How Big Should A Diamond Be In An Engagement Ring?

How Big Should A Diamond Be In An Engagement Ring?

The Big Question: How Big Should The Diamond In Your Engagement Ring Be?

Sparkling diamonds are a classic symbol of love and commitment, but when it comes to engagement rings, the question of size can be a tricky one. We've all seen those massive sparklers in movies, but is bigger always better?

Let's break down the factors to consider when choosing the perfect diamond size for your future fiancée.

round brilliant diamonds lined up on hand in size order

How Big is Too Big For A Diamond?

There's no magic "too big" number, since this is highly personal! Some people wouldn’t want to consider anything less than 2.5ct and yet other’s shy away from anything bigger than 1 carat. Think about your partner's taste in jewellery. Do they prefer a minimalist look or something more glamorous? If they rarely wear jewellery, a super sparkly halo ring with decadent diamond set shoulders might not be their cup of tea.

A ring should complement your partner's style, personality and lifestyle, so think about their daily activities. Do they have an office based job and get their nails done? Chances are they would enjoy showing off a big diamond and it would suit their lifestyle! Whereas someone who works with their hands a lot may prefer something smaller which can be set lower, to prevent it being knocked around too much, unless they are happy to remove their ring whilst they’re working, of course.

How Small Is Too Small For A Diamond?

Traditionally, half a carat was a popular diamond size. However, the rise of lab-grown diamonds has shaken things up. Lab diamonds offer the same if not better sparkle and quality to mined diamonds, but at a fraction of the price. This has allowed couples to consider larger stones, with 2, 3, and even 4 carat diamonds becoming increasingly popular.

To give an idea of how prices have changed, 10 years ago when mined diamonds were the only option on the market, the average 0.5ct solitaire would’ve cost around £3,000, and a 1 carat would’ve been closer to £6,500. As you will probably agree when comparing that to today’s market, that’s rather pricey and not within many people’s budgets, even today!

Fast-forward present day, in 2024 you can buy a 1.25ct lab diamond solitaire, which looks much nicer as a stand alone stone, for less than £3,000. 

At Ethica, we have seen a large decrease in sales for diamonds under 1 carat, and we think that is largely due to the mentality of “if I can afford to go slightly bigger, then I will!”. We believe this would’ve been the case 10 years ago, too, if people could have afforded to go to these sizes. However, people were massively limited by price due to the mined diamond industry price fixing.

Our recommendation at Ethica Diamonds, is a solitaire looks best proportion-wise in a setting with a diamond between 1-3 carats, and for those who are looking for a smaller stone, perhaps consider a trilogy or halo which helps to accentuate the main diamond.

Thoughtfulness Conquers All (In Our Opinion!)

At Ethica, we believe a thoughtful choice for an engagement ring, regardless of size and social pressures, will resonate far more than a ring that doesn’t suit your partner’s personality.

While size plays a role, it's the thoughtfulness behind the ring that truly makes it special. Here are some ideas to create an engagement ring that speaks volumes:

Matching Their Style:

  • Observe their jewellery collection: Do they gravitate towards classic and elegant pieces, or are they drawn to bold and statement styles? Look for rings with similar design elements.
  • Consider their daily life: If they're active, a delicate solitaire might snag easily. Opt for a sturdier setting or a bezel-set diamond.
  • Window shopping together (subtly): While strolling past jewelers, casually point out rings you find interesting and gauge their reaction.
  • Embrace the Lab Diamond & Gemstone Revolution: If your partner has their heart set on a big, show-stopping diamond or gemstone, lab grown is a fantastic option. They're ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, and significantly more affordable than mined diamonds. This allows you to prioritise size, sparkle and quality without paying extortionate prices.
    graphic showing three different solitaire engagement ring styles
    graphic showing three different accented engagement ring styles
    graphic showing three different trilogy engagement ring styles
    graphic showing three different halo engagement ring styles

A Touch of Colour:

  • Coloured lab diamonds: Ditch the traditional white and explore fancy coloured lab diamonds! Yellow, pink, or blue stones can reflect their favourite colour or birthstone, adding a truly personal touch. This is wonderful way to make your engagement ring more unique and is an option that is becoming more accessible, again thanks to lab diamonds. Coloured fancy mined diamonds are far too expensive to fall within the average budget, meaning coloured diamonds were never a viable option, until now.
two images showcasing two different rings set with lab grown coloured diamonds
two images showcasing two different rings set with lab grown coloured diamonds
  • Gemstone alternatives: For a truly unique choice, consider sapphires, emeralds, or rubies which are lab grown. These offer a stunning array of colours and birthstone options to make your ring more personal. At Ethica, we offer a wide range of lab grown gemstones which are chemically identical to their mined counterparts and are truly stunning options for a unique engagement ring. 
two images showcasing two different rings set with lab grown gemstones

Secret Sentiments:

  • Engraving with a hidden message: A personal inscription on the inside of the band is a romantic touch. It could be a nickname, a significant date, or a heartfelt message.
  • Hidden details: Have a tiny gem or their initials discreetly engraved on the inside of the band. It's a sweet secret only they'll know.

Uniquely You:

  • Bespoke design: For the ultimate personalised touch, consider our bespoke service to create a one-of-a-kind engagement ring. The sky is the limit when designing your own and we have in house designers to help turn your ideas into something tangible, whilst ensuring the design maintains structural integrity to stand the test of time. 
image of a bespoke engagement ring with a green emerald halo around a bezel set diamond

Extra tips:

  • Involve a friend or family member: If your partner has dropped hints or has favourite jewellery pieces, enlist a trusted confidante to help you gather clues.
  • Think beyond the diamond: While diamonds are classic, explore alternative gemstones that might hold special meaning for your partner.
  • Most importantly, prioritise their happiness: It's not about the size of the stone, but the thoughtfulness behind it. Choose a ring that reflects your love and makes them feel truly special.

With a little planning and creativity, you can transform a beautiful ring into a symbol of your unique love story, a treasured reminder of the moment your journey began. If you require any assistance with ideas and the possibilities available to you for your budget, speak to us and we can help you start creating your own engagement ring, personal to you.

Engagement Ring Buying Guide
Share Tweet Pin it
Back to blog