When it comes to diamonds, many people would argue that the rule is “the bigger, the better”. On the other hand, there is a select minority on the opposite end of the spectrum who believes that less is more.
But, what about an objective stance on this topic? Is there a scientific or expert opinion on the optimal carat size for a diamond ring? And what goes into that forming that opinion?
All of these things can seem a bit confusing, especially when it comes to something that is essentially subjective and differs from person to person.
However, if you are looking for some information that will help you make an informed decision about buying a ring, these bits of data can be pretty helpful.
Well, that’s why we’re here to help you out with that and share some valuable information about diamond carat size and how it affects the appearance of your ring, as well as some practical aspects of wearing one.
So, buckle up, and let’s get right into it!
Diamonds And Carats – How Do They Connect?
We’re all familiar with karats when it comes to gold, and we know that in that context, karats define the purity of gold, with 24k gold being completely pure.
However, when it comes to diamonds, they mean something completely different.
While diamonds can be more or less pure, in terms of inclusions, carats don’t define how perfect a diamond is or how many inclusions it has, but rather its weight.
For reference, a one-carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams, which is 0.2 grams. Tiny, we know. But, the price is anything but tiny.
It’s no secret that diamonds are expensive little things and that particularly comes out when we look at the price point for a diamond as small as a one-carat one.
Depending mostly on the Four C’s, diamonds this size can range anywhere from $1,800 and $12,000.
Aside from the Four C’s, a significant factor in determining the price is the shape. Some diamond shapes, such as round diamonds, are more expensive, and the price point for a one-carat round diamond is between $6,800 and $8,500.
For reference, most engagement rings are adorned by 1.5-carat diamonds, which equals about 6.4mm in diameter.
You may be surprised by that since we’re all used to seeing those gigantic engagement rings worn by celebrities, but in reality, most people opt for much more subtle rings.
About The Four C’s
We won’t overwhelm you too much with this subject matter, but it is important that you grasp the basics of what goes into deciding a diamond’s price before actually purchasing one yourself.
As we’ve mentioned previously, carat size is one of the 4 C’s that affect a diamond’s market value. But what do those infamous C’s stand for?
You already know that one is carat size, and the rest are cut, color, and clarity. These characteristics are checked and estimated by jewelers, who then put the price on each diamond before putting them on display in jewelry store windows.
If we’re talking white diamonds (the colorless ones), the less yellow, the better.
Essentially, inclusions give diamonds different colors, from yellow to pink, blue, and so on. Colored diamonds are rare and they can go pretty high in price, but when it comes to white diamonds that have a yellow tint, it’s completely the opposite.
These diamonds are low-value, and most jewelers won’t even sell them. A diamond’s color is rated on a scale from D to Z, with D being completely colorless and Z yellow.
The way a diamond is cut can affect many things and can often be a make or break point. If it’s cut by an expert, a diamond can gain so much brilliance and radiance, but if it’s done improperly, it can easily be ruined.
It’s important that you differentiate between diamond shape and cut, as they are two different things.
The reason it’s crucial for a diamond to be cut properly is that, in order to bring the best out of a diamond, it needs to be cut in a flattering way.
Diamonds come from nature (unless we’re talking lab diamonds), which means that all of them have their own quirks and special characteristics. All of those need to be taken into consideration during the cutting process.
This one has to do with the inclusions that we’ve mentioned before. Diamonds are created in nature, which means that they can easily come into contact with other chemicals, which can, in turn, affect both the color and the clarity.
You already know about the color aspect, so here’s the part about clarity.
A diamond can be completely colorless but still be affected by inclusions. This is because inclusions also appear as little blemishes and imperfections within the diamond. They are usually imperceptible to the naked eye, but not to a diamond grader.
Diamond graders use special equipment, such as magnifying glasses which allow them to see all the little intricacies and quirks of a diamond. Based on them, they then grade them on a scale from flawless (FL) to included (I1, I2, I3).
Best Diamond Carat For Rings
Now that you know about the four C’s of diamonds and how carats fit into that, we can get to the main reason you’re here: the best carat weight for a diamond ring.
As we’ve established, this mostly comes down to personal preference – some people prefer subtle, dainty jewelry, while others like it to be more eye-catching.
But, it’s important to note that going below a certain carat size can be as big (or even bigger) a mistake as getting one that’s too large.
Related Read: Why Are American Engagement Rings So Big?
