Chasing the Carat

Being in the trade, people often ask us How big should the Diamond be? What do girls expect? We get these questions from customers, friends, and even people who are nowhere near engagement, but simply curious. The only right answer to that in our opinion, is ‘up to you’. It really depends on how much you have, how much you want to spend and the kind of person you are.

3 Carat diamond ring with halo

In no way do we think one should see the size of the diamond as a sign of love, even though buying an engagement ring is a romantic gesture.

We hear girls talking about Diamonds and guessing what size their respective boyfriends might buy for them. Actually, some of them have misconceptions about the price of Diamonds and even though they don’t have an accurate idea of the value, they can still have their mind set on 1 carat – or even 2! In fact, very few can tell just by looking, especially after the Diamond has been set into a ring. To further complicate things, the carat tells only the weight, not the size of the Diamond, so it is nearly impossible to tell the carat just by looking, as it all depends on the cut and shape.

Side-view of Diamond Cut
The Cut determines how big the Diamond looks

So why this fascination with the 1 carat Diamond? Actually it might just be a numerical occurrence. 1 carat sounds like a standard because we start counting from 1. And with this as a reference, anything short of 1 carat will be ‘less’ than required.

So what if we told you that the measurement carat, has nothing to do with a standard Diamond size or what one ‘should’ get. It is simply a historical coincidence. In Roman times, traders needed a way to measure the value of gemstones. As gemstones are relatively small, the merchants had to find a way to measure them correctly. The solution: carob seeds. These seeds were chosen because their weight was believed to be unusually constant and therefore reliable as a weight for measuring small gemstones. Many years of trading passed in this style, until early 20th century, when a standardized system for weighing carat was set in the US. Other countries followed and this is now the worldwide standard. One carat is now equal to 200mg, or 0.2 grams. Doesn’t sound as big in grams, does it? – “One gram of diamond please…”


Whichever size you choose, be sure to do it for the right reasons. And keep in mind; you can always ‘upgrade’ the design later. Believe us, if you like diamonds in the first place, it is unlikely that the engagement ring is the LAST Diamond that you will ever buy…

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