1 Carat Diamond Ring

1 Carat Diamond Ring – Basics

Whether simple or complex, the 1 carat diamond ring is the most recognized, most iconic example of bridal jewelry. The average carat weight of engagement diamonds varies, depending on where you live, but the timeless “1 carat” benchmark is universally respected around the world.

PriceScope Pointer: Two 1 carat weight diamonds may not look the same size, depending on shape – and even within the same shape, based on physical spread and another rarely mentioned factor called visual spread. Learn more on our page covering Diamond Carat Weight.

Before going on: Check out the PriceScope Diamond Buying Guide

These pages may reference products from companies that help to support PriceScope.

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The 1 Carat Diamond Ring Described

The 1 carat diamond ring is a timeless, iconic piece of jewelry. Suitable for marriage proposals, as well as casual (or self) gifting, a 1 carat diamond set into any mounting is a sparkling eye-catcher capable of drawing attention and compliments if the diamond and setting meet proper quality standards.

How big is a 1 carat diamond ring?

The size appearance of a 1 carat diamond ring depends on shape, spread and context.

Shape: Different diamond shapes have different size appearance. A proportionate 1 carat oval diamond ring will look slender and long next to a proportionate 1 carat round diamond ring. In terms of balanced spread and performance the modern round brilliant diamond is most popular. Read about the tendencies of all cuts our page on Diamond Shapes.

Spread: Just as the weight of a person can be distributed differently, some diamonds are cut deeper than others, which reduces their face-up size appearance. It’s important to correlate any diamond’s carat weight with its side-to-side spread in millimeters, to ensure the diamond “faces-up” at a correct size for its weight. A diamond’s grading report will include its external measurements in millimeters, from which you can determine its spread, side to side. Learn more about physical spread and the rarely discussed component, visual spread on our page on Carat Weight.

In general, we recommend the following physical spreads for 1 carat diamonds:

Diamond Shape1 carat diamond spread
Round Brilliant6.45 mm
Princess Cut5.50 mm
Cushion Cut6.50 x 5.50 mm
Emerald Cut6.50 x 5.50 mm
Asscher Cut6.40 mm
Oval Cut8.00 x 5.50 mm
Pear Shape8.50 x 5.50 mm
Marquise Cut10.00 x 5.50 mm
Radiant Cut6.00 x 5.50 mm
Heart Shape6.70 mm

How big does a 1 carat diamond look next to other carat weights?

GIA offers this neat interactive tool so you can see how proportionate diamonds compare at different carat weights. Pro-tip, if you want to make it realistic on your screen, size your browser so the 1.00 carat diamond is 6.45 millimeters in diameter.

PriceScope Pointer: An onscreen comparison like the useful tool above is one thing, but how big a 1 carat diamond ring will look on your own hand is another. Keep reading – we discuss that below.

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1 Carat Diamond Rings – Let’s Get Practical

 The cost of a 1 carat diamond ring spans a vast range, with practical options running from $1,000 in malls and low grade commercial outlets (which we don’t recommend) to nearly $30,000 in prestigious luxury boutiques like those on 5th avenue in New York City.

Fortunately, PriceScope affords you the opportunity to explore hundreds of thousands of options, from loose diamonds in all shapes, classes, and categories to settings from simple to extraordinarily complex.

Build your own: Pop on over to our vetted vendors. They have ring-builders, allowing you to select a diamond and match it with a setting. Build Your Own Ring® at Blue Nile – Start with a diamond at JamesAllen.com –  Add a diamond to an engagement ring at Whiteflash – or reserve a diamond and setting at Wolf|CBI.

Learn more specifics about diamond pricing, 1 carat diamonds and budgeting on this page: 1 carat diamond cost.

Availability

You’re in luck. 1 carat diamonds are an extremely popular choice and there is abundant availability of diamond rough suitable for the production on 1 carat diamonds. You can probably find examples of 1 carat diamond rings in local jewelry stores – however we would urge you to read and understand our page on Diamond Cut: Most diamonds have very average cut quality, at all carat weights, and have less physical spread than they should due to deep cutting angles, and less visual spread than they should in normal lighting – because they are not cut with angles which promote edge to edge brightness.

PriceScope Pointer: Did you know that fewer than 20% of round diamonds with the GIA Excellent grade pass our patented Holloway Cut Advisor test for proper spread and brightness? Check out those Diamond Ratings statistics and use our Diamond Search to filter results according to HCA scores.

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 Real World Information

 When discussing different carat weights the most popular question (of course) is…

How big will a 1 carat diamond ring look on my hand?

The size appearance of a 1 carat diamond ring will vary, depending on setting style and finger size.

  • A 1 carat diamond in a wide size 12 ring, on a size 12 finger, will have a much smaller size appearance than a 1 carat diamond in a thin size 4 ring on a size 4 finger.
  • A 1 carat diamond set in a tiny 4-prong solitaire will appear more naked (smaller) than a 1 carat diamond surrounded by other diamonds, halo, or three-stone style.

context

Visual Examples

0.50 and 0.70 carat diamonds

1.00 and 1.50 carat diamonds

2.00 and 3.00 carat diamonds

4.00 and 5.00 carat diamonds

Context images courtesy of JamesAllen.com

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Selecting Your Ring – Variables

When you see a photo of a setting you like, remember that diamond and finger sizes vary. This is because photo galleries use different finger and diamond sizes. The concept you liked in a photo or video may look far different when a different carat weight and finger size are applied.

