The Ultimate Guide to Buying a 2 Carat Diamond Ring

6 prong solitare two carat engagement ring

Stunning two carat diamond in an elegant 6 prong solitaire setting.

If you had ever seen someone wear a 2 carat diamond ring, you will know why it is often called a “statement diamond”. Besides a remarkable size that will turn heads, a two carat diamond ring also portrays a level of elitism to the person wearing it.

Recently, a couple of readers wrote in for help after encountering problems and frustration in their shopping experience with local jewelers. Speaking from experience, I know how things can get overwhelming when faced with such a huge purchase.

This is especially true if you don’t have any information to use as a guide or if you receive wrong advice from the wrong people. And that’s the reason I’m making this post today.

I want address some common questions people have and offer insights to buying 2 carat diamonds the smart way. Hopefully, this write up will steer you away from costly mistakes and help you make the purchase of a lifetime.

General Guidelines For Buying 2 Carat Diamonds

1) Go online – The rationale is simple. Two carat sized diamonds are pretty rare and most local stores don’t have them in stock. Even if they do, you will be severely limited by the choices available.

2) Stick with a minimum of VS2 clarity – While most smaller sized SI1 and SI2 diamonds are eyeclean, the same isn’t true when it comes to bigger sized diamonds. Here’s the bottomline; if you don’t want to see black, ugly inclusions with your naked eye, stick with VS clarity or better.

si1 two carat emerald cut diamond
si2 two carat round cut gia excellent

Magnified photographs or videos reveal a lot of information about the diamond’s characteristic.

3) Cut is KING – What good is a diamond if it doesn’t sparkle? With better cut, the sparkle and brilliance can help hide color tones and inclusions. This means you can save money or get a slightly larger diamond with lower color/clarity grades while still ending up with a beautiful diamond.

4) Choosing G or better color – Okay, this is an aspect that is subjective to individuals. Larger sized diamonds tend to trap body color more than smaller stones. If you are color sensitive, choose diamonds with G color or better if you don’t want to see nuances of yellow.

5) Buy only GIA or AGS graded diamonds – These are the only 2 major gemological labs that provide consistent and reliable grading services. If you don’t want to get ripped off and want to know exactly what you are getting, NEVER buy diamonds that are graded by any other labs.

White Flash and Brian Gavin Diamonds are vendors I highly recommend for their selections of ideal cut diamonds. For the best possible sparkle factor in diamonds, there are no better places.

I Found a Jeweler Selling 2 Carat Diamond Rings For $2,598…

Yeah, right…

You are going to get ripped off if you believe these deals are legitimate. Let me show you why and what you can expect to receive in such “deals”.

i2 two carat solitaire diamond ring scam

I bet your fiancee will be “thrilled” when you propose with a ring resembling “frozen spit”.

The first rule of buying diamonds is that nothing is too good to be true. Clearly, this is an industry-grade diamond. It is so heavily included that the diamond is totally void of any brilliance and sparkle.

The diamond above was “certified” to be a G color and an I2 clarity grade by an unknown lab in order to improve its marketability. The fact is, if GIA had any grading scale lower than I3, this diamond would probably fall into that category.

If you intend to get into such “deals”, let me tell you that it is as good as flushing your money down the toilet. In fact, you will be far better off buying a $50 mock-ring from Walmart’s fashion jewelry department.

So, Where Can You Get Truly High Quality Diamonds in the 2 Carat Range?

Considering diamonds graded by GIA or AGS is only the first step towards your selection process. In my opinion, cut quality is the most important aspect and it trumps the other Cs (clarity, carat & color).

I only recommend buying diamonds from vendors who provide crucial cut data like ASET or Idealscope images. The reason behind this is that these data enable you to have a clear idea about the diamond’s optical performance.

Check out an example of such a listing below…

how much is a 2 carat diamond e color super ideal cut

This E color VS2 clarity diamond is eye-clean and a diamond that has phenomenal cut. Perhaps the more important question is: How do I know this? Well, that’s where the Idealscope, ASET, hearts and arrows and Sarin data come in handy.

light performance data

From left to right: Idealscope image, ASET image and hearts patterning.

