2-carat diamonds: supersized sparklers...
For those who believe “bigger is always better”, a 1-carat diamond may not do the job. While a diamond’s true beauty is in its fire, brilliance, and scintillation, some prefer to shine brighter than others. With a broader surface area that’s not too large for daily wear, 2-carat diamonds are the perfect balance between size and sparkle.🤩
So how can you make sure you’re getting a good deal on a 2-carat diamond? Similar to 1-carat stones, there are some tips and tricks to buying a 2-carat diamond engagement ring that you should know! In this article, we’ll discuss:
So why choose a 2-carat diamond? Here are a few benefits of selecting a 2-carat stone:
The first—and most obvious—reason to select a 2-carat diamond is its larger size. In fact, a 2-carat diamond appears about 50% larger than a 1-carat stone. At an average surface area of 52mm², 2-carat diamonds offer more room to enjoy their sparkle compared to the 32mm² of 1-carat stones. Plus, they’re often more eye-catching than 1-carat diamonds, so you’ll definitely have people staring at your new ring!
Because a 2-carat diamond is larger, it also looks better in more settings. A small diamond can appear lackluster in multi-diamond bands, such as halo, three stone, or pavé settings. In contrast, 2-carat stones make such settings pop, and the larger gem sits as a beautiful centerpiece to any ring.
The 2-carat diamond is also perfect for fancy shapes and cuts. Because smaller diamonds with fancy shapes may not be as noticeable from a distance, people often choose the popular round brilliant 1-carat stone. However, 2-carat diamonds are bold and identifiable in any shape, and so choosing one does not limit you to whatever silhouette can be seen from a distance.
As expected, 2-carat diamonds come with a higher price tag than 1-carat stones. We’ll discuss the price in a later section, but expect to pay more for a 2-carat diamond. With the increase in size and the rarity of a larger stone with good specs, it’s understandable that you’d have to allot more of your budget to the center stone if choosing a larger diamond.
So what can you expect to find on your 2-carat diamond search? Here are some common questions regarding diamond size:
While 2-carat diamonds always weigh 400 milligrams, their actual size may differ. This size difference is caused by variations in shape and cut that make each stone unique.
Diamond shapes are an easy way to change up the visual size of your diamond. Elongated silhouettes, such as marquise, pear, and oval, appear much larger than other shapes due to their broad surface area.
Round brilliant diamonds are also popular for their large surface area, and emerald and heart-shaped stones look wide on any hand. If you want to maximize your 2 carats, pick a shape that highlights heft!
📝When it comes to cut, two diamonds that measure 2 carats in weight can have different surface areas, depths, and overall proportions related to their cut. Without the right angles and facets to refract light, a diamond may not shine as effectively. Some diamond cutters also favor carat weight over cut quality, so be sure to check the specs when looking for a good diamond!
As we’ve discussed, the size of a 2-carat diamond can vary widely based on the stone’s shape and cut. Additionally, your ring’s setting can also impact how large the diamond appears.
For instance, solitaire prong and cathedral styles lift the diamond out of the setting for added girth, whereas a bezel setting buries the diamond in a ring of metal that can make it appear a bit smaller. How you style your diamond will greatly impact how large your stone looks!
For reference, here is a tool to help you better understand the average size of a 2-carat diamond in different shapes:
Unfortunately, diamond pricing is never straightforward.💡 Let’s look at some ways professionals price 2-carat diamonds.
It’s easy to think that a 2-carat diamond is simply double the price of an equal quality 1-carat gem. Double the weight, double the price, right?
Not exactly, as pricing 2-carat diamonds is a bit more nuanced.
A 2-carat diamond can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $60,000, but the average price for a 2-carat diamond ring is around $20,000. So what makes up the price of a 2-carat diamond besides carat weight?
There are other factors that can impact the price of a diamond once it’s set in a ring. Be mindful of the factors below as you budget for the perfect ring:
Larger diamonds have more setting options, but these metal bands can come at a steep price!
