Why Do 2 Carat Engagement Rings Cost So Much More Than 1 Carat Rings?

Author Lynelle Schmidt
Date Feb 15, 2021

2 carat diamond rings are breath-taking. They stand out on her finger and catch the eye of everyone around her. The ring becomes the center of attention, and you get to proudly stand there as she shows off her gorgeous rock to all her friends and family.

But when it's time to buy the diamond, you can easily end up shocked when you start seeing what 2 carat diamonds are worth. Spoiler alert: 2 carat diamonds cost much more than 1 carat diamonds.

It seems logical that if you can get a 1 carat diamond for around $4,000, that you'd be able to get a 2 ct diamond ring for just over $8,000...right? Unfortunately, that's not how diamond pricing works.

Let's take a step back and look at the factors that affect diamond prices to see why a 2 carat stone will end up costing you a lot more than its 1 carat counterpart

An Overview of 2 Carat Diamonds

Carat size refers to the unit of measurement for the weight of a diamond. One carat equals 400 milligrams or 0.4 grams. As the standard of measurement for diamonds, it is common for shoppers to think of carats as a measurement of the overall size (length and width). But since it’s a unit of weight, the overall size will differ depending on the diamond cut. For example, some carats cut in longer shapes such as oval or marquise will appear slightly larger despite being the same weight.

What contributes to the price of a diamond?

TThere are a lot of different factors that contribute to the final price of a diamond. It would be impossible for us to say a 1 carat diamond costs X amount, a 1.3 carat diamond will cost you X, etc. It doesn't work like that. A one carat diamond can range anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 depending on a number of different factors.

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So what are these factors? Well, one of the biggest influencers on a diamond's price is something you've probably heard of by now - the Four Cs. A diamond's cut, clarity, color, and carat weight all heavily influence the value of any stone.

  • Cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond that will reflect light back to your eye in a certain way. If a diamond is cut properly, chances are that the light will enter the diamond and be reflected back to your eye in a way that shows the stone's brilliance...aka sparkle.
  • Clarity refers to how many inclusions or imperfections are present in the stone. Stones that are flawless (no inclusions) will be much more expensive because they are more rare and beautiful.
  • Color is a measure of the amount of color that can be seen in the stone, usually yellow or brown. Colorless stones are always more valuable than those with yellow or brown hues. 
  • Carat weight affects pricing because the heavier diamonds are, the more costly they become. However, this isn’t a straightforward increase. As you’ll see below, there are additional factors affecting why 2 carat diamonds cost more than 1 carat.

What is the typical cost of a 2 carat diamond ring?

Now that we know all of the factors that can contribute to a diamond's price, let's explore what a two carat diamond ring might cost. We know that there isn't one price that would cover every 2 carat stone in the market. However, the typical range for 2 round carat diamonds is somewhere around $8,000-$50,000. Pretty vague right? That's because if you choose a 2 carat diamond that is flawless, colorless and perfectly cut, then you'll end up paying closer to $50,000 or more. If you choose a 2 carat diamond that has slight inclusions and noticeable color, then the price might be closer to $8,000 or less.

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Why does a 2 carat diamond cost so much more than a 1 carat?

The fourth "C" that we didn't cover in our last explanation was carat weight. Carat weight can heavily influence the price of a diamond. As a diamond gets larger and increases in carat weight, it becomes more rare. That's because it's much harder for a diamond cutter to find a good piece of raw material to cut into a beautiful 2 carat stone than material to make smaller diamonds.

The price mechanics for a diamond don't always make sense at first. You would think that a 1 carat diamond that costs $4,000 would cost only $8,000 as a 2 carat stone, a 3 carat diamond would be $12,000, etc. However, as we've discussed already, as diamond carat size goes up, so does the stone's rarity. The price of a stone goes up exponentially as the carat weight increases. Here's a chart that illustrates this point:


This chart represents average prices for round diamonds with a G color, VS1 clarity and ideal cut. You can see from this chart that a 1 carat round diamond with these characteristics starts around $7,000 and increases all the way up past $20,000 for a 2 carat diamond. As the carat weight increases, the price rises quite significantly.

How does shape affect your 2 carat diamond ring price?

Diamond shape affects pricing in a few ways - first, some shapes retain more of the original stone, leading to less wastage, and second, there is higher demand for fancy shaped diamonds leading to higher prices.

A 2 carat round diamond ring will likely cost more compared to any other fancy-shaped cut. Other diamond cuts will generally be consistently less expensive for roughly the same weight and quality. For example, the equivalent 2 carat pear or oval diamond ring will likely be roughly 10-15% less in cost, while a 2 carat cushion cut, princess cut, or emerald cut diamond ring could be as much as 20-25% less in cost.

But...she still wants a 2 carat diamond engagement ring

If she's expressed to you that she wants a 2 carat stone, it's important to understand what she really wants. If she genuinely wants a 2 carat ring and it's way above your budget, it might be time to have a discussion to get on the same page.

There are also many ways to achieve the look of 2 carat diamonds without having to break the bank. Here are some alternatives to a 2 carat ring below.

  • A trick we often tell people is to go for a diamond halo setting. By adding a ring of smaller diamonds around the center diamond, it creates the illusion of a much larger stone. It's a big reason why this is the top trend for engagement rings over the past few years.
  • Another trick is to add diamonds along the side of the ring's band. You can have the entire ring add up to be 2 carats total weight with smaller diamonds surrounding the center diamond. You'll still be able to get a beautiful, sparkling ring without having to pay for a rare 2 diamond center stone.
  • Another technique is to find a slightly lower-carat diamond with a high-quality cut as this can help the diamond appear larger.

Ready to pop the question? Browse the Long's online engagement ring collection or make an appointment with one of our diamond experts who can help you through every step of the process!

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