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For many, a two-carat diamond is the optimum weight for an engagement ring. While the buying trends still see a 1.00ct diamond as the most popular choice for brides to be, where budget allows, a 2.00ct diamond is a dazzling thing to be admired.
It is still a highly wearable weight, but undoubtedly gives a sparkle and impact that is sure to turn heads.
But choosing a 2.00ct diamond can be tricky. At this size, the cut and quality of the diamond need to be high to allow the true beauty to shine through. For this reason, it is more important than ever to consult the 4 Cs and take great consideration in choosing your stone.
As always, certification is essential, and a larger diamond is far less forgiving when it comes to color and inclusions.
A poorly cut 2.00ct diamond can look glassy, cloudy, or simply will not sparkle unless the utmost care has been taken in selecting it.
A well-cut two-carat diamond is a thing of scarcity, so I would strongly suggest looking at online options, who will have a larger inventory of better quality stones than a brick and mortar jeweler. If you’re a skeptic of purchasing expensive jewelry online, check out my post on the benefit of purchasing online here.
Now I am going to take you through some of the most commonly asked questions when buying a 2.00ct diamond so that you can find a high quality, exceptional diamond at this weight.
There is a huge spectrum of beauty among two-carat diamonds, and subsequently an equally huge spectrum of prices. You can pick up a much lower quality 2.00ct diamond for around $6000, whereas the best diamonds can set you back anything close to $40,000.
A budget around the $10,000 mark will ensure you get a good quality diamond (around a J in color and SI2 in clarity).
For around $13,000 you will be looking at a diamond that is an I in color and an SI1 in clarity. I believe this to be the sweet spot between quality and value. The final cost will also be greatly determined by the quality of the cut as this essential factor will have a great impact on both the price and the beauty of the diamond.
Diamonds are priced per carat. It is important to understand that the price does not increase or leap with each increment in weight. For example, the difference between a 0.95ct and a 0.98ct of the same quality would be tiny, if there was indeed a difference at all.
The difference in price is determined by the weight brackets, or categories. For example, a 2.00ct diamond might cost $8,400 per carat, whereas a 3.00ct diamond may cost $10,300 per carat.
Here I covered how to calculate diamond prices so you don’t get ripped off.
In the past, people have been advised to ‘buy shy’ to save money on their diamonds. They would opt for a 0.90ct diamond to avoid the increase of going to a full carat or above. While this works in theory, the increased search for ‘buy shy’ diamonds has subsequently increased the price of these stones. A diamond is an emotional purchase, and the market is driven by the buyer.
Put simply, the best way to buy a 2.00ct diamond is to set your budget, then compare the qualities available from online retailers that fall within your price range. You may come across a diamond that is just shy of 2.00ct for a good price but attempting to base your search on the carat alone will limit your selection hugely.
The average main street jewelers are unlikely to hold good quality diamonds of this weight as they are expensive to buy in, and you will often find that a brick and mortar store will have just a handful of 2.00ct diamonds in their inventory which again can limit your search.
As always, the best prices can be found online. Blue Nile holds the largest inventory and is a great place to begin your search. It also has a greater selection of fancy cuts than other online retailers.
I would suggest taking a look at Whiteflash for its cut quality, particularly if you are considering a round brilliant or princess cut, its in-house diamonds A CUT ABOVE are some of the best quality diamond you find on the market. Plus, its diamonds are well priced and of exceptional quality. You will also be able to analyze the extensive technical data that Whiteflash provides, and really assess what you are getting for your money.
At this weight, it is also essential that you are able to accurately assess the diamond for any flaws or inclusions. Both James Allen and Whiteflash offer thorough and exceptionally high-res images and videos of their available diamonds, making the process of finding an eye-clean diamond much easier.
A common mistake made by people buying diamonds is confusing the carat weight for the size of the diamond. Carat weight is not the only thing that will dictate the appearance of diamond size on the hand, in fact, the most significant factor when it comes to size is the shape of the diamond.
Any shape with an elongated feature will appear larger than a round brilliant diamond; for example, a 2.00ct oval will appear larger on the hand than a 2.00ct round brilliant. A princess cut or a marquis cut will also give the maximum impact in relation to carat weight.
At this weight, any flaws or inclusions will be more obvious. For this reason, an eye-clean step cut – such as an emerald cut – can look stunning.
The precise lines of a step-cut are greatly enhanced as the size of the diamond increases, provided that they are combined with a good clarity grade (VS2 and above for step-cuts).
It is always important to choose the best possible color and clarity for your diamond; however, the differences between the color and clarity grades become even more prevalent in a 2.00ct diamond.
Your choice of grade is all about finding the ‘sweet spot’ between high quality and a good price. As the table of a 2.00ct diamond is larger than that of a 1.00ct diamond, a greater attention to detail is needed when looking at stones of varying clarity grades.
I would recommend a minimum of a SI1. At this grade, inclusions and blemishes will not be visible to the naked eye. If you are choosing from a vendor who has high-res images available, such as James Allen and Whiteflash, it may be possible to find a SI2 with inclusions that fall at the edges of the stone and therefore have a limited effect on light return and overall appearance.
While analyzing the images and videos may take a little time, it is possible to save money by finding a diamond that has inclusions with minimal visual impact.
Color grades can have a big impact on price, but this is also an area where it is possible to maximize budget. At a weight of 2.00ct, I would recommend a near colorless stone within the G-I grades. If you are setting your diamond in yellow or rose gold, this may allow you to move down one or two color grades, as the natural warmth of the metals will create the illusion of a whiter diamond.
A platinum or white gold setting is less forgiving, and you will need to consider diamonds of an H and above to ensure you have the gleaming white appearance that is desired in a 2.00ct diamond ring.
Blue Nile website is excellent for playing with color and clarity grades and getting a better idea of prices. Using the sliding bars and setting for your price range, you can begin to build an idea of where you can save money, and where it’s worth opting for a higher grade.
It may be tempting to go for the maximum color and clarity, but if your budget allows, then this is of course a great way to ensure an excellent looking diamond. However, if like most of our readers you have a set price in mind, remember that it is the cut of the diamond that will have the greatest visual impact on the stone.
You will not be able to tell the difference between a G or an H colored diamond, but you will see the difference between a diamond with an excellent cut grade and one with an average cut grade.
Your money is best spent on the factors that have the greatest overall effect on the appearance of the stone, so do not feel that moving down one color grade is going to ruin the beauty of your diamond.
Use the tools offered by online retailers to experiment with color and clarity grades that are available within your outlined budget and remember that a color grade of D or a clarity grade of Flawless will carry a huge price tag, but to the naked eye will not necessarily give a greater impact.
A 2.00ct diamond is a thing of exceptional beauty; while the shape is entirely down to personal preference, a GIA or AGS certification is essential.
A beautiful diamond deserves the proper paperwork, and you will only truly know what you are getting for your money by using these internationally renowned institutes to certify your stone.