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).

Actual Diamond Sizes of a 1.20 Carat Diamond

This page provides an illustrated example of the real size of a 1.20 carat diamond when set in a ring and put on a typical woman's hand. You can use the 6.9 mm average width of a 1.20 carat stone through measuring the length and width of your own finger in order to get an idea at home of how big the diamond would appear.

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The ring shown in the picture is a US size six, which is equivalent to an L 1/2 ring size in countries like Australia and Britain, and is an average ring size. Be careful of reading too much into just a picture - it can't be entirely representative of every finger and hand type - you are best advised to get a bit of an idea in store by trying on actual rings with your partner. The ratio of the length of your ring finger and the width of your finger can play a pivotal role in how the diamond looks, which you should take into consideration. 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 usually the case), so the diamond appears larger on her hand than it would obviously on his hand.

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