Buying a 1/2 Carat Diamond Ring
An expert guide to get the perfect 0.50 carat engagement ring
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An expert guide to get the perfect 0.50 carat engagement ring
Are you interested in buying a 1/2 carat diamond ring? When you start your search for a diamond engagement ring, one of the first things you should understand is that carat is not the be-all and end-all. You can get a stunning engagement ring on any budget as long as you don’t cut corners on quality. And we will show you how in this article.
How much does a ½ carat diamond ring cost?
How large is a ½ carat diamond?
Where is the best place to buy a ½ carat diamond?
What is the difference between a ½ carat and 1 carat diamond?
What style ring should I put my ½ carat diamond in?
FAQs about ½ carat diamonds
Bottom line recommendation
A good quality half carat diamond will cost you between $600 and $800 depending on which shape you like. If you want to go with the highest quality, a half carat diamond can cost you up to $2,200. If you want to drop a bit more on the quality, you can get a half carat diamond for $500. You can check out the price differences across different carat weights using our diamond value calculator.
|The Lower End|
These prices are for the diamond only. The retailers that offer better quality products let you select the exact diamond and setting you prefer and then assemble it into a complete ring. A typical setting runs from $200 – $1,500 depending on the style and whether there are a lot of smaller diamonds on the setting.
Diamond prices vary greatly depending on various qualities. Carat is one – higher carat diamonds almost always cost more per carat than smaller diamonds. Diamond color and diamond clarity affect the price too.
Diamond prices historically rise at a slow and steady pace, with occasional surges and dips. At the beginning of 2023, we are seeing a dip in prices and demand. That makes sense given the surge of 2021-2022 for luxury goods. Analysts at Citi and Bain stated that luxury sales grew by a whopping 15% in 2022 alone. For a better understanding of the topic, check out our article on how diamonds are priced.
As with any luxury or fashion item, the economy does factor into pricing as well. While sales surged in 2021 and came a little down to earth in 2022, most economists aren’t expecting a big recession drop. As Paul Zimsky noted, “The narrative has swung from dire, the-world-is-ending chatter to an overall feeling that the economy will slow down enough to quell inflation in 2023 and allow the high-flying economy to have a soft landing”.
Think You’re A Diamond Pro?
Both of these are 1.20ct H color diamonds.
One is an SI1 clarity and costs $3,920.
The other is VS2 and costs $5,550.
Can you tell which is which?
A 0.5 carat round means that the diamond weighs 100 milligrams. A carat is a weight measurement equaling 0.20 grams. The dimensions for a half carat diamond are approximately 5.10mm in diameter and a depth of 3.10mm.
However, depending on the shape and how the diamond is cut, it may have a slightly larger or smaller appearance. This is because carat refers to weight, not size. Half a carat is equivalent to 100 milligrams, or 0.1 grams.
You can also look at this image that gives you a better idea about the 0.50ct diamond sizes compared to a US quarter and to each other (click the image to enlarge it).
While each 1/2 carat diamond has the same weight, some may appear larger or smaller. The table size, which is to say the visible area when you view a diamond from the top-down, is bigger with certain diamond shapes, such as oval, pear and marquise cut diamonds.
These shapes are longer and have a larger surface area, which makes them appear bigger at first glance
On the other hand, asscher and princess cut diamonds have a smaller than average table size and may appear smaller than a different shape of a diamond at the same carat weight.
|Diamond Shape||Dimensions for 0.50 Carat|
|Round brilliant cut||5.10×5.10×3.15mm|
|Pear shaped diamond||7.00×4.50×2.75mm|
|Heart shaped diamond||5.40×5.40×3.30mm|
The cut quality can also affect the size of the diamond. A poorly cut 1/2 carat round diamond can have a diameter of 4.80mm while an ideal cut diamond will have a diameter of 5.10. Even though their weight and everything else may be the same, the well-cut diamond will look 5% larger. More importantly, it will look more brilliant.
