5 Proven Tips to Shop For Big Diamond Rings (Updated)

big engagement rings on hand

Looking for a huge, flashy diamond? 

So, you have decided to propose and make the purchase of a diamond engagement ring. Congratulations!

If you are looking to up the wow factor when proposing and have some cash to spare, a large diamond may be something you are thinking about. And the good news is, you will learn practical tips to make an educated purchase in this writeup.

First, let’s consider some important things to focus on when shopping for a big diamond engagement ring.

What Carat Size Is Considered Large?

This is a question that I get asked frequently. It really depends on your own definitions how you view the term “big”. Your perception of what constitutes a big engagement ring can vary depending on your lifestyle and financial situation.

For the majority of readers, you probably know that 1 carat is the most popular size that most women desire to have. However, we would not classify one carat as a huge diamond.

By our book, anything upwards of 1.5ct, like 2 or 3 carats, would be considered quite large. Once you get up to 5 carats and higher, these diamonds are extremely large!

On this note, I know some people will get overboard and assume that a bigger diamond is always better for visual appearances or making an “impact”. I call this phenomenon “carat size overkill“.

Big Engagement Rings on Hand

Excessively large diamond engagement ring on hand (in left image).

When diamonds get too large, they can overwhelm and skew the overall appearance of a diamond ring (especially on a thin finger). In the above illustration, the image on the right is actually more appealing as it has a good finger size to ring ratio.

With that in mind, let’s reveal some of the most important tips to take note of when you go shopping…

Tip #1: Buy Only GIA or AGS Certified

When purchasing a large sized diamond, a grading report from a reliable lab like GIA or AGS  is mandatory. These are the only 2 trustworthy gemological laboratories in the world that grade diamonds consistently with the highest standards.

Here’s an analogy: How would you like to buy what you thought was a Porsche and the car turns out to be a Lincoln? You will get ripped off and overpay for an inferior diamond with in-house grading certificates or any other labs.

When making such a significant purchase, you need to know that the material qualities of the diamond are accurately represented and legitimate! I will reiterate – NEVER buy a diamond that isn’t graded by GIA or AGS.

Reputable vendors like White Flash, Brian Gavin and James Allen deal only with GIA and AGS graded diamonds. On top of that, they provide you with tangible data beyond the grading report like interactive videos and light performance data. Highly recommended!

Tip #2: Go Online For Better Quality And Selections

big wedding rings for women on a bride to be

Yes, you heard that right.

The #1 reason that you need to ditch shopping in local stores and head online is that you get better selections and quality. Now, I know some people will be instantly screaming: “Are you crazy to even suggest buying a huge size diamond ring online?”, “It’s ridiculous to buy a diamond without seeing it!” or “How do I know the quality of the diamond if I don’t see the ring?”

Let me tell you that the joke’s on people who have misguided beliefs of shopping for big engagement rings in a brick and mortar store.

In real life, here’s what’s going to happen when you walk into a store asking to see a 3 carat diamond ring (or any large size diamond). Unless all the stars aligned in your favor on that particular day, you won’t find any diamonds available.

And even if in the off-chance that you do, the chances are stacked against you finding a well cut diamond with optimal performance.

Don’t believe me? All you need to do is to pay a visit to your local store and verify this for yourself. In fact, I encourage you to do so to experience things first-hand. Do share your experience of shopping for huge diamond ring in the comment section below.

Now, what happens when the jeweler doesn’t have any stones in store for you to view? They will go ONLINE to look at their database and blindly make recommendations on diamonds they had NEVER seen before themselves.

Next, the store will ask for a deposit to call in a diamond if you want to see it in person. The deposit is usually non-refundable due to shipping and insurance charges. It also locks you up with making a purchase from them eventually.

face palm on people with traditional thinking

My reaction when people commit this mistake and need my help to fix things.

Get this, the jeweler is shopping ONLINE on your behalf and often, without even seeing details of the diamond. Instead of you having control when you buy online yourself, you are now asking someone else with a conflict of interest to perform the shopping on your behalf at YOUR RISK.

If you asked me, I would say it is outright foolish and you actually deserve to get ripped off if you knowingly shop at a traditional retailer in this manner.

In contrast, shopping online with reliable vendors enables you to find the best possible diamond for your budget. However, that’s not the main reason why I advocate heading to the Internet.

Contrary to what you think, buying a diamond online is way more TRANSPARENT than you think. Plus, you get to browse in peace without the pressure of a pushy sales staff, enjoy better prices and sales policies (30 day money back guarantee which is non-existent in traditional stores).

Let me show you what I mean about how online vendors go out of their way to offer indepth data with a random 2.5 carat diamond listing below…

2.5 carat diamond loose online f color vs2 clarity

Besides offering you magnified images to scrutinize details, White Flash also offers light performance metrics like ASET, Idealscope and H&A images so that you can easily analyze a diamond’s optical performance.

giant engagement ring

And that’s not all, they even have a HD video of the diamond to let you see exactly what you are buying. In contrast, indepth information like these are virtually NON-EXISTENT with traditional retailers.

