Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Diamond Carat Size on Hand - The Two Carat Range - 1.76 to 2.5 Carats

Diamonds anywhere in the vicinity of 2 carat in weight really make an impression when viewed in person, especially when they’re set on a ring on a delicate lady’s finger. That’s why it’s especially important to get an idea before you pull the trigger on what will be a truly huge investment whether the whole size thing is going to work for you.

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Most of the time, if you’re shopping up in this range, it’s a question of how much money you are happy to spend, and whether it’s worth stepping up another carat or not. Remember that the apparent size of a diamond doesn’t increase as rapidly as its carat weight, due to the non-linear relationship between the two properties.

Also stop to at least briefly consider whether a diamond this large is going to be too big – the photo in these examples is of a lady with typical sized hands with petite thin fingers – but if your lucky lady has especially small fingers, the diamond is going to look even bigger than it does in these photos.

Make sure you compare a few different diamonds from the list below – you may want to start with a diamond a little below 2 carats, then immediately jump to one up around two and a half carats, in order to see the apparent increase in size.