Choosing the size of a pendant is tricky, since everyone has different preferences and different neck sizes.
If you’re buying a diamond solitaire pendant as a gift, take a look at other necklaces to get a sense of what carat diamond looks best and also consider if this is a dress-up/dress-down or special occasion gift.
Very small diamonds at the base of the throat add a little sparkle and a lot of elegance to any outfit. This weight is great for those who prefer understated or delicate jewelry. With a gold chain, a solitaire diamond in this range could cost from $150 to $500.
At 0.25 cts, a round diamond measures about 4 mm in diameter, a great size for a noticeable but not showy pendant. For some petite frames, this might be the ideal size for dress-up/dress-down staple jewelry. At this weight, a pendant would cost about $450 to $700.
A half-carat round diamond will be noticeable and perfect for both everyday wear and special occasions. Measuring about 5 mm across, a diamond this size will certainly have plenty of sparkle. With a budget of $1,500, you can find a beautiful half-carat pendant. At this weight, however, you may want to have a jeweler build your pendant and choose the diamond yourself.
With a diameter of about 5.7 mm, a pendant of this size is sure to catch compliments. Still in the range to either dress up or down, a 0.75-ct diamond pendant will have a lot of sparkle. It may even be too much for some styles. At this weight, choose your own diamond to ensure it has great sparkle. A pendant this size will cost around $2,000.
For those that need more sparkle, a one-carat diamond pendant might be the best size. At about 6.5 mm across, this might be the upper limit of what you can pair with jeans and a t-shirt. Of course, pricing jumps at this weight. A one-carat diamond pendant would cost at least $4,000.
1.50 carat and Larger
At larger sizes, diamonds become very sparkly and may be too much for a casual outfit. Still, some enjoy the look of a 1.50-ct diamond pendant for dressy workplaces.
With pendants, there’s no limit to how large a diamond you can get. Unlike fingers and ears, the neck lets you wear heavier jewels.