How to Buy 2 Carat Diamond Rings with Vivid Intense Sparkle

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July 7

An ideal 2 carat diamond ring stands out as a symbol of elegance and luxury. However, two carat diamond prices are exorbitant, so it pays to research before you buy. Otherwise, you risk blowing your hard-earned cash on a dull-looking rock rather than one that takes her breath away.

You've come to the right place if you're searching for a remarkable-looking center stone that captures her heart. This comprehensive guide provides all the information you need to choose a stunning 2 carat diamond engagement ring.

We have more than 35+ years of experience in the niche of diamond light performance. In that case, we know what characteristics to look for and what to avoid. In addition to sharing our recommended proportions we'll demonstrate the importance of optical precision.

Be advised: this is not the usual lightweight gloss-over of the Diamond 4Cs. Rather, this is a deep dive for those who appreciate diamonds exhibiting superior sparkle and performance. Of course, we'll also cover the basics along the way, but only as a gateway to excellence.

Visual comparison featuring a stunning 2-carat diamond on the hand alongside other sizes for easy reference.

Examples of Carat Weight by Brian Gavin.

What is a 2 Carat Diamond ring?

A 2 carat diamond weighs 400 milligrams, with 'carat' denoting the unit of weight for gemstones. Diamond carat weight is a standardized unit of measurement, with one carat equaling 200 milligrams.

Trade members may refer to a 2-carat diamond as a 200-point diamond. Historically, that terminology refers to using carob seeds as a reference for weighing gemstones. Specifically, one carob seed is equivalent to 0.01 diamond carat on an old-fashioned scale.

However, there is no modern-day correlation between the weight of carob seeds and diamonds. Today, using "points" to refer to portions of carat weight merely provides a way to describe fractions of carat weight. For example, a quarter carat equals twenty-five points, and one-third of a carat equals thirty-three points.

How big is a 2 carat diamond ring?

The average diameter of an ideal 2-carat, round brilliant-cut diamond is approximately 8.10 mm. However, the size varies depending on the proportions, and higher optical precision is crucial for creating edge-to-edge brilliance.

Understanding the distinction between the carat weight of a diamond and the perception of its size is fundamental in diamond selection. Carat weight refers to the diamonds' weight in metric carats, and size refers to how large it looks face-up.

A 1-carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. Therefore, a 2 carat diamond weighs 0.4 grams or 400 milligrams. However, diamonds of equal carat weight may appear larger or smaller depending on proportions and cut quality.

Detailed image of a 2-carat diamond ring showing millimeter size and gram weight.

Brian Gavin Black 2-Carat Diamond Ring.

1 Carat versus 2 Carat Diamond Rings

Many engagement ring shoppers wonder about the difference between 1-carat and 2-carat diamond rings. First, it's essential to note that 'carat' is a unit of weight measurement for diamonds and gemstones. Secondly, a diamonds' proportions affect our perception of size because weight can be hidden in depth.

A one-carat diamond weighs approximately 200 milligrams, so a 2-carat diamond weighs 400 milligrams. The visible size of diamonds increases according to the carat weight, making two-carat diamond rings more impressive than one-carat.

The price difference between 1-carat and 2-carat diamonds is equally as impressive as the size. Two-carat diamond prices are generally more than double the price per carat for one-carat diamonds. Part of the reason is the relative rarity of diamond crystals large enough to produce 2-carat polished diamonds. 

When comparing these two diamond sizes, it's also essential to consider factors like clarity, color and cut quality. While a 2-carat diamond ring may be bigger and more expensive, its beauty and brilliance heavily depend on these other characteristics.

Ultimately, your budget, personal preferences, and the occasion's significance determine whether you opt for a 1-carat or 2-carat diamond ring. Remember that while carat weight is an essential characteristic, it's only one contributing factor to your ring's overall beauty and value.

Ladies hand adorned with a series of half-carat, 1 carat, 2 carat, and 3 carat round diamond solitaire engagement rings.

1 Carat vs. 2 Carat Diamond Rings • Blue Nile.

How Cut Quality Impacts Your 2 Carat Diamond

A diamonds' proportions influence the visible outside diameter or how large the diamond appears in the face-up position. Simultaneously, the degree of optical precision determines the volume of light return and intensity of the sparkle factor.

Undesirable proportions and lesser optical precision increase light leakage, making the middle and edges look dark. Whereas higher consistency increases light return, intensifies the sparkle factor, and creates edge-to-edge brightness. Here's a deeper look at how specific aspects of the diamond's proportions contribute:

Image showing a 2-carat diamond ring on a woman's hand for size reference.

