What the Average Girl Considers a Big Engagement Ring


(Image credit: Getty)

With all the engagements lately ('tis the season, after all), we've been noticing a wide range of ring shapes and sizes. Most of these gems in question have been spotted on celebs and trendsetters—in other words, they're massive by our standards. But what constitutes a "big" ring in the real world? Well, to get a sense of what you and I would consider a large rock, Who What Wear tapped five diamond experts to spill on the size they think average girls would consider big. Then we pooled their answers to find the average carat number.

Keep scrolling to see the final result and learn more from our panel of experts, including why girls think this specific size is so jaw-dropping and which other factors go into how large a ring actually appears. Plus, go a bit further to check out recent "big" celeb diamonds and to shop engagement rings of any size.



"Although we often find that a woman may know what a certain diamond size 'sounds' like, she doesn't always know what it looks like. There is usually a moment of serendipity when they realise how much bigger a diamond is in person, especially a Hearts on Fire diamond, which tends to face up significantly larger due to the perfect symmetry, perfect proportions, perfect polish, and perfect alignment. Of course, depending on where you are in the world, the answer will differ. However, on average, a two-carat is definitely a head turner, and overall women perceive this to be a big look!" — Krista Beermann, Hearts on Fire


"Most women think of two carats as a decent-size diamond, with a typical colour clarity ranging from VS1-VS2, F-G colour. [D is colourless.] A noticeably big diamond will be three carats and above. These are the ones that turn heads." — Scott Friedman, Gleem & Co.


"In 2015, the average carat weight purchased was 0.9 carats. Given that, the average carat size that someone would consider 'big' is anywhere from two and a half to three carats. However, there are many factors that influence the size of diamond that's chosen and what the average person would consider a 'big' diamond. Some of those factors include the location, the size of your hand/fingers, and the composition of the ring." — Oded Edelman, James Allen


"The average engagement ring has a carat weight of just over one carat, so we'd say anything upward of two carats would be considered large for a ring. While this obviously is a long way from Mariah Carey's 30-plus-carat or the current heart-shaped ring trend led by Nicki Minaj's and Lady Gaga's giant diamonds, most women probably wouldn't want to wear something that extravagant on their finger every day." — Brian Watkins, Ritani


"The average engagement ring in the U.S. has a centre diamond of about one carat and a total carat weight of approximately one and a half carats. An engagement ring around two carats or above would be considered 'big' for the average girl's standards, and anything three carats or above would likely elicit some serious jaw-dropping. Besides carat weight, several other factors, like the shape and cut of a diamond, can affect how large it appears. The cut of a diamond determines its sparkle and brilliance, and it can also affect its visual size. Two diamonds with the same carat weight can appear to be different sizes depending on the depth or shape of their cut. If a diamond is cut very shallow, it has more surface area and so may appear larger, but it would lack depth and sparkle, and it would receive a poor cut grade. Only round diamonds with a cut grade of 'very good' or 'excellent,' and fancy diamonds that meet our criteria for beauty are eligible to become a Forevermark diamond, the authority on diamonds for over 125 years." — Kristen Trustey, Forevermark

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Bobby Schuessler
Market Director

Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retialers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.