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.
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.
Difference in Diamond Sizes
So what is all the buzz around that divine one carat? Diamond size is about preference, investment intentions, and status.
The more a diamond weighs, the rarer its stone is and the higher its cost. Large, flawless diamonds are incredibly rare and valuable. This is why you will often see celebrities rocking insanely large and perfect diamonds. While prices jump significantly at one carat, they go even higher at two carat and beyond.
Of course, 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. A three-quarter carat marquise diamond looks bigger than the same carat weight in a round brilliant diamond. For buyers who want a larger diamond at a lower carat weight, vertically cut shapes 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.
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. Asscher and emerald cuts also play elegantly in a larger carat, as larger stones reveal the intricacies of the step facet cuts.
Can a Diamond be Too Big?
For some buyers, though, 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. There are many who prefer 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 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, 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!