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What Size Carat is Best for a Diamond Engagement Ring?

7th September 2022

by Sushil

Planning on taking your relationship to the next level? When you’re planning the perfect proposal, there’s plenty to think about. You’ll likely be wondering how much you should pay for an engagement ring or even how to choose the perfect engagement ring for your partner.

After researching different types and styles of engagement rings, you’ll learn that the weight of the diamond - the carat - can have a big impact on the price. But, what size carat is best for a diamond engagement ring? We’ll be revealing all in this guide.

Engagement ring

What Does Carat Mean?

The diamond carat refers to the weight of the diamond rather than its physical size. Although the weight can have an impact on the size, the cut of the stone is the biggest contributor to the amount of sparkle you get. For example, two diamonds of a similar carat weight can appear to be different sizes due to the cut. A diamond with the best cut will be perfectly proportionate and the ideal size for its weight whereas a poorly cut diamond may be too deep or too shallow, which will affect the amount of sparkle it gives.

The more carats your diamond has, the more it weighs and the bigger it will look. 1 carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Carats are usually denoted with the letters ‘CT’. For example, a one-carat diamond would be written as 1.00CT and a half-carat diamond would be 0.50CT

Does Diamond Size Matter?

Many will often assume that bigger is better when it comes to diamond size, and you’ll often see celebrities flaunting enormous rocks on their fingers, but it, ultimately, comes down to personal preference.

Most diamond experts will advise that bigger isn’t always better when looking into how many carats for an engagement ring and that it’s equally important to buy a good quality diamond - keeping the four Cs into consideration.

  • Cut - Quality of the diamond’s angles, proportions, symmetrical facets, brilliance, fire and scintillation. The cut of a diamond will directly impact its ability to sparkle and its overall aesthetic appeal.
  • Colour - Diamonds are graded on a scale from D to Z, with D diamonds being the most colourless and Z diamonds having a brown or yellow tint. G and H coloured diamonds are typically the most popular and the best value for money as they are the top grade in the near colourless range.
  • Clarity - This evaluates how clean a diamond looks or how many blemishes and inclusions there are. The gradings for clarity are as follows:
→FL (Flawless)

→IF (Internally Flawless)

→VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1)

→VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2)

→VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)

→VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)

→SI1 (Slightly Included 1)

→SI2 (Slightly Included 2)

→I1 (Inclusions 1)

→I2 (Inclusions 2

  • Carat - Lastly, the carat refers to the weight of the diamond. Typically, a 1-carat diamond weighs around 0.2 grams but depending on how it’s cut, it could look bigger or smaller than other diamonds of the same weight.
Remember, that a smaller diamond that sparkles beautifully is just as impressive as a larger stone.

What is the Best Engagement Ring Carat Size?

In the UK, a 0.6-carat engagement ring is the average carat size with the typical carat for a diamond engagement ring is anywhere from 0.5 carats to 1 carat. The price of a diamond ring somewhere between these sizes can vary dramatically according to the specifications you select.

At the end of the day, the engagement ring your choose is a piece of jewellery that is designed to be worn and cherished forever so should suit your loved-one’s style as well as look and feel as special as possible.

What do Different Diamond Sizes Look Like?

Every diamond is unique, with its shape impacting how big or small it appears, so it’s something to keep in mind when looking for an engagement ring. You’ll find that the different shapes such as a round cut will appear to be a different size to something like a square or oval cut diamond, even when they are of the same carat weight.

How Does Diamond Carat Affect the Price?

Diamond carat is one of the biggest contributors to a diamond’s price. Typically speaking - the bigger the carat, the more expensive the diamond. If you have a limited budget but are looking for the largest diamond possible, you would need to make a sacrifice the quality of the stone. We wouldn't recommend this, however, as the diamond quality is equally as important as size.

If the diamond size is really important to you, we recommend choosing the highest carat for your budget, along with the best cut grade. A good cut will help the diamond sparkle and can mask small amounts of colour or inclusions.

Round Diamonds

Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring on a Budget

When it comes to buying an engagement ring on a budget, remember that a low carat weight does not have to look or feel small. A round or oval-shaped diamond will have a larger diameter than other shapes of the same weight, making it appear bigger. An emerald-cut diamond, which has a large surface area, will also look bigger than its carat weight.

Choosing the right setting can also make a big difference in price. A halo setting, for example, features smaller stones surrounding the main stone. This will not only make the main stone look bigger, but because small diamonds cost less per carat, you’ll get plenty of sparkle at a more affordable price.

Carat Sizes Engagement Ring

Other Factors to Consider for Diamond Carat Sizes

It would be worth researching the different shapes of diamonds, from asscher to princess cut, to get a better understanding of how these shapes look and how some create the illusion of size, even with the same carat weight, with how they are designed. Also, think about the type of setting that would be best. For example, if you do get a diamond with large carat weight, a simple solitaire will ensure that the stone is the focus.

You should also keep in mind the hand shape of the person you’re buying the ring for. Someone with a small hand or short fingers will likely appreciate a smaller, more delicate-looking ring, such as a solitaire or even a 3-stone ring. Whereas, someone with longer fingers may want an emerald-cut diamond ring which will look extremely elegant, or something slightly bigger.

To learn more about diamonds head to our diamond education guide, or contact us with any questions you may have before buying a diamond engagement ring.

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