0.5 Carat Diamond Ring Guide (8 Big Questions Answered)

Last Updated on July 16, 2023 by Juli "Jewels" Church

Are you looking to buy a .5-carat diamond ring but don’t know where to start?

Great! In this learning Jewelry guide, we'll discuss:

Here we’ll discuss: 

  • What a .5-carat diamond ring?
  • What can I expect to spend on a .5-carat diamond ring?
  • Where are the best fine jewelry retailers that sell .5-carat diamond engagement rings?
  • And much more! 
5 carat diamond ring buying guide explained (1)

A .5-carat diamond ring is generally a high-priced item, which means you need to carefully consider all your options to get the maximum value for your money. Speaking of options, you might be interested in our take on the best diamond stores online and their respective selling points.

Luckily, you've found this guide to ensure you’re making an informed decision. 

Let’s jump in! 

What Is a .5-Carat Diamond Ring? 

A .5-carat diamond ring, also known as a half-carat diamond ring, is a ring set with a .5-carat diamond. 

Carat, or ‘ct’, is the standard unit of weight for diamonds, and it is the equivalent of 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. Thus, a .5-carat diamond weighs around 0.1 grams or 100 milligrams.

A .5-carat diamond can also be referred to as: 

  • 0.5ct or .5ct  
  • 1/2 carat or ½ carat  
  • 50 pointer (100 points = 1 carat)  

You should also know just because a jeweler calls a diamond a "half-carat", doesn't necessarily mean it weighs .5 carat points exactly. Popular carat weights like half carat weights follow a 7 point rule. This means that a half carat can either be .7 carat points below or above .5 carats to be considered a half carat.   

A diamond weighing .43 carat points and  another weighing .57 carat points can both be called "half carat." This is one of the many problems with retailers that only give whole number sizes on their tags, not carat points. They can also charge more for popular sizes. 

However, due to differences in their clarity, color and cut, no two .5-carat diamond rings will be the same and their value will also be different.

Carat Refers to Weight, Not Size

When shopping for .5-carat diamond rings, remember that carat refers to diamond weight. Most of the time, more carats don’t necessarily translate to a bigger or better diamond.

Without good cut, clarity and color ratings, more carats won't give you the best value for your money.

Read also: What do you need to know about diamond carat weight?

However, diamond size can actually refer to its relative table surface area. Different diamond shapes have different table surface areas.

For example, an oval cut diamond will have a bigger table surface area compared to a round cut diamond.

What's Price Range of a .5-Carat Diamond Ring? 

While more affordable than 1-carat diamond rings, the price of a half-carat diamond ring can range from $1,000 to $3,500 and above. Factors such as the diamond’s clarity, color and cut rating can greatly impact its price, as can the place you're buying it from. 

How Are .5-Carat Diamond Rings Priced? 

When it comes to the price of a half-carat diamond ring, the most important pricing factor is its carat weight. Specifically, its weight value and the price per carat for its weight category. 

Price per carat is simply the total price of the diamond divided by its weight. For example, the price per carat of a 1-carat diamond that costs $3,000 will be $3,000. 

That's because you divide the total price of the diamond (in this case, $3,000) by its carat weight (1 carat) and get a price per carat of $3,000. Similarly, if a 0.5-carat diamond costs $2,000, then its price per carat is $4,000. 

Much like a 1-carat diamond ring, a .5-carat diamond ring will also be priced based on its color, clarity and cut rating.

A half-carat diamond with an E color rating, VVS1 clarity rating and “Very Good” cut rating, like this one from James Allen, costs around $960. On the other hand, a .5-carat diamond with a slightly lower color rating (H) but similar clarity and cut ratings, like this one, costs $840. 

.5-carat diamond ring, E color, VVS1 clarity, "Very Good" cut. Diamond cost: $960. James Allen.

.5-carat diamond ring, H color, VVS1 clarity, "Very Good" cut. Diamond cost: $840. James Allen.

It takes just one factor, such as the color rating, to increase or decrease the price of a .5-carat diamond ring. However, two diamonds with different attributes can still be priced similarly if the three Cs — clarity, color and cut — are balanced out. 

If you're unsure which clarity or color rating to choose, don’t worry! We’ll cover the best clarity and color ratings for .5-carat diamond rings in more detail later in this guide! 

Where to Buy a .5-Carat Diamond Ring

Before you head to your local jeweler to look for the perfect half-carat diamond ring, we recommend you start your search online.

