When browsing engagement rings carat weight is a key consideration. So how many carats?
What Size Should An Engagement Ring Be?
On average in the UK, the average diamond engagement ring is 0.6 carats and can cost between £1600 - £2200 depending on the cut, clarity and colour of the diamond.
How Big Is A One-Carat Diamond Ring?
‘Carats’ (often shortened to ‘ct’) refer to the weight of a diamond. 1 carat is equal to 1/5th of a gram (200mgs). Many assume the higher the carat weight, the larger and better the diamond, but it’s not that simple. While a higher carat weight certainly can mean a bigger diamond, this is not always the case depending on the diamond's shape, and also the diamond’s cut, clarity and colour.
Chart showing carat weight and approximate size of round brilliant cut diamonds.
Is Carat Size the Most Important Factor?
A diamond that is colourless (allowing for that fiery sparkle), well-cut (allowing light to reflect off the stone’s facets as brilliantly as possible) and has good clarity (having few or no inclusions) will be pricier than a diamond that doesn’t have these qualities. For these reasons, if you’re interested in getting the largest diamond for your money, you may need to compromise on quality.
Compromising doesn’t necessarily mean buying a dull or noticeably defective diamond - some defects such as inclusions (which affects diamond clarity) are virtually unnoticeable to the naked eye, up to a certain extent. Another option if your heart is set on a high carat weight can be opting for a lab-grown diamond rather than a natural diamond, as this can make a huge difference when it comes to the price of your diamond ring.
What Carat Size Is Best?
When choosing what carat size you want your diamond engagement ring to be, it comes down to the style, personal tastes of your partner more than anything else. It’s also important to consider the size of the hands the ring will be worn on and what size of diamond would look best. Since engagement rings are typically worn on a daily basis, you should also think about whether or not your partner’s daily activities may make a larger diamond engagement ring impractical.
While diamonds are the hardest natural material on earth and very hard to damage they are not indestructible and can be chipped, which is important to consider if you have a partner who is very athletic, for example. The precious metal the stone is set in is also more prone to damage through scratching and chemical damage if it comes into contact with substances such as bleach or chlorine.
Choosing an engagement ring for your partner can be daunting, and the lack of any standard set of rules when it comes to sizing or style can make the process a little confusing.
After speaking with one of our jewellers, we can work with your unique preferences, budget and style to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting and make the best decision for you. Get in touch today for a no-obligation discussion!