Online retailers like White Flash, Brian Gavin and James Allen are some of the best vendors in the industry when it comes to diamond quality and customer service. I strongly encourage you to visit their websites and experience it for yourself!

Tip #3 – Recommended Diamond Specs for Big Engagement Rings

One of the key things to bear in mind when shopping for a large size diamond is that the bigger the diamond, the more important material properties like clarity and color become.

This is because the diamond’s size amplifies deficiencies like cut quality, body tint and inclusions; making it easier for people to spot a poor quality gem.

For your reference, here are our recommended guidelines when you go shopping for a big engagement ring…

Color: G or better.

Clarity: VS2 or better.

Cut: GIA 3Ex or AGS000 as baseline to start cherry picking.

With large size diamonds, you would need to go higher in clarity compared to smaller diamonds. We recommend at least a VS2 or better clarity as this will generally result in eyeclean diamonds; where you will not be able to see inclusions with your naked eyes.

As for color, this is largely subjective. As a rule of the thumb, a G or better color will ensure the diamond faces up icy white. If you are OK with diamonds showing a tint of body color, going down to J or K colors will massively reduce the cost of a large diamond.

Cut quality is the most important aspect of choosing a diamond that you must not compromise under any circumstances. A diamond with better cut quality will look more beautiful and display better sparkle compared to another one that has mediocre cut quality.

Many people assume that a GIA 3Ex diamond will automatically equate to a diamond with the best performance. But this is far from the truth. I want to highlight and emphasize that you need to be extremely selective and utilize tangible data like ASET or hearts and arrows images to help you make educated decisions.

Tip #4: Managing Budget And Prices For Big Diamond Rings

Deciding to purchase the ring is one thing, paying for it is another. How much can you expect to spend when buying a huge diamond ring? This can range up and down considerably depending on where you buy, the cut quality, and other material aspects like color, clarity of the diamond.

If you wish to purchase a diamond of exceptional material quality with no inclusions (i.e. D/IF), you could easily pay upwards of $50,000 (2ct) to $500,000 (5ct) and possibly higher with extremely large carat sizes.

If this amount of money sounds ridiculous, don’t panic.

Due to rarity factors like color, carat and clarity, the prices of diamonds increase on an exponential manner with size. However, if you were to buy a well cut diamond with slightly lower color and clarity, you will save a lot of money.

giant diamond with D and Flawless clarity

super ideal cut f vvs2 for an enormous engagement ring

Here’s a case in point about cut quality being the most important rather than color or clarity ratings. From a practical perspective, let me tell you that the D/FL diamond is NOT as sparkly or lively as the F/VVS2 diamond because of differences in cut quality.

Yet, in terms of prices, the F VVS2 is less expensive and the much much much better buy.

And it is only by shopping online that you can easily see differences due to the availability of tangible data. Click on both listings above and compare the ASET images for yourself.

You will see that the light leakage in the D/FL diamond is very obvious and the best thing is, this can easily be analyzed even if you are a layperson.

Online retailers like White Flash, Brian Gavin and James Allen have built up competitive advantages to knock the traditional stores out of the park with better selections, higher quality diamonds and the ease of shopping for a diamond.

Tip# 5: Consider allowing her to see the ring before purchase

get help and opinion from best friend to select jewelry

I know it is kind of a tradition for your fiancé to not see the ring before the proposal! And if you are going to make that significant of a purchase, it is imperative that it be something she likes and will want to wear forever. Otherwise, your time and money could come back to haunt you.

If you absolutely want her to be surprised, get help from her best friend or sister. She should have a good idea of what your wife to be will want to wear, and will probably be very honest with you. Checking in with the best friend has its advantages!

While a fiancé may be worried about hurting your feelings or being picky, the best friend is likely to be straightforward and unconcerned about lying to you. Long and short of it is, if you are at all worried about making the selection alone, seek the opinion of someone close to your recipient!

Shopping for a Big Engagement Ring With Confidence

The purchase of a large size diamond is an important one and should never to be taken lightly. After all, it is going to be a significant sum of money for a single purchase.

Remember to start by determining your price range and finding out the preferences of your recipient. Next, start your search way ahead of time before any deadlines draw near.

Then, head to the better online stores and utilize tangible data to help you make an educated purchase. All these factors combine to make an excellent purchase that you won’t regret and your fiancé will love!

Lastly, I would love to hear your thoughts on how big of a carat size would you actually consider to be big? If you are shopping for a diamond engagement ring, how large of a budget would you set aside? Leave a comment below!

We strongly recommend you start out your search at White Flash, Brian Gavin and James Allen. These vendors have exceptional store policies, a sizable inventory of ideal cut diamonds and superb craftsmanship in their benchwork.

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  1. Sharon-
    October 18, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I’m looking for the biggest diamond ring that I can get for $65,000. My husband and I would be interested in a oval shape diamond that is white in color. We have already chosen the ring design which is a halo ring with some small diamonds on the sides. Would you be able to help us out if pay you for your time to guide us along in this purchase?