As you'll soon find out, online retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile offer a greater range of products at different price points. Other retailers like Costco also have great finds. You can choose from a selection of ring settings, metal types, as well as classic and fancy shapes. 

This means you’re far more likely to find a beautiful .5-carat diamond ring that’s within your budget with less effort and stress. 

Based on our years of experience in the diamond industry, we recommend Blue Nile and James Allen as two of the best diamond ring retailers on the market.

Here's why:

Why Go to Blue Nile to Buy .5 Carat Diamond Rings

blue nile logo

In addition to a fine selection of .5-carat diamond rings, Blue Nile provides certificates from GIA and AGS for all their diamond products.

What’s more, they offer an extensive selection of fancy diamonds, from round cut to princess, marquise and oval cut diamonds, as well as a variety of setting types and different metal options.

Click here for our full review of Blue Nile

Why Go to James Allen to Buy .5 Carat Diamond Rings

As one of the biggest online diamond jewelers, James Allen has over 18 years of industry experience and a large product offering.

All their diamond products come with quality certificates from prestigious grading entities like GIA and AGS, ensuring your .5-carat diamond ring has been accurately graded and priced.

James Allen products also feature high-quality imagery so that you can review the quality of their diamonds by yourself. 

Click here for our full review of James Allen

What's The Best Clarity Rating for .5-Carat Diamond Ring?

One of the four most important attributes of a diamond is its clarity rating.

According to GIA, clarity is a term used to describe the absence of inclusions and blemishes in a diamond. 

Based on the number of diamond inclusions and surface defects, diamonds are graded from best (no inclusions visible under 10x magnification) to worst (obvious inclusions visible under 10x magnification):   

  • Flawless (FL)  
  • Internally Flawless (IF)  
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)  
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)  
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)  
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3)  

The clarity grade of a diamond can dramatically alter its brilliance and fire.

For instance, a .5-carat diamond with I3 clarity will have very noticeable inclusions and blemishes that impact its transparency and brilliance. It will also appear darker and ‘dirtier’ compared to a diamond with FL, IF, VVS or VS clarity. 

That’s why diamonds with a higher clarity rating are more expensive. They are more beautiful, more brilliant and also rarer compared to diamonds with a lower clarity rating. 

For a .5-carat diamond ring, we recommend a minimum diamond clarity rating of VVS2 as most inclusions and surface defects won’t be visible to the naked eye. 

The most important thing to remember is that even a higher GIA Clarity rating won’t make much of a difference if inclusions and blemishes are obvious. You can find lower-clarity diamonds that appear identical to Flawless or Internally Flawless ones, only they're less expensive. 

We recommend shopping with a jeweler that offers quality product imagery so that you can review the clarity yourself. 

Learning Jewelry recommends: If a diamond with VVS2 clarity is still too expensive for your budget, you can go for a lower clarity rating, such as VS2 or SI1, if the inclusions are nearer the edges of the diamond as you may be able to hide them underneath the prongs of the setting. 

What's The Best Color Rating for .5-Carat Diamond Ring?

Not all diamonds are made equal. Some are perfectly colorless, some are unaesthetically yellow and some are only slightly tinted. 

Diamond color describes how colorless a diamond is. 

The GIA Color Scale evaluates the color of diamonds under very precise lighting and viewing conditions. Depending on their level of colorlessness, each diamond is assigned a color rating ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light).

The more colorless a diamond is, the higher its Color rating and the more expensive it is. 

When shopping for a half-carat diamond ring, you should look for diamonds with a GIA G-I color grade, which appear nearly colorless to the naked eye and are more affordable as well. Moreover, the setting of the ring can greatly influence how colorless the diamond looks.

If it’s set against a colored metal, such as yellow or rose gold, even a lightly tinted diamond will appear more colorless. On the other hand, a lighter metal like white gold or platinum will only exacerbate the diamond’s color. 

Let’s take, for example, this ring with a platinum setting from James Allen and compare it to this one with a 14K rose gold setting, also from James Allen. While they’re both round cut diamonds with VVS2 clarity and J color, the first one appears more yellow than the second one. 

FAQ About .5-Carat Diamond Rings

What Does a .5-Carat Diamond Ring Look Like (Is It Big)? 

Factors such as the clarity, color, cut and shape can greatly influence the appearance of a .5-carat diamond ring. First, it’s important to remember that, while a .5-carat diamond will be smaller than a 1-carat one, carat value (or the number of carats) has nothing to do with the actual size of a diamond. 

