“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the numbers in a diamond” – Mae West. I’m pretty sure this quote from the 1970s sex symbol Mae West resonates with many people. After all, when it comes to diamond rings, bigger is often perceived to be better.
Four carat oval diamond rings are highly sought after for their carat size and they stand out above the rest because of their sparkle and unique shape outline. However, if you are thinking of buying a 4 carat oval diamond ring, you’re up for a challenge.
Unlike buying diamonds in the lower carat weight range, choosing a 4ct oval diamond entails a different set of guidelines and advice especially when it comes to prices.
In this write up, you will get insights to help you select a beautiful diamond and save money with practical tips. You will also discover the type of settings that best complement large sized diamonds and the best places to shop for them.
Let’s jump right in…
Here is a list of topics we will be covering:
The physical size of a 4 carat oval diamond is roughly 12.8mm x 8.6mm x 5.2mm and is dependant on the proportions it is cut to. I’ve purposely emphasized the word ‘roughly’ because there are many factors that affect a diamond’s measurements like its length to width ratio and variances in depth/table sizes.
In the image below, you can see a comparison of a 4ct oval vs a 1ct oval to give you an idea of how they would visually look like when worn on a size 7 finger. Here, I do want to point out that a 4ct oval diamond weighs four times as much as a 1ct oval diamond but it doesn’t mean that it is going to be 4 times as big in real life.
If you want to see how big diamonds of different carat sizes look like, click here for a printable pdf chart.
I often get asked questions whether a 4 carat diamond ring is too big or gaudy when worn on the hand. Well, it really depends on your personal preferences and what you like.
If you are someone with bigger hands or larger fingers, a 4ct diamond ring could be more suitable compared to having a small diamond ring. Or maybe, you like the look of a larger ring and want to flaunt your jewelry.
There’s really no right or wrong answers here because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A piece of jewelry can be very personalized and have different meanings to the person wearing it.
The price of a diamond is largely determined by its 4Cs – cut, color, clarity and carat. Obviously, the better the material properties, the higher the value of a diamond. Broadly speaking, the cost of a 4 carat oval diamond ring can range anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000 depending on the quality of the diamond.
Here’s a price comparison chart that I extracted from James Allen to give you an idea of how much a 4ct oval diamond costs when factors like color/clarity come into play.
As you can see in the price chart, this K color SI1 clarity diamond costs $29,320 while this G color IF clarity diamond costs $103,020. That’s a difference of almost 3 times and a whopping amount of $73,703.
Unlike smaller sized diamonds, color and clarity grades have an outsized impact on a diamond’s price because the rarity factor is compounded at large carat sizes. Also, issues like color and inclusions become more apparent at large carat weights which drives up demand (and prices) for higher clarity/color stones.
Depending on what you are looking for and what your budget is, this price chart should allow you to have realistic expectations of the prices to expect when buying a four carat diamond.
First of all, I’ve already written a comprehensive article on choosing a beautiful oval diamond and you should refer to this guide here first before continuing with this article. Instead of rehashing everything I wrote in the guide, I am going to give you specific tips for buying a large size 4 carat oval diamond.
Due to its big carat weight and relatively larger facets, a 4ct oval diamond has a better capacity to display brilliance and scintillation compared to smaller sized diamonds. That’s why cut quality is extremely important if you want to get the “wow” factor from your diamond instead of a lifeless looking diamond.
With large sized diamonds, the impact of color and clarity grades are more prominent in their appearances. The color tint of a diamond shows up more easily in a 4 carat oval diamond and if you are someone who is averse to color, I recommend an F or better color grade.
Below, I’ve listed 2 examples to help you visualize how diamonds with different color grades would look like in the face up view.
If you pay attention to the belly of the oval diamonds or while it is being rotated, you should be able to notice the yellowish tinge of color from the I color diamond. This hue would be even more noticeable as you go down to lower color grades.
Likewise for clarity, it is hard to find eyeclean SI1 diamonds in the 4 carat size range and sometimes, even a VS2 clarity may not be good enough depending on the nature of the inclusions. With that said, I would still recommend a minimum clarity of VS2 contingent upon having the diamond visually assessed with a video.
