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Education Home | Shape | Cut | Color | Clarity | Carat Weight | Certification | Care
Interactive GIA Education Presentation
Carat Weight

Once you've determined what cut, color, and clarity grade you're looking for in a diamond, it's easy to determine the carat weight of diamond that will fit within your budget. 

When diamonds are mined, large gems are discovered much less frequently than small ones, which makes large diamonds much more valuable. In fact, diamond prices rise exponentially with carat weight. So, a 2-carat diamond of a given quality is always worth more than two

1-carat diamonds of the same quality. Since diamonds are measured by carat - weight the measurements of the top of the diamond may be less or more than in this chart depends on how the diamond is cut.

This chart illustrates the average measurements of different carat weights for round and princess cut diamonds. Note that in the setting the diamond will look bigger depends on the measurements of the setting. As you can see  a 2-carat diamond does not appear to be twice the size of a 1-carat diamond when viewed from the top.


Princess (square cuts)
0.25 carat 4.1 mm
0.25 carat 3.5 x 3.5 mm
0.50 carat 5.2 mm
0.50 carat 4.5 x 4.5 mm
0.75 carat 5.8 mm
0.75 carat
5 x 5 mm
1.00 carat 6.5 mm
1.00 carat 5.5 x 5.5 mm
1.25 carat 7.0 mm
1.25 carat 6 x 6 mm
1.5 carat 7.4 mm
1.50 carat 6.5 x 6.5 mm
2 carat 8.2 mm
2.00 carat
7.5 x 7.5 mm
2.5 8.8 mm
2.50 carat 8 x 8 mm
3 carat
9.4 mm
3.00 carat 8.5 x 8.5 mm
5 carat 11.2 mm
5.00 carat 9.5 x 9.5 mm
What Size is best?

To choose the best carat weight of diamond, keep in mind her life style, the size of her finger, the size of your setting, and your budget.

  • If your recipient is very active, she may find herself bumping or nicking her new ring. Consider a smaller size diamond or a setting that protects a larger diamond from getting knocked against doors and counters.

  • Also keep in mind that the slimmer and smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1½-carat diamond solitaire looks much larger on a size 4 finger than a size 8.

  • If you have already chosen a setting, make sure you choose a diamond to fit. Look for the diamond size specifications of your ring or ask your MDC diamond and jewelry consultant what size diamond you should look for.

    if a large carat weight is important, yet you're working within a budget, consider a diamond with SI clarity, and an I or lower color grade.

    But the best way to determine what size is best is by getting an idea of what she is expecting. If you plan carefully, you can get some answers without even raising her suspicions. For ideas and suggestions on how to choose the right engagement ring, read our Engagement Ring Guide.

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