  2. Paul Gian-
    October 19, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    What kind of carat sizes are you looking at? You might want to reach out to me directly via email for faster responses. As a ballpark figure, your budget should be able to get you something nice in the 3 to 4 carat ranges. As a start, you may also want to check out this write up about buying a 3 carat oval diamond ring and the things you should look out for when buying large size stones.

  3. Margaret-
    October 20, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I was browsing on ED and came across this listing: SKU C322-7Z6181825

    giant diamond ring with halo and cushion diamond

    What do you make of it? It’s weird that they are listing a completed ring image as opposed to the diamond’s details.

  4. Paul Gian-
    October 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    To be honest, I am not sure sure what is going on as well. It could be a data feed error or a misplaced photograph or even the entire ring selling on consignment. If you are interested in the stone, get in touch with Joshua and get him to look into details.

  5. Elaine-
    October 22, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Do you know of any physical stores that specializes in big diamond engagement rings in Hatton Garden area?

  6. Paul Gian-
    October 23, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Have you even read what I wrote in this article? Looking for big diamond engagement rings in diamonds districts like Hatton Garden or New York is simply asking for trouble. If you are that adamant on buying in person or want to check things out, go to the larger big name stores like Graff or Cartier.

    They usually have a small selection of huge diamond rings in various carat sizes available. Just a word of caution here; expect to pay a significant premium and don’t expect to get the best cut diamonds in the market.

  7. Charita J. Cash-
    October 23, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Thanks for the insightful writing. In my opinion, a big diamond ring would be classified somewhere above the region of being 3 carats and larger. Budget wise, $40000 would be a large expense and something I probably will never afford in a ring purchase.

  8. Paul Gian-
    October 24, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Even though I run a consumer blog and had purchased quite a number of rings myself, I personally would not splurge on huge engagement rings above a certain threshold of money. One reason is that my wife is really not in diamonds as much as I am. She would rather have more rings to wear on different occasions than to have a single big diamond ring for choices.

  9. Virginia-
    October 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Huge engagement rings are for the rich and famous. I don’t get why women get all excited about diamonds and fine jewelry. In this materialistic society, it seems like it is harder and harder to find true love without money.

  10. Paul Gian-
    October 26, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Actually, huge engagement rings are still somewhat affordable if you go down lower in color and on the clarity scale. i.e. Going down to M or L colors can enable you to get a large size diamond ring without breaking the bank. As for the view on being materialistic, I guess different people have different outlooks in life and what is important to them.

  11. michael-
    October 29, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I am looking for a big square diamond ring with side stones on the ring. I really appreciate your kind help and advice on the following big princess cut engagement rings I came across:


  12. Paul Gian-
    October 29, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    If you are shopping for a big princess cut engagement ring, you definitely NEED images and videos to make an educated purchase. Without seeing details, these diamonds could be dogs (most likely) or could perform well.

    Brian Gavin and White Flash are the go to people in the industry if you are looking for an ideally crafted big princess cut engagement ring. Their carefully curated in house diamonds have fantastic light performance. Check them out first!

  13. Leslie-
    November 1, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    What size engagement ring is most common in the United Kingdom? Also, what do you think of Cartier?

  14. Paul Gian-
    November 1, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    The average engagement ring size in UK is about 0.6 carats. https://beyond4cs.com/carat/average-engagement-ring-size/

    As for Cartier, you can read the review I made here: https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/cartier/

    For UK shoppers, this is a link you want to check out as well: https://beyond4cs.com/jewelry-guide/diamond-engagement-rings-uk/

  15. Mark-
    November 4, 2017 at 9:42 am

    What are the best places to buy big wedding rings as I require some custom work for engraving and design?

  16. Paul Gian-
    November 6, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say “big wedding rings”. Do you have an abnormally large finger size or require a special fitting? In terms of engraving and custom designing, most vendors will have such a service available. The better ones that I know of is Brian Gavin: https://beyond4cs.com/go/briangavin/

  17. jeff-
    November 8, 2017 at 2:32 am

    I was browsing online and came across this giant engagement ring. How much do you think this will cost?

  18. Paul Gian-
    November 8, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Sorry, I don’t see any attachments or links in your comment.

  19. Diane Bagster-
    October 19, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    I am looking to purchase a 2 carat princess lab grown diamond. All excellent but not certain about which color. I have vasilated from color I to H. Not sure if larger stones show more color. Help?

  20. Paul Gian-
    October 20, 2020 at 3:20 am

    Larger stones do show more color and with fancy shaped diamonds, the effect is more pronounced due to their lower light performance compared to round cuts. I would say that the differences between an H and an I is minimal. If you are scared and averse of color, go for at least an F for a 2 carat diamond.

    Watch this video here to see some real life comparisons of engagement rings: https://beyond4cs.com/jewelry-guide/colorless-diamonds-vs-near-colorless-diamonds/

  21. Henry Killingsworth-
    July 5, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    It was really informative when you pointed out that you should only purchase diamond rings that have a grading report from a reliable lab. I would like to purchase my wife a new diamond ring for our second anniversary later this year. I will have to make sure that I only look at diamond rings that have professional grading reports.

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