Cut quality: As good as possible for better sparkle.
Color: F or better for a cool, icy white appearance.
Clarity: VS2 or better for an eyeclean diamond.
Now, I do want to point out that color is subjective and if you like to see some warmth in your diamond, it’s perfectly fine to go down lower to the I or J color grades. Similarly, if you are going for a yellow gold or vintage style setting, a lower color diamond would actually complement the ring setting!
Lastly, the cost of a 4 carat oval engagement ring is relatively high and out of reach for most people. If you have a smaller budget and a strong desire to get a large looking stone, you may want to consider lab-created diamonds for better affordability.
For some context and to show you real life examples, this 4.00 carat E VS1 natural diamond is priced at $75,370 while this 4.13 carat E VS1 lab grown diamond is priced at $29,250. That’s close to a 2.5 times difference in prices and in absolute amounts, the difference is $46,120.
When it comes to large size diamonds, I generally recommend settings that are simpler and less complicated. In my opinion, there’s no need to go overboard with the setting design since the size of a large diamond should be the main focus here.
Personally, I would avoid halo style settings that would further enhance the size of the ring (it’s unnecessary) or bezel settings that would limit the amount of light entering the center stone. With that said, here are some of my favorite ring settings to complement a 4 carat oval brilliant cut diamond.
If you are interested to see more details of any ring, simply click on the corresponding image to do so.
This simple, no frills 14k yellow gold ring allows the center stone to take the full limelight. It also has prongs that are made out of white gold to help “whiten” the color of the center stone and creates a beautiful contrast against the yellow gold backdrop.
This meticulously crafted channel-set ring has a tapered shank that helps lead the eye towards the center stone. With 4 round cut diamonds on each side of the shank, it helps create another dimension of sparkle to light up the 4ct oval cut center diamond.
This vintage style engagement ring setting offers the timeless appeal with a knife edge shank that is lined with melee diamonds. The lotus flower basket exhibits a unique charm and embraces the center stone with its 4 claw prongs.
This iconic vintage inspired design showcases 2 tapered baguette cut diamonds that are neatly framed using bar channels. It is perfect for people who are looking for a ring with a sense of style while offering an understated elegance.
This is an elegant 4 carat oval engagement ring that has a cathedral design to elevate the height of the oval center stone. For people who want something simple and eye-catching, this platinum ring fits the bill perfectly.
This pave set diamond ring setting has an encrusted shank that is perfectly matched for a sublime and radiating appearance. The thin width of the band also helps to accentuate the center stone while providing a comfortable fit for long durations of wear.
One of the hardest things that makes it difficult to shop for a 4 carat diamond is their scarcity. Unlike popular sizes in the half carat to one carat range, a 4 carat sized diamond is rarely found in a local jewelry store.
Even if you do find one, it is likely to have poor cut quality and options will be severely limited. This means you would likely have to compromise on the 4Cs and your budget.
Don’t believe me? Try going into any jewelry store (whether it’s Tiffany or your local mom-and-pop retailer) and see if they have a 4ct oval ring with the specifications you want (i.e. G/VS2 or D/IF). You would need all the planets to align in your favor and pay a price premium to find what you are looking for.
In my opinion, the best places to shop for a 4ct oval diamond engagement ring are James Allen, Blue Nile and Brilliant Earth. Each of these retailers have transparent sales practices that allow you to see exactly what you are buying and generous return policies to give you a complete peace of mind.
More importantly, they have a superb selection of GIA certified diamonds and offer you the ability to cherry pick the best stone for your budget. Advantages like these mitigate all the problems associated with shopping in a physical store and is especially important when it comes to large sized diamonds.
Hopefully, this article has offered useful insights on the things to look out for when buying a 4ct diamond. Remember, you can play around with the combination of color and clarity to find a diamond within your budget but you should never compromise on cut quality.
With that, I wish you the best of luck in your search for the perfect 4 carat oval engagement ring. If you have any questions or need advice to pick out an exceptional diamond, feel free to get in touch via email or drop a comment below.
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