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    Diamond Carats

    It’s widely believed that the larger the diamond, the higher the price—but the truth isn’t quite as clear-cut as you might expect. In fact, diamond carat weight has a smaller impact on a diamond’s overall value than many people assume. We’re taking a closer look at carat sizes and how they can affect how you choose a diamond engagement ring.

    DIAMOND CARAT CHART

    Diamond Carat Chart

    Is a Higher Carat Weight Better?

    Carat weight alone doesn’t determine a diamond’s value. While a higher carat weight can indicate a better-quality diamond, it’s not the only factor involved. Carat weight only refers to the diamond’s weight and not its actual size. Furthermore, a diamond’s cut, clarity, and color can have a greater impact on the diamond’s look than carat weight alone. Generally speaking, diamond carat size is just not as important as how a diamond is cut or its overall color and clarity.

    DIAMOND SHAPE IMPACT ON CARAT WEIGHT

    Interestingly, equal carat weight diamonds can look completely different depending on their cut, color, and shape. For instance, diamond shape has a big effect on how large a diamond appears regardless of its carat weight. Fancy-shaped diamonds (like oval, cushion, princess, pear, emerald, marquise, Asscher, radiant, and heart shapes) usually cost less per carat than round diamonds, which require more cutting. These styles can also look slightly larger than their carat weights may suggest.

    DO DIAMOND PRICES INCREASE AS CARATS INCREASE?

    Diamond price increases with higher carat weights—but there’s a bit more to consider than weight alone. Larger stones are harder to source than smaller ones, which is one reason why carat weight affects a diamond’s final price. That being said, diamonds with the same carat weight can have very different price points thanks to their cut, clarity, and color.

    WHAT ARE MAGIC SIZES?

    Certain carat weights are deemed “magic sizes” because they’re higher in demand and therefore slightly more expensive than similar sizes. For example, an 0.89 carat diamond may look exactly the same as a 0.90 carat diamond, but the 0.90 carat diamond will cost more thanks to its coveted “magic size.” For reference, the following carat weights are considered magic sizes with pricing that increases exponentially:

    Diamond Carat Sizes

    HOW BIG SHOULD AN ENGAGEMENT RING BE?

    While you may automatically assume that bigger is better when it comes to engagement rings, that’s not always the case. It’s important to consider how different carat weights look on the hand to get an idea of what will work best for you. If you have wide hands or short fingers, a larger diamond with an elongated shape can prove more flattering than a smaller stone. Alternatively, a diamond with a smaller carat weight may look bigger on a size 5 finger than it would on a size 9.

    Choosing a thinner band can affect how large a diamond appears, as well. Thin bands automatically make a ring’s center stone(s) look larger, giving a smaller diamond a boost. A halo setting can also make the center stone look bigger overall.

    Before you buy a diamond, it’s always a good idea to compare how different carat weights and diamond shapes look side by side.

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