Carat weight might not feature first on the list of 4 C’s for the educated buyer but that does not mean it isn’t important. In fact, it is one of the most significant factors that may decide your ultimate purchase because it impacts pricing directly.
I usually get emails from readers seeking answers to similar questions on the best size ranges to buy or whether a diamond is too small/large and etc… With social stigmas in place, some people simply cannot decide on the ideal size of diamonds to settle on.
How do you go about choosing the perfect size of a diamond? This might sound like a simple question but the answer is entirely subjective to different individuals. By keeping the following tips in mind, you should be able to settle on an answer with ease.
Always start here. Budget decides so much when it comes to purchasing diamonds and it can help you narrow down your available choices. Do note that in the world of gemstones, the increase in cost is in an exponential relationship with the increase in gemstone size. This is due the market economics where limited availability of larger stones drive higher prices.
Here is an analogy to help you understand this concept. If you buy a 2-carat diamond, it will not be the combined prices of 2 one-carat stones even if other characteristics are exactly the same. The cost of a diamond rises exponentially as carat sizes increase and is most easily felt at the 0.50 and 1.00 “magical” carat marks.
It doesn’t take a great genius to figure out that a smaller finger will look good with a smaller stone. Given the present fashion trends in cocktail rings, a stone that is too large would simply weigh a small finger down. Size overkill will also make the hand look odd and feel uncomfortable.
If the recipient has relatively smaller fingers, you are in luck. This is because you can spend less on a smaller diamond that is sufficient to offer decent finger coverage!
Is it for an engagement or an anniversary surprise? The importance of the occasion can help you decide how big to go to. Also, if a ring had already been given before, the next one need not be as big or could take on a different shape for variety. On the other hand, if the first one was a small purchase, you can make the next one a whopper for a stunning upgrade!
Are you more spiritual than materialistic? Are you a spendthrift or more cautious? Hold on to your money if you are not sure, and go for a smaller diamond despite what a sales person might say. It is definitely easier to start small and upgrade towards a bigger stone overtime.
In fact, I had seen this situation played out many times where people didn’t stick to their budget. Shoppers walk into a store with a stated budget only to come out of it with a bigger than expected expenditure. Many times, these are the same people that suffer from the buyer’s remorse syndrome due to impulsive purchases.
Beautiful Round Diamond in 6 Prong Solitaire Setting
This tip will save you serious money. If you aren’t aware yet, prices at the .5 and 1 carat marks leap significantly and can account for 20-30% price differences. Diamonds that are just below these weights cost a lot less and it makes sense to buy “shy”.
Due to the fact that carat weight is evenly distributed across the stone, small size differences (differences of less than 0.1 carat) are usually not visible to the human eye. For example, instead of buying a 1.00 carat stone, you might want to consider getting one that lies in the 0.92-0.98 range for huge savings.
If budget is a concern, you should go for a diamond which is of a better cut at the expense of lower color and clarity. This will render more brilliance to the diamond. In turn, it improves the face up appearance for color and helps mask inclusions.
Also, a more delicate setting like a thinner shank or halo setting will also make the stone appear larger. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the band of a ring, the smaller the diamond will appear to be. On the contrary, any diamond you mount on thin shanks will automatically look larger.
The importance of carat weight should not be judged as a prerequisite to a purchase. This is because carat weight by itself does not speak much on the quality or beauty of a diamond. Instead, it must be considered in conjunction with the other C’s of color, cut, and clarity. Read through the rest of our website and do your research first. A better understanding on the 4Cs will help you render a complete picture and make the best purchase possible.
At the end of the day, only you can decide which carat weight is right for you. Your budget immediately decides your range of available options. In my opinion, that is a good thing since it narrows down choices. Here’s a word of advice. If you can’t afford a bigger stone at this point in time, it isn’t a wise decision to go into debt by taking a loan for something extravagant. And if love be true, then it does not even need commemoration with something material.
While people do parade huge and exquisite purchases in most societies, I personally think that it should not be a measure of self-worth. Keep in mind, many have treasured a simple ring from a candy machine as being their most precious possession when they were young. A piece of jewelry with sentimental value does not have to cost you an arm or leg. It is the feeling and enjoyment of owning a piece of jewelry that counts most.