Finding a way to meet all of those expectations, hopes and wishes your partner holds for their engagement ring is one thing – but surpassing every single one, and creating something even they couldn’t have dreamed up in their wildest daydreams is another thing entirely.
A 1.5 carat engagement ring does just that. Featuring a center stone that is noticeably larger than the US average for diamond engagement rings, it’s a great way to grab attention, set hearts fluttering, and show off your chosen diamond shape.
For these reasons – and many others – 1.5 carat diamonds enjoy a premium price point high enough to surprise some shoppers who may be more accustomed to the costs of a 1 carat diamond ring instead. So, how much does creating your own 1.5 carat engagement ring really cost? We look at all the details below.
1.5 carats equates to 0.3 grams, or 300 milligrams. While that might sound like an incredibly lightweight, diamonds of this weight are capable of creating an impressive focal point on the finger. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s a great choice if you’re looking to make a strong impression with your engagement ring, without paying the high premium cost of a 2+ carat diamond.
1.5 carats is noticeably larger than 1 carat and, while the overall cost of your engagement ring will certainly reflect that jump in size, the cost will be much more manageable than it would be for a diamond significantly larger.
It’s worth noting that 1.5 carats is considered a ‘magic weight’, which tend to fall on any carat weight ending in .00 or .50 (like 1 carat, 2 carats, 2.5 carats, etc.), and that these magic weights often fetch a premium price. For this reason, we’d recommend widening your search to include diamonds that fall between 1.35 and 1.5 carats in weight, since you might save a few hundred dollars on, say, a 1.43 carat diamond that looks as big as a 1.5 carat diamond.
A Round Brilliant diamond weighing in at 1.5 carats will measure approximately 7.3mm in diameter, provided it is cut proportionately.
This is approximately 0.8mm larger than a 1 carat diamond which, though it sounds pretty minor, will be clearly discernible when you compare the two carat sizes side by side.
Here are the typical face-up measurements for 1.5 carat diamonds of other shapes:
|Princess Cut Diamonds||6.5mm|
|Cushion Cut Diamonds||6.5mm|
|Emerald Cut Diamonds||7.5mm x 5.5mm|
|Square Emerald (Asscher) Cut Diamonds||6.5mm|
|Oval Cut Diamonds||8.5mm x 6.5mm|
|Pear Cut Diamonds||8.5mm (length)|
|Marquise Diamonds||12mm (length)|
|Radiant Cut Diamonds||7.5mm (length)|
A 1.5 diamond is not going to look as extraordinary as, say, a 2 or 3 carat diamond engagement ring, but it is going to look beautiful and bold – and will be large enough to take center stage, even in a more elaborate ring setting, like this Platinum Halo engagement ring featuring a Cushion cut center stone.
For the best face-up appearance possible, it is important you understand the fundamentals of diamond proportion, since this won’t be reflected in any particular grade within the diamond’s GIA report.
1.5 carat diamonds typically cost between $5,000 and $36,000, depending on many factors – most notably, cut quality, clarity, and color.
If you’re still pretty new to the world of diamond buying, the first thing you’re likely to notice is quite how much these diamonds can differ in price. This all comes down to quality, and the fact that larger diamonds are not necessarily more expensive than better quality diamonds of a lower carat weight, or cheaper than slightly larger diamonds of a lower quality.
Most people come into this process wanting a definitive answer to the question, ‘How much does a 1, 1.5, 2, or 3 diamond cost?’ While it may sound simpler, having a set price per carat would actually make it harder for shoppers – not easier.
While we’re never going to recommend you home in on the very lowest prices available for 1.5 carats, there is a sweet spot to be found way before you’re looking at the diamonds that fall in at the £36,000 mark.
You’ll also notice there’s a pretty big jump from the average price range we gave for 1 carat diamond engagement rings, which tend to fall between $2,500 and $20,000.
This is simply down to the fact that size is a coveted feature in diamonds. Most people, if given the choice, would rather go bigger than smaller, so there’s always going to be a premium price attached to diamonds that fall above 0.90 carat mark.
