The right answer depends on you, the buyer, expectations and what your comfortable with. Thank DeBeer’s and there marketing ploy in the 1930’s for the 1 carat diamond ring and beyond. Linking diamonds with emotion and here we are today in a world full of expectations. Knowing your significant others expectations is a good start. Their personality can give you subtle clues. Is your significant other a simple, free spirited hippy who loves walks on the beach and staying in. Or rather ambitious globe trotter with a thirst for luxury items. Know their expectations to avoid an negative vibes.
The average size hovers around a 1 carat engagement ring. CreditDonkey conducted an independent survey across several major cities in the U.S.. The results we found were:
- Los Angeles: 0.83 carat
- New York City: 1.45 carat
- Chicago: 1.29 carat
- Dallas: 1.04 carat
- Miami: 1.08 carat
More important is getting something you can afford. This is suppose to be a symbol of love so don’t go in over your head. Which leads me to the next topic. How to buy smart and maximize your purchase. Here are some great tips to get you to a 1 carat engagement ring and beyond.
Getting the best value
The 4 C’s describe the buying criteria for buying Diamonds. Cut is of highest priority as it is the aspect that impacts the beauty of the diamond the strongest. A well cut .90 carat will look like the same size as a decent cut 1 carat. See sample image below.
These two Princess cut Diamonds are the same carat weight. Can you see a visible difference in size? Its clear the diamond on the left is bigger. Their measurements on left are 5.65 x 5.61 vs the right 5.32 x 5.14.
NEWS FLASH! DIAMOND CLARITY IS OVERRATED!
Choose A Lower Clarity! Si1 is the perfect grade to choose from. You can occasionally find a great choice in SI2. Below is an example of how you can filter different attributes like clarity and color.
I suggest you leave in the slider SI2-SI1 and VS2. The reason for leaving VS2 is there are sometimes deals happening and you may find a great find with a higher clarity. For a more expensive debate on Clarity Click Here on My Diamond Clarity Article.
Sites like James Allen has HD 360 viewing of every diamond on their site. You can see diamonds zoomed in by 20x-40x. This will give you confidence in your purchase.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A 20X ZOOMED IN DIAMOND ON JAMES ALLEN
As you can see some Inclusions(diamond flaws) are white and are deeper or off centered causing them to not be as noticeable. Further proving the point that not all SI1 Diamond grades are the same. This is again why I only recommend vendors such as James Allen, Blue Nile & Brian Gavin that have proven track records of thousands of happy clients and real images and video of their diamonds in regular lighting magnified so you can judge and evaluate more accurately.
click on the image above to visit James Allen and learn more.
Reason why its so important to be able to clearly see a diamond.
The more closely a diamond approaches colorless, the more they are valued. As a tip found in my diamond color guide, you will see the sweet spot for value is in between H-J color. In terms of hierarchy in the 4 C’s of Diamonds, I consider it 3rd in importance. See below for a sample chart.
A Diamond color under M is not recommended. In the illustration below you will see samples of color. HOWEVER, when the diamond is facing up that color is harder to see. Consequently, this is why I love that H-J color. Again see my Color guide for tips best colors depending on what diamond shape you are buying. See this example of a J Color Diamond mounted below. Learn how Diamond Florescence can improve your J color diamond.
DO YOU SEE A LOT OF COLOR?
example of a J Color Diamond mounted
color chart showing color illustrations
Most noteworthy, remember Color starts from the tip of the stone towards the face. Different shapes can effect diamond color. A round diamond hides color very well. In contrast when buying a Pear shape or Emerald, you must choose a higher color. See images below for example. For recommendations per shape regarding color, visit my Color page for deeper info.
Diamond Carat is considered 4th in importance in the 4 C’s of Diamonds. Costumers usually default to this because size is easily visible to the human eye. While color and clarity is hard to see. Its the obvious aspect that adds expense as there really isn’t a way around it. Size cost money. A 0.95 carat vs a 1 carat diamond has a large price jump. Each fraction can make a large difference in cost. There is no shame if your budget doesn’t allow for a good quality 1 carat diamond ring. A beautifully cut .90 or .74 can look beautiful and almost the same size as a 1 carat engagement ring. Not to mention you have options in engagement rings like halo and double halos that add to the rings presence.
Click on the image below to view samples of created rings purchased by real people to get an idea of what it can look like.
Below are pages from James Allen & Blue Nile that shows you real rings created by recent customers. This can help you get an idea of what your ring can look like.
SAMPLE IMAGES OF JAMES ALLEN RECENTLY PURCHASED.
CLICK IMAGE TO VISIT SECTION FOR IDEAS.
you can filter 1 carat diamond ring and different shapes and sizes
“A 1 carat diamond ring may be the average, but it’s not the rule”
Recommended Places To Buy
For me to recommend any business, they must meet certain criteria. They must prove valuable to my clients in regards to How to buy a diamond savings and selection | EXPECT 20%-40% LOWER PRICES THAN TRADITIONAL JEWELERS |, time doing business(legitimacy), reputation, and return policy.
James Allen is my favorite vendor. They revolutionized the ability to get the clearest image of a Diamond with a 360 degree HD image/video and a zoom in up to 40x on all their Diamonds. This without question leaves no doubt on what you are buying. I argue the ability to see your diamond more clearly than in a physical retail store is a massive plus for you. They have incredible prices that I will easily beat retail store pricing. They have an a amazing 30 day Free no hassle return policy and have been in business for over ten years with countless positive reviews from real customers. The only Con is they are slightly limited in the search filtering ability. Blue Nile has a deeper way of filtering certain attributes. Click on this link or Picture to search their inventory.
Blue Nile was the original online giant that opened in 1999! They probably have the largest selection. In the past they didn’t have images of their inventory but because of James Allen , they were forced to adapt and they now have a large amount of their inventory with images. There viewing technology is not as good as James Allen but its still clear and one can evaluate a Diamond with confidence. Blue Nile has an incredible 30 day free return policy as well that is insured. The only Con is they do not have AGS certified goods on their site. This isn’t an issue for round diamonds but very helpful with fancy shapes like Princess, Cushion, Oval etc… Click on this link or the Blue Nile Logo to see their inventory.
Brian Gavin opened in 2009. He is a 5th generation Master Diamond Cutter. He is an authority when it comes to crafting Hearts & Arrows Diamonds and is well respected in the industry. The company sells reasonably priced diamonds. An excellent brilliant Cut grade is the focus of Brain Gavin and its his biggest PRO. Many stones are AGS Certified with excellent cuts and this is helpful with fancy cut diamonds(Princess, Cushion,Emerald, etc). A negative is a 15 day return policy. Most will prefer more time however its still a respectable amount of time. A client should know quickly if pleased with a purchase. There are also some exceptions to certain custom work. Feel free to dig deeper in the about section of his site as it may not apply to your purchase. Click of the Brian Gavin Logo or this link to see their site.