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).

1.26 Carat Diamond Size on Hand

A typical round diamond with a 1.26 carat size has a diameter of 7.1 mm; bear in mind that this can vary slightly depending on the cut. This illustration shows a size L 1/2 ring (Britain and other countries ), which is equivalent to a US size 6 . The ratio of your ring finger's length and the width of your finger can play a pivotal role in how the diamond looks, which you should take into consideration. Try and avoid making the mistake I made of looking at a potential diamond engagement ring placed on my own, large male finger - remember that it is ending up on a generally 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