for this is that they can help you determine which carat weight stone will appear better and will suit the ring better.

Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Purchase

Some ways make your decision-making process easier about the diamond size. Whatever size you choose, there are some ways to make the most out of your purchase:

You Should Focus on Factors Like Cut and Diameter

Two diamonds weighing the same carat can have a quite different look because one appears larger. The factors that lead to this different appearance may be the depth or even the shape of the diamond.

There is a kind of diamond called “spread diamond” and also known “shallow cut diamond”. Spread diamond shallows on the purpose of exhibiting a larger area. So, it looks larger and less brilliant although deeper cut diamond has more light.

When people, first looked at the diamonds, they pay attention to the diameters of diamonds and measure them with their eyes. One of the factors is the shape of diamonds because some shapes make the diamonds look larger. For instance, the round cut, which is the most common cut shape, looks bigger than the princess cut shape despite they have the same carat weight. The reason for this is the deeper of a round cut.

The underlying reason is that the millimeter width corresponding to 1 carat differs for each cut. While 1-carat round cut and heart cut diamond corresponds to 6.5 millimeters, 1-carat princess, cushion, and Asscher cut diamond corresponds to 5.5 millimeters. Thus, when you want to buy a 1-carat engagement ring online, you should use the diamond size chart that will give information about the millimetric size of your ring depending on the cut shape.

You Should Drop Standard Sizes

As people see 1.0-carat diamonds as a sign of social status, they generally choose them. However, there is no difference in terms of appearance, the difference in price between 1.0 carat and .98 carat stone can reach $2000. So, if you find this financial alternative, you should choose a diamond under the $2000. 

0.98-carat Emerald Cut Engagement Ring

Therefore, the price of two .50 carat diamonds is not equal to the price of a 1.0-carat diamond, which also is more expensive, and when we think about that, we see that the higher the carat weight, the more diamond prices will increase exponentially.

1.0-carat diamonds are much sought after. So, this demand marks up their price. However, if your budget is suitable to pay it and if you’re in the glory of the 1.0-carat standard diamond, then, definitely you can buy it.

How Can You Compare Different Sizes of Diamonds Online?

When you look and compare a diamond from the top, some shapes of the same carat weight may look smaller or larger. For this reason, carat weight alone is not a sufficient criterion for choosing a ring and it is important to compare the diamond sizes before purchasing the engagement rings.

If you buy an engagement ring in a jeweler’s store, you have the advantage of wear it on your finger. Therefore, you can see how it looks on her finger and whether it fits the proportion of your hand and fingers. If you want to shop online, however, this can be a little tricky.

However, this makes it difficult to buy engagement rings online. It is difficult to know the size of a 1-carat diamond and the size of a .50 carat diamond unless we can see it with our own eyes. Also, it is hard to tell the difference in size between them. Most people are generally surprised at how big a diamond carat is when they see it with the naked eye.  

If the feature called size can differ depending on so many variables, how can we predict the diamond size without seeing them with the naked eyes? You want to buy it online, but are you worried about not being able to choose the right diamond size as it varies according to the cutting shapes?

Diamond Size Calculator

There is an easy way to view the diamond size for those who want to buy the engagement ring online and you do need to worry about it. There are diamond size calculators that show is the size of the diamond of engagement ring on a finger. Also, you can find different hand models with the ring that will guide you when you choose an engagement ring. This way, you have an idea of what the diamond will look like on your finger and choose the right diamond size.

How Is Diamond Size Measured?

Diamond dimensions are measured in terms of millimeters and weight of diamonds. These two measurement elements together signalize the size of the diamond. Therefore, contrary to the common belief, carat does not refer to the size or the value of the diamond alone. So, the weight alone can not be a real sign of size.

A depth diamond that has a small table can weight more than a less depth diamond that has a bigger table. However, it will look smaller, even so, when you look it from above when setting in a ring. Just like that, a 0.75-carat oval shape diamond may look bigger up to 1.5 times than a princess cut diamond because of the different shapes although they weigh the equal.

Maximizing Diamond Size

Some people care about diamond size while others care about other factors. If you are one of the people who care about size and interested in getting the largest diamond for your budget, whether in terms of dimensions or weight, you can interchange in other elements of the diamond that is suitable for your budget.

However, there are some issues about the quality of diamonds that you need to sacrifice. If you want to buy a ring both larger and cheaper, you need to place aside the color, clarity, or cut quality of your diamond, known as the 4Cs along with carat. So, you can have a higher carat ring by spending a lower price.

This can be a reasonable choice because most people can not notice some inclusions like faults in the clarity of the diamond or color defects with the naked eye. These kinds of deficiencies are only noticed by a diamond expert. So, if you are keen on quite large size diamonds and you have a shoe-string budget, you can consider minimizing your expectations about the quality.

Which Diamond Size Is Big?

If you want to buy a “big” diamond, you may wonder what makes a diamond big. Although the characterization of a diamond as big differs for each person, certain diamond sizes are generally accepted and guide a diamond to be considered large.

3.2-carat Cushion Cut Engagement Ring

A diamond between 2 to 3 carats is considered large. If you are looking for a large diamond engagement ring, this size and above diamonds are right for you. If you have a partner who likes big diamonds, rings over 2 carats will be enough to impress her.

What Are Pointers?

Pointers are a trade and wholesaler term that you can hear. This term corresponds to certain millimeter sizes and carat weights. For instance, a one-pointer refers to a 0.01-carat diamond and a two-pointer refers to a 0.2 carat stone.