For instance, white, rose, and yellow gold are affordable options for someone who takes care of their jewelry. However, if you need more security, platinum will cost you significantly more. The quality of your diamond can also influence which metal you’ll require.
Settings with pavé or channel set diamonds and other designs can also cost more, as the price of the smaller stones adds up quickly. Intricate metalwork, such as filigree and milgrain, can also increase price. Finally, if you’re looking for a luxe, three-stone look, keep in mind those side stones can really take a chunk out of your budget!
If you’re designing your own ring, keep customization costs in mind. Certain retailers, such as Brian Gavin and James Allen, offer customization services that allow you to create a ring from scratch! However, this process requires the time and skills of a professional, which can cost you in the long run.
Also, keep in mind other design elements you’d like added to the ring. If you already have a diamond, it will most likely cost you to reset that stone. Or, if you want engraving, 3D imaging, or any other service, you’ll need to tally those costs as well. Even just resizing an heirloom ring comes with a price!
Finally, it’s important to have a service package to protect your ring throughout its lifetime. While most reputable jewelers offer service packages as part of your purchase, some require you to pay extra for some services.
Cleanings are a crucial service over the lifetime of your piece, as your ring should be cleaned at least once per year. Also, keep in mind that you may need to repair a broken prong or lost stone after a few decades of wear. A comprehensive service package is a must for any engagement ring!
While the average price of an engagement ring in 2019 was $7,750, a medium quality, 2-carat stone with an Excellent cut will cost that much alone. As such, planning a budget for a 2-carat diamond ring requires some finesse!💳 Some retailers do offer payment plans, which we’ll discuss in a later section.
When budgeting for a 2-carat diamond, consider how much money you’re willing to put away each month. Whatever amount you choose, try to avoid going into debt or sacrificing essentials, such as utilities, groceries, etc.
While an engagement ring is an important purchase, it shouldn’t cost you your current way of living. However, it’s reasonable to think about whether you can give up small luxuries to afford one!
Once you’ve figured out how much you can realistically save per month, do some long-term projections to estimate how long it will take to achieve the desired amount in your budget. Most people aim for 2-3 months’ salary, but follow your gut in balancing how much you’re willing to spend with your fianceé’s expectations.
You always have the option to pay for your ring in full. The best way to do this is by paying off the amount on your card immediately or paying with a debit card or cash. While you may be tempted to buy your ring with a credit card and make payments over time, remember that you may end up paying interest each month if you can’t afford the minimum payment and carry a balance for too long!
If you can’t pay in full, try finding a retailer that offers financing options. To relieve financial pressure, jewelers often provide payment plans—sometimes interest-free—to help you in your quest for the perfect ring. James Allen, Blue Nile, and Brian Gavin are just a few places that offer payment options. We’ll discuss some other ways to save money while shopping for your 2-carat dream ring below.
The largest portion of your budget belongs to the center stone of the engagement ring. The 2-carat diamond will take up a hefty sum on its own, but you can find a reasonably priced setting to offset some of the price.
Ring settings cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 depending on what style and metal you choose. Simpler designs, such as plain solitaire prong or cathedral settings, are typically more affordable than those with accent or side stones. As such, you can figure out the average cost of the diamond with your preferred specs and play around with different setting styles to fit your budget.💰
It’s always important to keep your fianceé’s needs and desires at top of mind.
From the beginning, have an open and honest conversation with your partner about ring expectations and the reality of your financial situation. The goal is to intertwine your lives with this ring, so it’s alright to share this information!
Most importantly, ask your fianceé whether she even WANTS a 2-carat diamond, as some women prefer smaller stones to match their personal style. Some women also have smaller hands that may be dwarfed by such a large stone, so make sure you check with your partner to see if diamond size is something that matters to her.
Speaking of small hands, you should find a way to learn your partner’s ring size before shopping. Many retailers allow you to resize the ring once for free in the first year of ownership, but it’s not a guarantee!