Flor de Lis Pavé 2-Carat Diamond Ring.

What Is Two Carat Diamond Table Diameter?

The table diameter is the ratio of the width of the diamond's table facet to the overall average diameter. A larger table diameter might affect your perception of 2 carat diamond size. However, it can also compromise the diamond's ability to refract light, creating light leakage. We recommend a range between 53 - 58% for round brilliant cut diamonds.

What Is Diamond Total Depth Percentage?

The total depth refers to a diamond's height from the culet to the table compared to the average diameter. A steeply-cut diamond has a smaller diameter, and the additional carat weight is 'hidden' in the depth. Conversely, a shallow diamond has a larger diameter but will not refract light effectively, diminishing the sparkle factor. We recommend a range between 59 - 61.8% for two carat round diamonds.

What Is Diamond Pavilion Angle?

The lower half of the diamond, known as the pavilion, dictates the volume of light return. For optimum performance, we recommend a range between 40.6 - 40.9 degrees for two carat round brilliant cut diamonds. Any deviation from that recommendation will likely increase light leakage, as can be determined using an ASET or Ideal Scope.

What Is Diamond Crown Angle?

The upper half of the diamond, known as the crown, determines the balance of brilliance and dispersion. We recommend a range between 34.3 - 35 degrees for two carat round brilliant diamonds. Less than 34 degrees will enhance its white sparkle or brilliance but diminish its colored sparkle or fire. Over 35 degrees will increase the fire but decrease brightness and create obstruction under the table facet. 

What Is Diamond Girdle Thickness?

The girdle is the outer edge of the diamond where the crown (upper portion) meets the pavilion (lower part). If the girdle edge is extremely thick, the diamond could look smaller from the top view. Conversely, if the girdle edge is less than 0.7% thin, it may be brittle and subject to damage.

What Is the Best 2 Carat Diamond Shape?

The outline or diamond shape can influence the perception of size. The edge-to-edge brightness of Hearts and Arrows round diamonds makes them look larger than standard cuts. However, elongated shapes like emerald-cut, marquise, oval, and pear look bigger than rounds of similar carat weight.

Popular 2 Carat Diamond Shapes:

Many confuse Cut with Shape, which is the geometric outline of the center stone when viewed from above. Refer to the following in-depth buying guides for specific advice on classic diamond shapes.

What will a 2 carat diamond look like on my finger?

The wearer's finger's size and length can influence the diamond's perception. For example, a 2 carat diamond might look larger on a smaller finger than a larger one. Consequently, the size and shape of your fingernails also factor into the equation.

Now you know that carat weight indicates how heavy a diamond is in metric carats. However, a combination of factors, including the cut quality, shape, setting, and finger size, affect the perception of size.

What ring setting makes 2 carat diamonds look big?

The setting style affects our perception of a diamond's size. Halo settings, for example, make the center stone look larger by adding extra sparkle around the edge. In contrast, many prefer the traditional Tiffany solitaire-style engagement rings.

Many think that different shapes require specific setting styles. However, a princess-cut diamond solitaire doesn't look much different than a round brilliant. Likewise, a round halo setting doesn't look much different set with an oval brilliant or pear-shaped diamond.

Therefore, you should focus on finding the best-looking two-carat diamond in whatever shape you prefer. Consequently, the same premise applies to what alloy to choose, such as platinum, rose gold, white gold, or yellow gold. Choose whichever precious metal appeals most to your personal style and preferences.

Pro Tip: Six-prong settings are more secure than four prongs because three consecutive prongs must be bent back to remove the stone. Simultaneously, six prongs evenly set along the edge of a round brilliant cut diamond maintain the shape. Whereas four prongs tend to draw the eyes out to "the four corners" and can make a round look square.

What are the 4Cs of Diamonds?

The Diamond 4Cs: Carat weight, Clarity, Color, and Cut quality, are the core characteristics determining a diamond's quality and price. With so many options available, it's essential to understand the factors contributing to a diamond's beauty and value.

Spoiler Alert: We primarily focus on diamond cut quality because it dictates the light performance and intensity of the sparkle factor.

Carat Weight: What is the meaning of 2 carats?

A 'carat' is a standardized measurement unit that describes the weight of a diamond. Specifically, one carat of diamond weight equals 200 milligrams or one-fifth of a gram. Comparatively, a 2 carat diamond weighs 400 milligrams, and 5 carats equals one gram.

Under FTC Guidelines, a diamond weighing between 1.98 to 2.02 carats is legally a 2 carat diamond. This is crucial when buying two carat diamond rings, due to the notable gap in the price per carat.

