How Much Does It Cost For A 1 Carat Diamond?

Are you looking for the perfect diamond to buy? Whether it’s for an engagement or wedding ring, we’re guessing you only want the best for your loved one.
How Much Does It Cost For A 1 Carat Diamond

It’s no secret that these dazzling stones don’t come cheap.

We’re certain you’ve already set a budget for the ring, but it helps to know precisely what you’re dealing with.

We’re here to help you get the best diamond for your budget so keep reading to find out how you do that.

How Much Do Diamonds Cost?

So how much exactly does a 1 carat diamond cost?

How much should you expect to spend?

To answer your questions, we’ll make it easier for you by making a comparison between the prices of a 1 and 2 carat diamond.

On average for a 1 carat diamond you can expect to spend anywhere between $2,000 – $25,000.

For a 2 carat diamond, the prices range from $2,000 – $30,000.

You’ll admit that’s a pretty steep pricing variance.

So what’s the reason behind these interesting differences in price?

Quite frankly diamond prices are pretty complicated.

The actual value of a diamond is determined by many factors which we’ll explain in this article.

Hopefully this will shed some light to help you get value for your money.

What Determines a Diamond’s Value?

Simply put; the real value of a diamond is largely determined by its overall appeal.

But to regulate diamond pricing in the industry, the GIA introduced a diamond grading system.

This method is aimed at creating a standard comparison between different diamonds.

And this grading system is based on what is known as the 4C’s of diamonds which stand for:

  • Cut

  • Color

  • Carat

  • Clarity

As mentioned earlier, there’re many other factors that influence the price of a particular diamond.

But this grading system will make it easier for both diamond dealers (and yourself) to get reasonable estimates when comparing similar pieces.

How to Get the Best Diamond Value Without Spending Too Much Money

The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to get the best possible diamond for your money.

But let’s get one thing straight:

I’m not promising that you can buy the same diamond for half the price.

That’s just downright impossible.

BUT, it’s very possible to get a similar looking diamond for half the price which neither you—nor your friends—will be able to tell the difference!

I’ll tell you how.

Here’s a little secret; professionals evaluate diamond pieces based on countless attributes.

But quite frankly when two diamonds with supposed varying attributes are placed together, the layman can’t even tell the difference.

Now why would you want to pay extra money for things that you can’t see?

Whether you’re looking to buy a 1, 2, or half carat diamond, the following tips and tricks will help you get the most bang for your buck.

1. The Diamond Weight

The weight of a diamond is arguably one of the biggest factors that can help you cut costs when selecting this stone.

The price of the diamond tends to increase as the carat goes up.

Here’s how:

Generally, the carat will determine the overall weight of the diamond.

And the weight ultimately determines the price.

This means that the higher the weight, the higher the carat and the higher the price.

And the opposite applies.

So to save yourself some money, buy a few sizes below your desired diamond carat option.

For instance:

  • Instead of a 2 carat diamond, buy a 1.90 carat

  • Instead of a 1 carat diamond, consider a 0.95 carat

  • Instead of half a carat diamond, opt for a 0.45 carat

Here’s the basic math;

if a 1 carat diamond costs you $6,000, the exact same diamond but with a 0.95 carat will cost you approximately $4,000.

This means that you get the same quality diamond for a 33% discount!

2. The Diamond Color

In the world of diamonds, the color basically refers to a how colorless a particular piece is.

As a general rule of thumb, the more “colorless” the diamond is, the greater its value.

And the presence of a yellow tint will lower the price.

These diamond colors are graded from D – Z

D represents the ideal color while Z is the lowest grade.

Diamond colors from I and below will start showing the yellowish tint.

But the reality is that the ordinary man can’t tell the difference between a D and G color unless of course you have an owl’s vision.

By opting for a color within the lower ranges, you’ll instantly save yourself some money.

In the case of a 1 carat diamond ring, the price increases by 15% with every grade.

So do you want to buy a G instead of a D and save yourself 15%?

You decide.

3. The Diamond Clarity

All diamonds have small inclusions or imperfections contained in the stone.

These inclusions can be anything from fractures to black points.

While some of these inclusions are barely visible to the naked eye, others significantly affect the diamond clarity.

According to the diamond grading system; the more apparent these inclusions, the lower the price.

Ideally you want a diamond with imperfections that aren’t as visible unless you’re viewing it with a magnifying glass.

Buying a diamond with more inclusions when compared to the flawless ones can save you up to 50%.

4. The Diamond Shape

Diamonds are available in different shapes.

A few popular shapes include the round, square, oval, cushion, and princess cut. 

If you’re looking for the best value diamond for your budget, your favorite shape mustn’t be the determining factor of your final selection.

Here’s why.

These shapes determine the overall price of the diamond.

And generally round shaped diamonds are by far the most expensive type when compared to other shapes.

Here’s an example: a 1 carat round diamond which isn’t as colorless and has less clarity can cost you say $6300.

A cushion cut diamond with the same specifications can cost you $3500.

So pick wisely.

