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Diamond size for an engagement ring?

One of the most important choices when choosing an engagement ring is deciding on the right diamond size. While the common thought is that the bigger a diamond, the better,...

Choosing an engagement ring, whether for yourself or your partner, is not an easy task. There are lots of choices to make, such as what type of metal you want the ring to be made of or what setting style you want the stone to be mounted in. However, one of the most important choices is deciding on the right engagement ring diamond size. While the common thought is that the bigger a diamond, the better, this isn’t always the case.

How is diamond size measured?
Diamond sizes are measured in terms of both dimensions in millimetres and weight in carats. These two measurements collectively indicate the size of the diamond, contrary to the popular belief that carat alone refers to a diamond’s size, or indeed its value rather than its weight. Because of the range of cuts and shapes diamonds come in, weight alone can never be a true indicator of size.
For example, a particularly deep diamond with a small table might weigh more than a diamond with a bigger table but less depth but would look smaller from above when set in a ring. Similarly, a 0.75 carat oval shape diamond might be up to 1.5 times larger in terms of dimensions than a princess cut diamond of the same weight, due to the different shapes.

How can you maximise diamond size?

If you’re interested in getting the largest diamond for your money, whether in terms of dimensions or weight, you can make trade-offs in other elements of the diamond to fit your budget. Accepting sacrifices in colour, clarity, or cut quality of your diamond (known as the 4Cs, along with carat), will mean that you can get a higher carat diamond ring for a lower price. This proves to be a good choice, as some inclusions (faults in the clarity of the diamond) or colour defects are essentially unnoticeable to the human eye and would only be picked up by a diamond expert. So, if you’re looking for impressive size, consider decreasing your expectations elsewhere.

Although large diamonds can look impressive, especially if the cut and shape complement the carat, they’re not the only thing that makes a diamond special. If you’re more interested in a diamond which is perfectly crystal clear, completely colourless, or cut perfectly, you’ll get different benefits such as improved light dispersion or shine. Other points to consider are the size of the shank that the stone will be set on and the size of the hand that the ring will be worn on. Both considerations determine the visual context the diamond will find itself in, and you want to make sure that it won’t look out of place by being too large or too small.


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