It’s 0.50 carats above the average size for engagement ring diamonds in the US. So, while noticeably larger than a lot of diamonds out there, it’s not considered particularly large.
While this might not sound like the most enthusiastic answer, it’s worth keeping in mind that the 1.5 carat weight occupies a great middle ground between the ‘average’ one carat and the bulkier 2 carat. It grabs attention without being ‘too much’, and it fits the finger very comfortably without overshadowing the rest of the ring’s design.
So, to put it bluntly, the 1.5 carat diamond is not going to be considered ‘big’ big. The right diamond will, however, be considered beautiful, eye-catching, impressive and, above all else, romantic.
According to many aspects of diamond quality, including the Four Cs, proportion, fluorescence and other visual features.
No diamond is priced on a whim. Any diamond worth your time and money will have undergone rigorous examinations from expert graders (preferably from a GIA lab) in order to ascertain the many benchmarks of diamond quality, then priced accordingly.
One poor feature is enough to bring down a diamond’s value by thousands of dollars.
In many cases, the buyer stands to benefit from this. Provided those price-lowering features are don’t impact the stone’s appearance, picking a diamond worth thousands of dollars less than another is an incredibly wise decision.
The cheapest 1.5 carat diamonds out there, however, will represent poor decisions. They will be noticeably lower in quality, and will noticeably bring down the appearance and quality of your engagement ring.
While some factors not included under the Four Cs have the potential to bring your diamond’s price down significantly, Cut, Color and Clarity represent the most significant factors any buyer needs to consider as they work toward finding that ‘sweet spot’ between price and quality. The GIA’s scales for grading these aspects will prove vital to your search as, for any buyer, it is absolutely vital to understand the downsides to going too far in either direction.
Yes, we literally just said that you can go too far in either direction when it comes to quality, but this simply isn’t the case when it comes to Cut. By far the most important factor for you to consider – and the only item on this list that you can’t get ‘too’ right – Cut refers to the quality of a diamond’s symmetry and polish, as well as a range of other factors in the case of the Round Brilliant.
Round Brilliant diamonds receive a grade for Cut by the GIA, which ranges from:
This grade is determined based on a wide range of factors: brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio and durability. You can read more about the specifics of cut in our full guide here but, for now, keep in mind that the first three items on that list – fire, scintillation, and brightness – all refer to the diamond’s light performance, or sparkle.
This is not something you want to sacrifice for the sake of cost, since one of the things we find most enticing and romantic about diamonds is their sparkle., and a diamond that appears dull or lifeless simply isn’t worth your money.
You also don’t want to sacrifice weight ratio or durability, so we’d only ever recommend shoppers look at diamonds from the ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ grades.
Round Brilliants and all other diamond shapes are also graded for two other factors: polish and symmetry. Both affect sparkle, and the diamond’s visual appearance – an asymmetrical diamond, for instance, could feature a wonky face-up appearance – so, once again, only diamonds graded ‘Very Good’ or higher should be considered.
Unlike Cut, Color represents an opportunity to save thousands of dollars, since you don’t need to invest into the very high-end of the Color scale to get a beautiful diamond. It’s worth reading our full guide to diamond color here but, below, we’ve provided the GIA’s scale for grading color in clear diamonds:
|D, E, F||G, H, I, J||K, L, M||N, O, P, Q, R||S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z|
|Colorless||Near Colorless||Faint||Very Light||Light|
The Colorless grades – D, E, and F – are objectively better than any other grade but, unless you’ve got an unlimited budget, entertaining these grades is a waste of time.
Why? Let’s say that a 1.5 carat E color Round Brilliant diamond with VS1 clarity is priced around the $23,0000 mark. A very similar diamond of the same cut, carat, and clarity – only with a color grade of H – could fall significantly lower, around the $16,000 mark.
The difference between these two diamonds is negligible, and likely only noticeable under ideal lighting conditions and magnification. This means that both diamonds could go on to create more-or-less identical rings, with the only discernible difference being featured in the price tag.
