At WillYou.Net, we spend enough time thinking about engagement rings, looking at engagement rings, and talking about engagement rings that we’re pretty used to dreaming about them, too. So, if you come onto our site looking to find the dream engagement ring for your partner, we can safely say that you’re in the right place.
For a lot of people, that dream engagement ring is practically synonymous with ‘the biggest ring you can find’. As you can imagine, we totally understand why. While there’s a lot we love about smaller diamonds and daintier engagement rings, there’s something indescribably exciting about an engagement ring that goes above and beyond. A diamond so big that it seems to have its own gravitational pull – one we can’t, and don’t want to, fight against – really is the kind of thing that dreams are made of.
The catch? A really, truly beautiful 5 carat diamond comes at a price – and a big one at that. If you were to launch yourself straight into the jewelry world – head directly toward the diamond district, say – then it wouldn’t take long for you to come across a 5 carat diamond at an absolute steal.
But, as with any carat weight range, there are great 5 carat stones and there are terrible, waste-of-time-and-money duds. Read out guide to make sure you don’t walk home with one.
A 5 carat Round cut diamond with ideal proportions will have a diameter of just over 11mm.
One of the first things you’ll want to get your head around is the fact that diamonds do not double in size each time the carat weight doubles. In other words, a 5 carat diamond will not be twice the size of a 2.5 carat diamond, just as a 2 carat diamond is not twice the size of a 1 carat diamond.
Carat is a unit of measurement for weight, rather than size. Larger diamonds still need to be cut to very particular proportions in order to be considered good quality, so that extra weight needs to be distributed throughout the stone – not just in the face-up appearance, where the diameter is measured.
Nevertheless, a 5 carat diamond is still significantly – and very noticeably – bigger than the more ‘common’ carat weight ranges.
The most popular carat weight for a diamond engagement ring is 1 carat, and a 5 carat Round diamond is going to have a diameter that is approximately 4.6mm larger. If we’re comparing dinner plates, that’s a very small difference – but, in the world of diamonds, that’s an unmissable, unmistakable difference that will really stand out from the rest.
Not at all. It’s definitely a lot bigger than what the ‘average’ person would expect for their engagement ring – and, as a result, it may be a little harder to get used to wearing, but that’s part of the fun.
The only mistake you could make is assuming that ‘bigger is better’ if you know your partner prefers to keep things low key. The popularity of bigger diamond engagement rings doesn’t mean that everyone will want to wear a diamond that knocks your socks off from across a crowded room. Only you can know what your partner wants.
That said, if you’re confident that a whopper of a diamond is exactly what she wants, you don’t need to worry about 5 carats being ‘too big’, because there’s no such thing. Even on slender hands, a 5 carat diamond won’t hang over the edges of the finger – but, at the same time, it will be big enough to be very flattering on any hand shape or size.
If you’re thinking of a halo design for your engagement ring, however, keep in mind that the extra bulk may make the ring wider than your partner’s finger. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, and it’s not something she can’t get used to, but people with a more active lifestyle may find it a little cumbersome.
A weight of 5 carats is the equivalent of 1 gram, or 0.03 ounces. Your partner will definitely be aware of it siting there on her hand, but it’s not going to weigh heavy or slow her down.
If you need any more reassurance, keep in mind the fact that 5 carat diamonds are pretty popular among celebrities. Mila Kunis’ engagement ring from Ashton Kutcher, for instance, is rumored to fall right around the 5 carat mark – and the same goes for Kristin Cavallari. If style icons are embracing them, you know you’re onto a winner.
Yes and no. It’ll take time to get used to, but that’s true of practically any diamond ring of any size.
The only diamond ring styles we can think of that would be ‘easy’ to wear from the first moment they slide onto the finger are flush set and bezel set rings. Both of these styles keep the diamond ‘level’ with the metalwork, which means that they’re not going to snag or scrape when you’re going about your daily business.
The more popular setting options, including the various types of prong settings, typically require some kind of adjustment period. They hold the diamond higher above the finger – a big benefit for the diamond, since the more light that is able to reach it, the more it can sparkle – and that does naturally mean that the diamond will catch and snag at first.
But plenty of people have adapted to this before, and plenty more will do so in the future. Diamonds much weightier than 5 carats have been worn daily, so don’t panic.
In general, you can expect to see 5 carat diamonds range in price from $45,000 to $750,000, depending on their quality and rarity.
Why would anyone pay closer to the top-end when they can get a 5 carat diamond for less than $50,000? Because, like most things, those diamonds available at the very low end of the spectrum are riddled with quality issues – issues that really will ruin the impact your diamond has, even on non-expert eyes.
Diamonds can look incredible – these are the diamonds we’re used to seeing in pictures and in the movies – or they can be totally ruined by their own flaws. That’s not to say that you need to pay for the very best in quality to get a beautiful stone – there’s a healthy middle ground that we can help you to find, where the price is far more realistic – but it is to say that you can’t aim for that low-end price and expect to walk home with a showstopper of a diamond.