Another benefit of knowing your partner’s ring size is the ability to gauge whether a 2-carat stone will fit her hand comfortably. The average ring size for women is a size 6 or 16.5mm in diameter.
In contrast, a round 2-carat diamond is about 8.1mm and looks about 10mm in diameter when worn. This is a result of the setting lifting the diamond above the finger to make it look broader. In fact, it’s an ideal choice for achieving the Golden Ratio:
As such, many women prefer either a round 2-carat stone or one with a slender shape to elongate their fingers. In contrast, other women prefer a smaller stone to avoid the ring looking tacky.
Figuring out what shape of your 2-carat diamond can be a fun experience. Sometimes, when shopping for 1-carat stones, it’s frustrating to realize the silhouettes of fancy shapes aren’t recognizable from a distance.😂 However, with 2-carat stones, their shapes are hard to miss!
However, it’s important to shop smart when choosing a diamond shape. The 2-carat round brilliant and 2-carat princess cut diamonds are always a safe bet, but you would end up paying more for these shapes due to demand. Pricey elongated shapes—marquise, oval, and pear—are also in vogue because they make fingers look longer and your diamond appear larger.📈
If you want to save money, look at wider shapes that are in less demand, such as emerald, radiant, and heart-shaped diamonds. These shapes offer classic style for less!
The 4Cs are your guide to diamond quality! Both carat weight and cut are large factors in price, but cut should always come first. Even if it means sacrificing carat weight, try to find a diamond with an Excellent or Ideal cut to ensure it shines as intended.
For color, find diamonds in the GIA range of G to I. While these aren’t considered “Colorless”, they will still provide brilliant white sparkle. Remember that stones with larger tables require a higher color quality to avoid any noticeable hue. If you’re stuck between two diamonds, consider purchasing the one with the lower color grade if they’re within one to two grades of each other, as most people won’t notice the difference.
Finally, clarity is crucial for 2-carat stones with large tables, as they act as windows to any imperfections! We recommend 2-carat diamonds with a VS1 grade or higher, as inclusions will not be under the diamond’s table and are obscured by other facets. 🎈However, as long as the diamond is eye-clean, worry more about whether the stone fits your budget!
A setting can make or break the beauty of a diamond ring, so choose one that’s within your budget and amplifies your stone’s best features!
White metals, such as platinum or white gold, look best with diamonds that have a higher color rating. If you can’t afford a diamond with a high color quality, try a yellow gold or rose gold setting. While offering the same price point of white gold, these metals make diamonds with yellowish hues look whiter!🙂
You’ll also have to decide which style best suits your partner. Because you’re spending so much to make the diamond the center of attention, a simple 2-carat solitaire diamond ring can make that stone shine while saving you money.
However, 2-carat diamonds also look excellent in pricier settings.👸🏻 In fact, 2-carat halo, three stone, and pavé settings are incredible options if you have more cash to spend. Whatever setting you choose, make sure it protects any corners or vulnerable edges from damage.
Vintage settings are an excellent choice for 2-carat diamonds, as the stone’s larger size compliments the ornate design of the vintage style. Look at Art Deco or Edwardian pieces for inspiration!
It can be difficult to find a good deal with larger diamonds, but here are some tips to aid in your search:
✅Always prioritize cut over any of the other Cs! Cut determines the level of fire, brilliance, and scintillation in your diamond, and without it you’ll be left with a dull rock. A diamond is only as good as its cut, so ask questions and read grading reports to understand each stone’s cut.
For instance, if you can afford a D-F color stone, opt for at least a VVS2 color to avoid visible inclusions. You can also save money by choosing a G-I color stone and at least VS2 clarity. The color of the stone hides inclusions that aren’t hidden under the girdle, so think smart when reviewing a stone’s color and clarity.
If you’re not obsessed with the “perfection” of a 2-carat diamond, you can expand your options by increasing your carat range.
While most people shop for rounded carats, you can expand your diamond pool by searching in the 1.9 to 2.1 carat range.🔍 These stones look identical to a 2-carat diamond, and no one will know the difference!