For example, an .5-carat oval cut diamond engagement ring, like this one from Blue Nile, might actually appear bigger than, or the same size as, a 1-carat princess cut diamond ring, like this one. 

The takeaway?

Different .5-carat diamond rings will vary in appearance and size depending on their cut and shape.

If size is important and you’d rather have a bigger-looking .5-carat diamond, choose a more elongated shape with a slightly larger table surface area, such as an oval, pear or marquise cut diamond. 

What Is a .5-Carat Diamond Ring Worth to Sell? 

If you’ve decided to sell your half-carat diamond ring, you should first understand that you're unlikely to break even on its original price. However, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of retaining as much of its original value as possible. 

Start by evaluating the quality of your .5-carat diamond ring. What is its clarity rating? What about its color grade? Is it rated as an “Excellent” cut diamond on the GIA Cut Scale, or is the cut rating lower? 

Once you’ve determined the quality of the ring, start looking for places to resell it. Generally, we recommend selling your .5-carat diamond ring online as this will allow you to retain between 60 and 70 percent of its original value.

For example, the resale value of a .5-carat diamond ring priced at $2,000, like this one from James Allen, can range from $1,200 to $1,400. 

If you bought the ring from a reputable jeweler and the diamond comes with a GIA or AGS certificate, then you’re more likely to sell it for a higher price since its provenance and quality can be demonstrated.

How to Get the Best Value When Buying a .5-Carat Diamond Ring? 

When shopping for a .5-carat diamond ring, you want to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. By following our advice below, you’ll be able to navigate all your options with ease and pay a fair price for your diamond ring. 

The first and foremost thing you should always do is only buy from jewelers that provide either a GIA or AGS quality certificate for their products.

This will ensure that your .5-carat diamond ring is exactly what they claim it is so you’re not getting ripped off. The GIA and AGS are the most prestigious diamond grading entities in the world and they grade diamonds following very strict and consistent grading criteria. 

Simply put, a certificate from either the GIA or AGS is an accurate indicator of a diamond’s quality, so you should steer clear away from any jeweler that either provides one from a different diamond grading entity or doesn’t provide one at all.

Both Blue Nile and James Allen offer quality certificates from the GIA and AGS, so any diamond product purchased from them will have been accurately evaluated, graded and priced. 

Don’t forget the other 3 Cs of your .5ct diamond ring — clarity, color and cut — as they, too, impact the price you’ll be paying. If you’re on a budget and are looking for a reasonably priced half-carat diamond ring, here are the clarity, color and cut ratings we recommend: 

  • Clarity: Diamonds with VS1 or VS2 clarity generally appear eye-clean and have no inclusions or blemishes visible to the naked eye. After all, if you can’t see any defects, then a .5ct diamond ring with a lower clarity rating will be just as good as a “Flawless” or “Internally Flawless” one. 

  • Color: Look for .5ct diamonds in the G-I color range, as they are nearly as colorless as those in the D-F range but cost significantly less. You can get away with a slightly more tinted diamond if you choose a yellow gold or rose gold setting, as the intense contrast will give the impression of a nearly colorless diamond. 

  • Cut: While your chosen diamond shape isn’t necessarily going to impact the price of your .5-carat diamond ring, you should always shop exclusively for diamonds with an ‘ideal’ cut, which has been graded as “Excellent” on the GIA Cut Scale. Remember that the higher the quality of the cut, the more brilliant and beautiful the diamond. 

  • Shape: Select a diamond shape you find aesthetically pleasing. However, if you’re concerned with the actual size of the diamond, you can give the impression of a larger diamond by selecting a shape with a bigger table surface area, such as marquise, oval, pear, emerald and radiant. 

Recommendations for .5-Carat Diamond Rings 

Don’t know where to start? 

No problem — here are some of the .5ct diamond rings we recommend:

.5-Carat Solitaire Diamond Rings 

.5-Carat Halo Diamond Rings 

.5-Carat Pavé Diamond Rings 

.5-Carat Vintage Diamond Rings 

Final Thoughts On .5 Carat Rings

Shopping for a .5-carat diamond ring doesn’t have to be daunting. All you need is a little guidance to help you navigate your options and select a half-carat diamond ring that’s both beautiful and within your budget. 

Take the time to consider different jewelers and compare products and prices before you make your choice.

Both James Allen and Blue Nile offer an extensive selection of quality .5-carat diamond rings at different price points, and you can either pick a ready-to-ship ring or build your own with the .5ct diamond and setting of your choice.

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