Wholesalers typically use these terms when they aim to describe smaller accent diamonds of diamond engagement rings or jewelry. Diamonds are typical. However, if you want to find the best possible option, you should make sure you have enough information on average millimeter sizes of different diamond carat weights.

Does Size Matter?

Size is an important consideration when you decide to buy an engagement ring. However, that is not also the only feature of diamonds. In addition to size, other major factors influence the choice of an engagement ring. These factors are cut, color, clarity, and carat, and all of them are influential in determining the cost of a diamond.

Diamond cut is a feature that determines how shiny the stone will be. Ideal cut hide deficiencies of the diamond and enable it intensely sparkle. Frankly, the cut is the more crucial feature than carat weight.

For instance, a diamond that is 0.9 weight carat, although it also less cost, will look more quality than a poorly cut diamond with higher carat weight. Also, the surface area of both of them will be equal.

Across the world, Australians go beyond the size before they choose an engagement ring by considering the different factors of 4Cs and seem to care more about quality than size.

The Color, Clarity, and the Cut for Engagement Rings

Certain features often take precedence over diamond size in choosing of engagement ring. After that, you should spend whatever budget you have left on size. This way, you will always get the best possible diamond. The features, that you should choose before choosing the diamond size, are color, clarity, and cut. 

The color

When it comes to white diamonds, color refers to how white the diamond is. Color grades of diamonds range D to Z alphabetically and D is the most white grade.

J, K, and L have a little tinted tone, so it is quite yellow. These tones much more suit to rose gold or yellow gold engagement metal types because they have the warmth of the metal. Thus, this tinted tone of the diamond becomes a little unnoticeable. 

“D, E, and F grades are the top bracket of color and so, they are the whitest. There is a little difference among them and to notice these differences, you need a white background that allows to you notice those tone diversities. Of course, the other distinguishing feature is the price difference between the grades.

G and H grades are similar to each other. G has the average quality that high-end jewelers offer. Finally, I color is the average grade that high-street jewelers offered.

A grade of H or above looks white and nice. The choice of grade depends on the individual and is related to whether you want to pay a little bit more, or have the best and buy a D grade.

The clarity

Diamond clarity refers to the impureness and perfections both in and outside of the natural stone and the high-level clarity is being flawless means that there is no imperfection inside of the stone.

There are eleven clarity grades in evaluating of diamond clarity. 0 means that the diamond is flawless, and 10 means that the diamond has the lowest clarity grade. When you go down the scale, you have VVS1 and VVS2. Those grades mean that very very slightly included, that is tiny imperfections.

After that, VS1 and VS2 are very slightly included mean that diamond is fine with the naked eye and, there is a need ten times magnification to see imperfections.

Then, SI1 (slightly included) grade comes in the scale, and only there are no visible inclusions of 50 percent of the diamonds, while 50 percent there are. Grade of SI2 is not generally recommended because only three percent have nothing wrong with them. Also, these types are bought on the high street as affordable rings. You choose a diamond from VS1/VS2 or above for the best engagement ring.

The cut

The cut does not mean the same as the shape. It is the light reflection within the stone. Everybody wants a cut that light scatters from the very inside of the diamond to the farthest and gives the diamond sparkle. There are cut grades like excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor. 

Excellent and very good grades similar to each other in that they have the same light direction. An excellent diamond has a slightly greater depth due to having more rooms for light to pass through. For the most brilliant engagement ring, all you need is only excellent or very good cuts. Otherwise, it will not sparkle.

How Much Should You Spend for an Engagement Ring Depending on the Diamond Size?

There is no absolute carat weight that is accepted “average by everybody for a diamond engagement ring. Just like that, there is no exact price guiding you how much you should spend on a diamond engagement ring. However, some surveys show that engagement ring consumers tend to spend an average amount from $5,000 to $7,000.

However, this is not to say that you have to spend $5,00 for an engagement ring. The main reason for the increase in the average amount is wealthy people who can buy rings at very high prices. These people increase the average amount spent on an engagement ring by choosing rings with a price of at least $20,000 and more.

According to a survey that is conducted in the USA and 2014, couples stated that they spent an average of $5,598 on engagement rings. However, in 2011, this budget average was $5,095. These results are the sign that people spend more on engagement rings. As you can see, people accept that more of their budget will be reduced to get a good engagement ring.

Although the average number that is spent on an engagement ring is a good guide to know how much you spend, you should also consider the conditions of the period. Similar to the average carat weight, the average mount can vary depending on variables like age, location, and average revenue.

While the average amount sometimes can be useful, we recommend that you do not regard the directives of budgeting for a diamond, such as allocating a certain amount of money from your budget for an engagement ring, which you read in magazines or see in advertisements. This is because most of the time these directives are created by marketers and jewelry brands and have a commercial purpose. You are the one who will know how much you can budget for the diamond size of the engagement ring as you want.

Of course, it is best to choose a diamond for your budget, rather than aiming for a larger than average diamond. Therefore, this requires involving many factors like checking your financial standing and focusing on the real needs of your partner. After these considerations, you can calculate how much you can afford to buy. It is also best to ignore any “rules” of budgeting for a diamond that you read in magazines or see in advertisements, such as setting aside a certain number of months worth of your salary for an engagement ring. Most of the time, these “rules” are created by marketers and jewelry brands.

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Savaş Ateş

My wife has a huge interest in diamonds. After she asked me a lot of questions about it, I found myself in diamonds. I made a lot of research on it. I read books. I visited manufacturers. I visited the stores. I have made good friends in that field. I want to share my experiences with you.

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