When it comes to diamond engagement rings, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Gone are the days when a massive princess cut diamond symbolised ever-lasting love, instead, women are increasingly ditching traditions and opting for more unique engagement ring styles. That said, whether to celebrate an engagement or simply an act of self-love, there's a strong case for investing in diamonds. The somewhat outdated sentiment that 'diamonds are a girl's best friend' aside, high quality and ethically sourced diamonds hold their value over time and despite the cliche, are actually forever. Nothing elevates a look quicker than a pair of diamond studs, or a well-cut pendant.
When it comes to purchasing diamonds there's a lot of information to dissect and even more decisions to make. From the stone itself: Diamond clarity? Clarity grade? Diamond shape? Diamond size? Carat size? To the style: Round diamond? Emerald cut? White gold, yellow gold or rose gold? Halo setting? Choosing your forever diamond is no simple task. A good place to start is to determine your price range. Diamond prices are (usually) linked to their size and quality, so your budget limitations will help you narrow down your choices.
So, how much does a 2 carat diamond cost?
1 carat diamonds can cost anywhere from around AUD $2,000 to AUD $12,000. According to diamond grading expert, Ashley Portas, a $12,000 1 carat diamond "would be GIA certified as GSI1 with excellent cut, polish and symmetry, near colourless, slight inclusions but not near the table, and flawless from the naked eye."
But, if a 1 carat diamond just won’t cut it (pun intended), and you're looking for something a little bigger, a 2 carat diamond will definitely stand out. But, how much does a 2 carat diamond cost? Simply put, the cost of 2 carat stones is not double the cost of a 1 carat rock, they're actually much more expensive. Depending on the quality of the diamond, a 2 carat diamond can cost anywhere between AUD $8,000 to upwards of $100,000.
But to understand why that is, you need to first know a little bit about how diamond valuation works. With so many variables at stake, the price of a diamond is determined using the 4C's: cut, clarity, colour and carat.
The diamond cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond that will reflect light in a particular way – this is what determines its sparkle. The round brilliant cut is the most popular style, but others include cushion cut, oval cut and marquise cut.
Clarity of a diamond refers to the stone’s imperfections. Virtually all diamonds have "birthmarks" due to the way they are formed. These flaws are known as inclusions when they are inside the diamond and blemishes when they on its surface. And, if we aren't already confused, diamonds are graded on an 11 point clarity scale divided into eye-clean and non-eye-clean categories. Eye-clean - meaning no imperfections visible to the naked eye - are ranked from flawless or internally flawless (FL or IF), very very slightly included (VVS1), very very slightly included 2 (VVS2), very slightly included 1 (VS1) and very slightly included 2 (VS2). Non-eye-clean descriptors are slightly included 1(SI1), slightly included 2 (SI2) and I1 or lower.
Colour is a measure of how much colour, usually yellow or brown, can be seen in the stone. Flawless and colourless diamonds are the rarest, and, as a result, are more expensive.
In simple terms, the carat of a diamond is the weight of the stone and is arguably the biggest player in the cost game. Diamonds with a higher carat weight are much rarer and therefore command a higher price. Also, raw material for diamond cutters is easier to come by for smaller cuts.
As the rarity of a diamond increases dramatically with carat size, it's easy to see why the cost of a 2 carat diamond can be much more than 1 carat.
Unfortunately, there's no easy way to decipher diamond pricing - and we haven't even begun on the setting. Usually, when purchasing an engagement ring, the setting and stone come as one price direct from the jeweller. No two diamonds are the same and the factors that go into deciding value and price are endless. Our tip? Just choose something you like, get a second opinion and stick to your budget!
Looking for inspiration? Here, are some 2 carat-ish (remember, no two stones are the same) rings we are loving right now.