What Size Diamond Should I Buy?

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What Size Diamond Should I Buy?

One of the most important decisions you have to make when choosing your diamond ring is the size of the diamond. For most people, the higher the number of carats, the better! But this also comes with a price tag, as diamonds increase in price exponentially with the increase in carat weight. Interestingly, the statistics show that not everyone wants a large diamond, and the average size chosen is often very specific to the location of the consumer.

diamond carat


The average engagement ring diamond size in the United States is between 0.8 and 1.2 carats, according to a survey done by CreditDonkey. This means that if you choose a diamond around that size, you’ll be pretty much in line with the average engaged person. At the same time, there are a lot of other factors that contribute to how big a diamond looks and feels on a person’s hand.

Bottom line is that the size of the diamond is such a personal choice. If you can meet it - great! If not, don't let the number scare you or make you think you need to spend beyond your means. It's most important that the ring is in line with your budget. Also, don't make the diamond size your absolute top priority, at the expense of beauty. Lastly, remember - the ring is a symbol of love and commitment. There are many ways to show that without spending a fortune - whether it's putting in the effort to plan an unforgettable proposal, or designing the perfect ring unique to her style. These are all more meaningful gestures than simply buying a diamond that matches the national average.


the 4cs of diamond grading

If you’ve begun your diamond buying journey, chances are you’ve heard of the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat. Choosing which of these C’s matters most to you can also greatly impact the size of diamond you choose. For example, if you decide that sparkle is most important to you, then you should probably prioritize clarity and cut over carat and color – the less inclusions and better cut a diamond has, the more sparkle you’ll see reflected in the ring.

The diamond industry has done a fantastic job of educating consumers over the years about the 4Cs, but the carat weight “C” is simplest to understand because it’s the easiest to spot. People equate carat weight with the “size” of a diamond. When they spot a sensational rock on a woman’s hand, they immediately wonder: How many carats is that diamond?

The truth is, you can achieve some of that same impact and dazzle by focusing on other diamond factors, including:

  • CUT

The way a diamond is cut and proportioned affects how the light shines through it. In round diamonds, well-cut diamonds tend to be more expensive, but they also sparkle more, allowing you to compromise on carat weight and still get impact.

  • SHAPE 

Some diamond shapes look bigger than other shapes, even though they’re the same carat weight. So if you’re going for the illusion of size, a fancy-shape diamond such as emerald, pear, oval, or marquise gives you a larger table size, or top surface area. This makes the diamond look larger, regardless of carat weight and is a quick way to get a bigger look for less money.


Diamonds are graded on how white they are: a D grade is the whitest; a Z grade is yellow, brown or gray. Most diamonds sold range between F and J. While a whiter diamond doesn’t necessarily compensate for size, it makes for a more beautiful and impressive diamond. However, differences between color grades are very slight and hard to see with the naked eye, which means you can compromise a little on color and still buy a beautiful diamond.


This “C” measures how many surface blemishes or internal “inclusions,” a diamond has. Very large inclusions can be visible to the eye and potentially block light flowing through the diamond, but some inclusions don’t really affect diamond quality. One way to save money when buying a diamond is to focus on well-cut diamonds of good color that have a lower clarity grade.

Click here to learn more about the 4 C's of a diamond.



diamond hearts

If your loved one wants a ‘big’ diamond, you might be wondering what constitutes big. This differs from person to person, but in general a diamond between 2 to 3 carats is considered large. If you’re going for size and are looking to impress your loved one, a carat size over 2 is sure to tick all the boxes.

However, before you run out and buy the largest diamond you can lay your hands on, consider the size of her hand and what her expectations are. She may have minimalist tastes and may consider a large diamond to be flashy and gaudy.


Of course, there are always a few tricks to make your diamond appear larger than it is.

GO FOR A HALO: Choosing a halo setting can drastically improve the appearance of your diamond, as the surrounding smaller diamonds will create a ring of sparkle that, to the naked eye, achieves the goal of a larger-looking stone.
rose gold diamond halo engagement ring
CREATE CONTRAST WITH COLOR: Adding colored stones to your setting can make your diamond “pop” and draw the eye further towards it.
white gold tanzanite and diamond engagement ring

EMBRACE YELLOW GOLD: Much like adding in colored stones, choosing a yellow gold band can have the effect of making your diamond stand out more, creating the illusion of a bigger stone.
yellow gold single row diamond engagement ring
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHAPE: Shapes like oval, marquise, and emerald elongate the look of your diamond (and your fingers!), making them appear bigger to the naked eye. So choosing one of those shapes is a quick way to get a bigger look for less money.
white gold emerald cut double halo engagement ring
BAND SIZE: The band size affects the look of a diamond’s carat. Selecting a thin band creates a perspective that makes the center stone appear larger. 
white gold solitaire marquise diamond engagement ring

Want a bigger diamond for less money? 


These are real diamonds, only they’re made in a lab. With the exact same appearance as mined diamonds but a much lower price, these make a great alternative...
Of course, diamonds are always going to come with a price tag, but with lab-created diamonds that price tag is much lower. Cost is very important to many newly engaged couples. So couples that are on a budget might opt for a lab-grown diamond because it is a bigger look with better quality for less money. Lab-grown diamonds are often 30-40% less expensive than natural diamonds. That is because the supply chain is much shorter and the process is renewable. Since lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds are indistinguishable, many couples feel there is just no reason to pay more money for a natural, mined stone. Check out our lab-grown diamond guide to learn more.



When hunting for the perfect diamond for your engagement or wedding rings, look no further than Devon's Diamonds & Decor. Visit our jewelry store in Boca Raton and our family of fourth-generation jewelers will help you pick the perfect stone!  

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