The Average Engagement Ring Size Right Now, Based on Our Data

How does your rock measure up?
Average Engagement Ring Size, Based on Our Data
Photo: Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock
Naomi Rougeau
by
Naomi Rougeau
Naomi Rougeau
Naomi Rougeau
Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor
  • Naomi writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in fashion, jewelry, and beauty.
  • She brings over a decade of experience as a writer, editor, and creative consultant.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Naomi was the senior fashion features editor at ELLE Magazine, where she also oversaw the publication's living and travel sections.
Updated Feb 28, 2024

While you might not know exactly how much your engagement ring costs, you're probably well aware of its carat size. And if you're curious about how yours compares to the average engagement ring size in the United States, we have the answer. The Knot's 2023 Jewelry and Engagement Study surveyed over 5,000 recently engaged or married couples across the country to identify the top proposal trends—and the results might surprise you.

When it comes to diamond details, carat size is one of the 4 C's that classifies a stone (along with cut, color, and clarity). The gem's carat is the unit that measures its weight, which can influence how big it appears. However, our findings show that the average engagement ring size isn't the most important factor to the couple—it's actually the cut and shape of the stone. Round-cut diamonds continue to be the most popular shape, with 41% of all rings falling into this category. And for many, including master jeweler Donna Distefano, quality is far more important than size.

In this article:

What is the Average Engagement Ring Size?

According to The Knot's study, the average engagement ring size (total carats) is 1.7 carats. Roughly half of all engagement rings fall between 1 and 2 carats, with 33% of rings sizing above two carats. This marks an +8% increase from the previous year and pertains to the center stone. It's important to note that the increase in stone size was seen across all gemstones, though diamonds remain the most popular.

Natural Diamonds

Natural (meaning mined from the earth) diamonds, have retained their status as the most popular stone for engagement rings. They also remain the most expensive. The average size of natural stone engagement rings clocks in at 1.6 carats, up slightly from 1.5 in 2022.

Lab-Grown Diamonds

Typically less expensive than natural diamonds, we attribute the rise in center stones over two carats to the increased popularity of lab-grown diamonds. Whether making such a choice due to budget or environmental concerns, the impact of lab-grown stones is undeniable. Should you decide to go the lab-grown route, consider the optics. It's been reported that many to-be-weds are swapping "too perfect" lab-grown stones for smaller rocks with perhaps a few occlusions as they're simply too good to be believed.

The Halo Effect

While The Knot's study focused on the carat weight of center stones, for those fixated on total carat weight, many of the more popular styles of engagement rings can push those numbers even higher. Side stones, halos and the celebrity favorite toi et moi setting all involve the addition of accent stones and amplify a ring's main stone for a bigger, bolder look.

How to Find the Right Carat Size for Your Ring

For master jeweler Donna Distefano, a bigger stone isn't necessarily the best way to go. "I find my customers are responding to quality, and I'm loving that, that they are not necessarily coming to me just to buy a big stone because they want something big, so their focus is on quality over quantity, and that's music to my ears," says Distefano. Instead, she likes to direct them to gemstones that are finer, and they may cost more even if they are small because they are so rare.

Do You

"Your engagement is yours, for you and your future spouse," says Distefano, who encourages couples to stay true to themselves. "It's not about keeping up with the Joneses or trying to impress your friends or in-laws. Simply put, there is no "right" carat size for your ring. Rather, the best quality ring that suits your style and budget is always going to be the ideal choice.

How to Increase Engagement Ring Carat Size for Less

If it's a bigger carat size you're after, there a myriad ways to achieve your goal. History repeats itself in design as elsewhere and some elements, like symmetry, just work. "Your eye responds to what's pleasing," says Distefano, on the topic of adding additional, complementary stones to create more of an impact in terms of size if that's your goal (though that's by no means the only way with which to achieve it).

Accent Stones

"When you have a center stone that's one size and it tapers down into smaller stones, it works as well in old designs as it does in new." Halos also continue to be popular and are a great way to create a more robust surround for softer, non-diamond center stones. Distefano's workshop sees a lot of inferior halo settings in need of repair, which happens often with more mass produced rings and the often tiny diamonds can be quite vulnerable to falling out if they've not been properly set.

Lab Grown-Stones and Diamond Alternatives

Now thoroughly mainstream, lab-grown diamonds are a great way to save or to procure a larger stone for less. That said, you may not want to go too large. A recent story proclaimed lab-grown diamonds "too perfect for their own good." It's not unheard of for couples to make a swap for a less perfect (and sometimes smaller) stone for which the optics are more in line with lifestyle and income. Also on the rise is moissanite, a clear stone created in a lab using naturally occurring silicone carbide, and it can offer even greater affordability than lab-grown diamonds. While not as hard as diamonds, moissanite comes awfully close at 9.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

No clue where to start? The Knot Vendor Marketplace is always a good idea.

Up Next
  • Man proposing to woman in middle of field
    Your Expert Guide to Engagement Ring Settings