How Many Carats Should An Engagement Ring Be? - JewelersConnect

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How Many Carats Should An Engagement Ring Be?

By Ryan on Aug 30, 2021
How Many Carats Should An Engagement Ring

A diamond is examined based on its clarity, color, cut, and, of course, carat. These four categories are of equal importance as they determine the overall quality and cost of the diamond.

However, it is imperative to focus on the carat weight when choosing your engagement rings.

In the U.S, the popular carat size for engagement rings is between 1.08 to 1.2 carats. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has an average carat size of around 1 carat.

Most engagement rings have 1-carat diamonds. It suits all hand sizes. For small fingers, carat sizes below 1.5 work, while larger sizes above 2.0 suit large fingers. The stone setting and cut quality also determine the diamond’s appearance. But the carats you choose also depend on your budget and taste. The higher the size, the more expensive the diamond gets.

Studies show that across the world, the average carat size is even lower. However, for countries like the U.S that have a significant diamond culture, the number is very high.

A ‘good’ carat size depends on location, age, and many other factors. So, following trends can be misleading and costly.

It’s best to make an informed decision based on your income capacity, style, and personal preference when selecting an engagement ring.

Check out the list below to learn more about the different carat sizes so you can make a suitable purchase.

0.5 – 0.9 Carats

In recent times, carat sizes below the 1-carat margin have become a popular choice. This is because most millennials are willing to spend less on engagement rings than the older generation.

For petite-sized hands, a carat size between 0.5 and 0.9 is a good choice. A 0.5 carats round diamond with excellent performance will cost you about $1,000. If you want to go bigger, 0.7–0.9 carats diamonds go from $2,000 to $4,000.

With the 0.9 carat diamond, you’ll spend less and still have a stone that looks just like a 1-carat diamond.

You should note that finger size also determines how the stone will look.

In addition, you can opt for a narrow band instead of a wideband to show off the stone better. A cushion cut or a round cut will make the ring obvious but not too dominating.

Some women have slender, long fingers, which go well with smaller diamonds.

But with large, chubby fingers, you will have to use a bigger carat size. Although if you can’t afford this, you can use a halo setting with a wider band.

Furthermore, with an excellent cut grade and clarity, you can’t tell the difference between a half-carat diamond and a 0.9-carat diamond.

So you can save some money by choosing a smaller carat. Then, you’ll only need to select a shape and setting that shows off the stone beautifully.

1.0 Carats

According to the global market, the most popular diamond weight is at the 1-carat mark.

A 1-carat diamond is suitable for every hand size. So as long as the diamond is well cut into the right proportions, the diamond will look beautiful on any finger type. Generally, the cost of a well-cut 1-carat diamond varies between $4,500 – $12,000. The approximate size of a 1-carat round diamond cut brilliantly is 6.5mm.

Although it is pretty expensive, a 1-carat diamond is an excellent option.

It’s commonly used for engagement rings, and for many, it’s the obvious choice. A 1-carat diamond is more noticeable and eye-catching.

The carat weight is a significant price determinant, but the cut quality, clarity, and color also affect pricing.

There are some specific things to note when choosing a 1-carat diamond.

First, it would be best if you focused on maximizing value and size, not only price.

Second, the cut grade also determines the beauty of the diamond. So it is possible for a poorly cut 1-carat diamond to look less impressive than a well-cut 0.5 diamond.

Finally, you should also carefully select a diamond shape because it affects the size of the stone.

At this size, the surface area is relatively large, and the stone faces up quite nicely. But with a different shape, the surface area could be smaller or larger.

A 1-carat diamond is also manageable and can comfortably be worn with an active lifestyle.

1.5 Carats

It’s interesting how this carat size is often overlooked. For a moderately large, lovely engagement ring, the 1.5-carat diamond is an incredible choice.

A well-cut 1.5-carat diamond is noticeably different in size.

The 1.5-carat diamond looks great in any shape on slim petite fingers. But on large, stubby fingers, a round cut won’t be as obvious as an oval cushion cut. The measurement of a brilliant round cut 1.5-carat diamond is about 7.33 in diameter. It is larger than the average diamond, and this is reflected in the price. The highest price of a 1.5-carat diamond is estimated at $25,000.

However, since the 1-carat ring is so popular, many people forget this option. Nevertheless, they’re available in many jewelry stores, and as usual, pricing depends on the diamond quality.

But with $8,000-$12,000, you can get value for your money with a high-quality diamond still at the 1.5-carat mark. As the price lowers, the quality also reduces, and the imperfections are more visible to the naked eye.

It will look more prominent than a 1-carat diamond cut in this exact shape. If size matters to you and your fiancé, the 1.5 carat is an excellent option.

The diamond is also quite heavy and will look beautiful in any shape. So you can select any form you want, but you must ensure that the cut grade is above average.

The light will reflect better with an excellent or ideal cut, and the diamond will be stunning.

This carat size is suitable for most hand sizes.

1.8 Carats

For some people, the 1.5-carat mark isn’t enough, and they want to go bigger. If you’re one of these people, we encourage you to go for it.

At 1.8 carats, the diamond will be relatively heavy. If your fiancé has small hands, an oval or round cut dominates the fingers. But with large hands, 1.8-carat works perfectly. If your budget falls within $7,000 -$20,000, you can purchase an ideal cut 1.8-carat diamond.

