21 May What Size Carat Engagement Ring? 12 Tips Before You Buy
Are you wondering what size carat engagement ring to buy? Then this guide will help you understand diamond sizes in rings, and how they look on your hand.
1. What are carats?
A diamond’s weight is measured in carats.
The more carats, the more your diamond weighs – and the bigger it is.
2. Does diamond size matter?
When it comes to diamonds in engagement rings, many people assume that bigger is better.
This, however, is not always true.
There are other factors that you should also take into account:
3. What do different diamond sizes look like?
Below is a basic visual guide to round cut diamonds in different sizes.
Would you like to see other diamond sizes and shapes? Try our Diamond Size Widget!
4. Diamond shapes and the illusion of size
No two diamond cuts (shapes) carry their size the same way.
For example, a half-carat round cut diamond can seem bigger than a half-carat princess cut stone.
Although they weigh exactly the same, each diamond’s bulk is distributed differently, and this can fool the eye:
5. A small diamond isn’t always cheaper
Size is only one factor when it comes to a diamond’s price.
Its clarity, colour and cut also influence the final price tag.
Therefore, a tiny diamond with excellent clarity can be far more expensive than a large diamond with poor clarity.
6. What is the average diamond size?
The average diamond size that our customers buy is 0.50ct.
A half-carat may not sound large, but in fact, looks quite sizeable on the finger:
A 0.50ct pear shaped diamond solitaire ring
7. Always decide the size last
First, we recommend that you decide the cut (shape) of diamond you’d like.
Next, pick the clarity and colour you’ll be happiest with.
Only then, if you have some budget left, should you invest in size.
8. When you’re on a low budget
A diamond with a low carat weight does not have to look or feel small.
If you have a small budget, buy a round or oval cut diamond.
As we saw in point 4, a round diamond has a larger diameter than other diamond shapes of the same weight, and the eye will perceive it as bigger.
A 3-carat diamond
9. Other ways to boost size
You can make your diamond ring look bigger if you choose the right setting.
For example, a halo setting features several small accent diamonds around the main stone. Since small diamonds cost less per carat than large ones, you’ll get lots of extra sparkle for less money.
Read our article on 7 Ways to Get a Bigger Engagement Ring for Your Money for more tips like this.
10. Lab grown diamonds
It’s worth mentioning lab grown diamonds here too.
Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds, just like mined diamonds. The difference is that they have been created sustainably, by scientists in a high tech environment, mimicking their formation process under the Earth’s crust.
Because there are no mining costs, lab grown diamonds can give you up to 50% more carats for your budget.
A 0.55ct lab grown diamond ring with a 0.25ct centre solitaire
Price £449, or £10.06 per month
11. Buying under popular weights
Another way to save on a ring is to look for diamonds just under popular carat weights, like 0.50ct or 1.00ct.
For example, go for a 0.90ct diamond instead of a full 1.00ct.
You’ll pay less, but the size difference is almost impossible to distinguish.
12. Your hand shape is important too
Finally, you should also consider your hand shape when choosing an engagement ring.
For instance, a large diamond could look out of place on a dainty hand.
To learn more, read our article Find the Best Ring Style for Your Hand Shape.
CONCLUSION – What size carat engagement ring?
The final decision is up to you.
But the rule of thumb is: decide the cut (shape), colour and clarity of the diamond first – then spend whatever budget you have left on size.
This way, you’ll always get the best possible diamond for your money.
All prices correct on 21st May 2020 but could change any time after this date.