While this process can be helpful, remember that many people follow the same process. As such, demand for diamonds in the 1.9-2.1 range has increased and, in turn, supply has decreased. However, a good deal is still available in this carat range with a little luck and research!
Balance want and need when it comes to your metal setting, because, for the most part, all commercially available metals are strong enough to last a lifetime.
While platinum is extremely durable, you pay a premium for it! In contrast, rose, white, and yellow gold offer moderate durability for a reasonable price. If you want the look of platinum without the cost, white gold is a great alternative and offers the same shine.
However, be sure to buy your white gold from a jeweler who offers complimentary rhodium plating, otherwise, you’ll pay $50-100 per year for this extra service!
If you’re looking at diamonds with yellowish hues, switch up your metal to hide that color. Yellow and rose gold make the diamond look whiter and mask yellow tones. Plus, you save money on both the diamond and the gold!
In contrast, white metals actually make Near Colorless diamonds look even whiter. As such, white gold is a great way to save a few dollars while amplifying your diamond’s best features.
For many, a good quality, 2-carat diamond is just out of budget. Consider ditching the natural diamonds for lab-grown ones instead. Lab-grown stones are even cheaper than natural diamonds, at 30-50% of their price!
Lab-grown diamonds are identical to natural ones, from their carbon structure to their durability. They also have the brilliance, fire, and scintillation that people expect from a diamond. Take a look at this lab-grown 2-carat emerald-cut diamond; you can’t tell the difference!
If you’ve run out of money for diamond accent stones, try diamond simulants instead! Simulants—such as moissanite and white sapphire—are a fraction of the price of diamonds.
You can also use diamond simulants as side stones, though the difference between them and the actual diamond may be more noticeable in a 2-carat three-stone diamond ring. However, simulants look just as stunning as accent diamonds in a pavé or channel set band, and they’re so small that untrained eyes can hardly tell the difference between these stones and the real deal!
If you’re not sold on an all-white gem look, try colored gemstones instead. These beauties look amazing as center, side, or accent stones, and they’re affordable when compared to diamonds.
Because colored gemstones don’t have the typical “4Cs”, you can find a decent quality colored gem for a reasonable price. This 2-carat oval diamond ring looks amazing with sapphire side stones. Or, try a 2-carat halo diamond ring to surround your stone in color!🎨
Sapphires are the most popular colored gem, but rubies, morganite, emeralds, aquamarines, and amethyst are also great choices. But, check the stone’s Mohs scale of hardness rating before buying, as some gems are softer than others!
Be sure to do your research and find a jeweler that offers a warranty as well as a comprehensive service package for your ring. Service packages may include yearly cleanings, inspections, and minor diamond replacement. These services can add up over time, so they’re an easy way to save money in the long run.
Last, but certainly not least: don’t be afraid to compare jewelers!
You wouldn’t buy the first diamond you saw at the store, right? Follow the same process for finding a jeweler that you trust.
Jewelers can help you choose the right diamond or ring for your needs. Find someone willing to answer your questions and walk you through the qualities of a diamond. Or, if you’re shopping online, find retailers that offer exceptional customer service. Look for 24/7 customer support and live chat options to receive the best buying experience. Later, we’ll share with you our favorite online diamond retailers where you can start your search!
While these aren’t necessarily money-saving tips, they’re still important factors that can help you pick the RIGHT diamond for your fianceé while protecting your financial situation:
If you feel as though a 2-carat stone just isn’t large enough, try an east-west setting to take advantage of the diamond’s broader surface area.
By tilting your stone horizontally, you get an entirely unique look that fully covers the width of your finger. Longer shapes, such as marquise, oval, and pear, can also be set east-west for shorter fingers where the stone may reach over or almost to the knuckle to improve comfort. Plus, when set east-west the diamond receives more light from below, creating additional sparkle and brilliance.✨
Although many frown upon a diamond with fluorescence, purchasing one can save you money and mask certain color flaws. If you’re looking for a diamond slightly below the Near Colorless grade, try to find a gem with Medium to Strong fluorescence to hide some of the stone’s natural color.
