Diamond novices often do not realize quite how big a one-carat diamond can be, and it can come as a relief to realize that the size of the stone they have been imagining is a half-carat diamond instead – for a correspondingly reduced financial impact! A half-carat diamond of any cut will weigh 100 milligrams, and you may see it advertised as a 50-point diamond or as one-tenth of a gram. These all amount to the same thing, a weight of half a standard carat, which is 200 milligrams.
Size is Not Consistent
You might assume that every diamond that weighs half a carat will be the same size. This is not true because some diamond cuts are deeper than others, and this means that the table or top of the diamond seems smaller than those with shallower designs. The larger a diamond’s top surface (or table), the bigger the diamond is perceived to be, despite the weight being identical. A round brilliant half-carat stone will measure 5.2mm by 5.2mm, with marquise, oval, and pear cut diamonds of the same weight seeming bigger due to their more generously proportioned tables.
Don’t Be Precise
With such tiny differences from one diamond to the next causing price variations into the thousands, it seems contrary to advise a lack of precision as being needed. But, because most people buy and browse diamonds that are exactly half a carat, or one carat, or two and a half, etc, there is a small but significant price bump around these exact demarcations. If you were to ask for a diamond that is 0.46 of a carat (very nearly a half-carat, in other words) you will find the price is reduced by some five hundred dollars – much more than the difference between a stone that is 0.42 carats and one that is 0.46 carats!
How Much is Half a Carat?
The price of a half-carat diamond will vary depending on the cut, clarity, and color, just as it does for larger stones, but invariably, it will be cheaper for you to buy two half-carats than it is to buy a one-carat stone.
Dress It Up or Down
Depending on your desired result, you can set the half-carat diamond as simply or as ornately as you like. A simple smooth band that is fairly narrow will make the stone look great, creating an elegant result perfect for smaller hands. If you secretly wish your budget was considerably larger, though, you can opt for pave shoulders on the ring, or set the half-carat diamond in a halo setting, surrounded by a crowd of small melee or accent stones. Both of these expand the visual impact of the stone, making it seem bigger and more impressive.
When choosing a half-carat diamond, the rules are simple, and largely the same as buying larger diamonds: choose from the diamonds available in the following order: cut first, then color, and finally clarity. The latter two are not as obvious in a small stone as they are in a larger one, but the cut should always be the first choice as a good cut can enhance the value of your investment.