Finger size 6 with 2.00 carat diamond.

1 carat diamond ring variables 1Variable 1: If you add a smaller diamond to the setting the proportionate geometry of the ring will seem to expand by comparison to what you saw in the photo. If you order a larger ring size the differences are exaggerated further, making your diamond seem to shrink further, and changing the overall aesthetic.

Same setting: Finger size 3 with 3.50 carat diamond.

1 carat diamond ring variables 2

Variable 2: If you place a larger diamond in the setting the proportionate geometry will seem to shrink by comparison to what you saw in the photo. If you order a smaller ring size the differences are exaggerated further, making the diamond even more overwhelming and changing the overall aesthetic.

Same setting: Finger size 10 with 0.50 carat diamond.

1 carat diamond ring variables 3

Context images courtesy of Wolf|CBI.

The bottom line: Don’t make the mistake of thinking the settings you see in photos will look identical when you add a diamond and scale it to a certain finger size. Always remember that diamond size and finger size are variable.

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Analysis

How much does a 1 carat diamond ring weigh?

A one carat is 200 milligrams, which is extremely light. In practical terms, a paper clip weighs about 600 milligrams, so a 1 carat diamond only weighs 1/3 as much as a paper clip. If a loose 1 carat diamond were sitting on top of your finger by itself, you would barely know it.

The average gold 1 carat solitaire diamond ring can weigh anywhere from 1 to 10+ grams, depending on the width of the band and wearer’s finger size. A simple white or yellow gold solitaire, 2mm wide on a size 4 finger will weigh only 1.5 grams. A solitaire that’s 7mm wide on a size 12 finger weighs just over 9 grams.

The average 1 carat platinum solitaire diamond ring is denser, therefore heavier than gold. Using the same examples, a 2mm wide solitaire on a size 4 finger weighs 2.5 grams, whereas a 7mm wide solitaire on a size 12 finger weighs just over 21 grams.

The most common diamond solitaire rings are 3-4 mm wide, size 6, and weigh approximately 3-4 grams in gold, and 4.5-6.5 grams when made in platinum.

Context: An American quarter is 1.75 mm wide and weighs 6 grams.

Logically, rings with more complex anatomies will weigh more than comparable 2 carat solitaire diamond rings. To understand the different parts of a ring, see our page on Diamond Setting Anatomy.

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Consider your metal color

When considering a 1 carat diamond ring there are several popular color choices, the most popular being white, gold or rose-gold.

white, yellow and rose gold
Image courtesy of Whiteflash

Round Brilliant Diamonds

  • Brilliant cuts benefit from kite-shaped facets which promote sparkle.
  • White metal settings are highly recommended for F color and above.
  • White metal settings are very complementary to J color and above.
  • White metal settings might work for K color which “face-up” well due to cut-quality.
  • Yellow metal settings complement G color and below.
  • Yellow metal settings are very complementary to J color and below.
  • Yellow metal settings are highly recommended for M color and below.
  • Rose-gold settings work for any color but are highly recommended for brown undertone.

Cushion, Princess, Pear, Oval, Radiant and Marquise cut Diamonds

  • These shapes promote sparkle, but less so than round brilliants
  • White metal settings are highly recommended for F color and above.
  • White metal settings are very complementary to H color and above.
  • White metal settings might work for I color and J color which “face-up” well due to cut-quality.
  • Yellow metal settings complement G color and below.
  • Yellow metal settings are very complementary to J color and below.
  • Yellow metal settings are highly recommended for M color and below.
  • Rose-gold settings work for any color but are highly recommended for brown undertone.

Asschers, Emerald cuts and other diamond shapes

  • The shape aesthetic of these diamonds is more important than sparkle
  • White metal settings are highly recommended for F color and above.
  • White metal settings are very complementary to G color and above.
  • White metal settings might work for H color and I color which “face-up” well due to cut-quality.
  • Yellow metal settings complement G color and below.
  • Yellow metal settings are very complementary to J color and below.
  • Yellow metal settings are highly recommended for M color and below.
  • Rose-gold settings work for any color but are highly recommended for brown undertone.

Get fast answers to any question: Ask our community of unbiased independent helpers.

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People also ask

To see how much you can expect to pay for a 1 carat diamond ring, check out our page on 1 carat diamond ring cost.

Check out our Diamond Price Guide to see how different factors impact a 1 carat diamond’s price. We have also included a diamond price calculator for you to see today’s prices in real-time, based on more than 500,000 diamond listed in our search engine.

The best clarity depends on a number of factors which include the wearer’s preferences in terms of all the Cs, including carat weight, clarity and cut.  To balance clarity against the other Cs, especially all-important cut quality, read the PriceScope Diamond Buying Guide.

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