What Diamond Engagement Ring Carat is Best?
15th December 2022
by Tara W.
Planning on taking your relationship to the next level? Then it may be time to consider an engagement ring. 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 diamond carat weight 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.
What Does Carat Mean?
The diamond carat refers to the weight of the diamond rather than its actual size. Of course, a diamond’s weight does impact the size and how it appears to the observer. What’s interesting, is that two diamonds of a similar carat weight can look different sized. For example, a diamond with an Ideal cut will be perfectly proportionate and the ideal size for its weight. A diamond cut poorly may be too deep or too shallow, which will affect the amount of sparkle it gives.
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. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. However, most diamond experts will advise that bigger isn’t always better for diamonds in engagement rings. 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:
→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 diamond.
How Many Carats Should An Engagement Ring Be?
In the UK, a 0.6-carat engagement ring seems to be the average carat size. In the end, an engagement ring is a piece of jewellery designed to be worn and cherished forever, so it must 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. For example, a round cut diamond and oval cut diamond of the same carat weight will look different as the weight is distributed differently depending on the shape.
How Does Diamond Carat Affect the Price?
Diamond carat massively impacts its price. Typically speaking - the bigger the carat, the more expensive the diamond. If you have a limited budget but looking for the largest diamond possible, you would need to sacrifice diamond quality. We wouldn't recommend this, however, as the diamond quality is equally as important as size.
If the diamond size is really that 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.
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.
Average Carat for a Diamond Engagement Ring
As we mentioned before, the average carat size for an engagement ring in the UK is around 0.6ct. Typically the average 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.
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.