Our advice is to stick to the Near Colorless grades. G and H diamonds prove highly popular among shoppers looking at the 1.5 carat mark, since the extra weight can make it a little easier to spot color in, say, a J color diamond.
Your best bet here is to look at the diamond in person before you make any decisions. You don’t want a diamond that appears yellow, but you also don’t want to fall prey to the major price difference between Colorless and Near Colorless diamonds when there really is no need to.
So, you’ve settled on a much more affordable (though equally beautiful) G or H color diamond – but what about clarity? We all know that flawless diamonds are super rare, but there are many, many grades between FL and I2 for you to explore:
Most shoppers start off by looking at VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds, mostly out of fear of picking out a stone that looks heavily flawed. This is understandable, but totally unnecessary – the VS and SI grades represent a great place for shoppers to search and, you guessed it, save money.
Let’s say you’re looking at a 1.5 carat H color Round Brilliant diamond with VVS1 clarity. If you’re new to the process, you probably think you’re doing the right thing, since it’s significantly less expensive than an IF diamond. For this, you can expect to pay around $17,500.
A 1.5 carat H color Round Brilliant diamond with SI1 clarity, on the other hand, will generally fall between 12,000 and $15,000. While it might seem like a big jump in terms of quality, you’ll find plenty of eye clean diamonds at the – that is, diamonds that look just as flawless as the VVS1 diamond.
It’s possible to find eye clean diamonds between VS1 and SI2, and, as you can see from the example above, that can mean thousands of dollars saved.
A beautiful diamond needs a beautiful ring setting, and that represents an entirely separate cost you need to factor into your budget. While the cost of this part will be substantially cheaper than the cost of buying the diamond, you’ll want to make sure plenty of boxes are ticked in order to ensure that your diamond is not let down by poor craftmanship or durability.
A quality halo ring can start at around $1,500, although the cost depends on the number of accent stones your halo features and, of course, the type of metal you choose – and the level of time and craftmanship required to make it.
This is something you don’t want to skimp on by going to an untrustworthy jeweler or, worse still, an online vendor that processes thousands of orders a month. Creating a halo is complex work, requiring many tiny diamonds of only a fraction of a carat in weight, and pulling off that luxurious and opulent sparkle so many of us covet takes skill, time, and artistry.
A 1.5 carat is the ideal weight for a diamond that is going to be surrounded by extra sparkle, as it’s large enough to stand out without being so large that the halo will prove difficult to wear on a daily basis.
The ring setting alone will typically fall between $1,000 and $,3000, with the overall cost of the ring depending entirely on the weight and quality of the diamond you choose.
Since the solitaire ring design features no extra adornments, the most significant factor behind its cost will be your choice of metal. The price of a gold setting and band will likely be lower than the cost of a platinum setting and band, even if you pick a higher karat gold, like 18k.
Once again, entrusting your ring’s design and creation to a reputable jeweler – rather than an online vendor – is by far the most preferable option, and a cost you should consider to be a necessity as you work on finetuning your budget.
Even in a solitaire, setting a diamond securely within a ring without causing any damage is a fine art – and one that is worth paying for.
Ideally, your 1.5 carat engagement ring will cost between $15,000 and $20,000. Too low, and your diamond will appear low quality; too high, and you’ll have wasted thousands of dollars on features that are not noticeable.
1.5 carats is a great weight to look at. It is, by no means, as large as some of the engagement rings you see out there today, but it’s also noticeably above the average size – and will often appear closer in size to a 2 carat diamond than a 1 carat diamond.
It makes it much easier for you to get the most out of a beautiful cut, whether you’re using the traditional Round Brilliant or something a little different, like the Princess or Emerald, without being so large that you have to go for a much higher color or clarity grade.
Yes, it’s substantially more expensive than a 1 carat diamond engagement ring would be but, if it fits in your budget without forcing you to sacrifice on quality, then the 1.5 carat diamond is something we would recommend to any shopper looking to make a strong impression during their proposal.