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).

0.82 Carat Weight Princess Diamond Shown on a Hand

A princess shape diamond with a carat weight of 0.82 is typically about 5.3 mm long on a side; this can of course vary depending on cut. If you've got a ring around the house and you know what it's size is, use it to compare with the US size six ring pictured - this will assist you in getting a concrete idea of the diamond size in the picture. Some of my readers are men - if this is you and you're trying to calculate the appropriate size of diamond to buy for your other half, remember that the stonewill invariably appear much larger on the hands of a woman, which are typically smaller.

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