How to Pick the Perfect Diamond Carat Size

How to Pick the Perfect Diamond Carat Size

Day's Jewelers Day's Jewelers
3 minute read

Carat, not to be confused with karat or carrot, is defined as a unit of mass equal to 200 mg used for measuring the weight of diamonds. Karat, on the other hand, is used as a measure of the purity of gold, such as 14 karat yellow gold. The metric carat was adopted in 1907 at the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures. The word carat derives from the Italian word carato, meaning carob seed. Little carob seeds were once used to measure weight as it related to both gold and gemstones. Today, carat usually references diamond carat size.

Today, diamonds are often purchased as the symbol of love for an engagement ring. De Beers cemented this tradition with their famous ad campaign, A Diamond is Forever. But what plenty of people don’t understand is diamond carat size and how it relates to getting the perfect look in an engagement ring.

So let’s explore what different carat sizes look like, how far a budget may stretch when it comes to getting the diamond of your dreams, and ultimately - choosing a diamond carat.

The Four Cs

Carat weight is one of the 4 Cs (among clarity, cut, and color) used to determine the quality and cost of a diamond. The average diamond size purchased is around a carat. A carat is often a good starter diamond for couples knowing they can trade up the diamond towards a larger one at Day’s Jewelers.

But a diamond carat size of one or more may jump exponentially in price. It’s much more difficult to find diamonds that are of jewelry quality as soon as you hit a carat of weight, so rather than the price simply doubling between ½ carat and 1 carat, it can triple. Along with the 4 Cs, rarity is also a factor in determining price. That means that diamonds are priced at a per carat weight. So ½ carat to 1 carat is not just twice the price – it can be much more.


Besides loving the diamond that you pick out, you want to make sure that the diamond falls into a budget you are comfortable paying. At Day’s, we have a great variety of payment options, from in-house credit to layaway, so we can find a way to make your dream diamond a reality.

diamond halo ring

If you love the look of a big diamond, but not the price tag, one of the best tricks to get the most bang for your buck is a halo set ring. The center diamond may not look like much on its own, but surround it with a sparkling halo of smaller diamonds and it will look a lot bigger.

Try It On

You may have a size in mind, but until you try on that carat, as well as the shape you like best, you won’t have a good visual as to how it will actually look on you. That’s why it’s best to visit your local Day’s Jewelers and try on a range of carat weights. 

diamond carat size

This image gives a good visual idea of what each carat size looks like, but preference as well as the size of your fingers or the length of your hand can change the appearance of the diamond. Stop in at one of our locations at your convenience; we would be thrilled to share this experience with you!

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