Factors To Consider
When it comes to choosing the perfect diamond for your ring, you have to take a few different factors into consideration:
- Budget – before going diamond hunting, sit down and figure out how much you’re willing to spend on a diamond for your ring, as well as how flexible your budget is. A thousand dollars can make a big difference when it comes to fewer-carat diamonds, so budget wisely.
- Size – It’s easy to be star-struck when you see an imposing rock on a celeb’s finger, but it’s not guaranteed that a diamond as big as that will fit your style or even your hand. Choose according to your own preferences and appearance.
- Proportionality – You’re not just choosing a diamond, you’re also choosing your ring. Depending on whether the ring has additional stones or detail, you might want a bigger or smaller diamond at the top of it.
- Compromise – Think about how much it matters to you that your diamond is flawless and colorless. If you are willing to compromise on those two aspects, you can get away with paying a much lower price for a larger diamond.
If you want to get the most value for your money and don’t really feel like splurging on a diamond ring, a diamond between 0.7 and 0.9 carats is a great option.
The reason is that they don’t fall far below the one-carat mark, especially the 0.9 one, but are significantly less costly. This is because once a diamond hits the one-carat mark, its price increases significantly.
A great way to maneuver around that is to get a 0.9-carat diamond, as it will be nearly impossible for anyone to tell that it’s smaller, but your wallet will be spared by a few hundred dollars.
Now, we do have to warn you that, because this information has been reaching more and more people lately, diamonds this size have increased slightly in price, so expect to pay anywhere between $3,000 and $4,000 for a diamond ring this size.
When it comes to 0.7-carat diamonds, they go for around $2,000 on average.
As we’ve mentioned, this is the most popular diamond size, which means that the price is also higher. If you want a well-rated diamond ring, don’t expect it to go below $4,500.
The shape also affects the price significantly at the one-carat mark, so you might want to stay away from round diamonds if you’re trying to save a few bucks.
Also, if you don’t care too much about your diamond being colorless and perfectly clear, you can probably find a one-carat ring for $3,000.
When it comes to appearance, diamonds this size are very proportionate and are neither too small nor too big, which is another reason why people are so quick to pick them.
Learn More: 1-Carat Diamond: How Big Is A 1ct Diamond?
1.25 And Above
When you surpass the one-carat mark, diamonds start getting noticeably bigger.
1.25-carat diamonds are right on the edge of being large, but they can still pass as subtle. They average $6,500 for well-rated diamonds, but you can also get them for cheaper (around £4,000) if you are willing to compromise on color and clarity.
If we’re talking 1.50-carat diamonds, they are significantly larger and much more noticeable, and that comes with a hefty price tag: expect well-cut, near-colorless 1.50-carat diamonds at $9,000.
Once again, if you’re not too hung up on flawlessness, you can find some diamonds of this size for as low as $5,500.
For those looking to make a statement, diamonds of this weight will definitely do the job. In diameter, they are about 8mm (nearly 1cm), which makes this stunner almost impossible not to notice.
But, just know that to a diamond this large is attached an even larger price tag – at least $16,000 (or $9,000/$10,000 if you compromise on color)
Related Read: 2-Carat Diamond: Is A 2ct Diamond Big?
If you are set on a big rock adorning your finger, then you might have to get a 3.00ct diamond ring. It will ensure that all eyes are on your hand, wherever you go.
However, you have to be aware of the price tag that comes with it (it’s not for the faint of heart): Without a budget of at least $35,000, you won’t be able to get a flawless diamond ring, but if you don’t mind some yellow hues and inclusions, you can get one at a significantly lower price point – $23,000.
And now, we’re taking out the big guns. For a breathtaking, show-stopping, celebrity-sized ring, you’ll want a 5+ carat diamond ring, for sure. These babies are impressive both in size and price.
But, beware of the fact that well-performing diamonds of this size are extremely rare, so do your research beforehand.
To have one of these rocks in your jewelry box or on your finger, you’ll need to set aside a whopping $60,000 at the least and about $100,000 at most.
Related Read: 5-Carat (5ct) Diamond: Everything You Need to Know
Well, there you have it. You now know what you should consider when deciding what carat diamond you’ll be getting on your ring.
We’ve covered the meaning behind the four C’s, how diamond carats differ from karats in gold, what questions you should factor in when opting for a diamond, as well as the size and cost of diamonds depending on their carat size.
At the end of the day, it comes down to what you like and how much you’re willing to spend on a diamond ring. Don’t get too caught up in what other people will think or like, but rather get what you or the person you’re buying it for like.
So, you can go ahead and jump into your exciting diamond shopping adventure and get a diamond ring that you or your loved one can be proud to show off.