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).

1.18 Carat Actual Size

If you're wondering how big a 1.18 carat diamond appears on a hand, take a look at this picture to give you an approximate idea. A typical round stone with a 1.18 carat size has a diameter of 6.9 mm, although this can change if the cut is shallow or deep. I've used the average engagement ring size, a size six, for the illustration, which has an internal diameter of 16.5 mm or 0.65 inches. Look at the difference between the size of the woman's hand and the man's hand in the picture - it's obvious that the woman's hand is much smaller and more delicate (which is typical), so the diamond appears larger on her hand than it would obviously on his hand.

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Go searching for diamonds this size at James Allen by clicking on the banner below and dragging the carat slider to the appropriate setting:

Actual Diamond Photos from JamesAllen