Even for a layman, it’s easy to tell if a diamond is going to perform well optically. All you need to do is to compare the information against the reference charts for ASET and Idealscope I made.

High Definition Videos of Diamond at 10X

Here’s a video that captures the diamond in various types of lighting conditions. As you will see shortly, the optical performance of the stone is spectacular.



The Perfect D Color IF Clarity 2 Carat Diamond

I wanted to throw in a couple more diamonds into the mix to let you have a better idea of prices and how different aspects of the 4Cs can impact its cost drastically. Check out the $100,000 diamond below…

how much is a two carat d color if clarity perfect diamond

If you are looking for a diamond with best of the best specifications (D Internally Flawless), be prepared to shell out some serious cash. But, you might be asking; why the 6 figure pricing?

Well, first of all, large diamonds above 2 carats are super rare because of their scarcity in nature. Secondly, this diamond is cut to the kind of precision that is only found in the top 1% of round brilliant cuts.

In a nutshell, you are paying a premium for these attributes. Interestingly, while there is a staggering price difference between the D IF and E VS2 diamond, you probably can’t tell the difference between these 2 diamonds with your naked eye.

For Value Seekers Who Want to Get the Maximum Bang For Your Buck

When it comes to large sized diamonds, we had already established that every attribute of the 4Cs will affect the cost of the stone in an exponential manner.

Here’s a tip: if you are wearing jewelry for practical purposes, buying diamonds in the near-colorless ranges is one of the best strategies to get maximum value for money. Also, there’s no need to get hung up on high clarity grades since your eyes probably can’t see inclusions in VS diamonds without magnification.

2 carats i color vs2 clarity hearts and arrows prices

The diamond above lies in the sweet spot being eye-clean and facing up white to most people. It is a perfect example of a diamond I would recommend for people shopping with a smaller budget.

The Choice of Ring Setting to Mount a Two Carat Diamond

Besides the center stone, the setting is also an essential part of an engagement ring. You should choose your setting wisely because it is going to affect the ring’s appearance and security of the mounted diamond.

In a good setting, craftsmanship and material quality are two important elements to look out for. Fortunately, these are aspects in which vendors like James Allen, White Flash and Brian Gavin both excel.

Check out some of my handpicked designs from these vendors below…

6 prong tiffany style two ct engagement ring
4 prong claw two carat ring

Simple and elegant prong settings from White Flash that are beautifully crafted.

pave setting with 2ct diamond center
3 stone ring with 2ct round cut diamond

Dainty pave setting for added sparkle and 3-stone ring design from James Allen.

Where From Here?

I personally find 2 carat diamonds to be the ideal size for showing off while maintaining an elegant appearance in a ring. But as they say, bigger isn’t always better and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Depending on your personal preferences, I know some people may gravitate towards warm colored diamonds (i.e. J, K) while some others may compromise on size for better clarity. That’s perfectly fine as long as you are absolutely clear and fully understand what you are buying.

If you have any questions or require assistance in picking out a diamond, feel free to drop me an email. Good luck in your diamond search!

Interested in buying diamonds that are cut for beauty and light performance? I recommend that you check out vendors like White Flash and Brian Gavin because no one does it better than them.

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  1. Paul Gian-
    September 19, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Here’s a quick story I wanted to share about how we helped a reader make a confident purchase.

    Subject: Need help choosing 2ct loose diamond (round) with $30k budget

    Hi Paul,

    First of all, I want to let you know how useful I found the information contained in your website. I am in the process of searching for a diamond engagement ring for my girlfriend of 4+ years and I found your website to be an extremely valuable resource for a first time diamond buyer such as myself.

    I have a budget of approximately $30,000 for the stone and am considering these diamonds from Blue Nile, James Allen, and Whiteflash. I would like your opinion on them.

    Blue Nile Stone: 2.14 carat, H Color, VS1, Triple Excellent (this is from Blue Nile’s Signature Ideal collection): $28,572. Scores 1.0 on HCA.

