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).

1.23 Carat Diamond Actual Size

This 1.23 diamond will look about the size shown in the illustration, for an average-sized woman's fingers. You should be aware that illustration such as this one are limited in what they can show - female hand sizes can vary hugely. The apparent size of the diamond and ring will vary depending on whether you have thick or thin fingers, and also depends on their length. Try and avoid making the mistake I made of examing a potential diamond engagement ring placed on my own, male finger - remember that it is ending up on a usually smaller and more petite female hand, where it will likely not shrink quite as much as when placed on a male 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