How Many Carats Should an Engagement Ring Have?
Carat size is often the chief factor that couples lead with when shopping for an engagement ring. Oftentimes, people believe the bigger the carat size, the better the ring. However, the ideal carat size is less about quantity and more about quality, and the ideal carat size for you will likely be different for someone else.
So, to ensure you know exactly what to look for when shopping for your engagement ring, we’ve put together a simple guide so you can better understand what ‘carat’ means. Read on to learn more.
What is a diamond carat?
A diamond carat refers to the overall weight of the stone, not its actual size; instead, carat focuses on a unit of mass.
How the stone is cut can impact its carat weight. So, just because a stone looks larger than another, it does not always guarantee a larger carat. For example, a pear cut diamond may look smaller than an oval cut, but its carat weight may actually be larger.
How are carats measured?
For most diamond retailers, 1 carat will be measured to the equivalent to 0.2 grams, and then each carat is subdivided in 100 points. So, when you see that a stone carat is described as 0.25 of a carat, you know it is being measured against the 100 points.
Is bigger always better?
For some, carat size is of the utmost importance, and the larger the carat size, the better. However, we’ve broken down the pros and cons to choosing an engagement ring with a large carat so you can decide if a large diamond carat is right for you:
Advantages of a large carat size
Disadvantages of a large carat size
Rare and more desirable
Suited to bigger budgets
Diamond will hold their value over time
More prone to everyday knocks
Showstopping and elegant
Easier to see imperfections and inclusions
Do good things come in small packages?
Many couples gravitate towards smaller carat sizes as they’re often within budget. If you’re not convinced on larger carat diamonds, then take a look at the pros and cons of buying a smaller carat stone:
Advantages of a smaller carat
Disadvantages of a smaller carat
Can often look more elegant if you want an understated style
Diamond will not hold as much value as a larger carat diamond
Better for those who live an active lifestyle and want to wear their engagement ring everyday
Not as rare as a larger carat diamond
Fewer, or less obvious natural imperfections and inclusions
May not create the showstopping impact you are looking for
Suited to more budgets
How to find the right carat size for you?
If you want to get the best out of your diamond carat then be sure to look out for the following:
Look for quality, not quantity
Just because the carat size is large, does not always mean that you are getting the best value for your money. Oftentimes, smaller carat sizes showcase your diamond in the best light, and you’re likely to find a diamond that is of better quality. This is because the natural imperfections of your diamond will be hidden better due to the smaller surface area, and also inclusions are less noticeable too. Therefore, when mounted on the ring, you may find that a smaller carat diamond gives off better sparkle and fire than a larger carat diamond would - and who doesn’t want that?
Prioritise the cut
The cut of your diamond will have much to do with how much fire and radiance your diamond showcases over the carat. Certain cuts will give off more light and fire than others, and even make your diamond look bigger than one with a large carat size. For example, an emerald cut will give the illusion of a larger diamond due to its elongated shape and large surface area, while its 57 facets will give off masses of light and sparkle.
Lab grown diamonds
If a large carat size is still important to you and at the forefront of your decision making, then perhaps a lab grown diamond will fulfil all of your needs. Lab grown diamonds have the same chemical composition as earth mined diamonds but come at a much lower price point for the fact they are made in a laboratory setting. In this case, you can get the most out of your budget and afford an even larger carat size than you could get for an earth mined diamond. The best part is that lab grown diamonds are physically and optically the same as natural diamonds!
Now to decide…
By now, you should be able to determine the right carat size for yours or your partner's engagement ring. So, be sure to browse our extensive collection for inspiration and to find the perfect ring with your ideal diamond carat.
Need more advice? You can book a free, no-obligation consultation with our experts, who will be happy to guide you through the process of finding your dream engagement ring. During the appointment, you can also try on a few different styles of ring to derteming the best cut, setting and carat size.