    James Allen: 2.01 carat, H Color, VS1, Triple Excellent (Idealscope image is attached to this e-mail): $28,840. Scores 0.8 on HCA.

    idealscope for james allen 3 EX stone

    White Flash: 2.06, H Color, VS2, AGS 000 (this is from White Flash’s A Cut Above Line): $26,451. Scores 1.2 on HCA.

    Out of the 3 diamonds that I have listed above, what is your preference? I like the fact that the White Flash stone has idealscope, ASET, and Hearts and Arrows images but am a little uneasy buying an AGS stone because I heard that they are more lax than GIA on color grading. Any input or feedback would be appreciated.


    Hi Victor,

    I think you did your research well and picked out some really nice diamonds.

    The answer to me here is obvious. The Whiteflash diamond is the best 2 ct loose diamond among the 3 options.


    In terms of precision cutting, round diamonds don’t get better than A Cut Above and it is evident from the hearts and arrows formation.

    In my opinion, AGS is on par with GIA in terms of grading color and clarity. In fact, I like them a little more when it comes to buying a round diamond. They are much more discerning in their cut grading than GIA.

    Besides the fact that you are paying less for the WF diamond makes it the better choice. You can easily use the money saved towards a better setting or use it for other purchases.

    Go for it!


  2. Brandon Roberts-
    December 2, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I’m wanting to propose to my girlfriend soon, and I need to make sure I find the best ring for her. That being said, I really appreciate you sharing with me some insight on how I can go about buying the best 2 carat diamond ring. I’ll make sure I follow your tips and see what I can find. Thanks a ton Paul for the help.

  3. Paul Gian-
    December 6, 2015 at 2:41 am

    You should email me and let me know more specifications about what you are looking for. i.e. color/clarity/budget etc…

  4. Dennis-
    April 22, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Hi thanks for the great post. I am thinking of this 2 carat loose diamond from Brian Gavin:

    2.638 I VS1 Hearts and Arrows Round

    Any critiques? How would you say it compares to:

    2.700 H SI1 Hearts and Arrows Round

    The second one is basically out of my budget, but for the sake of comparision…..



  5. Paul Gian-
    April 23, 2016 at 4:57 am

    This diamond would be my top choice as well.

    The other diamond may not be eyeclean.

  6. Ian Krylov-
    May 10, 2016 at 3:36 am

    How much does a 2 carat diamond ring cost if it is mined from Russia compared to one that was originated from the United States or South Africa?

    I am from Russia and currently based in Europe for work. I’m wondering whether it is cheaper to buy it from my homeland or to buy it while I am overseas. Also, how much does a 2 carat diamond cost if it is purchased loose by itself?

  7. Paul Gian-
    May 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

    This is a pretty common question I get asked about the prices and cost of buying a diamond ring locally. In general, prices in Europe are very high because of value added taxes and overheads. I believe the cost of a two carat diamond will be cheaper in Russia but the cut quality standards isn’t high. You would be much better off shopping for a diamond in the US because of selections and prices.

  8. Peter-
    September 8, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Thanks for the great write up. I was looking for information on how big is a 2 carat diamond if it is cut in an emerald shape compared to an Asscher. I’m try to see if it will fit into a current setting that I already have.

  9. Paul Gian-
    September 9, 2016 at 3:18 am

    In general, an emerald cut will be physically larger than an Asscher cut diamond. If you want to see exactly how big a 2 carat diamond is, there’s a handy chart that you can download here:

  10. Walt-
    September 13, 2016 at 3:37 am

    As others have remarked I will distinguish mine – remarkable site extremely succinct just the right info and right detail thank you Paul thank you!

  11. Laila-
    October 20, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Hi Paul. My friend has a 2.03c solitaire diamond ring, vs1 but color is O. The cut and everything else is v good and with a GIA cert for $4000. Is it worth buying?

  12. Paul Gian-
    October 20, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Very Good cut is the equivalent of terrible cut quality in a layman’s term. That alone will cause me to ditch the diamond regardless of what its clarity or color is.

