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).

The Popular Size Diamonds - 0.26 to 0.75 carats

The vast majority of diamonds purchased for engagement rings fall within this range – 0.26 to 0.75 carats. Diamonds in this size range represent excellent value for money, and are big enough to get some attention when put on a ring, especially on a small woman's hand. Indeed, on some women's hands, you may not want to get a diamond any larger than one of these.

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