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September 12, 2022

What size carat diamond to get for an engagement ring

Becky Waldron

Diamonds are a jewel like no other. The diamond decision process is one that requires some in-depth research. Your diamond is your show piece, so getting the diamond of your (or your lover’s) dreams is essential for the perfect engagement ring.   

One characteristic of a diamond that most are familiar with is the carat. But what is a carat? If you’re on a quest for the ideal diamond for your engagement ring, wedding ring or other jewellery piece, then understanding this should help you make the right choice.   


What is a diamond carat?  

The word ‘carat’ derives from carob. These were the seeds used in the Mediterranean to accurately weigh diamonds. Carob seeds are identical in size and weight, and so are a great resource for this kind of measuring. Essentially, a carat is the diamond term for a measurement of weight.   

How is a carat measured?  

The physical weight of a diamond is measured in carat units which has the metric measurement of 200 milligrams or 0.0200 grams or 1/5 of a gram.   

When weighed, these are subdivided into 100 points, which allows precise measurements – to the hundredth decimal place. Because diamonds are so valuable, these precisions are important to jewellers and those looking to buy diamonds!   

Does carat weight affect price?  

Carat weight does impact the value of the stone – which is likely to affect the price of your engagement ring, too. Often when engagement ring shopping, carat is one of the most prominent factors of a diamond that people keep in mind.   

Carat is one of the 4Cs that gets mentioned the most, alongside cut, colour and clarity. We often ask ‘how many carats?’ when talking about a diamond, but you probably wouldn’t hear your friends ask you about the stone’s clarity.   

It’s worth mentioning that the size of a diamond isn’t the same as the weight. So, if a diamond looks bigger it might not necessarily be a higher price.  

Carat weight can appear differently depending on the way that they are shaped or their cut. A diamond might have a high carat weight, but appear smaller than bigger-shaped diamonds with lower carat weight. And, two diamonds that appear the same size may have different carats.   

What is critical weight?  

Loose diamonds have critical weights that diamond cutters and manufacturers follow to ensure their diamonds remain around these weights. These weights are 0.50ct, 0.75ct, 1.00ct, 1.50ct, 2.00ct, 3.00ct, 4.00ct, 5.00ct and 10.00ct. According to Brides, the average carat weight in the UK for an engagement ring is 0.6 carats.   

What carat to choose for an engagement ring?  

There’s no rule book to what carat you have to choose from for your engagement ring. An engagement ring style is all up to the individual. But, if you need some guidance, some of the below factors may help you in your decision making.   

The other 3 Cs   

You may get fixed on what the carat weight is of a diamond, but it’s important to understand that this alone won’t completely dictate the value of the stone. When diamond shopping, you will want to look at the colour, clarity and cut of a diamond, too. The carat of a diamond won’t be that important if a diamond has a very poor clarity, for example.   

What is the popular choice?  

Sometimes it’s nice to know what choices other people are making as it can help guide us to making our own decisions. The average size of engagement ring diamonds is between 1 – 1.5 carat.  

This statistic is most likely centred around popular ring choices such as solitaire engagement rings, where one central diamond is the key feature. For rings such as a halo engagement ring, the carat of the diamond may vary as it consists of many different sized diamonds.  

Keeping budget in mind   

Your budget is likely to be one of the biggest deciding factors in what diamond you get. The higher the diamond carat, the more expensive the diamond will be. But, it won’t independently influence the price of a diamond – there will be other factors coming into play too.  

If you have a limited budget (which most of us do!) then you may want to consider what are the important attributes to your diamond.   

Do you want a high carat diamond or are you more interested in the responsible sourcing of the diamond? Would you rather spend money on a diamond that has a high clarity or are you concerned about the type and quality of the metal you use for your engagement ring?  These are other budget considerations that you may want to prioritise.   

Diamond cut   

Some cuts will make the diamond appear larger, but the carat weight won’t simultaneously increase. If you want a large-looking diamond, it might be better to focus on the diamond cut – not the carat.  

A princess cut for example exaggerates the size of the stone. Brilliant diamonds also are popular due to their cut which has numerous facets, so the diamond reflects maximum light, giving it a beautiful shine.  

Ring sizing  

The hand size of the ring wearer will play a part in your engagement ring shopping, of course! Some of those looking for a diamond ring will want a jewel that looks big on their hand. This is subjective to each individual’s hand size, with a ‘big’ stone for one person looking not so big on another.  

If you want a jewel that looks proportionate on your hand, then carat alone won’t determine this. It’s best to look out for carat in balance with cut and its length and width measurements.    

Staying savvy when diamond shopping   

A carat is what diamond traders use to measure the weight of a diamond,and is a measurement that has gained a lot of its own value. So much so that it influences what people prioritise when they’re buying diamonds.   

What’s important in a diamond is each individual’spreference. Having more of the information around what a diamond carat is should help you in your buying decision.  

Ultimately, carat affects value, because higher weight diamonds are rarer to find.  

If it’s size that you’re interested in, you might be better focusing on diamond cut as opposed to carat. You may find it’s the type of metal that makes it for you, from rose gold to yellow gold to white gold, building an engagement ring is a creative process that has to ultimately suit the wearer. 

At Skydiamond, we have a range of diamond cuts, sizes and carats. Our sky mined diamonds are created to suit all kinds of individual, for those who lust after high carat diamonds to those who are more interested in the shape of their jewel. And, for diamond lovers who want a sustainable, guilt-free jewel.  

Take a look at our selection for yourself.    

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