  13. Nicole O'Connor-
    April 20, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Hi Paul ,
    I am thinking of purchasing this diamond.
    GIA triple xxx in my local jewellery store.
    Round brilliant
    8.65-8.71 by 5.47
    2.54 carat
    SI 2
    Fluorescence med blue
    Table 56%
    Depth 63%
    Crown angle 36.5
    Pavilion angle 41
    Cutlet none
    Girdle slightly thick faceted
    Is this a reasonable buy
    I want to use my credit up ?

    I wanted to add the other choice is a IGI triple excellent 3 carat H for the same price.
    Does the 2.54 sound like a safe choice it is eye clean ?
    I also wanted to add that I particularly like lots of fire and spectral colours in diamonds.

    Advice please.


  14. Paul Gian-
    April 21, 2017 at 1:59 am

    The diamond isn’t well cut because depth % is too high. For IGI graded diamonds, stay away from them unless you want to get ripped off.

    If you have read and learnt anything from, it is to head online when buying larger sized 2 carat diamonds. The selections and quality are much much better besides lower prices.

  15. Marine-
    June 8, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Hi, have you heard anything about IGL graded diamonds? There’s a seller on ebay selling these, and I would like your opinion on these.

    This seller has heaps of various rings with low prices, and surprisingly good feedback.

    They sound too good to be true, of course. But what about everyday wear? Would I be better off just buying a cheap ring in Walmart? *This is not for an engagement or anything *

    Thanks a lot!

  16. Paul Gian-
    June 8, 2017 at 4:24 am

    You would be a fool to think that the diamond has been properly graded and the qualities accurately represented.

    The IGL “certificate” is dubious and the seller is out to rip unsuspecting consumers off. For your information, eBay feedback can be easily manipulated and it really means nothing. Even if the feedback is genuine, it just shows how many uneducated consumers there are in the market.

  17. Mina-
    July 19, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Paul, what u wrote taught me a lot how to choose good diamond. I’m planning to buy a diamond ring from De Beers for wedding and i got some estimates. (I haven’t seen them in person yet)
    My budget is more or less 40000€ and carat is more important than other Cs. (Minimum 2ct.)
    Cutting is all excellent but i have no idea which one i should consider first; clarity or color.

    1. One round diamond 2,04 carat in colour H and clarity SI1 : 41 500 €

    2. One round diamond 2,11 carat in colour G and clarity SI2 : 39 200 €.

    Which one do u think is a better choice? I know u wrote above here that it should be VS at least but i guess SI is the best i can afford without color going too low.

    At first i thought id go for the second ring; its bigger (Tho i have no idea if 0,06 carat difference would be visibly bigger..) and color is better. (But cheaper!!) But i guess theres also a reason why the first ring is more expensive despite its lower color and carat?

    And this one is a bit above my budget but what’s ur opinion on this?

    3. a 2.01 carats diamond, H color, VS2 clarity. The value is 45 400 euros.

    I wish carat would be bigger but well.
    Can u pls advise me to make the best of my budget? Can u place these rings above like the first choice, second and third?

    I will look forward to ur reply thx!

  18. Paul Gian-
    July 20, 2017 at 2:47 am

    With a branded jeweler, you are paying a Huge premium of at least 1.5 times – 2 times more than an online jeweler who can offer better cut quality for their diamonds. Read this:

    From experience, I can tell you that the cut quality you are getting from De Beers is good at best. Don’t expect the diamonds to have top notch cut precision or light performance despite overpaying for them.

  19. Ryan-
    August 10, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your numerous write-ups on diamond evaluation. It is hard to believe people make purchases so significant while understanding so little.

    That being said, I’m seeking an eye-clean 2.25+- carat diamond in the $20-$23k range. Is that reasonable?

    Here is one I’ve found:

    This diamond scores a 2.6 using the HCA tool

    Can you recommend a diamond of similar quality/presentation that may be a little less expensive? My fiancée-to-be is not a diamond expert. If it looks beautiful and perfect, to her it will be!

    And thank again for your extremely helpful and well written articles!

