Engagement ring

The Average Diamond Size In Engagement Rings Is Smaller Than You Think

average diamond size in engagement ring man presenting woman with box

Celebrities like Blake Lively, Jessica Biel and Beyonce proudly show off their huge engagement rings — and for good reason, because they’re gorgeous (and also extremely expensive). But their 12- or 15-carat diamonds are the outliers: The average diamond size in an engagement ring is actually much more manageable at 1.2 carats for a center stone and 1.8 carats for the whole ring, according to The Knot.

But the average diamond size in an engagement ring is more complicated than just this number. It comes down to measuring diamonds in carats versus millimeters, which we’ll explain.

When it comes to diamond size, bigger isn't always better

It might be fun to look at the huge rocks sported by celebrities, but don’t let those rings make you feel bad about what you can — and can’t — afford.

The reality is that while they love to show off these rings, they aren’t always practical for everyday wear. They can get in the way of daily activities and are more susceptible to being knocked against a wall or other surfaces. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go for a big stone if that’s what you (or your future wife) wants, you just have to be more mindful while wearing it.

But what if you want a larger diamond, but your budget can’t take it? Bigger within your budget can mean accepting cloudiness or imperfections that are visible to the eye. Luckily, there are ways to get the look — and size — of a large-carat diamond without the large-carat diamond price. Some people opt for diamond substitutes like white sapphire, moissanite and cubic zirconia instead of a real diamond. While you’ll know it’s not a diamond, others won’t have any idea.

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Average diamond size vs. average carat weight of a ring

When it comes to the average diamond size in an engagement ring, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the same as the average carat weight of a ring.

Diamonds are actually measured in two ways: by carat weight and millimeter. While diamonds are typically talked about by carat weight, the millimeter measurement is the actual true size of the diamond. Measuring a diamond in millimeters is done by looking at it from above and multiplying the length by the width. So, while two diamonds can weigh the same amount in carats, the actual cut and way the diamond is set can make them look drastically different sizes.

That brings us back to the difference between average diamond size versus the average carat weight of the ring. The average diamond size for an engagement ring might be 1.2 carats, but that only takes into account the center stone. Adding additional, smaller gemstones – like pave diamonds — in the ring setting (like on halo engagement rings) or on the band itself will increase the total carat weight of the ring. Why this is important: While your budget might only be able to afford a 1.2 carat diamond in the center stone, adding additional stones will increase the overall weight of the ring, making it seem larger than the weight of the center stone suggests.

Get expert help on picking the right engagement ring

Finding the perfect diamond size for your engagement ring can be daunting. At With Clarity, our expert gemologists can take the confusion out of the process and help you pick out the right diamond size to maximize your budget — and her dreams.