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).

What Does a 2.96 Carat Diamond Look Like on a Hand?

This 2.96 diamond will look about the size indicated in the image, on an average-sized woman's finger. This 2.96 carat round diamond has a diameter of about 9.4 mm as shown in the picture. This illustration shows a size L 1/2 ring (British and Australia), which is the same as a US size six ring.

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Be aware that picture such as this one are just that - only illustrative - female hand sizes will vary quite a bit. If you've been stressed about how expensive diamonds are but are still really set on getting one, here's something to cheer you up - the diamonds invariably appear bigger when put on a hand, especially in cases where her hand is on the smaller side.

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