What Does a 5 Carat Diamond Ring Actually Look Like?

Just how large is a 5 carat diamond? Find out how large a ring with a 5 carat diamond looks on a finger compared to engagement rings set with 1 and 2 carat diamonds, and also how much you can expect to spend on various 5 carat diamond cuts. Lastly, we discuss whether going that big is even worth it.

How big is a 5 carat diamond ring?

A 5 carat diamond is going to be large, no matter how you look at it. And regardless of the diamond cut or shape, you’re going to be looking at a diamond that is not only wider and longer, but also - and this is something that people often don't realize - deeper, so it will naturally sit higher on your finger. It’s also important to remember that carat is a unit of weight measurement and does not exactly equate to the size of a diamond, although it is a consistent indicator of how large a diamond will look when viewed from the top.

On average, a 5 carat round brilliant cut diamond – the most popular shape – will have a diameter of approximately 11.1mm. Now compare that to the average 1 carat round brilliant cut diamond, which has an average diameter of about 6.5mm. With just about every fancy shaped diamond the dimensions will not be as straightforward because they are not cut to a precise formula as is the round brilliant cut diamond. So dimensions for say an oval or emerald cut diamond will vary much more.

When trying to picture a 5 carat diamond ring on your own finger, you can use a few reference points. The average ring size for women in the U.S. is 6, which equates to roughly 16.5mm finger width space from a face up view. So for a 5 carat diamond ring that measures 11.1mm diameter, you’re looking at that diamond alone covering almost 70% of that finger space before you include the added dimensions of the setting. In contrast, a 1 carat diamond ring that measures 6.5mm diameter will cover roughly 40% of the finger. That’s a huge difference!

5 carat three stone diamond ring on hand

A 5 carat three-stone diamond ring

2 carat emerald vs 5 carat emerald diamond

A 2 carat emerald cut vs a 5 carat emerald cut

5 carat cushion cut diamond

A 5 carat cushion cut diamond ring stack

How much does a 5 carat diamond cost?

When it comes to the cost of a 5 carat diamond, you’re going to see a very wide range of numbers. Depending on the cut, clarity, color, overall beauty and rarity, you could be looking at anything from $40,000 to $200,000. That may seem like an exaggeration, but with all the various combinations of cut, clarity, and color grades, it really can be that significant of a range.

Let’s take a look at three round brilliant cut naturally mined diamonds that are all 5 carats, note that lab diamond prices will be lower. Here is a comparison of the three diamonds below (data as of fall 2021):

loose 5 carat round diamond comparison

For this example, they each have very similar color grades and measurements, but vary with each having a different clarity and cut grading. And the range in price for these three is $20,000 dollars – that’s a very significant difference in price. If we assess further, we can also see that the diamond with the excellent cut grade, polish and symmetry is not the most expensive. The most expensive one in this group may be surprising – it has the lowest cut, polish and symmetry grades, but has the best clarity grade.

This example goes a long way in saying that at the 5 carat diamond level, clarity is going to make a big difference in the overall beauty, as well as cost, of the diamond. But this is for a very good reason. When a diamond gets this large, it is much easier to spot inclusions and imperfections with the naked eye because there’s just so much stone there! But to get a true impression of the quality and look of these diamonds, they should all be viewed in person.

In the same range of similar grades, you will find: a J color, SI1 clarity, VG cut cushion for $48,938; an I color, SI1 clarity, Ex cut oval for $78,532; an I color, VS1 clarity, VG cut emerald for $84,175; a G color, VS2 clarity, VG cut pear for $99,303. Across these four diamonds, there’s a price range of $50,000. And keep in mind this is only the cost of the diamond. Depending on how simple or intricate you want the setting to be, you could add an additional $5,000-$30,000 for setting alone, since it’s likely one will need to be custom designed.

Is a 5 carat diamond worth it?

Whether or not a diamond is worth the price is always going to have a lot of variables at play, the most important of which being personal preference. If you purchase a beautiful diamond at 5 carats, you have made a strong investment because its quality and rarity will help it hold and increase its value. But is the added cost for the 5 carat diamond really worth it if a 4 carat diamond looks just as big on your finger?

Let’s look at two examples of round brilliant cut diamonds: one 4.02 carat and one 5.02 carat. These are prices for natural conflict-free diamonds (as of fall 2021):

loose 4 carat diamond price
loose 5 carat diamond price

Without seeing these two stones in person and purely looking at their gradings that are almost exactly the same, you have a difference of $36,000. That’s pretty significant for being 1 carat difference in weight. So how might these compare when worn?

When looking at their measurements, the 4 carat is going to roughly cover about 62% of your finger width while the 5 carat is going to cover about 67% of the finger space. That 5% bigger size is not really going to be noticeable, and although these two stones are almost a millimeter apart in size, our eyes have a hard time distinguishing that difference in such large stones.

4 carat cushion cut diamond ring

5 carat cushion cut diamond ring

How to design a 5 carat diamond ring?

Since a 5 carat diamond ring can vary dramatically in size based on its shape, measurements, and spread, having an understanding of the type of setting you’d like to design for your diamond ring will help direct you to a diamond that is a great choice for the overall look you want. For example, if you know you want a three stone ring, choosing a more elongated diamond shape like an oval, emerald, or marquise, will leave more room in the width measurement for side stones to add sparkle and not get lost.

In considering a setting style, remember that a 5 carat diamond ring is going to be big, it will sit higher on the finger, and will be top-heavy. To work with these features, a thicker band will help ensure stability and an open gallery can help reduce the overall height of the ring keeping it more low profile. When you get as large as a 5 carat, a simple setting that enhances the diamond and let’s it show off everything about it is often the best way to go.

Some excellent simple settings are solitaire and side stones. In one of our recent creations, we placed a 5 carat emerald cut diamond on a platinum band and flanked it with two equally stunning emerald cut side stones for a clean, crisp and transparent shine.

Going for that big 5 carat diamond takes on a whole new level of considerations, but when you end up with a showstopping, once-in-a-lifetime engagement ring, it suddenly becomes worth all the effort. Just be prepared to take your time finding one you love, look at everything in person, be open to different shapes, and don’t be surprised if a 4 carat diamond ring blows you away instead!

5 carat diamond ring - three stone

5 carat emerald cut diamond ring

5 carat vs 1 carat vs 2 carat rings

5 carat diamond ring vs 1 & 2 carat

5 Carat Emerald Cut Diamond Ring

Have questions? We're happy to help.