1.5-carat diamonds: too big, too small, or just right?
When it comes to engagement rings, many people are obsessed with the perfection of the rounded carat. Popular options include 1, 2, and 3-carat diamonds, which offer superb sparkle and dimensions that compliment most fingers. But, with high demand comes high prices, and these rounded carat stones are becoming increasingly expensive! As such, people are moving to half-carat stones, and a 1.5-carat diamond is the perfect size for most wearers.😊
While most ring buyers have researched 1 and 2-carat diamonds, 1.5-carat stones may be a new venture. Let’s discuss how 1 and 2-carat diamonds compare to 1.5-carat gems: their size, price, tips for saving money on your purchase, and the best places to find quality stock!
1.5-carat vs. 1 and 2-carat diamonds: Size
What is a 1.5-carat diamond?
A 1.5-carat diamond weighs exactly that: 1.5 carats. While 1-carat stones weigh 200 milligrams and 2-carat gems are 400 milligrams, a 1.5-carat diamond is nestled perfectly in the center at 300 milligrams.
Although rounded carat sizes are traditionally more popular, 1.5-carat diamonds are an ideal compromise for buyers who want something larger than a 1-carat stone without the hefty expense of a 2-carat diamond.
Understanding 1.5-carat diamond size
As you may already know, carat weight does not necessarily dictate a stone’s size, and a 1.5-carat diamond’s dimensions can be very different depending on its cut quality and shape.
While dimensions may vary, the average diameter of a round 1.5-carat diamond is about 7.3mm. Coincidentally, 1.5-carat diamonds can be seen as the "middle point" between 1 and 2-carat gems, as this average size is almost perfectly in between a 1-carat stone’s 6.4mm diameter and a 2-carat stone’s 8.1mm diameter.
One can think of the 1.5-carat diamond as the average between the two stones, making it perfect for people who want a larger stone without jumping to a 2-carat gem. It’s also an ideal size for smaller digits, and it covers about 43.5% of the width of an average finger. As such, 1.5-carat diamonds look rather large on delicate hands!
Diamond sizes can be difficult to visualize, so here’s a chart to help you understand how large each diamond appears when compared to other carat weights:
1.5-carat vs. 1 and 2-carat diamond rings: Price
How much is a 1.5-carat diamond ring?
When it comes to 1.5-carat diamonds, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. The average price for a 1.5-carat stone is about $12,900, but you can find good quality diamonds in the $8,000 to $12,000 range.💰
Under the $8,000 mark, diamond quality decreases significantly. Above the $12,000 mark, differences become less and less noticeable as price increases. These are differences that would require a jeweler’s loupe or a trained eye to recognize, so you can definitely find a high-quality diamond within the recommended price range.
The average price of a 1.5-carat stone is more than double that of a 1-carat diamond, which is usually $2,000-2,500. In contrast, a 1.5-carat diamond is still significantly less than a 2-carat stone, which averages about $20,000.
As such, 1.5-carat diamonds are a great value, because they offer a significant visual increase in size from a 1-carat stone for much less than a costly 2-carat gem!
Cost factors for 1.5-carat diamonds include the cut, color, clarity, fluorescence, and diamond shape. 📝However, there are some other factors you should consider when putting together a diamond ring.
Other pricing components of a 1.5-carat diamond ring
While the diamond is a large chunk of your ring budget, there are several factors that contribute to the final cost of your engagement ring. Let’s look at some common design choices that affect your 1.5-carat diamond ring’s price.
First, a ring setting may cost as little as $500, or it can be more expensive than the diamond itself! The price comes down to your choice of metal, setting style, accent or side stones, and any additional elements used to personalize your ring. ✅Overall, make sure you budget accordingly for the style of ring you want and shop around for reasonably priced settings.
For custom rings, don’t forget to factor in time and labor costs. We live in an amazing time where professionals can custom design your ring with 3D CAD software and create it from scratch. You can hand-select unique metals, engraving, filigree and other accents, and even your gemstones with these personalized pieces. However, the expertise can be pricey, so save some room in your budget if you want to add personal touches.
Finally, having an extensive service package for your ring saves you money in the long run.🏃🏻 Make sure your jeweler offers complimentary cleanings, yearly servicing, and even free ring sizing within the first year if you are unsure what size ring your fianceé wears. Some of these services may incur a cost at certain retailers, so compare packages and find one that best suits your needs and those of your particular ring.
Should you limit your diamond search to exactly "1.5 carats"?
