Is a Half Carat Diamond Big Enough for an Engagement Ring?

Tradition calls for a one-carat engagement ring, preferably set in a white metal band, whether that is platinum, white gold or another pale metal against which the diamond will stand out well. One-carat diamonds can be pricy though, and for a young couple, wanting to look the part without spending too much money, can a half-carat diamond be big enough for their engagement ring? Let us take a look.

Which Setting?

Having a small but beautiful diamond carefully mounted in a piece of jewelry that is designed to make the stone look bigger is a great way to make your small diamond look larger and more impressive. In fact, the more carefully it is presented, the higher quality it seems to be, so you can get away with hinting that your stone is of a very superior quality, even if it is ‘merely’ a good diamond!

Beginning of a Trilogy?

Team a half carat diamond with two smaller stones which can be smaller diamonds, or precious stones of another type, or even your favorite kind of semi-precious stone. This will automatically make your ring look larger and disguise the smaller size of your diamond better than would happen if the stone were mounted in a simple band.

Cut is Key

But it is the cut of the diamond that will make the most difference to the size of your stone. Imagine you are looking at two stones: one is a round brilliant design (the traditional shape for a diamond) while the other is a marquise cut diamond (an oval with sharp ends, rather like a rugby ball – more romantically the cut was invented for Madame de Pompadour’s lips on the orders of her lover, King Louis of France!). The round brilliant diamond is 6.5mm in diameter, while the marquise cut diamond measures 8mm across the length and 4mm across the widest part of the width. Roughly multiplying in your head and trying to remember all those formulae from math class, you would be forgiven for assuming that the stones are about the same carat weight as they look to be about the same size.

But in fact, the marquise diamond is only half a carat while the seemingly similar sized round brilliant is a full carat! How does this happen? Well, it all comes down to the depth of the cut, with the round brilliant having much of its body, like an iceberg, out of sight under the table, while the marquise cut diamond is much shallower and thus able to show a larger top surface than a round brilliant.

So it is easy to see, once the above is understood, that the shallower cut your half-carat diamond is, the bigger the face of it will be, filling the eye nicely and looking like a decent sized stone. However, there is a small caveat here: shallow cut diamonds do lose a little sparkle when compared with brilliant – or deep-cut – diamonds. This is why emerald cut diamonds, while looking beautiful and still shining nicely, do not sparkle with the same fiery color as a round brilliant cut stone.

So, is a half-carat diamond big enough for an engagement ring? Absolutely, yes! Browse for a half carat diamond ring here and see just how appropriate they are!

*Collaborative post