”Because of their rarity, large diamonds command a premium – so much so that the difference in price isn’t geometric but exponential. In other words, a 1.00ct diamond will cost much more per carat than a 0.50ct diamond. A 2.00ct diamond will have a much higher per-carat price than a 1.00ct diamond.” Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
As we explained in our guide to buying diamond jewelry online, we highly recommend buying from a trusted online vendor instead of a brick-and-mortar jewelry store. Buying online gives you access to a larger selection of diamonds than any offline jewelry store can offer. And online retailers are generally cheaper than physical stores.
Our top recommendations based off of hundreds of secret shopping experiences are James Allen and Blue Nile. You can read more about it in our Best places to buy an engagement ring article.
In terms of size, a round 1/2 carat diamond cut to ideal proportions measures 5.1mm in diameter, compared to 6.5mm for a 1 carat diamond. In terms of weight, a 1 carat diamond is obviously double the weight of a half carat diamond.
In price, however, a 1 carat diamond will almost always cost more per carat than an equivalent 1/2 carat diamond. That means despite being double the weight, the 1 carat diamond price should be more than double.
Your typical 1/2 carat diamond will run you $1,000-1,500. A similar 1 carat diamond will cost you roughly $6,000, about four times the price for double the size.
There is no easy answer to whether it’s a good idea to go for a 1 carat or 1/2 carat diamond ring. It comes down to a variety of factors, and your own preference. In particular, you’ll need to consider your budget. If you don’t have much to spend on an engagement ring, don’t blow your entire budget on the highest carat weight you can get. It may be a better idea to go a little smaller, with a 1/2 carat diamond ring, in order to get a more beautiful diamond.
If you’re struggling to know how much your budget should be, this guide is here to help. You can always contact us at any time for personalized help.
Diamonds Pro helped us pick a diamond, according to our budget and a few other criteria. We ended up buying a loose diamond from James Allen. We felt that we got very good value for money. The diamond was appraised by another jeweler where we live, confirming its characteristics and value. Finally, we had the diamond set in a ring by a local jeweler, and we’re very pleased with the result! Thank you Diamonds Pro 😊…see more
Received great in-depth assistance from Veronika on my quest to buy an engagement ring for my partner. It can be quite a minefield for someone without industry know-how to get a great, well-cut diamond on the online marketplace, so the second opinion was not only welcome but desperately sought. In the end, I received wonderful advice and am confident the diamond purchased was the best my budget could afford! Thank you…see more
The setting is another important choice you have to make when buying a 1/2 carat diamond engagement ring. The right setting can accentuate the half carat diamond you picked out, it can mask or accentuate certain characteristics of the diamond, and in some cases can make a relatively small half carat diamond appear larger.
There is also an element of personal preference in play here. Some settings may simply appeal more or less to the wearer’s style.
Here are some examples of 1/2 carat diamond rings in a few popular settings, to give you and idea of what you have to choose from:
We’ll finish up by answering some of the most common questions we see asked regarding 0.5 carat diamonds and 1/2 carat diamond engagement rings.
While a 1/2 carat diamond is towards the smaller end of diamonds used for engagement rings, it is by no means too small. With diamonds, size is not everything. A 0.5 carat diamond can still make for a beautiful and elegant engagement ring, while a larger diamond with poorer grades in other areas may not measure up to the same standard.
If you’re concerned about the visual appearance of a 1/2 carat diamond ring, consider setting it in a halo setting, which can amplify the center stone and give the illusion of a larger diamond.
You can get a beautiful 0.50 carat lab grown diamond for $450. That saves you about $300 over a natural diamond. If you are going with a simple setting, that savings is significant. But if you are spending $2,000+ on the setting, you are better off sticking with a natural diamond.
You can read our article discussing the differences between lab-grown and natural diamonds here.
In the diamond industry, a diamond carat is sometimes referred to by a point system. A 1 carat diamond is 100 points, meaning a 0.50 carat diamond may also be called a 50 point diamond, or a 50 pointer.
Realistically, you’re unlikely to see diamonds referred to this way. This language is not used very often, particularly in diamond engagement rings. However, if you hear the term “point” in relation to the weight of a diamond, know that this is what it means.
There are more factors in play when picking out the perfect engagement ring, and a smaller diamond can often make for a more beautiful ring than a bigger, yet lower-quality diamond (example of a bad diamond here).
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