At WillYou.Net, we’re committed to demystifying diamond prices – to making you aware of all the factors that determine that final number on the ticket – and to giving you the practical knowledge you need to avoid over- or under-spending on your diamond, no matter the carat weight.
No, not compared with a smaller diamond of the same cut quality and proportions. While it may be more noticeable, since the surface area is larger, it won’t sparkle more.
If you compare a 5 carat diamond with a melee diamond – say, 0.2 carats and just 3.75mm in diameter – you’ll definitely notice a big difference in the way they appear to sparkle. The smaller, melee diamonds come across as a lot ‘glitterier’, since they have smaller surface areas.
By contrast, larger diamonds – say, anything above 0.5 carats in weight – have a more refined, elegant sparkle. Sure, the right diamond will come alive with scintillating fire and brilliance whenever the light hits, but everything will feel a lot more distinguished in a larger diamond than a particularly small one.
This is why halo settings look so great alongside larger diamonds; they complement that refined sparkle with a more erratic glitter. It’s also why cluster rings are generally considered to be a ‘second choice’ next to the more traditional styles, since they bring a lot of ‘glitter’ but not the refined look of a larger, center stone.
By now, you have probably run into the phrase ‘the Four Cs’ at least once. They are the most important things you need to think about before you hand over your money, and ‘Carat weight’ is just one of them. So, while you know you’re in the market for a 5 carat diamond, there is plenty more to think about besides weight alone.
Cut quality, followed by Clarity and Color (the rest of the Four Cs) as well as shopping within the ideal proportions for your shape, minimizing fluorescence, and getting good value for your investment.
If that sounds like a lot to think about, it is, but once you start to get your head around the basics, you’ll find that it all starts to feel like second nature to you.
Start with the Four Cs. Cut quality is the key factor behind your diamond’s sparkle. A bad cut = a bad light performance, and a bad light performance = disappointment. Those many facets cut into a diamond’s surface are a like a hall of mirrors; they ‘bounce’ light between one another, and send it on a very specific path. Light enters your diamond through the table (the big, flat facet on the upper surface), and refracts between the facets in the pavilion before coming back out the top of the diamond as sparkle.
If these facets are cut wrong (which is easily done), then the diamond looks dull and lifeless and not really like a real diamond at all. You want a great quality Cut, Polish, and Symmetry (Excellent or Very Good), and to make sure that your diamond falls within the ideal proportions for its shape.
Clarity and Color impact a diamond’s beauty. Poor color means a diamond look yellow – definitely not what you want – while poor clarity means that your diamond is affected by significant flaws, like clouds and black spots. Again, not what you want.
While fluorescence is not one of the four Cs, it’s important. The grades ‘None’ and ‘Faint’ are your safest bet, but ‘Medium’ can be okay, provided you can’t see any signs of cloudiness or discoloration.
Better quality. Big diamonds are only impressive if they look beautiful, too, or they could look like a poor imitation.
It’s sad, but it’s true. A big diamond brought down by its own poor quality can look more like a dull and lifeless cubic zirconia than a diamond. Imagine a 5 carat Round Brilliant with an asymmetrical cut, polish marks on its table, and a cloudy, off-white appearance. Even as a diamond novice, you would doubt whether or not it was the real thing.
There’s nothing impressive about diamond size if quality is lacking. Plenty of diamond cutters will intentionally cut a diamond ‘wrong’ in order to preserve that carat weight, because they know it will sell – but, if you invest in it, you’re just blowing a whole lot of money on very little substance.
If your budget can just about stretch to lowest prices available on 5 carat diamonds, then we would urge you to reconsider what it is you want for your ring. Instead, you could wind up with a 3 carat diamond – still well above the national average in terms of size – with a truly spectacular quality, and a much more reasonable value.
Big diamonds turn heads, but only beautiful diamonds capture hearts.
We’d recommend you focus on the higher end of the Near Colorless range – grades G and H – to get the best value without sacrificing on quality.
Despite the fact that these grades are classed as ‘Near Colorless’ rather than ‘Colorless’, it’s important to remember that each one of these grades, from D to Z, is incrementally ‘worse’ than the one that came before it. What’s more, color is graded under extremely particular lighting conditions and equally extreme magnification. If the grader can barely see it – and, as a result, considers it very nearly colorless – it’s highly unlikely you will ever see it, even if you wear that diamond every day for decades.
That said, when you’re looking at bigger diamonds, it’s important that you don’t see every grade within that ‘Near Colorless’ range as the same. For smaller diamonds, a color grade of I or J is often perfectly fine, and far more reasonably priced. But, in larger diamonds, it’s easier to see color – and, as a result, it’s better to avoid dipping below an H grade.
D, E, and F are, objectively speaking, the best grades. For you, however, the high premium attached to the colorless grades is not the best way to bag a great diamond at the best price possible.
Cut is more important, and any shopper will want to avoid saving money in this area. Clarity is important, but it does represent an opportunity to reduce your overall spend.
