When it comes to buying a diamond for that special lady in your life, whether it is an engagement ring, a pendant, a bracelet, or some classic studs, size is not everything…but it’s a lot. If you choose a diamond that’s too small, she might have to pull out a magnifying glass every time she wants to admire it (and it’s not very impressive to all of her friends, either). If, on the other hand, you buy a rock that’s way too big, she may not wear it for fear of theft (plus, most women are wary of looking ostentatious). Choosing the right diamond requires a lot of thought, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, you should be able to pick the right stone for every occasion.
1. Under ½ carat. This size is really only okay for everyday diamond studs (earrings), a tennis bracelet, or a diamond necklace (not a pendant, a string of small diamonds…although each diamond should be up to ½ carat, not the necklace as a whole). While this size looks great embellishing a larger central diamond on a pendant or ring, it’s really too small to stand alone.
2. Up to 1 carat. Properly presented, a 0.5 – 1 carat diamond can work fine for an engagement ring, although this size is really better for a nice set of earrings. You can do a strand of stones for a bracelet or necklace, just be aware that it might detract from your lady’s natural brilliance.
3. Between 1 and 2 carats. Not too large and not too small, this tends to be the preferred size for engagement rings. You won’t break the bank and she’ll have an adequately sized sparkler to wow her gal pals.
4. Between 2 and 3 carats. Now you’re getting into pendant range. A stone this size sported solo on a bare neckline will make draw attention, but not detract. You can use it for a ring, but it could be considered a bit flashy. If you really want to give her an experience of wide-eyed awe, buy a matching set and make them into long drop earrings.
5. Over 3 carats. If her idea of a good diamonds is “the bigger the better”, then you can’t go wrong with anything over this benchmark. It may not be tasteful, but it will certainly garner attention.