Buying a Large Carat Diamond for the Ring of Their Dreams

by Sasha t on Feb 07, 2023

Buying a Large Carat Diamond for the Ring of Their Dreams - Jack Weir & Sons

So, you’re in the market for a large carat diamond ring. Congratulations! This probably means you have something to celebrate. And there’s nothing we like to do more than celebrate - especially when diamonds are involved!  And if you’re here, it may mean that you are considering buying it online, and why not? We buy everything else online these days, why should this be any different? However, like any other large and important investment that we purchase online, we want to make sure that your experience purchasing a large carat diamond ring is as seamless and secure as your grocery deliveries! 

Perhaps the most important step in this process is finding a trusted partner to help you through the process. The internet is a great resource for purchasing the stone of your dreams, but it never hurts to have someone you trust to get a second opinion. Here at Jack Weir & Sons, we’re happy to help you through this process entirely online if that is your preference. You should never hesitate to reach out to a vendor to ask for more information, photos, or videos of a stone that you’re interested in buying. Any reputable source will 

We’ve put a guide together for you below as a map to help navigate the intricate world of online jewelry shopping. Of course, if at any point in the process, you’d rather talk to a human over the phone or in person - we’re here to help at Jack Weir & Sons (310-276-1280) and there’s nothing we’d rather do than help you find the perfect stone! 

Wait, what exactly is a carat?

Let’s take a step back and make sure we’re starting with all the facts. Namely - what is a carat and why should you want a lot of them? In 1907 the carat became the universal unit of measurement for a diamond's weight. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams and there are 142 carats in an ounce. This modern carat system has its roots in the carob seed - these small seeds from the locust tree are fairly uniform in size and weight and became a useful standardized way of measuring the weight of a gem. Carat is one of the invaluable 4Cs of a diamond. Along with clarity, cut and color, it defines the value and beauty of a jewel. 

A carat should not be confused with the karat, which is the measurement of gold or a carrot, which is a great source of vitamin A. 


Mid century 7.52 carat cushion cut diamond on a platinum setting ring


Ok, so now let’s define Large


Let’s talk specifics - what does a large carat diamond mean to you? This is important because when it comes to the size of diamonds, it’s all relative. Take for instance, Elizabeth Taylor - her smallest engagement ring was 4 carats and her largest? 33 carats. So, everything is relative my friends. But as non Elizabeth Taylors, it’s important to define the size you’re looking for and perhaps - why that size is important. Is there sentimentality in the number? Is there a historical ring that you are trying to model this ring after? Or are you just looking for the most blindingly brilliant sparkle there is? And what does that mean for you in carat size? 2-3 Carats? 3-5 Carats? 5+ carats? 10+ carats? Are you willing to sacrifice size for one of the other 4Cs? No judgment here, we just must ask the question to make sure you’re on the right track to the perfect diamond and ultimately the perfect ring. 

Mid century 4.10 carat round brilliant cut diamond in a platinum setting

What else does your dream diamond look like? 

Now it’s time to really get to thinking about the other descriptors you have in mind for this diamond. Are you looking for a modern diamond (think: Emerald Cut, Round Brilliant Cut) or an antique diamond like an Old European Cut, a Transitional Cut, an Ascher cut or an Old Mine Cut? For now, think more about the diamond and less about the setting - we’ll get to that later. 

Are you looking for more fiery light play within the diamond - more of a dispersion of white light into rainbow color? An Old Mine or Old European Cut may be calling your name. The facets of Old Mine and Old European Cuts are much larger than their more modern counterparts. These facets, in addition to much larger culets, are what are responsible for creating this extraordinary and colorful play of light. 

Or are you potentially looking for less fire and more brilliance - those small flashes of white light that are so scintillating and bright? In that case, you may want to veer more toward a more modern cut with a pointed base as opposed to a culet. 

