How To Buy a 5 Carat Diamond Ring

How To Buy a 5 Carat Diamond Ring Cover Photo
17 min read10 May 2023

If you want to make a statement with your ring — engagement, designer or cocktail, a 5 carat diamond ring will do the trick. A 5 carat diamond ring will be a ring that everyone will want to see — and be talking about. But if you pick a poor-quality stone you will be left disappointed with something looking more like a boulder than a diamond.

In this article we will walk you through what to look for, how to design a ring of this size, and who to trust when buying a 5 carat diamond ring.

How Big Is A 5 Carat Diamond Ring?

The size of a 5 carat diamond will depend on its shape. For example, a Round diamond will have a diameter of around 11.1 mm. This will appear twice as big as a 1 carat Round diamond which has a diameter of 6.5 mm. But don’t be fooled. The doubling of size is definitely noticeable, especially on a finger.

A 5 carat diamond is not five times bigger than a 1 carat.

As mentioned in the buying guide for a 2 carat diamond ring, carat is a measure of weight — not a measure of surface area.

1 carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. A 5 carat diamond is equivalent to 1 gram.

This also means that a 5 carat ring will not look five times bigger than a 1 carat diamond. But it will weigh five times more.

Total carat weight vs carat weight

There is a big difference between total carat weight and the individual carat weight of a single diamond.

To calculate the total carat weight, you add up the carat weight of all diamonds in the ring.

For example, if your diamond engagement ring band contains ten 0.1 carat diamonds, and you have a solitaire diamond centre stone weighing 1 carat, the total carat weight would be 2 carats.

However, this does not mean that you have a 2 carat diamond.

A single stone with a larger carat size has more sparkle than lots of smaller stones. However, lots of smaller diamonds are typically more affordable than larger individual stones.

At Four Words, we will inform you of each diamond’s carat size and the total carat weight.

3 stone Emerald diamond engagement ring.jpg

What To Pay Attention To When Buying A 5 Carat Diamond Ring

There are two big things that you need to consider when buying a 5 carat diamond ring: the 4Cs and the specific issues that come with each diamond cut.


If you are going to buy a 5 carat diamond ring, you don’t want to settle for anything less than the best that the eye can see. And at large carat sizes, colour becomes more apparent.

And it is for this reason we highly recommend buying a diamond colour that between D-E-F for anything above 2 carats. Anything less and you will start to see the diamond tinge yellow, brown and grey.

At Four Words, we guarantee to find you the best-looking stone that the eye can see — 5 or 0.5 carats.

If you are interested in a coloured stone, then the 4Cs don’t exactly apply in the same way as it does for an icy-white diamond. Instead, coloured stones are primarily graded by GIA on hue, tone and saturation.


There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the cut.

Only Round diamonds are graded on cut by all the major independent gemologists. The reason that the other shapes are not graded is that they do not have an independent measure of what is ideal.

If you are buying a Round cut diamond, we recommend buying an ideal-excellent-excellent diamond. This is the best Round cut diamond that you can buy. The diamond is close to perfectly symmetrical, has ideal proportions to reflect light, and is well-polished.

No matter what size of diamond you buy from Four Words, all our Round diamonds are the best that the eye can see.

When we help you pick out other shaped diamonds, our diamond experts and designers:

  • Check its proportions,
  • Visually inspect it
  • Check the diamond against its grading certificate.

Below is an example of when relying on grading reports alone can lead to picking a poorly cut diamond. The diamond on the left has much better light performance than the one on the right.

Example of two excellent cut diamonds


Clarity is the presence or absence of inclusions or blemishes in or on the diamond. The greater the diamond size, the more attention you need to pay to clarity. Why? Because bigger diamonds reflect more light. This means that inclusions and blemishes are easier to see.

At 5 carats we recommend using VS1 and above. This means that the diamond is very slightly included at 10x magnification — but flawless to the naked eye.

Whatever you choose, your diamond should not have any marks, blemishes or scratches visible at face value. And at Four Words, we believe that you also should not pay for things that you can’t see.

If you were to purchase a diamond from a wholesale website like Novita you can run into the problem of choosing a subpar stone because while on the certification it is deemed a good diamond, there are lots of factors that go into picking the best diamond that the eye can see — and that don’t make it onto the grading certificates. Picking your own diamond can be a time consuming process and there is a lot of technical jargon that goes into it.

It is for that reason at Four Words we pick the diamonds for you — and the best diamonds that the eye can see


Consider looking at diamonds that are between the range of 4.87 to 5.03. Typically diamonds that are slightly smaller (negligible to the naked eye) can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars less. In the jewellery industry this is called “buying shy”.

5 Carat Diamond Cuts: What You Should Know

**5 Carat Emerald Cut Diamond **

At 5 carats, the Emerald Cut can have issues. The two main risks are around windowing and extinction.

This is where poor-cut emeralds either leak too much light appearing clear, like a window; or don’t refract enough light and create very dark areas. You want to avoid diamonds like this.

Emerald Cuts to Avoid

While it is good to know what to look out for when picking an emerald diamond – it is important to work with a respected jeweller.

