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A ruby bracelet with gemstones of alternating sizes

An Intro to Gemstone Size

Size has a significant impact on the value of every beautiful gemstone. Because each gemstone is unique, size varies greatly as well. Some gemstones, like quartz, are widely available in larger sizes, while others, like benitoite, typically come in smaller sizes. Understanding how size is determined will help you make your gemstone jewelry selection.

What's the Best Gemstone Size?

Preferred gemstone size is a matter of personal taste. Larger stones make a bold statement, smaller stones have a more subtle charm and sizes in between offer fantastic style versatility. The meanings of gemstones can also come into play when choosing a gemstone that best suits you.
An illustration of a gemstone from the side with a millimeter ruler over the gem's table

How Gemstone Size is Measured

Gemstone size is measured in carat weight and surface dimensions. Carat weight indicates how heavy a gemstone is, but it’s not the best measure of a gemstone's visual size. That’s because different gemstones have different densities, which means that two gemstones with the same carat weight won't necessarily have the same proportions. For example, a two-carat ruby is smaller than a two-carat diamond, but it’s denser, so it weighs the same as a less-dense diamond. 

In general, larger gemstones are more valuable than smaller gemstones. You’ll often pay less by buying more, smaller gems that add up to a certain weight than a single gemstone of the same weight. For example, four ½-carat emeralds or rubies will cost less than a single, two-carat emerald or ruby. 

Gemstone dimensions paint a more accurate picture of a gemstone's size as viewed from above. You can visualize how much of a gemstone is showcased in its setting by noting its diameter, length or width.

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