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Ask a Diamond Pro: How to Choose a 2 Carat Diamond for a Yellow Gold Ring

By Mike Fried,

Choosing a diamond is all about narrowing down your shape, then selecting high quality options for the diamond 4 Cs. However, with larger diamonds, there are often additional factors that you’ll need to keep in mind to get the best deal. 

We’re often contacted by readers looking for help choosing and buying diamonds in the 2+ carat range. This particular reader had a budget of $11,500 and wanted assistance choosing a 2 carat diamond for a yellow gold solitaire ring.

We helped them purchase a beautiful 2.00 carat, K color, VS2 clarity round brilliant cut diamond from James Allen that looks absolutely stunning in its yellow gold setting. 

Here’s the reader’s original email:

“Hello Diamond Pro! 

My budget for my (hopefully) soon-to-be fiance is $10,000-$11,500. I’d love to swing a 2ct diamond if possible. She’s interested in a yellow gold solitaire setting with a thin band. 

I’m currently looking at K color (I know you recommend higher, but would K be okay on a yellow gold setting?). 

Thank you so much for your help.”

This reader’s question about diamond color is common for people purchasing larger diamonds in the 2+ carat range. It presents an excellent opportunity to talk about how a diamond’s weight can make certain factors, such as its color and clarity, more important to consider.

Put simply, the larger a diamond is, the more obvious issues such as inclusions and poor color tend to become. This is because large diamonds have large tables, allowing you to more easily see their flaws.

You can minimize these issues by being selective when it comes to color and clarity grades, or by choosing a diamond shape that conceals color and inclusions.

We’ve discussed this in more detail below and provided some examples of what to look for in a 2+ carat diamond.

yellow gold engagement ring
An example of a yellow gold solitaire engagement ring.

Larger Diamonds and Color

If you’ve read our guide to buying a diamond, you’ll know that we usually recommend spending as much of your budget as possible on the factors that have the biggest impact on a diamond’s appearance. 

This is generally a diamond’s cut quality (the characteristic that determines its brilliance) and its carat weight (its weight and physical size). 

When it comes to color and clarity, we generally suggest choosing the lowest grades that still produce a diamond that’s colorless in relation to its setting and eye-clean (meaning it doesn’t display any inclusions or blemishes when viewed with the naked eye). 

With small and medium-sized diamonds, this process is fairly simple, as these diamonds have smaller tables that provide a limited view into the diamond. This helps to conceal the very faint yellow tint that can be found in many diamonds with color grades in the H, I, J or K range. 

Just like a large window gives you a better view of the outside than a small one, the large table of 2+ carat diamond gives you a better view of any internal color, meaning you’ll generally need to be more selective when it comes to choosing the right color grade. 

This can be a serious issue with shapes like the emerald cut, which have a large table and step cut facet arrangement that make internal color extremely visible. 

2 carat diamond shapes
Comparison of different 2ct shape diamonds

This reader was interested in round cut diamonds, which are very good at concealing color due to their excellent light performance. They were also interested in a yellow gold solitaire setting — a colored setting without any halo, side or pavé diamonds. 

This is all great news when it comes to color, as the yellow gold color of the setting will conceal any internal color in the diamond. The choice of a solitaire setting also means there’s no risk of a clash in color between the center diamond and any smaller diamonds.

In the end, their choice of a K color diamond was perfect, as it allowed them to avoid spending more than needed on a higher color grade. 

However, with a different diamond shape and/or a colorless setting (for example, a platinum or white gold ring), it would be necessary to be more strict on the choice of color grade. 

We’ve discussed this topic more and shared specific criteria to help you choose the best color grade in our guide to diamond color

2+ Carat Diamonds and Clarity

Just like the larger table of a 2+ carat diamond makes its color more visible, it can also make it easier to see any inclusions and blemishes inside the diamond. 

When it comes to diamond clarity, we don’t recommend seeking perfection, as doing so greatly increases the cost of a diamond. Instead, our recommendation is to choose a diamond that has an eye-clean appearance, meaning it has no inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. 

eye-clean diamond

For 2 carat diamonds, we generally recommend getting VS2 clarity (Very Small Inclusions 2) as a minimum to ensure that no blemishes or inclusions are visible in a real-life setting. 

However, there are some exceptions to this recommendation. For example, the round brilliant cut is fantastic at hiding inclusions due to its facet pattern, meaning it’s okay to drop down to a clarity grade of SI1 even with a relatively large diamond. 

Because of this, dropping below the VS2 clarity grade is okay, provided the chosen diamond is still eye-clean. 

This reader ended up picking a beautiful VS2 clarity round cut diamond that doesn’t display any inclusions or blemishes, even when viewed under magnification in photos. It’s a beautiful stone, and thanks to smart purchasing decisions, it provides excellent value for money.

Advantages of the Solitaire Setting

We’re definitely fans of solitaire diamond rings. Not only do they have a classic, timeless style that will never go out of fashion, but the simplicity of the solitaire setting means that buying an appropriate diamond becomes a much easier process.

This becomes even easier when the ring is yellow gold. As Gold.com states, yellow gold “is still the most popular color” used for jewelry today, and it offers several advantages. One of these is that the strong color of 14K or 18K yellow gold helps to conceal the internal color in a diamond, meaning it’s okay to choose a diamond with a less-than-perfect color grade without it appearing overly tinted.

For example, in this reader’s case, the choice of a yellow gold solitaire setting allowed them to pick a diamond with a K color grade (thanks to the effects of the yellow gold metal) and a VS2 clarity grade (thanks to the lack of pavé or halo diamonds). 

Let’s imagine that instead of choosing a yellow gold solitaire ring, this reader preferred a white gold halo setting. 

Yellow gold diamond ring

Not only would they end up paying more for the setting — they’d also likely need to set aside a larger budget for a diamond with color and clarity grades that closely match those of the small diamonds used in the ring. 

By selecting a simple and elegant solitaire setting, these headaches (and additional costs) are completely avoided, allowing more of their budget to be spent on a large, beautiful diamond.

Our Recommendation

A 2 carat diamond can look absolutely gorgeous, especially when it’s paired with a simple and elegant solitaire setting that elevates it on the wearer’s finger. 

With diamonds in the 2+ carat range, it’s particularly important to pay careful attention to color and clarity. Check that the diamond looks colorless in relation to its setting and doesn’t display any visible inclusions or other blemishes.

We recommend checking diamonds of this carat weight closely using the 360°, high-resolution images provided by James Allen and Blue Nile.

If you need help choosing the right diamond, feel free to contact us. Our diamond experts help hundreds of readers find and purchase beautiful engagement rings every month, and we’d be happy to help you find a diamond that matches your tastes and budget.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

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What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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