Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Diamond Size on Hand of a 0.35 Carat Diamond

The ring shown in the picture is a US size six; this is the same as an L 1/2 ring size in places like Britain and Australia. The woman's hand pictured has quite long and slender fingers - which may not be what yours look like - if they're not, bear in mind that a diamond engagement ring may present quite differently on your finger. The apparent size of the diamond and ring can be affected by whether you have thick or thin fingers, and also depends on their length. If you are stressed about the cost of diamonds but are still really set on getting one, here's one piece of good news - the diamonds often appear bigger once put on a woman's hand, especially in cases where her hand is small and petite.

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Go searching for diamonds this size at James Allen by clicking on the banner below and dragging the carat slider to the appropriate setting:

Actual Diamond Photos from JamesAllen