Have Questions About 1 Carat Diamonds? We Have Answers

bride wearing 1 carat diamond ring holding bouquet

The 1 carat diamond is like the little black dress of engagement rings: Super popular and versatile for any occasion. As long as you shop smart, you can't go wrong. Market research has found that the average engagement ring size is just about that size, and that's where we recommend starting your search. But there are some important things to know about single carat diamonds — like, what's a carat? — so you can make the best possible decision for your loved one. Here are the essential things to know about 1 carat diamonds.

How big is a 1 carat diamond?

The carat is the standard unit of measurement for diamonds. Although most people think of a carat as a size, it's actually a weight. One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams. A 1 carat diamond is about 6.5mm in diameter on average. Whereas a 2 carat diamond is approximately 8mm in diameter.

Fun fact: It typically takes about 250 tons of rock mining to produce just 1 carat of diamond.

Are all 1 carat stones the same size?

No. Some shapes appear bigger when looking at it face down. Moreover, their mm measurements will be different. Please refer to our diamond shape size comparison graphic below:

Diamond shape and carat weight comparison chart: 1 carat, 1.5 carat, 2 carat. Round, Princess, Pear, Oval, Emerald, and Marquise diamond shapes

Stones also carry their weight differently based on how they're cut, so two 1 carat diamonds of the same shape can have different table sizes. That's because of cut proportions. A deeply cut diamond holds a larger percentage of weight in its depth, so it will have a smaller diameter than a well-cut diamond. A well-cut diamond may have a lower carat weight than a deeply cut diamond, yet still, have a larger diameter. A round stone that weighs as much as a princess cut diamond sacrificed more of its rough diamond formation to become a finished engagement ring. (If that all seems confusing, fear not. We have expert gemologists on staff to help you through these details to find the best diamond for you and your budget.)

what 1 carat diamonds look like on a person's hand

How much is a 1 carat worth?

It depends! The average retail price of a 1-carat ring is about $1,200, but it can vary depending on where you live and where you're looking. It also depends on the 4Cs of the diamond you're choosing. Remember, carat is only one of the four Cs you should consider when selecting a ring — clarity, cut and color are also important characteristics of a quality diamond. Two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different price tags, depending on that cut, color and clarity.

Wondering which of the four C's you should prioritize? Check out our guide to the four Cs of diamonds here.

How can I save money on diamond rings?

Here’s the thing about diamonds: there are breaking points in the measurements at which the price climbs, and steeply. These breaking points are typical around the rounder numbers of carat and half sizes. Think 1 carat diamonds, 1.5 carat diamonds, 2 carat diamonds, and on up. So if you’re willing to let go of the idea of having a number perfect 1 carat diamond, you can actually save a good deal of money. Diamonds that clock in just under these measurements, like a 0.95 carat diamond, are often cheaper — and no average person will be able to tell the difference on your engagement ring. Here are some other ways to save money if you don’t mind getting a number a little off that 1 carat mark:

  • 1- Buy just under breaking points, like a 0.96 carat diamond.

  • 2- Buy under 1 carat and choose a halo engagement ring setting.

  • 3- Choose a three stone setting to add extra size.

If you have your heart set on that 1 carat diamond, we get it. There are still ways for you to save money on your center stone, too. Here are a couple that can cut down costs without giving up that number you love:

  • 1- Choose a diamond with a lower color grade, such as an H color diamond.

  • 2- Choose a diamond with fluorescence, which GIA attests has no impact on sparkle but can bring down the cost of the stone.

  • 3- Choose a diamond shape that uses more of the rough material (more waste, like with the round cut, means the price goes up).

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Is 1 carat a good size for an engagement ring?

Absolutely. It's the most popular size for an engagement ring in America, and millions of happy brides-to-be can't be wrong. But what ultimately matters is if the person who will wear it forever loves it. Browsing engagement rings online together can be a bonding experience for a couple — and with With Clarity's beautiful selection of hand-crafted, ethically sourced engagement rings, along with free shipping and returns, replica home preview and lifetime warranty, it can set the stage for a lifetime of smart decisions you make together.

And With Clarity's expert gemologists can help you find the right ring for your life together. They're exceptionally experienced at working with each couple's priorities and budget — contact us now so they can help find the best ring for you.

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