Under those circumstances, it's essential to know where differences in diamond sizes affect prices. Consequently, this legal loophole is one of the main ways disreputable jewelers take advantage of consumers. More hidden factors contribute to diamond costs than differences in color or clarity grades. Read our in-depth article on diamond prices for more information.

Clarity: What's Best for a 2 carat diamond?

Conversely, diamond clarity refers to an absence of inclusions rather than the presence of clarity characteristics. The GIA diamond clarity scale begins with Flawless descending to Included to the third degree.

If you want an eye-clean diamond, we recommend VS2 clarity as a minimum. However, an exceptional SI1 clarity diamond may suffice if you scrutinize it sparingly. Consequently, without 10x magnification, anything higher than VS2 faces up the same to the naked eye.

Note that the consistency of clarity grades varies from lab to lab, as does their interpretation of diamond quality. There can be huge differences between the average price of GIA-graded diamonds and second or third-tier laboratories.

Insider Tip: The industry defines an 'eye-clean diamond' by glancing at the center stone from 9-12 inches. Diamonds are eye-clean if the inclusions are not readily and immediately visible from that distance.

Color: What color is best for a 2 carat diamond?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond color on a scale from D-colorless) to Z (light yellow). Consequently, the color grades describe an absence of color rather than its presence.

If you prefer bright white 2 carat diamonds, we recommend D-G color due to the relative absence of color. In contrast, H-I color diamonds are slightly warmer and more affordable. Similarly, J-K-L color diamonds exhibit a little more warmth but cost significantly less.

PRO TIP: The color of the metal touching the edge of the stone influences it by about one color grade. In that case, setting an I-color diamond in white metal prongs makes it appear closer to H-color. Likewise, placing it in rose or yellow gold makes it appear about one grade warmer.

Cut: What determines diamond cut quality?

A diamond's overall cut quality refers to the proportions, symmetry, and consistency of facet structure and alignment. On the one hand, the proportions dictate the volume of light return and the balance of brilliance and dispersion. On the other hand, the degree of optical precision determines the magnitude of light leakage and sparkle factor intensity.

In other words, diamond cut quality directly impacts the diamond's brilliance, sparkle, and overall visual appeal. A well-cut diamond reflects and refracts light effectively, maximizing its beauty and enhancing its optical performance. Cut quality is graded on a scale that includes terms such as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.

How much is a 2 carat diamond ring?

Two-carat diamond prices vary dramatically based on the 4Cs and whether the gems are natural or lab-grown. Branding, ethical mining, and environmental concerns also account for price differences.

According to the latest Rap sheet, the wholesale price for a 2-carat, I1 clarity, M-color, round diamond is $1300 per carat. In contrast, a Flawless, D-color diamond is about $43,500 per carat. In that case, 2-carat diamond prices vary from $2,600 to $87,000 depending on individual characteristics.

Given the considerable performance and price differences, it's essential to prioritize the 4Cs according to your preferences. It also underscores the importance of choosing a reputable dealer and making an informed decision. Our free Diamond Concierge Service can help you search for the most brilliant diamond based on performance.

Why Are 2 Carat Diamonds So Expensive?

Natural two-carat diamonds cost more than smaller stones due to their size and rarity. Similarly, earth-mined diamonds cost more than readily available lab diamonds. Consequently, the rarity of earth-mined diamonds increases accordingly with carat weight due to several factors:

  1. 1
    Relative rarity: Larger natural diamonds are significantly less common than smaller diamonds. The supply of rough diamonds suitable for cutting into larger sizes is relatively limited compared to smaller stones.
  2. 2
    Cut Loss: During the cutting and polishing process, larger diamonds require removing more rough material to achieve the desired proportions. Cutting a 2-carat ideal cut round diamond requires rough material weighing 5-6 carats on average. In contrast, it only requires 2.5 to 3 carats to produce a 1-carat round of the same caliber. The resulting rough diamond material loss increases the cost and adds to the rarity of larger diamonds.
  3. 3
    Supply and Demand: Many consumers prefer 1-carat diamonds due to cost factors, personal preference, and practical reasons. However, 2-carat diamonds are quickly becoming the new normal as people strive for their rings to stand out.
  4. 4
    Price Increases: Diamond prices per carat increase exponentially rather than proportionally on a linear scale. Wholesale diamond price reports, like IDEX and Rapaport, list prices by common carat weight range. Consequently, there is a significant price per carat increase between the 1.99 - 2.00 carat marks.

