How Many Carats is the Average Engagement Ring?
When selecting an engagement ring design, most buyers focus on the center stone. You may be asking yourself, “How many carats is the average engagement ring?” If you were to think that one-carat is the most popular weight…you’d be wrong. Most buyers select just below a carat for their centerpiece stone, and the most popular carat size is actually three-quarters of a carat or 0.75 carat.
Diamond prices jump at one carat, which is why many buyers select just below that one-carat mark. The difference in price between a diamond just shy of a carat and a perfect one-carat weight can be quite substantial.
Diamond Size Chart
While price tags jump significantly at one carat, the size difference between a three-quarter carat and a full carat is negligible. A one-carat weight doesn’t mean the diamond will have a substantially larger diameter. The dimensions and measurements of a three-quarter carat diamond and a full carat diamond are fractions of a millimeter apart and not exactly a size difference that the eye can easily recognize. It’s safe to say that no one will ever be able to spot the difference between a one-carat diamond and a three-quarter carat diamond without a professional’s help. Because there is a significant difference in price, but not in appearance, many people choose the smaller diamond to stay within their budgets. To see the full measurement comparison on carat weights, check out the TIJ diamond size chart.
Difference in Diamond Sizes
If the three-quarter carat diamond is the most popular size, what is all the buzz around that divine one carat? Diamond size is about preference, investment intentions, and status.
Larger diamonds are much harder to find and mine than smaller diamonds. Basically, the more a diamond weighs, the rarer its stone is and the higher its cost. Large, flawless diamonds with a high color grade are incredibly rare and valuable. This is why you will often see celebrities rocking insanely large and perfect diamonds that seem to sparkle and shine from miles away. While prices jump significantly at one carat, they go even higher at two carat and beyond.
But, the size of the diamond is not the only factor that can affect its value. In fact, a high-grade three-quarter carat diamond may be a far better investment than a poor-grade one-carat diamond. While a price goes up with weight, it also falls with a poor cut, low clarity, and a yellow color hue (with the exception of Fancy Yellow grades).
Difference in Diamond Shapes and Cuts
The shape of the diamond also affects how a carat weight translates to size. For example, a three-quarter carat marquise diamond looks bigger than a three-quarter carat round brilliant diamond. This is because the marquise diamond is cut with a larger table, which means a larger percentage of the diamond is visible when the ring is worn. For buyers who want a larger diamond at a lower carat weight, vertically cut shapes with large tables like the marquise, pear, and oval are the best choices.
However, heftier diamond weights also create prominent visual appeal. For a buyer who can splurge on a massive carat weight (especially two carat and above), they will notice that the details and beauty of certain diamond cuts are often more visible to the naked eye than others.
For example, the Ashoka diamond cut may only be performed on larger diamonds, and the cut itself is so exquisite that it takes a more substantial carat weight to highlight the details of the design. The beauty of this cut would be lost on a smaller sized diamond.
A heart shaped diamond ring also looks more impressive when it’s larger because a larger shape highlights its arches to fully display the heart shape. If the diamond is too small, it may be hard to make out its heart shape from a short distance. Asscher and emerald cuts also play elegantly in a larger carat, as larger stones reveal the intricacies of the step facet cuts.
However, it’s important to note that imperfections and the coloring may also be more visible in larger-sized diamonds. As a result, it is best to pay close attention to the color and clarity grades when shopping for a large diamond.
Can a Diamond be Too Big?
Three-quarter carat diamonds are the most popular size, but that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone. For some buyers, a three-quarter carat diamond may be too big. Small hands make a smaller carat seem larger, and a thinner finger might feel overwhelmed by even a half-carat. Some people with long and lean fingers may even find that the weight of a larger diamond makes wearing their ring uncomfortable. Women who are constantly active or frequently work with their hands may find that a smaller diamond is a better fit for their lifestyle. Furthermore, there are many women who simply prefer the look of daintier rings that feature smaller carat diamonds.
Many vintage engagement rings often feature smaller central diamonds or clusters of diminutive diamonds. Every individual has a unique style and carat weight that reflects their individual look and preference.
While three-quarter carat diamonds are the most popular, all carat weights are stunning and offer their own unique appeal. Small diamonds can be clustered to give the illusion of a single larger diamond or a tiny diamond can sit alone for a delicate and feminine engagement ring look. Large carat weights hold their own appeal and display the intricacies of their cuts.
When a buyer is debating between a full carat diamond and a diamond that weighs just below one carat, the reality is that the size difference between those diamonds is mere fractions of a millimeter. For buyers on a budget, there’s no need to shell out more money for a one-carat diamond. Instead, scale back the carat weight and focus on high color, cut, and clarity grades. However, if money's no object, go big and select a sensational shape that is enhanced by the diamond’s larger size! The best way to choose the right ring is to forget about the size and focus entirely on what your significant other would want instead!