It’s not hard to make a statement with a diamond. Large or small, a beautifully cut and polished stone will claim its fair share of eyes across even the most crowded of rooms.
Of course, it’s even easier to make a statement with an imposing 2.5 carat diamond, which pretty much demands the undivided attention of all present. Well above the ‘average weight’ of 1 carat for diamond engagement rings across the US, and large enough to generate truly magnificent levels of fire and brilliance, 2.5 carats is a great place to look if you want to make a strong impression.
Whether you’re favoring a bold diamond solitaire, or the scintillating glitter of a halo, a diamond of this size will give you plenty of options in terms of design – and no shortage of sparkle.
But, just how much is a taste for 2.5 carats going to set you back?
A 2.5 carat Round Brilliant diamond will measure just shy of 9mm in diameter – around 8.99.
2.5 carats is the equivalent of 0.5 grams, or 500 milligrams. While this may not sound particularly heavy, it’s still way above the average for engagement rings. For instance, a Round Brilliant 1 carat diamond will typically measure approximately 6.5mm in diameter, which means a (very noticeable) difference of almost 2.5mm between the two stones.
You will, of course, have to pay a premium for those extra millimeters (more on that below) but, if you’re able to compare these two weights side-by-side in person, you’ll be able to see quite how much more of an impact the 2.5 carat diamond can make.
Many 2.5 carat diamonds will be priced above the $20,000, although exceedingly high quality diamonds could cost over $70,000. The average sits just above $31,000.
If you’ve jumped to the 2.5 carat weight from one of our articles on 1 or 1.5 carat diamonds, then you’ve no doubt already noticed quite how much difference sits between these different – and relatively close – carat weights. After all, a high quality 1 carat diamond will, for the most part, fall below the $10,000 mark – so why is 2.5 so much pricier?
The short answer is this: appeal. We’ve mentioned already that the average diamond weight for engagement rings sits around one carat – a fact which gives 1 carat diamonds a price jump of their own – and this means that noticeably larger diamonds (starting from around 1.5 carats and up) are growing increasingly coveted.
Whether for status or beauty, larger diamonds are highly sought-after. And, while the prestige of having the biggest diamond ring isn’t necessarily a motivating factor for those looking at 2.5 carat diamonds, it’s certainly enough to cause an exponential price increase as carat weight rises.
What does this mean? It means that, rather than a 2.5 carat diamond’s price being double that of a 1.25 carat diamond, the larger stone will be worth thousands – if not tens of thousands – of dollars more.
Yes and no – it’s all relative – but a 2 carat diamond will appear significantly larger than the average engagement ring.
From Keira Knightley to Mila Kunis, plenty of celebrities have set a strong example for diamonds that sit comfortably above the 2 mark, but shy of the more ‘out there’ 3 carats. This is a size that offers plenty of versatility – it’ll look stunning in a more minimalistic solitaire setting, but it’ll also look great in a more elaborate setting without looking like ‘too much’.
Some shapes will look bigger than others. The elongated Marquise, Oval and Pear cuts – and even the Emerald – will seem to dominate the finger more than some of the deeper shapes, like the Cushion.
Nevertheless, a 2 carat diamond will not disappoint – or feel lost among your future bride’s other jewelry.
When it comes to diamonds, the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true. Knowing what you need, however, and what you can sacrifice is the key to getting the best price possible for your ring – something that matters all the more when you’re considering these highly coveted carat weights.
Since the price of your 2.5 carat diamond ring will, for the most part, be dictated by the price of your diamond (which will account for around 85% of your spend), it’s important to get to grips with this part first.
A GIA clarity grade of VS1 or VS2 will typically yield a strong choice of eye clean diamonds, though it depends on the shape.
As we mentioned above, a larger diamond means fewer opportunities for eye cleanliness – but it’s no less important in a 2.5 carat diamond than it in one measuring 1 carat.
The higher clarity grades, like VVS1 and VVS2, guarantee that your diamond will be eye clean, but they will come at a premium cost – one that really isn’t worth paying for when you can find equally beautiful diamonds at the VS1 and VS2 mark. When the difference could be worth thousands of dollars, it’s clear which one we’d go for.
Some diamond shapes, such as the Emerald, are less forgiving than others. The facet patterns found in the modified brilliant shapes, like the Oval, Pear and Marquise, are better at concealing slight inclusions than the longer, wider facets of the step cuts. This is why it’s much better to go and view your options in person, with the expert eye of your jeweler, rather than over the internet.
The GIA’s ‘Near Colorless’ grades G, H, and I will offer some strong options at a more affordable price than the Colorless grades (D, E, and F).
Again, this does depend on shape. The Cushion, for instance, tends to ‘hold’ onto color more than, say, the Round Brilliant, meaning that you’ll want to aim for the higher ‘Near Colorless’ grades.
Again, however, this is your opportunity to bring down your 2.5 carat diamond ring price by hundreds of dollars – if not more. The highest color grades are, of course, the best – but, by aiming your sights a little lower, you can easily find something beautiful and visually clear for a lower price.
An engagement ring featuring a 2.5 carat diamond could cost anywhere from $20,000+, although exceedingly high quality diamonds could drive the overall price of the ring up to $70,000+.
There is no denying that a 2.5 carat diamond makes for a stunning engagement ring – nor that a diamond of this magnitude comes at a premium price for those who feel drawn to it.
The best ways to save money on your 2.5 carat diamond ring’s price are to prioritize cut over clarity and color – while never sacrificing eye cleanliness. While it might not sound like a lot, opting for a clarity grade of VS2 over VVS1, for instance, will save thousands of dollars, and make the cost of your ring that bit more manageable.
You can take a look at a wide selection of GIA graded diamonds between 2.4 and 2.99 carats, then schedule an appointment to see one for real at an expert local jewelry store.