There is not a bad choice to be made here, it is really a matter of personal taste. You might also question if you’d like a diamond with more history or if you’d like to be the first love story the diamond experiences. Yes, diamonds are a financial investment, but we cannot discount the emotional investment you are making at the same time.  


4.29 carat round brilliant cut diamond on a platinum setting


The less romantic part 

Let’s be honest, if you are in the market for a large carat diamond, you probably don’t need to be reminded that a budget is an important piece of the puzzle. However, Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” and we tend to agree. What’s important about understanding your budget here is not about how much you want to spend - but what you want to spend it on. As noted above, carats are only a piece of the equation when it comes to diamonds. We also must take color, clarity and cut into mind. We’ve gone over all of these in a more romantic way above, but now let’s get down to the brass (or more than likely the 18k gold) tacks. If you are looking for a large carat diamond with high color and clarity in a rare cut, you are looking at a larger price tag. If you are looking for a larger stone, but are happy with a warmer color or less clarity? There may be some savings to be had. 

Let’s talk about color and clarity for a second. The color grade of a diamond tells us how white a diamond is. The whitest diamond is a “D” and by the time you get to the color “Z,” there is a noticeable yellow tint. When purchasing a diamond of any size, grades D, E and F (colorless) and G,H,J,I (nearly colorless) will appear nearly the same to the general person, any differences might only be seen by a professional or under a loupe. 

Diamond color scale from colorless to light yellow

Another consideration when it comes to color is the metal color of the ring. The contrast of the color of the diamond to the color of the metal, also plays a part in how the diamond appears. If you are going to opt for a nearly colorless diamond, going with a yellow or rose gold setting will make the diamond appear whiter - if you choose a platinum or white gold setting, the warmer color will become more obvious.  

Now, the clarity of a diamond is an indicator of blemishes, or inclusions, and tells us how flawed the diamond is. Of course, the less flawed, the more valuable. The clarity grade goes from F(Flawless) to I3 (Inclusions 3) 

When looking for a large carat diamond, you should try to stick to VS2 or higher or find stones with blemishes on the exterior of the diamond, as opposed to the central focus. 

All of these options are of course, personal decisions - but as Mr. Franklin alluded to, the more you know, the better off you are. 

The Market 

When it comes to large carat diamonds, you should focus on finding the perfect stone - not the perfect ring. The stones get scarcer the larger the carat size - and you can always have that perfect stone reset. So, if you aren’t finding what you are looking for in a ring that already exists, you might consider looking at loose diamonds or changing your perspective when you are looking at existing rings. 

Once you find the stone - and believe us, you’ll feel it when you see it - it’s important to secure it. These stones are so limited, especially when it comes to larger antique stones, that it’s very important to make sure you hold onto the one that makes your heart flutter.

So, to summarize: 

  1. Determine your budget, your ideal stone and what kind of setting you envision
  2. Find a trusted partner to help you on your search! 
  3. Zero in on your perfect diamond. 
  4. Secure it! 
  5. Work with your trusted partner to set or re-set the diamond if needed to suit your needs!

It’s simple! If you are interested in working with a partner with 40 years of experience, please feel free to reach out to us here at Jack Weir & Sons. 

Here at Jack Weir & Sons we’ve spent the last 40 years traveling to Europe and all over the world, curating extraordinary estate jewels. JWS is where the old world meets the new world. Celebrate life, preserve history, discover your own priceless heirloom jewel. We are extremely grateful for our clients and the ability to help people to celebrate their special moments through one of a kind jewelry. To share that gratitude and our strong family values, we chose to partner with Baby2Baby. From November 2021-October 2022 we've donated $39,018. A portion of every sale goes towards children living in poverty to provide them with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. 

We offer in-person and Virtual Appointments and are happy to answer any questions about your favorite jewel. 

JWS Flawless Protection Plan: 
- Free Sizing & Overnight Shipping 
- 7 Day 100% Return Policy 
- 30 Day Exchange for Credit 
- Free Appraisal with Purchase 
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