Trading Carats for Wearability

Less carat diamond engagement ring

The times they are a-changin’—minimalism is in and the big flash just might be out. Bling has long been a symbol of status. Celebrities and royals have led the charge with a ‘bigger and shinier is better’ mindset. Lately however, people seem to want something a little different.

Jewelry trend watchers began noticing smaller stone requests about two years ago—’smaller’ meaning somewhere around the one-carat mark. Now, of course some people still want a big whopping diamond. But when did you last see a massive, are-you-serious rock on your BFF’s finger? Millennials and Generation Z-ers are all about the quality and ethics of their stone, rather than the size.

Less carat diamond ring doesn’t mean less brilliance

While thrifty, soon-to-be-engaged couples are considering cost, it may not be the main reason for the shift in style. It seems that the real transition is towards quality and sustainability. It’s a wild concept, but these young couples could quite possibly be spending more for a smaller product. Why?

It seems a little backwards, but lots of times the biggest diamond is not giving you the ‘best bang for your buck’. ‘Bang’ is about the brilliance of the diamond, an element that is controlled by the quality of the cut. Often, gemstones are cut to maximize carat size rather than detailed beauty.

Diamond Fire & Brilliance

Sometimes a diamond cutter is thinking of economic gain rather than optimal light performance of the stone (fire and brilliance). The diamond market has a tendency to value carat more than cut. This means the cutter can charge more for a finished diamond if he keeps the size or carat weight larger.

This makes sense for the diamond cutter, but the wearer of the ring might be a little worse off. If the cutters take liberties with the stone for the sake of increased size it can negatively impact the diamond’s optics.

The precision of the diamond will determine how it looks to human the eye. If you want the diamond to be the main attraction, compromising in cut quality might not be the best idea. This is a ring you’ll wear every single day.

Wearability of diamond engagement ring

The world moves fast these days. People want jewelry that can seamlessly transition between any activity—date night, yoga class, after school pick-up. The more delicate and simpler the ring, the easier the transition.

Simple diamond engagement ring

Simple diamond engagement ring

And it’s not just people in the market for the first time who are craving more petite diamonds. People are getting their once-loved large diamond rings redesigned. It seems that many women feel more comfortable with a smaller, everyday diamond.

Simpler engagement rings style

What used to be considered purely a ‘wedding ring’ style, some brides are opting for a simpler band style as their engagement rings. The thinking comes down to the practicality of a band rather than a large flashy solitaire for everyday wear. If you go this route, there is the option to simply stack the engagement and wedding bands together—very cute.

If you’re still daydreaming of a big, heck yeah stone, power to you! If you’d rather something more petite, you go girl! What matters is that YOU love your stone and you feel warm and fuzzy every time you glance at it.