Does Size Matter in Diamonds?

We asked you answered. Here are the results of a month-long survey into the sizzling secretive subject of diamond size

People often say size doesn’t matter, but it really does!  A friend of mine was engaged a day after I was. A group of friends looked at both our rings at the same time and hers looked minuscule next to mine. Hers was likely 1 carat, while mine is 1.80…..I felt bad since the group of girls clearly were fawning over my ring 


Earlier this year we sent out a survey to customers & friends of Facets Singapore with the simple question: “Does Size Matter?” And no, we’re not talking about what you might be thinking…

Diamond size is also referred to as its carat weight (cts). A one carat diamond is equal to 0.20 grams with an approximately diameter of 6.4mm  (for a round brilliant). Our respondents were generally a wide demographic mix with the majority being females, aged 25–35 and married or engaged or soon to be engaged.

Although we had our own assumptions, the results were rather revealing. In addition, the quality of verbal responses and comments we received were outstanding. Just to highlight a few:

Engagement rings have to be One carat and up!!
Who are you?? I like this kind of customer.
Choosing my diamond size was more about how it would look on my relatively small hand. I tried on a larger diamond which was beautiful but just looked fake on me!
You know who else has small hands? An infamous ex-President
Quality over qty

This is like, the most brilliant reply ever. Did she emphasise quality by spelling out the entire word, and quantity she truncated to ‘qty’ to prove a point? Idk, this is just mind-blowing.

A big diamond is nice obviously but I would think any engagement ring is the perfect size, it was obviously chosen for a reason and that reason is more important than the size
That’s cute!

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Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Question: Does size matter?...and the answer is a qualified YES

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That’s it, that’s the end of this article you can stop reading now. But if your curiosity has been piqued, there’s more…...

Big & Bold or Small & Sparkly?

It has to be noted that 78% of our respondents already own at least one diamond. If you’re about to propose or thinking of doing so, don’t be discouraged. This article may just help ease your doubts and help you conquer your fears.

Put quite simply, the results of question one only tell half the story. In reality, size does matter but as one respondent put it, “it shouldn’t compromise the other C’s. I’d take a quality diamond over a large one, but it’s always about balance”

Most people did share the same sentiment, if somewhere in the middle. They value the size of the diamond but still prefer that a show stopping size is supported by its sheer brilliance.

It makes sense if you think about it, who wouldn’t want to be proud of the diamond they worked so hard to buy? For a man, it’s yet another yardstick to measure success with, for a woman, another accessory that she can flaunt. But for both, it’s a symbol of their love, shining bright, thru thick and thin. And even if you are not in a heterosexual relationship, the diamond has somewhat defined the institution of engagement and marriage, even for LGBT couples. You can thank De Beers for that.

And some other considerations:

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Q: During a diamond purchase decision, was/is size (carat) the most important C in your decision?

This question was revealing, because although 65% of respondents said yes initially, when asked in-person after, if it was the most important factor only 20% said so. Just like in a relationship, it’s about balance. You win some, you lose some, and if your only intention is to get the biggest and ‘best’ diamond your money can buy, then you have to realize there is no escaping the sacrifice you have to make on other criterion. This process made me think a lot about how we propose, get engaged and the entire institution of marriage & relationships. Are those that admire one criteria above all else the same people that, for example, value good looks over personality? Who knows, I don’t think a simple survey can determine that.

See Also: Our Complete Guide to Diamond Engagement Rings

Q: What else matters besides size?

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It’s clear (no pun intended) that clarity, cut and colour are the standout winners here. But this doesn’t surprise me, there are only 4C’s and thus if carat is removed, you only have three others to choose from. It was odd to me though that not many more respondents were concerned with the price of a diamond. In this business we get bombarded with price requests, so it was refreshing to see that there are clients that do value a diamond for what it is and don’t just focus on the price. That being said, we have to consider these results with a pinch of salt because the majority of our respondents already own a diamond, thus we assume are more knowledgeable than the average consumer.

