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 on Hand of a 1.56 Carat Diamond

This 1.56 diamond will look about the size indicated in the photo, for a typical woman's hand. A typical round diamond with a 1.56 carat size has a diameter of 7.6 mm, although this can change depending on the cut. The picture shows a ring which is US size 6, which is the same as an L 1/2 ring size in countries like Australia and Britain, and is an average ring size. It is good to be cautious when looking at a picture - it can't be completely representative of all finger and hand types - you are best off getting an idea in store with an actual ring.

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The apparent size of the diamond and ring can be affected by whether you have thick or thin digits, and also depends on their length.

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