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How big is a 1 carat diamond?

By Lead Gemologist Erica Hirsch, GIA GG

How different diamond shapes stack up in size

Carat, as you might already know, is a measure of weight, not size. Similar to people, each diamond wears it’s weight a little different. You might hear a diamond dealer use the word “spread” when referring to a diamond’s size. A “spready” diamond is one that looks bigger then it is.

Pear and oval shaped diamonds are wider and more flat, whereas round brilliants and Asscher cuts tend to run deeper. If you’re looking for the most carat for your dollar, look no further then a Marquise. This flat, generous diamond shape not only elongates the finger but looks nearly twice as big as it’s round cousin.

If you’re flexible on shape, this can be a great way to get a diamond that looks bigger without costing more, and while historically the round brilliant has reigned supreme, we think the other cuts are just as dazzling.

Chart depicting round, emerald, asscher, marquise, cushion, pear and oval diamonds at .5,1,1.5,2 and 3 carats.

It’s a lot to keep in mind, we know. When you’re ready, we’re here to help. We do the digging for you — it’s our humble contribution to your special story — and it’s our pleasure to lend a hand.

Ready to get started? See that window in the bottom right? Send us a note and while you’re waiting, or visit our diamond selector. No pressure, diamonds have enough of that.