In summary, relative rarity varies and depends on specific characteristics and market conditions. Nevertheless, the material necessary to polish 2-carat diamonds is less abundant than required for 1-carat stones. The combination of lower natural occurrence and higher demand contributes to higher per-carat prices.

2 Carat Diamond Prices:

The following Hearts and Arrows diamonds will help demonstrate the differences in price and performance.

Black by Brian Gavin ASET

Black by brian gavin




  • Super Ideal Cut.
  • A+ Optical Precision.
  • A+ Hearts & Arrows.
  • Advanced ASET.
  • 7.92 mm diameter.
James Allen True Hearts Ideal Scope for 2-carat diamond.

James Allen True Hearts




  • AGS Ideal Cut.
  • A- Optical Precision.
  • A- Hearts & Arrows.
  • Standard ASET.
  • 8.35 mm diameter.

In this case, the first option weighs less than two carats but has an average outside diameter of 7.92 mm. It's a great example of saving money by buying a slightly less than 2 carats diamond. Consequently, diamond prices significantly increase at specific intervals commonly known as the "magic marks."

Comparing Apples to Oranges

Notice the hue and saturation intensity difference between the ASET and Ideal Scope images below. The Black by Brian Gavin ASET reveals the highest light return and even light distribution. In contrast, the semi-translucent section along the True Hearts table's edge indicates slight light leakage.

Black by Brian Gavin ASET
ASET Scope Black by Brian Gavin 2-ct-diamond.
James Allen True Hearts Ideal Scope

The Black by Brian Gavin diamonds cost more and perform better in this case. Consequently, all three diamonds are in the Top 1% of the annual round production and perform better than most. However, this is unsurprising because Gavin holds the patent for maximizing light performance in the modern round brilliant cut diamond.

Top Picks for a 2 Carat Diamond Ring

Black by Brian Gavin 2-carat diamond.

2.13 carat, Black by Brian Gavin Diamond.

This Black by Brian Gavin Diamond represents the Pinnacle of Diamond Cutting today. The Ultimate in Light Performance and Sparkle Factor.

James Allen True Hearts 2-carat diamond.

2.06 carat, James Allen True Hearts Diamond.

This James Allen True Hearts diamond exhibits a high volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

Blue Nile GIA Excellent Cut Diamond Reviews.

2.83 carat, Blue Nile GIA Excellent Cut.

This Blue Nile GIA Excellent cut diamond should exhibit a high volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

Where can I buy a 2 carat diamond online?

In the world of diamonds, size matters, but so do the quality and the resulting price. Traditionally, many opt for the Tiffany experience. However, more people are buying loose diamonds online for the following reasons:

  • Availability.
  • Convenience.
  • Price range.
  • Quality grades.

Where's the best place to buy 2 ct. diamonds online?

There are many places to buy diamonds online, and more pop up daily. Our 35+ years of experience in the diamond business provides us with a unique perspective. That's why we recommend a select few (former competitors) based on personal experience and their dedication to customer service:

Each brand is unique, yet they all share a commitment to quality and craftsmanship. We recommend Brian Gavin Black and Whiteflash A Cut Above if you want collection series diamonds. Consequently, Brian Gavin holds the patent for maximizing light performance in the modern round brilliant. These vendors offer a wide variety of engagement ring styles for 2-carat diamonds in the most popular alloys:

  • 14k white gold (or yellow gold).
  • 18k white gold (or yellow gold).
  • Platinum.

How big will a 2 carat ring look on my finger?

A 2 carat diamond is undeniably eye-catching and widely recognized as a significant engagement ring. While a two-carat ring on your finger can appear quite sizable, its look varies based on finger size, ring design, and diamond shape. Consequently, the average diamond engagement ring in the United States hovers between 1.00 - 1.20 carats.

Are 2-carat diamonds good for an engagement ring?

Due to their impressive size, many consider two-carat diamonds an exceptional choice for engagement rings. Its commanding presence and radiant sparkle make it a symbol of commitment as enduring as the diamond itself.

Please take advantage of our Free Diamond Concierge Service. We're your best resource if you want a diamond that exhibits the best sparkle factor. We specialize in the niche of super ideal cut diamonds and light performance.

Guidelines for a stunning 2 ct. center stone

There is a wide range of options available within the 4Cs of Diamonds. Knowing how to balance the characteristics is essential if you want a stunning diamond ring. We recommend searching for loose diamonds rather than premade engagement rings to ensure the best quality and value.

There are significant price differences between natural and lab-created diamonds. However, it's possible to buy a high-quality diamond regardless of its origin due to technological advancements. If you want a stunning center diamond, the key is to focus on cut quality above all else.

