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 Two Carat Range

Two carats is really quite a large diamond. If you can afford to buy a two carat diamond, count yourself lucky. Only a small percentage of diamond engagement rings use a centre stone that is two carats or larger. In this size range of diamond, you need to pay a lot of attention to the clarity of the stone, especially if you're looking at an SI1 or SI2 clarity diamond. However, the potential price benefit of going for an eye clean, lower clarity stone is huge, potentially many thousands of dollars. Consider buying a higher clarity two carat diamond only if you cannot inspect the diamond visually (which has never recommended), or if the clarity property, beyond being eye clean, is especially important to you.

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