Or, if you want a Near Colorless diamond, buying one with Faint or Medium fluorescence can shave a significant amount off your bill! At prices 5-15% below those of diamonds without fluorescence, these gems offer the same level of beauty at a more affordable price point.
One of the most important things to consider is whether your fianceé wants a larger stone and how it will look on her finger. After all, why spend more money on the center stone when she’d be just as happy with a 1-carat diamond?
If she is a petite ring size 4, a 2-carat diamond may dwarf her hand entirely and appear gaudy and imbalanced. On the other hand, someone that wears a size 8 would be able to carry the girth of a 2-carat stone without any problems, as their finger size and the diamond are balanced. If your fianceé has short fingers but wants a 2-carat stone, opt for longer silhouettes to lengthen her finger and balance out the look!
You don’t always have to pay the entire bill for your ring upfront! Many big-name retailers offer financing options that allow you to pay in smaller increments over time. ⚠️Just make sure you avoid any heavy interest fees, as those will add up if you take too long to pay for your purchase!
However, financing plans can be a great way to budget for your ring with money you set aside every month.
Shop around and ask questions to find the financing option that’s right for you. Look for low-interest or no-interest plans for a set amount of time.
Although every engagement or wedding ring is unique and money cannot replace the memories and attachment to them when they’re lost, it’s crucial to protect your investment should the unthinkable happen!
Jewelry insurance seems like it would be expensive given some of the high prices on rings, but it’s actually rather affordable. Expect to pay about 1-2% of the price of your ring per year, so even for a $10,000 ring that’s only about $100 per year.
Nothing can replace the ring you propose with, but knowing you can recoup the value of your purchase if it’s ever lost can put your mind at ease. With the insurance money, you can purchase a near-exact duplicate of the ring or even upgrade to something new!
There are plenty of reputable jewelers who can help you on your journey, but we recommended purchasing from one of these fantastic online sellers to get the best customer service and quality diamonds:
Blue Nile - This retailer has one of the largest diamond inventories available, and they all come with a GIA or AGS report. They also offer complimentary cleanings and inspections every six months, and they strive to provide conflict-free gems.
James Allen - With a heavy focus on customer experience and engagement, James Allen offers quality diamonds at a great price. Their 24/7 customer service, 360° viewing, and on-hand diamond professionals mean you can feel secure in your decision.
Brian Gavin - Focusing on cut, Brian Gavin offers their Brian Gavin Black and Hearts & Arrows collections to enhance the beauty of their diamonds. With over five generations of diamond experience, this is a retailer you can trust to provide a stunning gem.
Whiteflash - A well-respected name in diamond dealing, Whiteflash gives clients exceptional products at an affordable price. They also sell their own line of super ideal cut diamonds known as the “A Cut Above” collection if you’re looking for something spectacular!
Brilliant Earth - For those buyers concerned about the environmental impacts of diamond buying, fear not! Brilliant Earth offers a “Beyond Conflict-Free” promise and has been in the diamond business for over 15 years. They also donate 5% of net profits to improving living conditions and education prospects in mining communities!
A 2-carat diamond can be an excellent investment, but it’s important to weigh all of the purchase factors before buying one.
With a larger, more expensive diamond, you’ll probably have to cut corners somewhere. This can mean a simpler setting, cheaper metal, etc. Think about what matters most to you and, most importantly, your soon-to-be fianceé before making any purchases.😘
While 2-carat diamonds certainly dazzle onlookers, a 1-carat stone can be equally stunning. If you’re still unsure whether you need the extra carat, read our 1-carat diamond buying guide to learn how to get more bang for your buck with a smaller stone. Or, if you’re ready to make a purchase, try our step-by-step buying guide with instructions on how to purchase a diamond or setting.