While an engagement ring is an incredibly personal choice from the size and shape of the center stone to the style and design of the setting, there actually is a fairly common diamond size chosen for engagement rings. Around the world, the average diamond size for an engagement ring varies a bit, as well as other features of the ring. This creates a very interesting picture of all the different kinds of “normal” diamond size you might consider.
What is the Average Diamond Size for an Engagement Ring?
Is there an average size diamond for an engagement ring?
The short answer to this question is yes, there is an average size diamond for an engagement ring. But the longer answer gets more complicated. The average size diamond for the US as a whole is 1 carat. The bigger picture starts to break down just how we get to that “average” size. Bigger cities that are typically seen as centers of more affluent living feature much weightier diamonds, while most of the rest of the country goes for smaller stones – hence giving us our average.
Hubs for business and art like Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago feature averages more in the 2.5 carat diamond size. That’s similar to what can be found in big cities across the south like Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami. If we expand our geographic regions we continue to build a more nuanced picture. Smaller cities throughout the rest of the country often don’t even reach 1 carat, preferring in the range of 0.5 to 0.7 carats.
As surveys show, Europeans tend to put less emphasis on engagement rings with an average 0.5 carat diamond size, with the United Kingdom specifically only coming in slightly larger at 0.6 carats. China and Singapore also come in with a 0.5 carat average diamond weight with Hong Kong and Australia being slightly higher at 0.7 carats. And Japan prefers smaller, petite diamonds around the 0.3 carat mark.
In the United States particularly, average diamond size for engagement rings also has a strong correlation to age. The younger you are, it’s less likely that you’ll be buying a larger diamond since you haven’t had as much time to save money. People well into their twenties and early thirties typically go for diamonds that are on the larger size – in the one to two carat range – as they’re farther along in their careers and have been able to set money aside for this momentous purchase.
What contributes to the size of a diamond?
In listing the carat weight of the average diamond size, we’re talking about the stone’s actual physical weight. People are surprised that is this not a measurement of size! While two diamonds can each weigh exactly 1 carat, the way they express that weight is likely going to give them a very different look. This “look” is often what gets construed as the size of a diamond. Let’s explain what we mean.
Say you pick up two apples at the grocery store. Each apple weighs 6 ounces, but they couldn’t look more different. One is short and wide and much more rounded in appearance. The other is long and narrow with a decidedly more oval shape. This is exactly what happens with diamonds. The physical weight captures just one measurement, and then that measurement is expressed through a multitude of factors.
As diamonds are cut, the shape that the cutter is planning for the diamond will determine much about how the physical weight of the diamond is distributed. Some diamond shapes like oval, pear, and marquise allow for a lighter weight diamond to look bigger by spreading the weight out and having less depth to the stone where weight can hide and get lost in the physical appearance.
And remember that this is all before the diamond is set in a ring and appears on a finger. Finger size and shape is another important factor in determining how large a diamond will look. A one carat diamond on a size five finger will look much larger than the same diamond on a size eight finger. All this to say, diamond size is subjective when you actually consider that you’ll be wearing the diamond and every diamond looks different.
How do you find the right carat size for you?
Rather than getting stuck on a number for carat weight, focus on what you like about a diamond, what looks best on your hand, and what style of setting you’d like to use. All of these factors are more important than the carat weight of the diamond. After establishing a budget for what you’re comfortable spending, you’re now ready to get started on all the fun choices.
The overall beauty of your stone is usually most dependent on the quality of the cut. The cut is responsible for the symmetry and sparkle of your stone. The other factors like clarity and color can help accentuate the cut and what you’d prefer for the overall look of the diamond. It’s a sliding scale that is based on your preferences and you can use that knowledge to make a good investment while still getting a beautiful and sizable stone for your engagement ring.
How do you shop for a one carat diamond engagement ring?
First, as we said before, start by not getting hung up on the carat weight. The carat weight will be a huge factor in the diamond’s cost, so consider looking at “just shy” diamonds. These are carat weights that typically range from about 0.9 to 0.99 carats, just shy of the full 1 carat weight and the price jump that comes along with that. The difference in carat weight will absolutely not be noticeable, but the difference in price could be significant.
Going even smaller with your “just shy” diamond can give you a ton of versatility for your engagement ring’s design. In our Adamaris, a nature-inspired curved band with a split shank centers on a stunning round diamond with four marquise diamonds lovingly placed at the sides for sparkle that spans almost the whole width of your finger.
Focus on eye clean for the clarity of the diamond, or miniscule inclusions that can be masked with a prong in the setting. When a diamond is eye clean and any present inclusions don’t affect the transparency of the stone, a slightly included diamond can look just as clear as an internally flawless stone. Similarly, a slightly included diamond where the inclusions are at the edges of the stone, can still appear flawless once it’s set and the inclusions are covered by the claws.
Our Isabella is the perfect example of stunning clarity on a well-cut stone that may or may not have some inclusions hidden beneath the claws of the prongs. In Isabella’s case, the claws are embellished with a leaf design, adding a subtle visual flourish.
Finally, color is a diamond characteristic where you have a lot of flexibility. Well-cut G, H and even some I color grade diamonds can still appear colorless, especially when they’re around 1 carat in weight. But also, J and K color grade diamonds can have a lovely warmth to them and still appear white when set in contrast to a warmer metal like yellow or rose gold.
We love the look of rose gold as it enhances every skin tone. Our Thea pairs the rose gold with a lovely oval cut center diamond, subtle diamond halo, and pear-shaped side stones for a gorgeous vintage-inspired look.
Not all diamonds are considered equal, and there are far more important quality factors to consider for a great diamond than carat weight. In the end, the perfect diamond size for your engagement ring is one that feels good for your budget and symbolizes your love and commitment.
1.5 carat cushion vs. round
The same ring with a 1.0 and 1.5 carat diamond