When it comes to buying the perfect engagement ring it's not the 4 C's that most people value as the most important aspect of the ring - it's the style of the ring itself.Although there are many ways to go about styling your engagement ring, amongst the most popular ones are:
Let’s go over a few examples of what each looks like and what it means for a 1 carat diamond. All of the below images feature a 1 carat center stone.
As you can see, the solitaire setting draws the main focus directly to the 1 carat center stone in the below image. This is the perfect setting if you feel confident that you have an amazing diamond and you want nothing to distract from it. Simple and classic, this setting will never go out of style. A classic solitaire engagement ring in 18k white gold starts at about $450 (like this one from Blue Nile).
Solitaire settings are beautifully simple, but there is still personalization to be had. Choose the number of prongs (4 or 6) and inscribe something meaningful inside the shank to add some personalization.
You may have noticed that the 1 carat diamonds below looks much larger than the solitaires we looked at in the previous section. This inflationary effect is due to the halo setting which can help a diamond look significantly larger. This is due to the fact that the additional diamonds around the center stone’s edge are sometimes perceived as a single large stone.
The effect may also be due to the fact that the center stone is proportionately much bigger than the small side stones, making the center stone appear larger on a relative basis. Generally speaking, a halo setting is the most cost effective way to increase the “size” of your engagement ring. A 1/4 carat total weight halo engagement ring in 18k white gold starts at about $1,390 (like this one from Ritani).
When choosing a halo setting, be sure to match the side stones to color of the center stone. If the side stones are a better color grade it could make the center stone appear more yellow.
The three stone setting allows you to differentiate your style a bit while taking some of the focus off of from the center stone. It has an effect that is somewhere between the halo and the solitaire settings. The side stones make the overall ring look larger but the setting does not quite distract as much from the center stone as the halo does. A classic three stone engagement ring in 14k white gold starts at about $600 for the metal setting alone (like this one from Blue Nile).
Three stone settings are a classic style that make a big impact visually. Be sure to look at different three stone rings to understand your preferred proportions.
What you may have noticed in your research is that within each category of engagement ring settings the bands differed a bit too: some are diamond studded nd some are plain metal. That’s because each band can have different features, the most common one being the Pave Band which can go with any setting. The pave as you can see below is a band in which you have small diamonds going around the band. 1/4 carat total weight pave engagement rings in 18k white gold starts at about $1,450 (like this one from Blue Nile).
Pave settings are a great way to maximize the sparkly effect of your engagement ring. Some settings have diamonds that go all the way around while others leave some metal visible on the bottom.
One common concern for diamond buyers is whether the diamond will look appropriately sized on the recipients finger. Obviously, this is all very subjective but what we came up with two scenarios so you can see the difference.
Since a diamond's appearance will be relative the finger size of the person wearing the stone, a thinner finger will make the diamond appear larger. Here we see a 1 carat diamond on a size 2.5 ring finger...
Below is an example of a 1 carat diamond ring on a size 6 ring finger...
And here is an example of a 1 carat diamond ring on a size 9 ring finger...
Another common concern buyers have is regarding the color of the diamond and whether it will look white for a given carat weight. Generally speaking, the larger the diamond, the more important color is. If you are concerned that a color grade won't appear white enough, you should also consider going with a yellow or rose gold setting as both of these can help to "hide" some of the natural color in the diamond. Typically for 1 carat diamonds we would recommend a J color or better for a white gold or platinum engagement ring setting and a K color or better for a yellow or rose gold setting.
Below we have 1 carat diamonds in every color grade from D - K. These diamonds are all VS1 clarity, have GIA Excellent cut/symmetry/polish, and fluorescence grades of none. We also opted for diamonds with high cut scores (our internal metric for light performance). You can filter by cut score for round diamonds in the StoneAlgo Search Engine
Click an image to see more details.
Believe it or not the above diamonds are all different color grades ranging from D - K in order from top left to bottom right.
There is no single price for a 1 carat round diamond. The price can range anywhere from $3,361 to $14,147 for a K SI2 and a D Flawless respectively (based on price estimates generated by our Diamond Price Calculator tool). Somewhere in the middle, the current price of a GIA triple excellent 1 carat G color VS2 clarity round diamond with no fluorescence is $6,918 at the time of this writing.
The above 1 carat diamond price chart is available as an up-to-date and interactive chart on our 1 Carat Round Cut Diamond Prices page.
As you can see, the average price for a 1 carat round diamond was $6,353 as of Jan 27, 2020, but on a daily basis we pick amazing diamonds in the $5,000 and $7,500 ranges that are around 1 carat in our StoneAlgo Select section. Generally speaking, the best way to maximize the overall appearance of your engagement ring for a given price point is to search for an eye clean SI1 or VS2 clarity diamond that is in the near colorless range (G - J).
One common misconception regarding diamond sizes and carat weights is that double the carat means double the size (in diameter or surface area). But actually, double the carat means twice the weight. The weight of the diamond actually increases much faster than the diamond's surface area - but that's a story for another blog post (specifically our Visual Carat Weight post).
The below table shows the average diameter and surface area for round diamonds of various carat weights. If you find that a round diamond varies significantly from these measurements it is typically a red flag - the diamond may have been cut to maximize carat weight over sparkle for instance.
|Carat||Diameter (mm)||Surface Area (sq. mm)|
As you can see, the 1 ct is twice the weight of the 0.5 ct but it only has 50% more surface area and only 1.32mm more in diameter.
1 carat is one of the most popular sizes for diamond stud earrings, but you should know that earrings are typically measured in terms of carat total weight (ctw) which measures the total weight of the two earrings together (halo and pave engagement ring settings are also measured this way). So, a 1 carat total weight pair of stud earring is typically a pair of 0.5 carat diamonds that add up to 1 carat total weight.
One of the bigger choices, at least for your classic diamond stud earrings, is whether to go for a four prong, three prong, or bezel setting. For each of those you can obviously choose different metals and colors according to your personal taste. We have dedicated an entire post for stud earrings which takes through everything from budget to specs and color/metal pairing (Diamond Stud Earrings Buying Guide).Search 1 Carat Round Diamonds