Last Updated on 25th May 2021
As the USA became one of the two major superpowers after the Second World War, de Beers, the diamond industry authority, began to advertise diamonds as being the perfect stone with which to propose marriage to the girl who had waited patiently for her man to come back to her. This campaign worked astonishingly well, and today there is hardly anyone who, when contemplating engagement does not think about a diamond engagement ring! And the bigger the better, it seems sometimes, with people boasting about five carat diamond rings, or twenty-carat diamond rings on social media and setting expectations rather high! But what is actually the average carat weight of a diamond in an engagement ring these days? And has it changed over time?
Engagement Ring Diamonds
The size of engagement ring diamonds have not changed very much over time, with most countries either slowly increasing or decreasing the size of their stones, or – and this is the more prevalent option – simply staying static. This is very likely because the cost of diamonds keeps up with the rate of inflation, thereby discouraging people from allowing the size of engagement ring diamonds to creep up!
The US Average
De Beers, all those years ago, touted the promise of a perfect marriage with the offer of a ‘perfect’ engagement ring, by which they meant a one-carat solitaire stone beautifully set into platinum or white gold band. This image of the ideal engagement stone has stood the test of time and the average size of a diamond for an engagement ring in the USA is currently between 0.9 of a carat and 1.25 carats.
The 0.9 is actually a very good way to pay a lot less for a diamond that visually is not that different from a full carat, thanks to the market’s attraction to stones that are round-carats or half-carats: 1-carat, 1.5-carats, 2-carats, and so on are significantly more popular than, for example, 0.9-carat, 1.46-carats or 1.8-carats – and this means that by choosing this odd sizing, you can save a decent sum of money while still enjoying a beautiful, high-quality and good-sized stone. Check for a 3 carat diamond ring here and see just how big and beautiful that size really is!
Obviously, if the average stone falls into that range, there will be outliers, with celebrities boasting enormous stones that run to tens of carats, while on the other end of the spectrum will be couples who get much smaller stones – a cluster of melee diamonds, perhaps, or a 0.3-carat diamond.
United Kingdom and Singapore
In the UK, diamond sizes have settled on an average of around 0.6-carats. This may be because British couples often do not make an enormous ceremony of marriage, with many people living together before deciding to make their commitment to one another permanent. With other priorities than impressing one another, opting for a smaller stone allows for couples to spend their savings on household improvements, a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime holiday or something else that benefits the two of them. IN Singapore, 0.6-carats is also the average. However, like in much of the rest of Asia, this relatively small size is probably because the people have smaller figures, with delicate, slender fingers, on which larger stones would look awkward.
In China and the EU, the average size of a diamond is exactly half-a-carat, while in Hong-Kong it rises to 0.7 of a carat. In Malaysia, the average size is 0.4 carats – again probably because of the small stature of the people. Diamond sizes can be affected by the cost of the stones, and also the size of the person who will ultimately be wearing it – too large a stone can be intrusive and hard to wear, while too small can look just a little bit sad!