Similar to people’s obsession with rounded carat weights, a 1.5-carat diamond is a sought-after size as the "midpoint" between 1 and 2-carat gems. It’s also an excellent choice for those shoppers who feel a 1-carat diamond is too small for their fianceé’s finger but worry a 2-carat diamond may appear too large and gaudy.😘
However, size differences in diamonds within about .1-.2 carats are negligible, and even a jeweler would have a hard time guessing your diamond’s exact carat weight. As a result, you should expand your search criteria beyond just 1.5-carat diamonds to increase your possible inventory.
By expanding your search to diamonds ranging from 1.2 to 1.8 carats, you can easily expand your diamond pool and find the exact gem for your needs.
Limiting your search to 1.5-carat diamonds alone can create unnecessary stress! Expand your search to include diamonds slightly smaller and larger than a 1.5-carat diamond. Doing so not only enhances the beauty of the ring on your fianceé’s finger but also gives you more high-quality diamond options to make the most out of your purchase.
Our advice on shopping for a 1.5-carat diamond ring (+Money saving tips)
So what’s the best way to find a deal on a 1.5-carat diamond ring? And how can you ensure it suits your needs? Here are a few tips we recommend to get the ideal 1.5-carat ring for you.
Keep your budget in mind
Never go into debt while buying a ring! There are several ways to find the ring of your dreams while staying within your budget. You just have to start with a financial plan and stick to it.
Do some calculations to figure out how much you’re willing to save per month for your ring based on your timeline. The old adage is your budget should be “two to three months of your salary”, but don’t feel as though you must adhere to that. Do what is comfortable for your way of living.🚦
While you shouldn’t sacrifice any necessities, think about any small luxuries you can easily give up each month. Doing so can mean the difference between a $2,500 low-quality ring and a $6,000 mid to high-quality sparkler in the long run!
It’s also important to consider whether you’ll pay for your ring upfront or utilize a payment plan. Many retailers offer low to no interest plans that can help you make small payments over 6 to 12 months rather than saving the full cost before purchasing. Doing so can help you buy a higher quality ring with reasonable payments.
Most importantly, be realistic about your budget and spending capacity with your significant other. Discuss her desires when it comes to an engagement ring, and reasonably balance her wants with what you can afford.
Choose an ideal shape
Choosing the right shape for your needs may be more complicated than just selecting the one you like best.
While your tastes are an incredibly important factor, there are several things to keep in mind when finding the right shape for your 1.5-carat diamond.
First, certain shapes work better on different-sized fingers. For small hands, elongated shapes—marquise, oval, or pear—can actually lengthen wide or short fingers. A 1.5-carat pear-shaped diamond ring is a great way to balance surface area with these lengthening effects.
Or, for those with long fingers, any shape will do! These wearers have the benefit of choosing shapes with larger surface areas, such as this 1.5-carat cushion cut diamond ring.
Shape can also impact price, so make sure you choose one that suits your budget. Everyone loves round brilliant diamonds, but they’re actually the most popular shape—and, therefore, the most expensive one—you can choose. It’s generally the same case for 1.5-carat princess cut diamond rings, as well as increasingly popular oval and marquise styles.
If you’re looking to shave a few dollars off the price, emerald, heart, and radiant cut diamonds are typically the cheapest styles due to their broad surface area. Just remember that these shapes may dwarf small hands!
Finally, you should also keep quality in mind when selecting your diamond’s shape. The larger the surface area, the wider the table! This means you’ll need a higher clarity rating to make your diamond sparkle effectively, because any inclusions may be noticeable on a wider diamond.
One drawback to keep in mind is that certain shapes may be harder to recognize in a 1.5-carat form. While a 1.5-carat diamond is usually larger than 1-carat stones, onlookers still may not be able to distinguish its shape from a distance. As such, if you want a noticeable shape, select a longer silhouette or search for a 2-carat diamond that is much more visible.😎
Think about the remaining 3Cs
Carat weight is an important part of your diamond decision, but it shouldn’t outweigh the other 3Cs. Read our tips below to understand what diamond quality you can afford.
A diamond’s cut is its more crucial detail, as it dictates scintillation, brilliance, and fire. Because cut controls sparkle, it’s often the difference between a glistening diamond and a lackluster gem! We recommend at least Excellent or Ideal cut diamonds on the GIA or AGS grading scale.
If you cannot afford to buy a diamond that has exceptional qualities across the board (and most people can’t), make sure you prioritize cut over the other characteristics.📝 Doing so may mean a smaller diamond, but people will be drawn to your stone’s unbelievable sparkle.
