Choosing the right carat size for an engagement ring can be more challenging than most people realize. You might end up with a size that feels too small, or you might splurge and pay for a big diamond that you don’t really want. Either way, it can be helpful to understand the average carat size when shopping for a diamond engagement ring.
So, how many carats should an engagement ring be? Why are diamonds even measured in carats? What is the average carat size for engagement rings? Finally, where can you get a high-quality, pre-owned engagement ring at an affordable price?
In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s go over everything you need to know about diamond carat sizes:
Understanding Carat Size
Carats are simply a measurement of a diamond’s weight. To put it in terms that are more accessible to the average buyer, one carat is roughly equal to 0.2 grams (200 milligrams). While this is definitely light, you won’t want to have to wear a ring that feels heavy! Fortunately, even if you opt for a 6+ carat diamond, you’re unlikely to feel any unnecessary strain on your finger.
So why are carats used for diamonds? The name of the measurement dates all the way back to Ancient Greece, when carob seeds were set on scales to determine the approximate weight of an object. As languages evolved, the original Greek word “keration” became the modern English term “carat”. The measurement is used for diamonds today simply because it has been for centuries. The gem traders of centuries past weighed their wares against carob seeds, which were light enough to actually provide pretty accurate measurements, even for very tiny gemstones.
Today, carats are most often associated with the size and value of a diamond, but it’s not always that simple. For instance, a deeply set diamond may not look that “big” from the outside, even though it has a high weight in carats. Alternatively, a small diamond that is mostly visible due to the cut and setting may be extremely lightweight.
And when it comes to the sales price, you can’t always do the math based on carat size alone. Naturally, other factors like clarity, cut, and color come into play (we’ll talk more about those in the next section), but you also need to consider that the value of a diamond based on its weight tends to increase exponentially. For example, let’s say that a 1-carat diamond shares all of the same attributes (aside from its weight) with a 2-carat diamond. The 1-carat diamond costs $1,000, so the 2-carat diamond must cost $2,000, right? Wrong!
There’s no exact science to calculating diamond prices, as the market is always shifting and a variety of factors can affect the sales price. That said, larger diamonds tend to be more scarce, and their value increases more rapidly as a result. Therefore, you might find that a 1-carat diamond costs $1,000, a 2-carat diamond costs $3,000, and a 3-carat diamond costs $7,000. These are just estimates of course, but it goes to show just how much carats can affect the price of a diamond engagement ring!
The Average Carat Size Is Not The Only Aspect To Look At
Before we look at the average carat size for engagement rings, it’s important to understand that there are a lot of other factors to consider. The most vital information you’ll need to know about the diamond itself involves the four C’s of diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat. We’ve already gone over carats, but let’s take a closer look at the other three:
- Cut - Cut refers to the shape of a diamond after it has been “cut” for placement in an engagement ring or similar piece of jewelry. For rings, some of the most common cut styles include the round cut, cushion cut, princess cut, marquise cut, oval cut, and emerald cut. Some cuts are more popular than others, and the quality of the cut can also affect the look and cost of a diamond ring.
- Color - Color can refer to the natural color present in the diamond, graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Additionally, there are fancy color diamonds that can have more intense and unique hues like blue, yellow, red, and green. Typically, a colorless or fancy color diamond will be the most expensive.
- Clarity - Clarity refers to the absence of inclusions or blemishes, graded on a scale from Flawless to Included. The presence of inclusions and blemishes generally reduces the value of the diamond and detracts from its brilliance. Alternatively, diamonds that have very few or no inclusions are extremely rare and valuable.
And while the 4 C’s of diamonds are extremely important, they are still not the only factors you’ll need to consider. Even diamonds with the same carat can look different based on the setting and design of the ring. Strangely enough, the size and shape of your ring finger can also play a role in the decision process. If you have large fingers, a smaller diamond may look especially small, but if you have small or slender fingers, a smaller diamond may look bigger than it actually is!
Additionally, you’ll want to consider your budget when thinking about all of the unique facets of a diamond engagement ring. Even if the ring you want is out of your price range, you can make some concessions in certain areas, like the band material or diamond cut, to still get a beautiful ring that makes you and your wallet happy!
The Average Engagement Ring Carat Size In The United States
As you might have guessed, the average carat size for engagement rings can vary substantially based on who you ask. However, as of the latest market trends, the average carat size tends to fall somewhere between 1 and 1.25 carats. It’s important to mention that this only considers the center stone. When looking at the carat size of the center stone and all accent stones, the average size is closer to 1.8 to 2 carats.
But again, the right diamond engagement ring for you may not even come close to the average carat size. It will ultimately come down to your budget and personal preferences.
How To Buy Affordable Engagement Rings Via Have You Seen The Ring
Do you want to find the perfect carat size for your engagement ring? Are you searching for a big diamond engagement ring at an affordable price? Finally, do you want to get the most out of your engagement ring without having to spend a fortune? If so, you can’t go wrong with HYSTR.
We offer a huge marketplace of used and pre-owned engagement rings of all shapes and sizes. This ensures that you can find the engagement ring of your dreams and spend half as much to get it. All you have to do is find the ring you like, agree on a price, put down the funds, and wait for our gemologists to verify its authenticity. As soon as the ring has been verified, we will release the funds to the seller and mail the ring right to your doorstep!
We hope you enjoyed our average engagement ring carat size guide! Are you currently trying to buy or sell a used engagement ring? If so, be sure to contact HYSTR today!