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 Size of 0.96 Carat Diamond

This page gives a photo example of the real size of a 0.96 carat diamond on an average woman's hand. The picture shows a ring which is US size six; this is the same as an L 1/2 ring size in places like Britain and Australia. Be careful of reading too much into just a picture - a picture alone won't be completely representative of every finger and hand type - you're best off getting an idea in store by trying on actual rings with your partner. Don't forget to take into account not just the overall size of your hand, but also if you have long and slim fingers or squatter ones.

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Try and avoid making the mistake I made of examing a potential diamond engagement ring placed on my own, male finger - remember it's ending up on a generally smaller and more delicate female hand, where it will likely not shrink quite as much as when placed on a male 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