Size Matters? Understanding Carat Weight when Buying a Diamond


If you follow the instructions about buying from a jeweler you trust, buying a diamond based on cut, and buying one that looks clean and white, then carat weight takes care of itself.

You can simply buy the biggest diamond that your budget allows.

It really is that easy. Go as big as you can, or want to. This brings up the age-old questions: Does size matter? And should you compromise on other factors to get a bigger size?

Well... It depends.

When most people say they want a "big" diamond, what they usually mean is a diamond that looks big and impressive. That perception can come down to cut and sparkle.

When you buy a diamond that sparkles like crazy, it will look bigger than it actually is. Smaller, well-cut diamonds can often be more impressive than larger, poorly cut diamonds.

Here’s a saying I’ve found to be true:

“Big Gets Noticed…  Beautiful Gets Admired.”

When it comes to compromising on cut to get a bigger diamond, you are actually working against yourself. Unless it’s cut to the proper proportions, it will not look as big as it is, or as impressive as it should, and you’ve wasted valuable money.

There can be some wiggle room here, but make Cut the “C” you’re least willing to compromise on. If you absolutely must have a larger stone, see if you can go lower in color, for example.

I’ve had customers purchase two carat diamonds who dropped down into the “Yellow Tinge” range of color (“K” or “M”) to get the size they wanted. And, because the diamonds were cut beautifully, the yellow tinge never got noticed over all the sparkle, and they still get compliments galore from friends and family today.

Put Cut first, and everything else will fall into place.

NEXT: Myths, Dangers, FAQs of buying a diamond