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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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…
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.
From left to right: Idealscope image, ASET image and hearts patterning.
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.
If you are wondering why the majority of jewelry retailers don’t offer these information, that’s because they are mainly selling diamonds with sub-par cut quality. And once you look at these diamonds analytically, you will realize quickly why they don’t make the cut (pun intended).
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
Simple and elegant prong settings from White Flash that are beautifully crafted.
Dainty pave setting for added sparkle and 3-stone ring design from James Allen.
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!