Remember that the average engagement ring in the United States contains a one-carat center diamond. In that case, a larger stone doesn't necessarily need two carats to be impressive. Consider diamond sizes based on value and their relationship to diamond prices in correlation to the magic marks.

The difference between 1.90 and 2 ct diamonds in a solitaire ring is not readily apparent across the dinner table. Consequently, it's also essential to note the difference between the center stone size and the rings' average carat weight.

For example, an engagement ring with a 1.50-carat center diamond and (2) half-carat side stones has a combined 2-carat total weight. However, the price difference between a 1.50 and 2 ct center diamond is substantial. Consequently, you can avoid these weight category traps by focusing on loose diamonds and choosing a setting.

What 2 Carat Diamond Ring Styles Look Best?

Choosing the ring is integral to shopping for 2 carat diamond engagement rings. Thankfully, many options are available regardless of what diamond shape you are looking for. Of course, you'll find settings for 2-carat diamond rings in all the popular alloys:

  • 14k and 18k white gold.
  • Yellow 14k and 18k gold.
  • 14k and 18k rose gold.
  • Platinum.

First, you'll want to choose an alloy type that compliments your skin tone and preferences. Secondly, you'll want to remember that there are no hard and fast rules for what alloy type will look best. After all, everything is mostly a matter of personal preference and taste. With that in mind, you should choose the ring style and alloy combination that looks best for you.

At the same time, the color of the prongs or metal that holds the diamond in place is an important consideration. After all, the color of the metal that touches the edge of the stone will influence the perception of diamond color.

Generally speaking, setting a diamond in white metal prongs will make it appear to be about one color grade whiter. Whereas setting the same diamond in yellow or rose gold prongs will make it seem about one grade warmer. Although this may be true, the color of the setting itself is literally no consequence.

How to Pick a Two Carat Engagement Ring (Video)

2-carat ring buying guide video by James Allen via YouTube.

How to Pick the Ring that Says YOU by James Allen.

The Six Prong Fishtail Pavé Setting

The six-prong Fishtail pavé setting by Brian Gavin is extremely popular with our clients. Consequently, the inspiration for the name lies in the fishtail pattern created by the pavé prongs.

The sparkle factor of the accent diamonds is breathtaking because they're cut to the same precise standards as Brian Gavin Signature diamond center stones. In that case, they will sparkle just as much as the center diamond in your ring.

Fishtail pavé setting by Brian Gavin

In other words, you don't have to worry about outgrowing this ring in the future. It can be sized easily without removing diamonds from the ring's underside. Consequently, Brian Gavin's jewelry division is state-of-the-art and on the same floor as the diamond division. In that case, Brian Gavin can custom-design your engagement ring to your exact specifications.

Tapered Baguette Setting

This tapered baguette setting from James Allen is a popular timeless classic. It has the clean look of a traditional solitaire with two tapered baguette shape diamonds to spice things up a bit.

This setting is also suitable for a pear shape diamonds, princess-cut diamonds, and oval-cut diamonds. It is also available in the most popular alloy types and goes well with diamond eternity rings.

Many think that this is the perfect setting for a 2 carat diamond. However, it also looks great with everything from 0.50 carats and up. Consequently, you'll find ring styles similar to this from all the vendors that we work with. It's one of the most popular ring styles ever, second only to the Tiffany-style solitaire and halo settings.

Tapered Baguette Solitaire James Allen

2 ct Diamond Halo Settings

This Anita Halo Setting for Emerald Cut Diamonds by Brian Gavin is a personal favorite because it was designed for one of my clients. She was originally considering the French-set Halo from Ritani. However, she thought that their platinum ring felt light on her finger.

There were also additional design elements that Anita wanted to incorporate into her ring. Once Anita saw the spectacular sparkle factor of her Brian Gavin Signature diamond, she had them design her ring. It's become one of their most popular settings, and its name reflects her inspiration.

Emerald Diamond Halo Setting Brian Gavin

As can be seen, there are many ring styles to choose from for two-carat diamond engagement rings. However, we can review only so many designs in one article on two-carat diamond rings.

We invite you to use our Free Diamond Concierge Service. Under those circumstances, we can provide you with the personalized diamond-buying experience you deserve.

About the Author

Dive deep into the glittering world of diamonds with Todd Gray, the CEO of Gray Matter Development, LLC. Todd has 35+ years of experience as a diamond buyer and trade consultant. He ghostwrites content for several online vendors and is an avid Freediver, currently exploring the Cenotes of Yucatan, Mexico. Dive into brilliance with Todd Gray!