You don’t want a flawless diamond. You want a diamond that looks flawless.
Why? Because flawless diamonds are not only incredibly rare, but they’re incredibly expensive. They’re collector’s items, and a bad idea if you’re just looking for a center stone for an engagement ring.
How do you find a diamond that looks flawless? You look at it – and, if you see any flaws (however small) you put it back and move on.
The VVS grades (VVS1 and VVS2) are eye clean, but still very expensive thanks to their proximity to Flawless on the GIA’s scale. You can find eye clean diamonds in the VS, SI, and, sometimes, the I range, too – but that’s totally dependent on size. Shoppers looking at 1 carat diamonds could easily find a great option at SI2, and shoppers looking at particularly small diamonds could find a great steal at the I1 grade.
For 5 carat diamonds, stick with the VS1 and VS2 grades. They’re a lot better value than VVS1 and VVS2, but you won’t be limited on eye clean options.
So, yes, Cut is more important than Clarity. But, at the same time, eye cleanliness is just as important as a well-proportioned cut.
A well-proportioned diamond is better than a diamond cut to look as big as possible. The only way to get a bigger diamond is to go for a higher carat.
Diamonds that are made to look as big as possible are known as spready diamonds. To create them, the diamond cutter goes against ideal proportions and, instead, concentrates as much of the rough stone’s weigh into the upper portion – the crown and table. This creates a diamond that looks very shallow but, when viewed from above, very large.
The trouble? Not only does it look bad from any other angle, but it’s going to be lacking a lot of sparkle. As we mentioned, those facets in the diamond’s pavilion send the light refracting through the stone and back out the table. If they’re not right, none of the diamond is right.
The only effective way to get the biggest looking diamond at this carat weight is to choose a shape that naturally requires more weight to be held within the crown and table. That way, you can stay within the ideal proportions and get that larger face-up appearance.
The Oval, Marquise, Pear and Radiant all look big for their carat weight – bigger than the Round, Cushion, and Heart.
So, you’ve found a diamond – hypothetically speaking. What’s next? The process of out the specifics of the ring itself is just as demanding as finding that diamond. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
Both matter. The carat weight of your center stone is a vital consideration, while the TCW refers to the combined weight of your center stone, and any accent stones.
If you’re looking at pre-made rings (not something we would recommend, since you can’t control every detail like you can if you’re starting from scratch), then a ring with a TCW or CTW of 5 will not feature a 5 carat center stone.
Melee diamonds have a much, much lower value than larger diamonds. Jewelers will buy them in large quantities – sorted according to quality – for use in halo settings, pavé and channel settings, and other accents. So, if your ring has any of these features, the TCW will be greater than 5. This won’t make the price skyrocket, so don’t overthink it.
First and foremost, prioritize your partner’s tastes. You can go as modern, as traditional, as bold or as simple and understated as you want to, but you can’t come to any decisions without first having a good long think about your partner’s sense of style.
The easiest question to ask yourself is this one: plain and simply or sparkly and ‘out there’? While your jeweler can help you figure out the specifics, knowing which side of the fence you’re on before your consultation will really help you to make the most of that time.
Either way, there are a few more areas where a little research and prior planning will really help you when that big day comes. Start off by reading through our guides to gold and platinum – the two best precious metals for bridal jewelry. Next, do the groundwork on the different types of setting you could pick for your engagement ring.
The best place to buy your engagement ring will be a local, reputable jeweler, who can oversee every aspect of quality and ensure you get exactly what you came for.
You’ve probably heard that the very best ‘diamond deals’ are found online. True, you can get slightly better prices on the internet, but we don’t consider that a great deal, since there’s a lot more to buying a diamond than the price tag. You can’t judge eye cleanliness or Color through a screen – or, for that matter, sparkle.
The internet is a great place to browse diamonds – but, when you’re ready to actually buy, then going to a real jeweler is the only option we would ever recommend.
At WillYou.net, we’ve put together a massive directory of jewelers located across the United States who come personally recommended by our team. You can find one of these recommended jewelers in your area with our Store Locator tool.
A beautiful 5 carat diamond will stop people in their tracks – bring conversations to a halt – and bring a true touch of magic to your proposal. It’s certainly a big investment, and a big stone to wear on your finger –but, when it all comes together, you’ll find it’s more than worth the time and money you put into choosing it.
One thing to remember is not to get complacent. Just because you’ve got a big budget to blow, doesn’t mean everything available at your price point will be worth buying. Diamonds vary drastically in terms of quality, and you need to be able to distinguish between a great investment, and a waste of money.
Remember that your jeweler is there to turn your vision into a design – to help you put into words what it is that your partner wants – and, most importantly, to make you and your partner’s dreams come true. But, in order to do that, it helps if you’re able to bring that vision to the table in the first place. Do your research, take your time, and don’t assume that the path of least resistance (AKA, ordering it online to come straight to your front door) is the one that will yield the very best results.