As long as it’s right within your budget and is what you prefer, you can go as big as you want. At 1.80 carat weight, you’re almost reaching the 2-carat mark, big enough to look just as impressive.

A 1.8-carat diamond is a smart purchase for people that can’t afford a 2-carat diamond. If it’s well-cut, you’ll get a stunning diamond with minor inclusions.

You also have several size options depending on your preference. Then also, you can leave the color and get a yellow, gold plated band. It will show off the center stone elegantly.

So a more suitable option would be a princess cut or the cushion cut. Meanwhile, this diamond will look impressive in any shape for large hands and it is an excellent option.

2.0 Carats

The 2.0 carats diamonds are large and have a high rarity value. So, it will cost a lot more than 1 carat or even 1.5 carats diamond.

A brilliant round cut 2-carat diamond is heavy and will look better on large hands. You can use a halo setting to accentuate the fingers on smaller hands instead of a prong setting. At a price range of $7,000 – $60,000, a 2-carat ring is costly. You’ll even find 2-carat diamonds that cost more than $60,000.

So if your budget is lower than $9,000, we recommend a lower-sized carat.

The main issue is that diamond pricing also depends on the popularity of the carat. Since more people opt for lower carats around the 1.8 – 1.9 carats mark, the price is higher.

So you’ll pay almost the same amount for a 2-carat diamond with very little savings. And if it’s within your budget, a well-cut 2-carat diamond may be the wiser purchase.

Also, if it’s well fitted and set, it can be worn with an active lifestyle.

Focus on an ideal or excellent cut quality so the beauty of the diamond will shine through.

2.5 Carats

While it’s mainly unpopular, the 2.5-carat diamond is another carat size to consider. If you want a ring that looks expensive and impressive in any shape, you can go for this.

A 2.5 round cut diamond on a size 4 finger will look more pronounced, while on a size 8 finger, the same specs might look slightly smaller. The average price of a 2.5 round brilliant carat diamond is $31,750. At this rate, you should expect an ice-white-looking diamond that is eye-clean.

The ring will look exquisite, and the diamond will be stunning in a well-cut form.

If you have a large income and can afford to go all out, a 2.5 diamond ring is perfect.

However, serious attention to detail is required with a larger carat size if you want your money’s worth.

Also, with an emerald, cushion, or princess cut, the ring’s price will reduce. Still, the face-up appearance is also lowered.

You can also maximize value by choosing an I or H color grade since you can’t tell the difference in quality with a naked eye.

In addition, the appearance of the diamond depends on the size and finger type.

So ultimately, it all depends on your preference and how much you’re willing to spend.

4.0 Carats

If your fiancé has slender petite hands, you need to choose a setting and shape that fit her finger size. Otherwise, the ring may look too bogus and out of place. A 4-carat diamond will cost you over $50,000. But a diamond from a collector’s series could go at $250,000. The setting and cut you select will also make the price go up or down.

Going by the national and international averages, a 4-carat diamond is ‘big.’ It’s also rare to find a high-quality 4-carat diamond.

But with the right vendors and a sizable budget, you can get around the brilliant 4-carat diamond.

Although all carat sizes are valid in their own right, a 4-carat diamond ring is truly a sight to behold.

Purchasing a precision-cut 4-carat diamond is no small feat. It also requires careful selection and detailed research to ensure that the purchase is worth it.

No matter the carat size, choosing a quality grade is essential. For a 4 carat diamond, you have to pay more attention to color and the overall quality grade.

For a 4 carat diamond, we recommend that the color grade is nothing less than an H. Also, a VS2 clarity is recommended as the inclusions will not be visible except through a 5 lens magnifying glass.

However, for the cut, we advise you to go for only the absolute best. The cut quality is more important than anything else, and you don’t want to compromise here.

In terms of appearance, the face-up of the diamond will be much larger in an oval or round cut.

Can an engagement diamond be too big?

Choosing an engagement diamond size can be a little confusing and overwhelming.

No diamond size is considered too big. However, the look of the diamond is also determined by the finger type. It’s possible for a diamond of the same cut and set to appear larger or smaller depending on the finger size.

So if size matters to you, you need to select a cut grade and shape suited to the finger type.

You have to understand the relationship between the carat weight and the actual size look of the diamond.

A ‘big’ diamond often has little to do with carat size and more with cut grade. You also want a diamond that faces up; if not, you won’t be able to see it.

In addition, there is no limit to how big your diamond should look. The oval and round cuts are mostly used to make a diamond appear larger.

You can also use a prong or solitaire setting to bring more focus to the diamond. Above anything else, you should choose any style that makes you happy.


The best carat all comes down to your style, budget, and taste at the end of the day. Generally, 0.5 to 1.0 carats suit small hands perfectly, while the larger sizes (2.0 to 4.0) suit larger fingers. But the cut and setting also determine the diamond’s appearance. You should also think about your fiancé and what makes them happy throughout the selection process.

Choosing a carat is only a starting point, and you need to consider other quality grades for your diamond.

You need to prioritize other determinants, such as cut quality, to ensure that you get the right value for your money.

It’s important to note that just because a diamond costs more doesn’t mean it’s great quality.

In addition, having a reliable and trustworthy vendor makes all the difference. Jewelers Connect provides you with suitable custom diamond rings streamlined to fit your budget.

You can also consult with our expert jewelers for more information to help you make the right purchase. All you need to do is take the first step by contacting us right away!