  20. Paul Gian-
    August 11, 2017 at 6:14 am

    Hey Ryan,

    The diamond isn’t well cut enough. Cut quality matters because it directly impacts the stone’s appearance. Don’t skimp on that.

    I did a search for you and would recommend these diamonds:

    These are much better diamond options than the stone you picked.

  21. DJ-
    August 29, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Hi Paul,

    What would be a good spec for a 1.95~ carat round cut diamond with a budget of 15k? I’ve read the 4c’s and I read you recommend at least a VS and G or better. not sure my budget would allow for that kind of ring. Maybe can go up to 20k. Thanks!

  22. Paul Gian-
    August 29, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Your budget is unrealistic to get something close to two carats. You will just have to be realistic about what your budget can get you and adjust your expectations accordingly. Buying diamonds is a zero sum game.

  23. Grish-
    September 16, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Read your blog and it helped us a lot. Attaching a GIA certificate & the URL of the diamond we’re planning on purchasing, it’s on reserve. Would love your opinion on it. Thank you so much. We greatly appreciate it.

  24. Paul Gian-
    September 18, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    It’s a lovely cushion cut diamond. However, I do want to point out the huge premium you are paying for a D Internally Flawless diamond. Unless you need the properties for symbolic reasons, a well cut F VS2 diamond will actually look identical to it as well (assuming all things being equal)

  25. Josiah-
    July 12, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Hi Paul- I am looking for a (close to) 2 carat oval diamond for a yellow gold, French cut pave/solitaire setting.

    I found two GIA diamonds on James Allen I am deciding between the two ct stones, that both look eye clean based on viewing at 20x and zoomed in heavily on my computer:

    1.8 carat, I VS1, oval, with 64% table, 58.8% depth, ST to VT girdle, none cutlet, and 9.44mm x 6.88mm dimensions. $11,520.

    2.25 carat, K VS1, oval, with 57% table, 63.1% depth, ST to T girdle, none cutlet, 10.45mm x 7.26mm. $12,480.

    I’ve read that it’s OK to go up to a K color with yellow gold settings and wondered if you agree that advice holds true for the larger diamond above, or if you believe it would be better overall to go with the smaller but higher color graded diamond? I am worried about such a large diamond appearing too yellow, even though it’s on yellow gold.

  26. Paul Gian-
    July 14, 2018 at 7:37 am

    With yellow gold settings, you will SEE a yellow tint in your diamond even if it is a D color diamond. If you are worried about a diamond appearing too yellow, why are you even considering a yellow gold setting in the first place? It’s completely contradictory. My take is, don’t worry about the yellow tint in a yellow gold setting. The fear is misguided. If you want me to review the oval diamonds, paste the urls to the listings here or via email to me.

  27. John-
    November 4, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Excellent guide Paul.

    I want the best cut possible but hoping to save a little by not quite hitting the 2ct mark and buying 1.9 instead. In your experience, is it possible to tell the difference between the two?

    That’s what I’m thinking.

    I’ve seen plenty of guides on 2ct but never really seen anyone speak about just buying slightly under the magic mark to save more money (other than here).

    Thank you so much.

  28. Paul Gian-
    November 5, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    The diamond you shortlisted above is extremely well cut for performance and is eyeclean.

    The difference between a 2ct and a 1.9 ct is really minute. Even in a side by side comparison (read this, I can tell you that most people cannot tell them apart.

  29. Bilge Bahar-
    November 18, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    I am buying 2 diamonds for earring.
    Approx 2.1 carats each.
    D Color, Ideal cut, No fluorescence, Triple excellent, Round, GIA certificate
    I am debating between VS1 and VS2.
    I read in some sources that for diamonds greater than 2 carats, VS1 may be preferrable and VS2 may not be eye clean.
    My diamond expert/vendor also tells me the VS2s are hard to find eye clean in this size but he says these particular ones are in fact eye clean. There is a big price difference between VS1 and VS2 but I can stretch my budget to VS1s if that is in fact recommended. What would you say? Thanks a million

  30. Paul Gian-
    November 19, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Regardless of whether it is a VS1 or VS2, the diamonds need to be judged and assessed individually.

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