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:
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.
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.
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%?
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.
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.
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?
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:
Very good/ Excellent polish