What Is A Carat? Your Guide To Diamond Sizes

What Is A Carat? Your Guide To Diamond Sizes

You want the ring you wear for the rest of your life to be perfect, down to every detail. One of the bigger details is, of course, the size of your center diamond! Carat size is one of the first things people consider when shopping for rings, but how do you determine what is best for you? We’ve written this article to answer all of your carat size questions.
  1. What is a carat?

  2. Carat vs. Karat

  3. What is the Average Size For an Engagement Ring? 

  4. 1 Carat Diamond Rings

  5. 2 Carat Diamond Rings

  6. 3 Carat Diamond Rings

  7. 4 carat Diamond Rings and 5 Carat Diamond Rings

What is a Carat?

A carat is the unit of measurement used to weigh a diamond. It is equivalent to 200 milligrams. The weight of a diamond is not the only important factor in its value. Clarity, color, and cut are also important factors in determining the value of a diamond. In fact, a diamond’s clarity, color and cut can all impact a diamond’s perceived size.
Here is what a number of common carat sizes actually look like on a person’s hand.

Carat vs. Karat

Carat (ct) and karat (k, kt) are different spellings you may see used interchangeably across the realm of jewelry. Now, you know that a carat is the globally recognized standard used to characterize a diamond or other precious stone’s weight. While several factors play a role in establishing what a gemstone is worth, weight is a large contributor. The heavier your diamond is, the more expensive it will be. 
On the other hand, karat is used as a measure of the purity of gold used in each engagement ring. In essence, this measurement is going to tell you how much gold is in your engagement ring. Oftentimes gold is blended with other metals such as silver or copper to make the gold stronger, as it is very soft on its own.
A karat signifies how many parts, out of 24 total, of a piece of jewelry are made out of gold. For example, if your engagement ring is 12 parts gold and 12 parts silver, it will measure as 12 karat gold. 

What is the Average Size For an Engagement Ring? 

The average size of an engagement ring can change significantly depending on location. In the United States, the average couple opts for an engagement ring around one carat. In Europe, European couples tend to gravitate towards something smaller, finding their perfect match in .5 carat engagement rings. Age also plays a factor. Younger people more commonly choose a diamond that is 1 to 2 carats. As people get older, their budgets–and diamonds–grow with them.. 
Today, the average diamond engagement ring size in the United States is 1-1.5 carats. The national average cost of a diamond engagement ring is about $5,000-6,000. The European average hovers around 0.5-0.6 carats, around half the typical size of an American ring. While the size of a diamond does matter, there is more to consider when choosing a diamond for your engagement ring.

1 Carat Diamond Rings

One of the most popular diamond sizes for an engagement ring, a 1 carat diamond ring is often what feels comfortable to most women and is close to the national average sized diamond. If your budget is between $4,000-5,000, you can find a beautifully brilliant 1 carat diamond in your price range.
If you're looking to save money on your 1 carat diamond ring, consider choosing a fancy cut diamond ring instead of a round cut diamond. A square cut, Asscher cut, oval cut, or pear cut diamond are great options that are easier on your wallet and just as radiant. In fact, elongated shapes like an oval, pear or emerald cut tend to make your diamond look bigger than its actual carat size. 
A 1 carat diamond is a great choice for a center stone when you want to add in any side stones for additional sparkle. Use additional diamonds or incorporate colored gemstones to create a ring that is uniquely yours.

2 Carat Diamond Rings

If you want some extra sparkle, but don’t want your diamond to be eye-poppingly large, a 2 carat diamond ring is perfect for you. While this diamond size is larger, it shouldn't feel heavy, large, or bulky on your finger. A round cut 2 carat diamond will be about 8mm in diameter, a statement stone for any ring setting.
Since it is larger, it is more costly to obtain a high-quality, 2 carat diamond. A 2 carat diamond with fewer inclusions in it will run from $15,000-17,000, although, you can save money with a fancy cut 2 carat diamond ring, costing about $9,000-10,000.

3 Carat Diamond Rings

If you’re in the ‘go big or go home’ camp, consider a 3 carat diamond engagement ring. A 3 carat round cut diamond has a diameter roughly 3/4 of your finger. Show off those sparkles with a gorgeous 3 carat diamond ring!
With this large of a diamond center stone, it is common for the center diamond to be the focus of the ring. While small side stones can be added to a 3 carat diamond ring, there is not as much room for side stones as there is with a smaller diamond ring.

4 Carat Diamond Rings and 5 Carat Diamond Rings

Diamonds of this size are exceptionally rare, and their price will reflect that. But if you have the budget for a super-sized diamond, it’s hard to pass up one of these superior sparklers. Regardless of what shape you choose, these diamonds will impress any onlooker. If you want to save a little money, consider going for slightly lower clarity or color scores. A well cut diamond will disguise many of these flaws. 
Before you commit to a larger diamond, take a moment to think about how to accommodate a large ring into your lifestyle. They will naturally be a bit heavier than rings with smaller center diamonds, but the real concern is with bumping, catching or snagging your diamond. Talk to your jeweler about the safest setting for a diamond of this size.

Find Your Perfect Diamond Size at Ware Jewelers in Alabama!

At Ware Jewelers, we are dedicated to helping you find the perfect engagement ring to start your forever. If you're still not sure about what diamond size you're after, it may be best to browse different styles of engagement rings that you enjoy first. After you've decided on your favorite style, you can consider different sizes for your center stone diamond to see which fits your ring's design best.
Did browsing through our selection of engagement ring styles still leave you feeling like you need a bit more help in your search? 
We get it, and our team understands that selecting the perfect diamond stone for your special ring is no small task. With so many different diamond carat weights, cuts, side stone options, setting styles, band options, and more, it can be slightly daunting to know where to start on your journey. That’s why it’s best to leave it to our dedicated staff of jewelry professionals here at Ware Jewelers
No matter what design you desire for your engagement ring, our experts at Ware Jewelers have got you covered. If you're in Alabama and need assistance finding the perfect engagement ring, visit one of our local jewelry stores and let us help you find your dream ring!