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Carat Size & Engagement Rings

Centennial 18K Gold and .86CT Diamond Engagement Ring

What is a Carat?

A carat is a unit of measurement specifically used for weighing diamonds and other gems.

Remember that carat is the weight, not the size of a diamond or gemstone. This means that a carat can look differently depending on the cut and type of gemstone.

For Example:

1.00CT Round Diamond= approximately 6.5mm in diameter
1.00CT Round Sapphire= approximately 6.0mm in diameter

A carat is the weight of a single diamond or gemstone, and is not to be confused with “total carat weight.”

Total Carat Weight = the total amount of carats of diamonds and/or gemstones in a single piece of jewelry.

How A Diamond’s Carat Impacts Its Price Tag

18K White Gold and .50CT Oval Diamond Halo Engagement RingSimply put: the greater the carat, the more expensive the diamond.

This is because larger diamonds are much more rare and found less often than smaller ones. However, this does not mean that a large diamond is all around better in quality. Diamond quality is also determined by its color, cut, and clarity. A diamond of smaller carat but near perfect in color, cut and clarity may be equal or more to the value of a larger one. A small, rare colored diamond may be even more precious and come with a larger price tag.

Still, the general rule of thumb is that a diamond twice the size of another will cost about four (4) times more.

Related Content: Use Your Engagement Ring Budget Wisely: How To Make It & Stick To It

What Are The Cut-off Diamond Carat Weights?

18K White Gold and Baguette Diamond Semi Mounting Engagement RingDiamond cutters will almost always opt to cut a diamond so that it meets the closest cut-off carat weight. This is done to create more precise measurements and because the price of a diamond will jump at each half and full carat.

The cut-off weights: .50CT, .75CT, .90CT, 1.00CT, 1.50CT, 2.00CT, etc…

Undersize diamonds are those whose carat is just below the cut-off weight. These make excellent alternatives for engagement rings and other jewelry pieces because they look almost identical to the diamonds of the cut-off weight, but have significantly lower costs.

Average Carat Size Statistics & Personal Preference

Hamilton Duet 18K .39TW Diamond Semi Mounting RingThe Average Carat Size Engagement Ring in 2017: 1.2CT
The Average Total Carat Weight Engagement Ring in 2017: 1.8CT1
The Average Carat Size in 2015: 0.90CT
The Average Total Carat Weight Engagement Ring in 2015: 1.5CT
A “Head-Turner” Diamond Carat Weight: 2.00CT
A “Big Rock” Diamond Carat Weight: 2.50CT2

While simple gold bands were once the norm, engagement rings have become more extravagant over the years, and judging by these numbers it looks to continue. But this doesn’t mean that a person has to compete with rising carat trends.

Here are a couple of tricks give a beautiful engagement ring while keeping it affordable:

  1. 1. Just as the cut of some clothes will make a person look slimmer, the right cut of a smaller diamond can give the illusion of a larger stone on the hand of a petite person.
  2. 2. Rings with diamond pavé or clusters of small diamonds can look heavenly!
  3. 3. Choose a ring with an undersize cut.
  4. 4. Finance your ring!

At the end of the day, it’s not the size that matters, but the size of the heart giving it and the love exchanged.

Related Content: The 4 C’s of Diamonds, The Hamilton Engagement Guide

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