If you are like most people who have just started researching or shopping around for a diamond ring, you are probably wondering about the average diamond size for an engagement ring.
Or maybe, you just want to have a better idea of the average carat size (and costs involved) in order to plan and set aside a budget for a future purchase.
Whatever the case, we’ll answer that for you quickly, and then dive in to explain the answer. More importantly, you’ll also find useful tips to getting better value for your money whatever your budget is.
The short answer: 1.0 carat is considered to be the average weight of a diamond for an engagement ring in the United States.
Now, I need to emphasize that this statistics is an averaged result. In reality, there are people who buy 0.3 carat diamonds (lower end of spectrum) and there are people with whopping 3 carats rings (higher end of spectrum).
Even if you aren’t based in US, don’t worry because I’ve got you covered.
We’ve compiled a table to indicate the average sizes of engagement rings for different regions of the world. I had also included the median cost of buying an engagement ring for comparisons.
|Country/Region||Average Engagement Ring Size||Average Cost (USD)|
|United States (US)||1.0 carat||$6,000|
|United Kingdom (UK)||0.6 carats||$2,600|
|Hong Kong||0.7 carats||$4,000|
As you can see from the table above, the average carat size of an engagement ring is region dependent. It’s also interesting to note that the average carat weight varies on a localized scale as well.
In general, people with higher disposal income and better paying salaries tend to buy bigger stones. This phenomenon can be readily observed in bigger cities (e.g. New York City) where people can afford to spend more on luxury items compared to smaller towns like Nebraska City.
I also want to highlight the increased consumption of diamond jewelry in the emerging Chinese market. Although the majority of marriage proposals don’t involve a diamond ring yet, the trend is definitely catching on.
I’ll would expect the overall value and size of diamonds sold to increase significantly as the general population becomes more affluent.
1) Shopping online gives you significantly better choices and cut quality. On top of that, prices do not come with excessive premiums that brick and mortar stores pass onto you. Check out this curated list of vendors I personally recommend.
2) Carat weight is a huge factor in a diamond’s cost due to demand and supply. By going slightly below “magic” carat numbers like 1.00 or 0.70 carats, you can save a huge chunk of money.
3) Clarity is a property that’s often overstated by misguided sales people. The misconception that better clarity will result in a beautiful diamond is false. The truth is, as long as the diamond is eyeclean and the inclusions doesn’t impact transparency, a slightly included diamond can look just as good as an internally flawless stone.
4) Color is another aspect that is often misconstrued by many sales personnel. Unless you are one of the few with super sensitive eyes, a well cut G colored diamond will face up white compared to a D colored diamond.
The social expectation for engagement rings stemmed from a clever marketing campaign by De Beers in the late 1940s. It should come as no surprise that the same company started an effective “2 months’ salary” campaign to peg a man’s love to his relationship.
Here’s a word of advice from someone who has helped thousands of diamond ring shoppers around the world. The engagement ring is a symbolic item representing the promise and love between couples. You should only spend an amount you are comfortable with and not what you think society dictates.
So, what do you think of the ideal carat size of an engagement ring should be? I’m curious to hear your opinions in the comments below!
FYI, here’s the list of references used in this article:
The 2015 Newlywed Report – WeddingWire.com
The Knot 2015 Real Weddings Study – TheKnot.com
The Diamond Insight Report 2015 – DebeersGroup.com
The Diamond Insight Report 2014 – DebeersGroup.com
New Statistics Show Hong Kong Women Care About Diamond Size – DiamondRegistry.com
Unlocking the Chinese Retail Diamond Industry Secrets – GIA.edu
I’ve also used data that I’ve collected via Beyond4cs.com too.
My girlfriend has a size 4 finger and I do have a budget of around $18,000 for the ring. I don’t have to utilize the entire budget but am willing to spend it to get something nice. What is an acceptable diamond size for an engagement ring without having it look too gaudy?
It really depends on your preferences because there is no consensus on how many carats should an engagement ring be. For a size 4 finger, I would say that a 1 carat diamond would provide sufficient finger coverage. This article may help: https://beyond4cs.com/carat/what-size-is-right-for-me/
How big of a diamond for engagement ring in China? I want to know how many carats is a lot in the market here. What is the average carat size of an engagement ring in Beijing and Shenzhen?
As far as my understanding of the local Chinese market goes, the most popular carat weight among shoppers is estimated to be around 0.50 carats. The consumers in the Chinese market tend to place emphasis on better color/clarity rather than other parts of the world.
Thanks for the insightful article and shedding light about how many carats should an engagement ring be. Do you think the national average size of engagement ring will rise overtime as more and more couples turn to online retailers because of their cheaper prices?
Compared to 2014, the average carat size of an engagement ring in 2015 has seen a slight increase. This is largely due to a growing population with higher spending power and affluence. And if you start going back to review historical consumer data, the average diamond size for a wedding ring has generally been on an upward trend (except during financial crashes). Based on this, I would predict that the following years (2017, 2018, 2019 and beyond) will probably see an increase of 2-5% on a yearly basis.
I believe the booming e-commerce industry has some relationship and causation effect on this trend but there are other major factors like general economy at work. If you are wondering how big should the diamond be in an engagement ring be, I need to re-emphasize that there isn’t any hard and fast rules. It really depends on your own beliefs and budget.
TheKnot.com actually reported an average size of 1.18 carats but you listed the national average carat weight to be at 1 carat. Why is there a discrepancy? Do you know what is the average size of an engagement ring in NYC? What size of engagement ring is most common for young couples fresh out of college?
I believe this is the national study you are referring to.
This has to do with sample size and normalizing of data I had collected at Beyond4cs.com too. The Knot acknowledges that they have a more affluent target base and this skews the result they have towards the higher side. From the data I had compiled at Beyond4cs.com, the average and most popular size would be closer to 1 carat.
The most common size for fresh graduates based on people I had helped so far is around half carat. Most college students spend around $2000 to $3000 for their rings.
I thought the average size of a diamond in an engagement ring in the USA is less than 1 carat. The advice you gave getting the most for your money when buying a ring, is right on. Where do you foresee the average carat size of an engagement ring to be in 2018 and 2019?
For both 2018 and 2019, I’m going to predict that the average size would be around one carat. It’s more of a psychological behavior that would drive people towards this size as it is a nice whole number.
What is the median size of an engagement ring diamond in the U.S.? This would be a more accurate representation of what most people buy (since a few very large diamonds can artificially skew the average upward.)
The median size is also very close to 1 carat. It’s in the 0.95ct range based on my data.
Hi I came across your website while doing research into engagement rings and I must say you’ve done an amazing job with all the articles you’ve written and all the research you’ve gone into with the various types of rings and vendors around to choose from. What is the most recent update on the average carat weight for engagement rings across those countries listed, as well as Australia? Many thanks :)
Writing this in 2020, I would say that the average carat sizes of diamond rings are more or less the same for the different countries. What is different is that there are more people buying lab created diamonds instead of natural diamonds. For example, most people buy 1 carat size natural diamonds and of late, I am seeing more people buying 1 carat size lab grown diamonds. As for Australia, the average size of a diamond ring is roughly 0.7 carats. The caveat is that this is based on my own observation of data from readers and the reason I didn’t include Australia as part of the country list is that my sample size is too small for me to make a proper call. Sorry if this didn’t help and I will admit that constraint because of the limited data I have.