We’ve been noticing a wide range of
engagement ring shapes and sizes. Of course, most of the gems in question have been spotted on celebs and trendsetters—in other words, they’re massive by our standards.
But what constitutes a
“big” ring in the real world? To get a sense of what you and I would consider a large rock, Who What Wear tapped five diamond experts to spill on the size they think average people would consider big. Then we pooled their answers to find the average carat number.
Keep scrolling to see the final result and learn more from our panel of experts, including why people think this specific size is so jaw-dropping and which other factors go into how large a ring actually appears. Plus, go a bit further to check out recent “big” celeb diamonds and to shop
engagement rings of any size.
“Although we often find that a woman may know what a certain diamond size ‘sounds’ like, she doesn’t always know what it looks like. There is usually a moment of serendipity when they realize how much bigger a diamond is in person, especially a Hearts on Fire diamond, which tends to face up significantly larger due to the perfect symmetry, perfect proportions, perfect polish, and perfect alignment. Of course, depending on where you are in the U.S., the answer will differ. The West and East Coasts tend to buy a bigger average center, so their perception of ‘big’ is going to be different than someone in the middle of the country. However, on average, a two-carat is definitely a head-turner, and overall women perceive this to be a big look!” — Krista Beermann, Hearts on Fire
“Most women think of two carats as a decent-size diamond, with a typical color clarity ranging from VS1-VS2, F-G color. [D is colorless.] A noticeably big diamond will be three carats and above. These are the ones that turn heads.” — Scott Friedman, Gleem & Co.
“In 2015, the average carat weight purchased was 0.9 carats. Given that, the average carat size that someone would consider ‘big’ is anywhere from two and a half to three carats. However, there are many factors that influence the size of diamond that’s chosen and what the average person would consider a ‘big’ diamond. Some of those factors include the location, the size of your hand/fingers, and the composition of the ring.” — Oded Edelman, James Allen
“The average engagement ring has a carat weight of just over one carat, so we’d say anything upward of two carats would be considered large for a ring. While this obviously is a long way from Mariah Carey’s 30-plus-carat or the current heart-shaped ring trend led by Nicki Minaj’s and Lady Gaga’s giant diamonds, most women probably wouldn’t want to wear something that extravagant on their finger every day.” — Brian Watkins, Ritani
“The average engagement ring in the U.S. has a center diamond of about one carat and a total carat weight of approximately one and a half carats. An engagement ring around two carats or above would be considered ‘big’ for the average girl’s standards, and anything three carats or above would likely elicit some serious jaw-dropping. Besides carat weight, several other factors, like the shape and cut of a diamond, can affect how large it appears. The cut of a diamond determines its sparkle and brilliance, and it can also affect its visual size. Two diamonds with the same carat weight can appear to be different sizes depending on the depth or shape of their cut. If a diamond is cut very shallow, it has more surface area and so may appear larger, but it would lack depth and sparkle, and it would receive a poor cut grade. Only round diamonds with a cut grade of ‘very good’ or ‘excellent,’ and fancy diamonds that meet our criteria for beauty are eligible to become a Forevermark diamond, the authority on diamonds for over 125 years.” — Kristen Trustey, Forevermark
Next, explore some recent “big” celeb diamonds and then shop engagement rings of any size.
Sparkle on with this pretty ring on your finger.
So bold and beautiful.
There’s no more classic style than a round-cut solitaire.
This one will look just as gorgeous stacked with other rings.
It doesn’t get more classic than this style.
This stunning sparkler will light up any look.
Strangers just might stop and stare at this one.
Talk about a statement piece.
Wear on its own or as part of a stack.
A gorgeous modern take on vintage style.
Just so dazzling.
All about this antique look.
A delicate statement-maker.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated. Next, check out the engagement ring trends you’re about to see everywhere.