What Size Diamond for an Engagement Ring?

Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 at 12:31 pm by Debbie

What size diamond should you get for an engagement ring?

Some people want the biggest diamond they can afford, while others prefer smaller diamonds. You might think it’s all about price and quality, but there’s a lot more to consider when choosing the best diamond size for you!

The ring design affects the diamond size

An engagement ring with a detailed design
Do you want the focus of your ring to be on an intricate design that shows off the center diamond? The more design in the ring, the more space it takes up on your finger. Chose a small to medium-large center diamond.

A halo engagement ring
Halos are an excellent way to ‘frame’ a center diamond, and make your diamond look bigger. One way to stretch your dollars is to make the center diamond look bigger by having larger diamonds in the halo. This gives a bigger look, but if you go too large, it begins to look more like a cluster instead of a frame.

You can also choose a double or triple halo - as the number of halos increases, you can get a smaller stone for the same overall ring size.

A classic engagement ring with the focus on the center diamond
Do you want a simple, clean look that’s all about the center diamond? These engagement rings look best with a larger diamond, usually with a narrow band. The band might have tapered baguettes or a simple small diamond accent on either side. Often they are paired with a simple diamond band.

For the best look, keep the band thinner than the center diamond. In general, the larger the center diamond, the wider the band can be, although a large center diamond still looks great with a thinner band!


Finger size affects diamond size

This is an important consideration when selecting your diamond and the design of your engagement ring (and any other ring). A small finger doesn’t have much ‘real estate’ or space. If your finger is small, you’ll probably have to choose between an engagement ring with a large diamond and one with lots of details on the sides. Both simply won’t fit!

Alternatively, if your finger is larger you can do as you please! There’s plenty of space to choose lots of design details and a large center diamond for your engagement ring!

Budget and Quality

There are many factors that contribute to a diamond’s price. Larger, higher quality diamonds are more rare (and more desired!), so we know that the price increases with the size and quality. But the price increases aren’t linear - the price increases exponentially, especially at the higher end.

Given a set budget, if your goal is the biggest diamond possible, you’ll get a lower quality. If your goal is the nicest diamond possible, you’ll get a smaller size. But most people look at diamonds, try on rings with different sized diamonds, and reach a happy medium.


Pictured left to right: 3ct solitaire, 2ct with small halo, 1ct with large halo

Try some on!

Diamonds of the same size and engagement rings look different depending not only on your finger size but also the shape of your finger and the size of your wearing position (the space between the knuckle and the base of your finger). You’ll get great ideas online, but be sure to see how they look on your finger! Many people come into Fox Fine Jewelry with a certain style and diamond size in mind. After they try on rings, they walk out with something very different. Your engagement ring is the most important piece of jewelry you’ll ever get, so come in and see what you like best on your finger!