5. The Diamond Cut

We’re all for giving you tricks to buy the best value diamond.

But here’s an area where we don’t compromise—the diamond cut.

The diamond cut contributes to its sparkle and brilliance.

So I recommend that you make the extra effort to buy the best possible cut you can buy.

Besides, the differences in premiums aren’t that huge.

Bottom Line

You can expect to pay between $12,500 and $15,000 for a 1 carat flawless diamond with a round shape.

On the other hand a 1 carat round diamond but with a slightly yellowish tint color, less clarity and excellent cut will cost you $6,000. (And $3,000 for the exact same diamond with a cushion cut).

That’s surely a bargain, don’t you agree?

The Diamond Price Chart Explained

The diamond price chart, also known as the Rapaport Price List, is the industry benchmark that gives you an estimation of a diamond’s value.

These price estimations are largely but not entirely based on the 4C’s.

Generally this price chart has the following sections:

  • Rows for the diamond color

  • Columns for diamond clarity

  • Cubes which represent the weight class or carats.

To ascertain the value of a particular diamond you pinpoint your desired weight class (carat).

Thereafter you cross check it with the row and column of your preferred diamond color & clarity respectively.

This will give you the final price.

Just keep in mind the following two important points:

  • The prices are in hundreds.

    Case in point; if the final price is 89, it actually means $8,900.

  • The diamond prices are per carat.

What Are the Downsides to the Diamond Price Chart?

As previously mentioned, this price chart has its own limitations.

Unfortunately, a lot of information that determines the overall value of the diamond is excluded from the chart.

This is rather unfortunate considering how many people tend to solely rely on the chart before making their purchases.

Let’s discuss some of the most important aspects not included in the chart.

1.      The Cut Quality of the Diamond

A diamond’s cut is considered one of the most important factors that affect a diamond’s value which makes its exclusion from the chart surprising.

The cut of a diamond measures its depth and table size.

But more than anything else the cut takes into account the symmetry lines and polish.

In other words: it contributes to the overall aesthetics and sparkle of the diamond.

And it’s no secret that a diamond’s stunning appearance is the number one reason why it’s widely sought after.

Who’d want to buy a poorly cut diamond, even if it’s the perfect color or size?

The difference in value of a well and poorly cut diamond can be as big as 30%!

That’s a pretty huge variance which significantly affects the value of a diamond to be excluded from the chart, don’t you think?

2. Fluorescence

Another important factor excluded from the chart is the diamond’s fluorescence.

This is basically the bluish tint certain diamonds have when held under UV light.

Mind you this isn’t a good thing. In fact, fluorescence is considered to be a defect within the diamond’s composition.

Like any other flaw, it significantly lowers the value of the diamond.

A diamond with a medium to strong fluorescent reduces the price by as much as 10 – 20%.

3. EGL vs GIA Certificates

Another important aspect not included on the chart is the diamond’s certification.

It’s often referred to as the 5th C and gives an indication of the diamond’s quality.

There are basically two certificates that come with diamonds: the EGL and the GIA with the latter resembling the higher quality.

And that’s the only one you must consider.

The EGL certificate usually inflates the actual quality of the diamond.

And as such an EGL diamond tends to fetch half the price of the equivalent GIA diamond.

But since this information isn’t included on the chart, you’ve no way of knowing this.

Taking the dealer’s word for it is your only option which isn’t always ideal.

You may end up paying more than you need to for an EGL quality diamond while under the impression that it’s a GIA.

What Are the Current Diamond Prices?

We’re going to give you a list of the actual prices of both 1 and 2 carat diamonds on the market to help you make an informed decision.

These prices are of diamonds with the highest values based on the following attributes:

  • Excellent cut

  • Excellent symmetry

  • Very good/ Excellent polish

  • Zero Fluorescence

Why did I pick these attributes?

While these factors aren’t necessarily a part of the 4C’s, or included on the price chart, they significantly contribute to the diamond’s real value.

Factors that You Can Waive

If you do find the prices too steep, you can always waive certain qualities such as the following.

Fluorescence  

This is one attribute that won’t dramatically affect the appearance of the diamond.

But it’ll drastically reduce the price.

Opting for a diamond with a faint to medium fluorescence will save you between 5 – 15%.

In addition, the reduced fluorescence can actually make a diamond appear whiter which is a positive with regards to its overall aesthetics.

Mounted or Loose Diamonds?

Diamonds can either be loose or mounted.

Note that all our prices are of loose diamonds because they’re cheaper than their mounted counterpart.

Designer or Non-designer Collection

Needless to say, designer rings are much more expensive than the non-branded ones.

So take that into consideration in relation to your budget.

Gold, Silver or Platinum?

The price is also affected by the material used in the ring’s construction.

Is it gold, silver or platinum? 

Naturally you can expect to pay a lot more for a platinum ring as opposed to a gold or silver one.

And now for the actual prices.

Prices of 1 Carat Diamonds

When it comes to engagement rings, 1 carat diamonds are the most basic form.