Example of well cut Emeralds

One frustrating part of selecting a diamond yourself is the amount of time you need to put into finding a well cut diamond. At Four Words we only work with the top 2% of diamonds in the world.

The other thing about 5 carat emerald cut diamonds is that it is more prone to chipping and getting caught on clothing. Therefore, we recommend bezels around the corners to protect your diamond. It will also make your daily experience of wearing a 5 carat Emerald cut diamond a lot easier.

**5 Carat Oval Cut Diamond **

Oval Cut diamonds can suffer from the ‘bowtie’ effect. And this is particularly so with a large diamond. A bowtie is the dark area which is near the centre of the diamond. They look like two black triangles. All longer-shaped diamonds are affected by this effect to some degree (including Pears, Radiants and Marquise).

Unfortunately, all oval diamonds (and any elongated shapes) will have a little bit of a bow-tie effect. It’s just the nature of the cut.

Well-cut diamonds minimise this effect, either blending into the diamond or creating a nice contrast effect.

You want to avoid diamonds with obvious bowties. It darkens your diamond and makes it appear less sparkly, making the diamond appear lifeless.

Example of Oval Cut with Bowtie

However, you need to be careful not to pick one that has a strong presence of it. This can be a bit tricky because bow-tie isn’t reported on the grading reports, so best to work with a trusted jeweller who can help you pick a diamond that avoids this.

East West Oval Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

**5 Carat Round Brilliant Cut Diamond **

5CT Round 6 claw Diamond Engagement Ring

Round diamonds look outstanding at 5 carats because of their symmetry and sparkle. And it is for this reason you want to pay attention to clarity and the cut.

At larger carat sizes, inclusions become more of a factor because it refracts more light. Larger inclusions, especially near the centre of the stone also become more noticeable. We recommend at least VS1 clarity and making sure that you are happy with the diamond by sending you an up-close video.

Example of different Round cuts

Symmetry is also important. Because your diamond is much larger, you will be able to see into it more. Here, asymmetry is worse than no symmetry.

Symmetry Excellent vs Poor

At Four Words we use ideal-excellent-excellent cut for all our Round diamonds. This ensures that your diamond will be sparkly and symmetrical at any carat size.

5 carat Round Diamond with scallop set diamonds along the band

**5 Carat Princess Cut Diamond **

The Princess Cut is a classic cut which can be styled in a unique way. And if you are looking for a larger looking stone at 5 carats, the Princess Cut could be your answer. They look bigger than Round Cuts.

And if you want to maximise the appearance of size with a Princess Cut, we recommend you consider a knife edge band to give the diamond elevation and the ability to reflect more light. The only compromise that you will have to make is that it will be more likely to catch on clothing.

Princess Cuts show their colour more than Round Cuts so it will be important to ensure you see no tinge. At Four Words, we typically with diamonds that are coloured G and above. And if you decide to work with us, we will choose you the best diamond that the eye can see.

5 carat Princess Cut Diamond Engagement ring with Bezels

It is important to note that Princess Cuts do not have a cut grading. We highly recommend working with a respected jeweller that can support you on picking out the best stones. Ultimately you want something that reflects the most light, and has incredible sparkle.

**5 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond **

Cushion cuts are having a moment. Cushion cuts have ratios that range from 1:1 in terms of length and width to 1:1.5 (something that looks more rectangular). The more elongated cuts are becoming more popular as with ovals, movals, pears and marquise diamonds. The elongated cushion cut is also becoming popular because they are more rare. It is definitely a statement piece.

Four Words Collection of Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

Cushion Cuts are very sparkly and super versatile. They don’t have any hard corners or sharp edges — perfect for a 5 carat diamond.

Cushion Cut Solitaire Engagement Ring

However, there are two types of Cushion Cuts so you need to be very careful about which one you buy. Working with a respected jeweller is essential because you don’t want to be caught out with a dull diamond.

**Crushed Ice Cushion Cut Diamonds **

Crushed Ice Cushion cuts have small facets that show little flashes or shimmers of sparkle. As the name suggests, they have features similar to pieces of crushed ice. The best way to identify one is visually.

Crushed Ice Cushion Cut Diamond

We tend not to recommend this style unless a customer explicitly wants one or is trying to incorporate a coloured diamond or gemstone.

This is because, diamond manufacturers intentionally cut Crushed-Ice Cushions to maximise carat weight, rather than trying to maximise light performance (or sparkle). They can lack contrast and sparkle when viewed in a face-up position.

While with coloured stones, this style of cut helps emphasise colour, which can sometimes be lost with a sparkly stone.

**Non-Crushed Ice Cushion Cut Diamonds **

We recommend this style because the diamond is optimised for light performance over carat weight. These Cushion cut diamonds are made to sparkle. They have bigger facets meaning on hand, they produce larger flashes resulting in a much better diamond.

The key difference is there is a visible cross extending on each corner of the diamond (these are the four main pavilion facets).

Non-Crushed Ice Cushion Cut Diamond

At Four Words, we will discuss the different types of Cushion Cuts on offer and guide you on choosing the best diamond. Typically, we choose the stone with the greatest sparkle — and in most cases this will be a non-crushed ice Cushion Cut diamond.

