When shopping for an engagement ring, many customers want to know what the average sale looks like so they can decide how much to spend. While every budget and engagement ring wishlist is different, we think it’s important to understand the engagement ring market before you buy. Along with which engagement ring setting is most popular – and which diamond shape – carat weight is another element that is often asked about.
The average total carat weight for an engagement ring in the U.S. hovers just over 1 carat, at 1.08 carats. The range of 1.0 to 1.9 carats is by far the most popular, but there are noticeable peaks at the 0.70 – 0.79 range, the 0.90 – 0.99 range and the 1.50 – 1.59 range. It’s great to see that people take our advice and go for a diamond that’s slightly lighter or heavier than industry cutoff weights to get the best value.
When choosing a diamond, it’s also important to remember that carat weight is far from the only measure of value. The color grade, its clarity, and the quality of the cut will also affect its price. Cut grade is the factor that most strongly affects the sparkle and beauty of your diamond. At Ritani, we feel that every aspect of a diamond is important, but if you have to pick two to achieve the most sparkle, focus on cut and clarity.
It’s no surprise that our best-selling engagement rings highlight the center diamond in three styles: solitaire (the most iconic engagement ring style), sidestone (a ring with a diamond band), and the halo (diamonds encircling the center diamond).
If you’re not sure what carat weight to go with, our interactive diamond carat comparison tool can help you see the differences in diamond carat on a hand. You should also consider your budget and how much you want to spend when deciding on a carat weight.
The differences between a 0.75 carat diamond, 1.0 carat diamond, and a 1.25 carat diamond are subtle in size but substantial in price.
If you’re shopping on a budget for your engagement ring, we recommend browsing the three-stone and halo ring collections. These styles use smaller diamonds as details within the ring setting to increase its overall sparkle. This can actually end up saving you money: the price of multiple smaller diamonds to total 1.5 carats is usually lower than the price one single 1.5 carat diamond.
Three-stone and halo styles also tend to make an engagement ring appear larger, and they allow you to have more than one diamond shape, creating a more distinctive style. A round center stone bordered by two pear or baguette side stones is more visually unique than a solitaire. An oval cut or cushion cut diamond set in a halo of round brilliant diamonds will produce lots of stunning sparkle, with a vintage feel.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for an elegant solitaire or sidestone ring style, we recommend going for a slightly lighter carat weight and investing in higher cut, clarity and color grades. These styles make your diamond the center of attention, and choosing a high-quality gem will ensure that it’s truly dazzling.
Whatever ring style and diamond carat weight you choose, remember to find a diamond with a cut grade of Good or higher. If you need help selecting a diamond, our Virtual Gemologists are ready to help with real-time diamond advice comparing up to four diamonds.