Ethical diamonds are an increasingly important issue, and although I don’t have time to dig deep into this topic during this post, I will be following up with an in-depth look at this debatable topic. For now, let’s assume that it is an important factor, but based on these results, it isn’t on the top of everyone’s mind.

So let’s take a deeper look at what else consumers considered important factors, other than size.

I’m much more interested in the uniqueness of the ring than the size or quality of the diamond. Also care that the diamond is ethical.
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Q: If size is not the most important factor, which of the 4Cs is the most important for your diamond purchase decision?

The results from this one question are actually more valuable to me as a dealer than anything else because it highlights one of the fundamental problems with selling diamonds.

The single most important flaw in how diamonds are sold is that they are priced by weight but one actually pays for brilliance. — Suresh Hathiramani, Founder, Facets Singapore

Cut is the single most important factor when determining the brilliance of a diamond, which is exactly what you pay for. I’m not sure if in this case those who mentioned diamond shape were a little confused by the term 'cut', but suffice it to say that these results show substantial evidence that size isn’t everything.

Men vs. Women

Are men inclined to compare size more or are women? I wanted to know if there was a clear difference on opinion between the genders. Digging around the results was a real surprise because it turns out, men and women in this sample were almost balanced in opinion about size. 65% of men and women answered yes on the direct question: ‘does size matter?’. When asked if they would/did compare size, 55% of men said yes vs. only 48% of women. Not a huge margin, but an indicator that maybe men actually care more. Maybe, men feel women care more and as such, they care more?

55% of Men said yes vs. only 48% of women when asked if they compare diamonds by size

Considering  the other parameters that are important, the most important factor for a women was the diamond shape, whereas for men it was clarity. It’s hard to come up with reasons why that is, but my assumption is that women consider the overall design and look of the entire ring whereas men are focused on getting the best bang for their buck, which is crucial to understanding why clarity factors in, and most importantly, why they value the size too. The evidence isn’t strong, but by now we realize that the question of size has to be taken in a large context.

It’s about the Gir…dle

Clearly, if there is one take away from all this, size is important but it isn’t everything. And much like the age-old debate about  male genitalia, we have to accept that everyone is different and prefers different things (shhhh). There simply isn’t a clear winner with regards to size. What is apparent though is that many people still underestimate the importance of a diamond's cut, and when the average consumer talks about “quality” or “brilliance” what they really should be talking about is the culmination of all the 4C’s that generates a perceived level of quality, which also greatly impacts the diamond's cut.

Cut is the only factor in which man plays a crucial role in enhancing the allure and beauty of a diamond. Naturally, diamonds begin as rock crystals, not at all shiny and not even that clear. Man takes a diamond in the rough and polishes it to perfection, revealing the natural fire and brilliance trapped in the crystal's depths to sublimely bring out the value of a diamond.

So, once again we seek the answer - does size matter?

Finally, if you are wondering whether to focus on size, it shouldn’t be a topic that you dwell on too much. As a couple, it’s important to try and navigate this area of interest together to make both parties happy. If you’re a traditionalist and prefer to truly surprise your future spouse, the biggest takeaway is to realise that size greatly impacts the price, and thus, go for what makes you feel comfortable. A diamonds ‘quality’ is the perceived value that is a result of the combination of all the 4Cs. At the end of the day, it’s not so much about quality as it is about rarity.

Do you want to know what we really think about size? Let’s take this conversation further.

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Nikhil H.

Written by Nikhil H.

Digital Creator | Founder of @pprxteam | @northeastern & @startupInst Alumni |
Graduate from North Eastern University in Boston, this esports team owner is also an expert on certified diamonds. Trained at GIA, New York, Nikhil carries with him 5-years of experience in the diamond business and has a fresh, unconventional writing style that resonates with today's Gen Y and Z.

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