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    Different Diamond Carat Sizes on a Hand & Diamond Size Pro-tips

    Whether you're shopping for a see-from-space diamond or a smaller, subtler stone, carat is always front of mind for an engagement ring. Truthfully though, carat is maybe the most misunderstood of the 4 Cs and we're here to clear up all the confusion + get you the biggest, most dazzling diamond in your budget (unless you're on team tiny and we're here for you too)!

    Keep reading for:

    • What does diamond carat mean?
    • How big is a carat?
    • Different carat sizes on a hand
    • Pro-tips to get the biggest looking diamond

    What does diamond carat mean?

    Despite what most people think, carat is a measure of weight, not size. One carat weighs 0.2 grams and that 0.2 grams can come in many different shapes and sizes.

    And just to toss in a curveball - ‘carat’ is completely different from ‘karat’ - the unit used to measure gold purity.
     

    Carat is just one of the 4 Cs used to evaluate diamonds - read our blog on diamond cut to learn more about the most important C of all.

    How big is a carat?

    As we said, carat measures weight and is equal to 0.2 grams. Just like with people, two stones can weigh exactly the same, yet look completely different in size. Even diamonds of the same shape and equal weight can look different depending on how they’re cut.

    different diamond carat sizes on a hand

    For example, a typical one carat round brilliant diamond measures 6.5 x 6.5 mm while a one carat oval diamond measures 7.7 x 5.7 mm, and the biggest-looking shape of all, marquise, measures 10 x 5 mm. Read our blog on converting carats to mm to find the actual size of any diamond shape.

    Diamond carat vs diamond size

    So now everybody in the back knows that diamond carat and size aren’t equal. But why? Let's break it down:

    1. Shape - elongated shapes like the stretched-out marquise, trick your eyes into seeing a larger-looking diamond. Also, certain cuts pack more weight at the bottom, resulting in a smaller skyward view. 

    2. Stone type - every gemstone has a different density and therefore, a different weight. For instance, a sapphire is weightier than a diamond, so a sapphire of the same carat weight appears smaller.

    3. Cut - Poorly cut diamonds can be too deep or have a chunky girdle which hides their weight below the setting and reduces their visible size.

    Different carat sizes on a hand

    The easiest way to see sizes differences in a diamond is to compare them on a hand. Keep scrolling to see the finger coverage of the most popular diamond carat weights.

    round brilliant diamonds carat sizes on a hand

    round diamond carat sizes on a hand

    emerald cut diamonds carat sizes on a hand

    emerald cut diamond carat sizes on a hand

    Oval cut diamonds carat sizes on a hand

    oval cut diamond carat sizes on a hand

    pear cut diamonds carat sizes on a hand

    pear cut diamond carat sizes on a hand

    marquise cut diamonds carat sizes on a hand

    marquise cut diamond carat sizes on a hand

    PRINCESS cut diamonds carat sizes on a hand

    princess cut diamond carat sizes on a hand

    How to get the largest largest looking diamond:

    1. Got a budget? Perfect, start there!

    2. Next, figure out what carat weight both fits your budget and your aesthetic.

    3. Prioritize ‘cut’ before any of the other Cs - a well-cut diamond will not only look larger but will sparkle shamelessly (the whole point of a diamond, am I right?) Opt for excellent or very good cuts as starting point. Read our blog on diamond cut for more!

    4. Opt for the lowest clarity grade you can find that still maintains an eye-clean look (no visible inclusions to the naked eye). We aren’t in the business of paying for stats we can’t see!

    5. Opt for the lowest color grade you can while still maintaining a colorless appearance (if that’s what you’re looking for). Remember, a G or H grade can look colorless but costs a lot less.

    6. Now that you’ve optimized all your Cs, let’s get back to carat. With a lower color and clarity grade (that no one can see), you have more budget to put towards ‘carat’, and with a high cut grade, you’re getting a diamond with the weight where it matters - up top!

    7. If you're a size queen and you haven’t yet picked your stone shape, consider more elongated shapes like marquise, pear, and oval for a larger-looking diamond.

    8. Look at diamonds just under the most popular size markers. So, if you’re looking at one carat diamonds, peruse the 0.9 carat diamonds - you will not believe the price difference! Same goes for a 3 carat diamond vs a 2.69 carat diamond - a significant price difference with an almost imperceptible size difference.

    Lost in the diamond mine? No worries, we got you!We know where to splurge, where to save, and where to look to find you the most mesmerizing (and biggest) diamond in your budget. Send us a message or book a free consultwith a diamond expert.

    Read our blog for more pro-tips on picking the most dazzling diamond for your dollar.

    diamond color grade comparison

    Diamond carat + price

    Carat weight has a major impact on price, however diamonds don't play by typical rules - they're not priced on a linear scale.

    Think of it like this: a one-carat diamond isn't half the price of a two-carat diamond. And two half-carat diamonds won't cost the same as a single one-carat dazzler. Why?Larger diamonds are harder to find in nature and less supply = a bigger price tag.
     
    And then there's the demand. Most diamond shoppers are searching for round numbers. So, every time we hit a tenth of a carat, prices leap up. And at quarter carat points (the most popular weights) like 0.5, 0.75, and 1, they skyrocket even more.
     
    So, we come to our pro-tip: buying shy and saving money. Look just shy of your desired carat weight - like a 0.96 carat diamond vs a 1.00 carat diamond. It will be noticeably less expensive since it's just shy of that magic threshold.  
     

    Sounds nonsensical? Maybe. But for the diamond shoppers with insider knowledge, it's a loophole to snap up virtually identical diamonds for a lot less.

    SETTINGS AND STONES to make your diamond look larger

    Thin band: slimmer bands will make your center stone appear larger - the contrast is key.

    Halo settings: halo settings and half halo settings can create the illusion of a bigger center stone with more finger coverage. This is especially helpful for smaller diamonds.  

    Switch up your stone:if you’re still not able to find your desired stone size after following all our tips on color, clarity, cut, and shape - think about switching up your stone:

    • Rose cut diamonds are not only less expensive than brilliant cut diamonds, they look noticeably larger for the same carat weight - a one carat round brilliant measures 6.5 x 6.5mm whereas a one carat round rose cut diamond measures 7.5 x 7.5 mm. And…. they’re an incredibly scintillating, stunning cut that likely none of your friends will have ever seen up close.

    • White Sapphires look almost exactly like a diamond but for a fraction of the price. That means a significantly larger stone for so.much.less cash. They’re more sustainable than diamonds and have a subtler, sexier sparkle. Read our blog for more of our favorite diamond alternatives.

    Clean your ring regularly: a sparkling clean ring looks bigger and more impressive than a dull, dirt-covered diamond. You won’t believe the difference a little dish soap can make. Read our blog on ring care for all the pro-tips!


    Need help sourcing your center stone or designing a delectably distinctive custom ring? Book a virtual consultationwith us anytime!


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