Color and clarity
When it comes to color, we recommend sticking to diamonds in the G to I range. While D to F range diamonds are considered “Colorless”, they’re incredibly pricey as a result. Furthermore, spending most of your diamond budget on a high color diamond is not ideal, as only a trained professional would be able to notice the difference between these stones and “Near Colorless” ones.
If you purchase stones in the G to I range, you should also be wary of which diamond shape and carat weight you choose. Diamonds with larger tables reveal color and inclusions more readily, so opt for a narrower shape or a smaller diamond with a table that can mask such imperfections.
You can also balance the stone’s color and clarity to your advantage.🔍 D to F diamonds require at least VVS2 clarity, as high-quality color often makes flaws more prominent. On the other hand, G to I stones may only need VS2 clarity to look appealing. While stones with low-quality color can mask inclusions, diamonds with high to mid-quality color are open windows to such imperfections. The more colorless the diamond, the more noticeable the flaws: balance these traits to save yourself a bit of money on diamond quality while still achieving a beautiful shine!
Finally, if you feel the color and clarity of your diamond leave it looking yellowish, try switching up your metal setting to take away some of that color. Yellow and rose gold are ideal for diamonds with lower color and clarity grades, as these sunnier metals can tone down that yellowish hue and make your diamond appear whiter.
In turn, if you have a diamond with high-quality color and clarity, consider saving on a platinum setting by opting for white gold instead. White metals make colorless diamonds look even whiter, and white gold does this just as efficiently as platinum.
Select the right setting
A setting can make or break an engagement ring, so be sure to choose one your fianceé will love that highlights the best features of your chosen diamond.
Price definitely comes into play with ring settings. Certain settings, such as prong, cathedral, and bezel, are fairly budget-friendly settings for those with limited funds. In contrast, flashier settings such as halo, three stone, and styles with pavé or channel set bands will cost more due to the extra diamonds.
Setting metal also plays a role in price. Platinum and palladium are the strongest options, but they’re also the most expensive. While more affordable gold options, such as rose, white, and yellow, aren’t quite as durable, they can withstand daily wear while providing brilliant color.
If you want your diamond to appear larger, some settings can visually enhance the size of your stone! Any setting that lifts the diamond out of its basket can make your gem appear broader than it actually is. A 1.5-carat solitaire diamond ring can look as large as a 2-carat style, and cathedral and some tension settings can have the same effect as well.
In comparison, certain settings can make your diamond appear smaller. A bezel setting, which surrounds your stone in metal, can sometimes decrease the visual size of your diamond.
Think about any accents or design elements you may want to add to your ring as well, as they may cost you. A 1.5-carat halo diamond ring is a great way to make your stone appear larger, but you’ll pay extra for that ring of diamonds. Adding accent or side stones can be pricey too, so shop wisely.🌟
However, there are some more affordable modifications you can use to add detail to your ring. FIligree and milgrain are cost-effective metal designs that add flair to your piece. Additionally, engraving is often free when done by the retailer from which you buy your ring.
Utilize alternative stone options
Do you want a larger stone but can’t afford a natural diamond? There are several alternatives that can provide an equally brilliant sparkle for less.
With the same exact carbon structure and brilliance for 50-70% of the price of natural diamonds, lab-created stones are a great way to save money without sacrificing quality.
Lab-created diamonds are actual carbon copies of natural stones, and they’re just as durable! They even have the same brilliance, fire, and scintillation as their earth-grown counterparts.
Additionally, lab-created diamonds are becoming increasingly easy to find. This 1.5-carat oval diamond ring is a perfect example of how far lab-created stones have come as a staple in engagement jewelry. Retailers like Blue Nile, Clean Origin, and James Allen have jumped on the bandwagon and offer large inventories of lab-grown stones for you to choose from.
Another way to save money if your fianceé doesn’t have her heart set on a diamond is simulants. Simulated diamonds, such as moissanite and white sapphire, offer a near duplicate shine and sparkle for a fraction of the cost.
If you don’t want a simulant as the center stone of your ring, try using them as accent or side stones. Because moissanite is so close to diamond, you can easily utilize it in pavé or channel set bands or even as side stones in a 1.5-carat three-stone diamond ring. White sapphire is an excellent choice for accent stones, and they make a lovely, glowing halo around a diamond.
If your lady loves a splash of color, ask her whether she’d prefer a colored gemstone as the centerpiece of her engagement ring. The best part: they’re usually much cheaper than diamonds!
Sapphires, rubies, emeralds, aquamarines, and morganite are just a few popular options used to create colored gemstone looks. If you still want a diamond as your center stone, these gems also make great side or accent stones. You could even surround your diamond in a halo of color, like this sapphire piece.