Over the last few years, the average price of a 1 carat diamond ring has been $6,000.

And I consider this type as the best value diamond you can opt for.

For this ring you can expect a white diamond color that’ll go perfectly with a yellow or gold ring.

It helps that it looks equally stunning to the ordinary eye.

If the price is too high for you, an excellent alternative would be a diamond that weighs between 0.90 and 0.99ct.

The cut on this particular piece is still rated as very good to excellent.

The only drawback is that it’ll include fluorescence.

For this diamond you can expect to pay around $4,350.

If you decide to buy one with a more pronounced yellowish tint, you can end up paying only $4,000.

Prices of 2 Carat Diamonds

In recent years we have seen a brief decline in the price of diamonds—especially the more expensive ones.

This is largely owed to the economic depression and general drop in demand for luxury items.

As such, an approximate 30% decrease was observed in the price of 2 carat diamonds.

Though still relatively expensive, this saw an increase in the demand for 2 carat diamonds.

So how much do 2 carat diamonds cost?

I’ll give you two options for comparisons sake.

On the higher end of the spectrum you can opt for a 2 carat diamond for say $30,000.

And bear in mind that I still consider this as a best value pick.

With this type you can expect a whiter diamond with better clarity and stunning aesthetics.

If your budget doesn’t allow, the alternative is to opt for either a 1.80 – 1.90 carat diamond which is more affordable, you may have to sacrifice some degree of clarity as it allows for more fluorescence.

But nonetheless, it’s still stunning to the naked eye.

My Recommendation

So what’s the verdict? From the above stats, the 2 carat ring costs three times more than a 1 carat ring with the same color, cut and clarity.

To save more, I’d advise you to purchase a lower carat ring compared to the perfectly weighed one.

This means instead of buying a 1 or 2 carat diamond, you opt for a 0.95 or 1.85 carat respectively.

Doing so will save you between 10 and 20%!

The Carat System Explained: What Does Diamond Price Per Carat Mean?

The general formula is this: the diamond price per carat is the full price of the diamond divided by its weight.

Here are some examples to help you better understand this principle.

Example 1

If a diamond is priced $5,000 per carat and you want half a carat, you follow this formula:

 0.50 * $5,000 = $2,500

The final price of the diamond will be $2,500.

Example 2

If a diamond is priced $5,000 and you want one that weighs 1.50ct, the following applies:

1.50 * $5,000 = $7,500

The final price of the ring is $7,500.

Comparing Prices Between Diamonds

You’re probably wondering why diamonds are priced this way.

As you may have figured out, diamonds are different.

And as such they can’t be priced the same.

The price per carat method will better help you compare two different diamonds.

But needless to say the more you pay, the better the quality of diamond you get.

To help you with your comparisons, bear in mind that the scarcity of a diamond affects the overall price.

Just how easy is the diamond to find?

A diamond’s scarcity will increase its price.

This means that the harder it is to find a particular diamond, the more expensive it is.

It follows that the easier it is to find a certain diamond, the cheaper it will be.

We list a few factors determined by scarcity that affect the price

High or Low Color Diamond

You’ll find that a high diamond color is more expensive than a low color one.

And in this case, the color has nothing to do with price.

But this purely based on the fact that a high color diamond is rare to find compared to the other type.

Weight of the Diamond

The same principle mentioned above applies to the weight of the diamond.

A 2 carat diamond is more expensive than a 1 carat.

Again, the weight has less to do with the price.

But rather it’s because a quality 2 carat diamond is much harder to find than a 1 carat.

It follows that the price per carat of a 2 carat diamond is much higher than that of a 1 carat.

So you’ll find that two 1 carat diamonds will cost far less than a 2 carat.

Is it Possible to Reduce the Diamond Price Using the Per Carat System?

Would you rather purchase a 1 or 0.99 carat diamond for 1% less of the amount?

Put differently; would you rather buy a 2 or 1.99 carat diamond for 0.50% less?

In my experience, most people would rather pay the slight variance to get a diamond with the full round weight.

The price per carat of diamonds changes depending on the weight’s steps or classes.

This basically goes to show that the price of the diamonds increases linearly as opposed to exponentially.

That’s the basic law of supply and demand.

What this means is that the price per carat of a 1 carat diamond is higher than that of a 0.99 carat.

As a result, the increase in total price of a diamond will be much more than the 1% weight.

Carat Doesn’t Mean Size!

The general misconception is that the carat and size of a diamond ring are the same.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The heaviest diamond isn’t necessarily the biggest.

With that mind, remember that just because you’ve bought a diamond with a lower carat size doesn’t mean you’ve settled for the smallest!

Conclusion

My advice; don’t get hung up on the 4C’s.

Do select your preferred diamond with regards to color, clarity and the other factors mentioned. But opt for one that’s slightly below your desired weight class. And save big!

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Dianoche PTE Ltd. is a diamond manufacturer registered in Singapore, as well as a diamond jewellery retailer. Our company is comprised of veterans in the world of diamonds and high-end jewellery.

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