**5 Carat Asscher Cut Diamond **

5 carat Asscher Engagement Ring

If you are looking for an art deco look, the Asscher Cut is at the pinnacle of the era. As you look into an Asscher Cut Diamond you will see a well pronounced windmill tending towards the centre.

But because they are a fancy cut diamond, you can’t rely on buying just from the grading report.

The best way to solve this is to visually inspect the diamond with a jeweller you trust either through photos or videos.

Here are two real Asscher diamonds, with the same grading properties – they both have Excellent Polish and Symmetry. But the one on the left looks significantly better.

Both Excellent Polish & Symmetry Asschers but different showing different quality

Another thing to be aware of is “windowing” – which refers to how much light leaks from the diamond – i.e. how much you can see through it (like a window). Windowing is more apparent in Emerald cut diamonds. But can also affect Asschers.

If you can see your finger underneath this infers a high amount of light leakage.

Difference in light perfromance with Asscher cuts

And while we love the Asscher cut for its art deco style and aesthetics, it is not known for its sparkle. Round and Princess Cut diamonds are much more sparkly.

Where should I get my 5 carat diamond ring designed?

There are good jewellers and then there are excellent jewellers. And knowing how to spot a great jeweller will be key to getting the best diamond at a great price.

Here are some questions that you can ask to separate a good jeweller from a bad one:

Can you tell me about the 4Cs?

  • Good answer: The 4Cs are colour, carat, cut and clarity. Only Round Cut diamonds have a cut grade. All other shapes need to be visually inspected. At Four Words, we go beyond the 4Cs. While colour, cut and clarity are important, there are other things that go into choosing the best possible diamond that the eye can see.

  • Bad answer: All diamonds are graded on the 4Cs. You don’t need to worry about colour or clarity.

What is the difference between a lab grown diamond and mined diamond?

  • Good answer: Lab grown diamonds are optically, physically and atomically exactly the same as mined diamonds. The only difference is that lab grown diamonds are grown above ground whereas mined diamonds are below the ground.

  • Bad answer: Lab grown diamonds are not real diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are fake diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are not sustainable. Lab grown diamonds use more energy than mined diamonds.

What are some of the things I should be aware of when buying a 2 carat or larger Oval diamond?

  • Good answer: In terms of the diamond itself, you need to make sure that it doesn’t have too much of a bowtie. This is not shown on any of the diamond certificates. Bowties reduce the shine of the diamond with two distinct black triangles forming from the centre of the diamond. Also, at 2 carats, you want to make sure that the diamond is firmly held by the prongs or bezels to maintain its structural integrity.

  • Bad answer: You can rely on the certificates to pick an Oval diamond.

Could you tell me the difference between a crushed and non-crushed Cushion Cut diamond?

  • Good answer: Crushed Ice Cushion Cuts have small facets that show little flashes or shimmers of sparkle. As the name suggests, they have features similar to pieces of crushed ice. It maximises for carat weight and not sparkle. Non-crushed Ice Cushion Cuts have larger facets and are lot more sparkly.

  • Bad answer: There aren’t too many variations in Cushion Cuts.

The Four Words Custom Jewellery Process

At Four Words, we offer a complete custom jewellery process. We will listen to your ideas and then sketch up multiple designs for your approval. It also comes with infinite revisions. We only move forward to production and diamond selection when you are 100% happy with the design.

Round Diamond Engagement Ring Sketch

Also, our sales team are also designers. They can give you advice on the structural integrity of your jewellery. We will openly caution you on risky settings, how to avoid chipping, and design your jewellery in a way that it will last a lifetime. Some jewellers design and craft their jewellery so that you come back for servicing.

Want an obligation free consultation with our designers? Reach out to us here.

How much does a 5 carat diamond ring cost?

A lab grown 5 carat Round Cut diamond at G colour, VS1 and ideal-excellent-excellent cut will cost around NZD 27,000 - NZD 50,000. A mined 5 carat Round Cut diamond with the same grading scores will cost around NZD 275,000

If you are going to buy a 5 carat diamond, we highly recommend you don’t compromise on quality or design. Get the best that the eye can see, and a design you love. Even if you have found a design online that you like and want a re-create, we recommend going through the design process. We can point out areas that can protect the diamond, ensure your band doesn’t need to be re-plated and provide inspiration from our design library.


How big does a 5 carat diamond look?

A 5 carat diamond ring will give you quite a lot of finger coverage. It will also depend on the stone shape, any accenting stones you may add and diamonds you may have on the band.

Should I build my 5 carat diamond ring online?

At Four Words, we highly recommend you do not build such a piece of jewellery online. Ideally you want to work closely with a designer who understands how to pick diamonds, and how to design your ring to last a lifetime.

On websites such as Novita and Blue Nile, the responsibility of picking a diamond and design is on you. We have seen many of their past clients of these types of brands come to us to re-design their ring and buy a new diamond because of the problems they have had with their diamonds falling out.

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Diamond Illustration

Whether you’re just starting out or have done all your research, we are here to help.

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