Colored gemstones are also extremely eye-catching, and they make your ring the center of attention. In addition, they do this for less money, meaning you can spend that extra cash on other things!
Other recommended practices
Although not directly related to the diamond itself, these buying practices are equally crucial for finding the right retailer for your purchase!
Warranties and servicing options
Most companies offer manufacturer’s warranties, but you should look for retailers that go above and beyond with their service packages and customer experience. Diamond engagement rings require routine cleaning, prong tightening, diamond replacement, and more over their lifetime. As such, find a jeweler who can offer these services for free or at a minor cost.
If you have a white gold ring, you’ll also want a retailer that provides complimentary rhodium treatments every other year. As you wear your white gold piece, the rhodium coating wears off, and it must be replaced if you don’t want to stare at the base gold’s yellowish hue.
Finally, if you don’t know your fianceé’s ring size, find a retailer who offers free resizing within the first year of your purchase. Doing so means you won’t have to shell out more money after buying the wrong size!
Service packages and warranties are arguably as important as the 4Cs, as diamond rings can cost a pretty penny in maintenance over time.💡 Save yourself the headache and find a jeweler who can take care of you and your ring for decades to come.
Shop around for a jeweler that can provide you the service and warranty options you’re seeking as well as a decent price on your dream diamond. Think about what you’re looking for in a diamond seller: do you want a brick-and-mortar store you can visit when you have problems? Or are you comfortable with an online retailer who can offer you more diamond and setting options to mix and match?
Once you’ve decided what type of seller you want, do some research to figure out which ones have complimentary servicing, manufacturer’s warranties, and extended customer service hours or offerings that can help you beyond just the purchase of your diamond.
You’ll want to find a retailer or jeweler you can trust, as diamonds are a substantial purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and never buy from someone who tries to force you into a diamond you don’t want!
Trustworthy places to shop for your 1.5-carat ring
Are you finally ready to take that big step and start shopping? Having a retailer or jeweler you trust is just as important to the diamond buying process as finding the right diamond itself! We recommend these brilliant online retailers who have extensive service packages and superior customer service for all your diamond needs:
With the largest setting inventory available, Blue Nile continues to impress buyers with their huge diamond stock and helpful website layout. Their service package is comprehensive, including free lifetime servicing, cleaning, and even sizing within the first year. Blue Nile can also special order or custom design a ring to suit your tastes, and they offer engraving services as well.
James Allen is a fan favorite in the diamond community, and it’s easy to see why! Their customer service is second to none, with 24/7 chat and call options available. Plus, James Allen offers buyers the chance to chat with a diamond professional during their shopping process. Having an expert to assist you provides the best of both worlds: a personalized shopping experience with a jeweler with the comfort of buying online.
For something different, try Brian Gavin for your diamond shopping needs. Brian Gavin has plenty of amazing diamonds both in their general stock and as part of their Black, and Hearts and Arrows collections. They also carry pieces from other premier designers, providing you options beyond their own inventory.
For the ethically conscious, Brilliant Earth prides themselves on their “Beyond Conflict-Free” diamonds that promote environmentally-friendly mining practices. With a huge inventory of premade settings and a great service package for all purchases, this company is sure to have what you need. Plus, their lab-grown fancy colored diamond selection is tough to beat! Brilliant Earth also donates 5% of profits to improving the lives of people living in mining communities.
If you’re looking for a quality, unique diamond cut, Whiteflash is the place to shop. Whiteflash actually sells their own line of premier diamonds, and they promise their cut quality to be “A Cut Above”. Their Hearts and Arrows collection is incredibly popular, providing a detailed cut that displays hearts and arrows within the table of the diamond from certain angles. On top of their quality stones, Whiteflash also has excellent service options for all purchases.
So, is a 1.5-carat diamond ring right for you?
Are you sold on a 1.5-carat diamond engagement ring?
Make sure you take plenty of time to plan and ruminate before making any buying decisions. While a 1.5-carat diamond may seem like a great way to combine the size of a 2-carat stone with the money-saving ability of a 1-carat gem, you should still double and triple check your requirements to make sure 1.5 carats fits your needs and those of your fianceé.
If you’re still deciding which carat weight is right for your engagement ring, consider reading our other buying guides for both 1-carat and 2-carat diamond rings. These comprehensive walkthroughs of each carat weight can help you better understand diamond pricing factors, how to get the best diamond for your budget, and how to plan a budget to make sure you don’t go into debt when buying a ring!🧐