Stunning and unique, diamonds are one of the most sought after gemstones when it comes to fine jewelry. And while these stones may simply come from carbon atoms, they’re usually worth a pretty penny. However, with every unique diamond, there’s a huge range when it comes to diamond prices. A round 1-carat mined diamond can range anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 (or more), and a round 1-carat lab diamond can range from $1,000 – $4,000. What largely determines the price of a diamond is its four C’s — carat, cut, color, and clarity.
Here’s everything you need to know to help calculate the price of your diamond.
The 4 C’s
Carat refers to the actual weight of a diamond and is a unit of measure equal to 0.2gm. For all diamonds, size is a significant contributor to the price. The diamond price will increase exponentially as the carat weight increases. All diamonds are priced per carat. The price will also differ from shape to shape, which we’ll review later on. For now, let’s look at the most popular (and expensive) cut diamond, the round. Round diamonds are more costly because of how they are cut. The more rough stone removed, the higher its price will be. More time and skill goes into creating a round diamond, and a round diamond will cost around 20% more than other diamond shapes. Below we will compare the prices of round lab-grown diamonds from Clean Origin versus round mined diamonds from Brilliant Earth. The range looks at diamonds with a color grade of H or higher and a clarity grade of SI1 or better (as of 8/5/2020).
Clean Origin Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Mined Diamonds
|Diamond Carat Weight||Clean Origin (Lab-Grown)||Brilliant Earth (mined)||Brilliant Earth (lab-grown)|
|.50 carat||$690.00 – $780.00||$1,170.00 – $3,910.00||$500.00 – $1,350.00|
|1.0 carat||$1,375.00 – $3,240.00||$3,470.00 – $18,340.00||$1,510.00 – $4,080.00|
|1.5 carat||$2,130.00 – $5,589.00||$8,240.00 – $21,370.00||$2,870.00 – $9,190.00|
|2.0 carat||$4,400.00 – $8,280.00||$13,380.00 – $37,560.00||$4,620.00 – $15,010.00|
|2.5 carat||$6,563.00 – $7,613.00||$23,660.00 – $40,170.00||$6,600.00 – $16,220.00|
|3.0 carat||$9,364.00 – $16,695.00||$36,660.00 – $56,960.00||$10,730.00 – $18,540.00|
As you can see, there is a vast range of prices from carat to carat, within a carat size, and when you compare lab vs. mined diamonds. A diamond with the highest price tag will almost always have the highest grade for clarity and cut.
The cut is the most important of the 4 Cs and will have the most significant impact on a diamond’s appearance. Diamond cut refers to how effectively light that enters the stone is refracted within and reflected back out. A skilled artisan will map out and cut each diamond, which will determine its brilliance and fire. The more perfect the symmetry, polish, and proportions the diamond has, the more brilliance it will have. Cut grades, in descending order, include Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, and Good. Only round diamonds are graded on their cut, while fancy shapes like princess and emerald shaped diamonds do not receive a grade. Clean Origin also offers some round diamonds in the “Hearts and Arrows” style of cut. These diamonds feature a precise cut and maximum brilliance. These diamonds are more rare — making up less than 1% of all the diamonds in the world — and are therefore more expensive.
Diamond color refers to the absence of color present in a particular stone. The color of a diamond is graded on a scale starting at D ranging down to Z. With D diamonds being colorless, and Z diamonds having a yellow color.
While color can affect the price of a diamond, often, there’s no reason to overpay for color. The difference between two different color grades can look identical color-wise and will help you cut down on price. Below we’ve compared 2 carat round, very good cut, VS2 clarity diamonds with different color grades (as of 8/5/2020). G, H, and I color graded diamonds are all considered “near-colorless,” and most people see little difference in these grades, especially when your diamond is mounted in a white gold or platinum setting.
|Color Grade||Price *Lab-Grown Diamond|
As you can see, there is quite a big difference between the three different diamond prices, solely based on their color grades. How much emphasis you put on color will also depend on the shape you’ve chosen. The body color of a diamond is likely to be more apparent in shapes with less depth or faceting, such as emerald-cut diamonds. Round brilliant diamonds, especially ones with “Good” or better-cut grades offer more fire and scintillation making any color less obvious when mounted. But remember, no matter what the color grade is, if the diamond looks good to you, then it’ll be a perfect choice.
Clarity is another important factor in determining a diamond’s price. Diamond clarity measures the incidence of natural inclusions or imperfections found in a stone. Ranging from Flawless (FL) all the way down to Included (I1, I2, I3). Clean Origin only sells diamonds above a SI2 rating. Sometimes jewelers use the term “eye clean” to describe a diamond’s absence of flaws. This just means that there are no visible blemishes to the naked eye. The higher the clarity (flawless, internally flawless being the highest), the more expensive the diamond will be. Look for a diamond that is “eye clean”, meaning any inclusions cannot be seen with the naked eye. To get the best looking diamond for the best value, we recommend these guidelines:
Round cut diamonds: Under 1 carat, VS2 or SI1 will look “eye clean.” Over 1 carat, VS1 or VS2 will look “eye clean.”
Emerald and Asscher cut diamonds: Choose a clarity rating of VS2 or better to avoid visible imperfections.
Princess, Radiant, Pear, Cushion, and Marquise cut diamonds: Choose SI1 or SI2. These fancy shaped diamonds hide imperfections better than most.
Diamond Price By Shape
Diamonds come in a range of sizes, but they also come in many different shapes. The most popular shapes being round, cushion, oval, princess, pear, and emerald. However, you can also find more unique shapes like Asscher, heart, radiant, and marquise. The most popular shape for an engagement ring is the round brilliant. Diamond prices will differ depending on the shape. A 1 ct. round diamond will not cost the same as a 1 ct. emerald with the same cut, clarity, and color. Below we’ve compared the most popular diamond shapes, all at 1 carat with an H color grade or higher and clarity of VS2 or better to show you how the price will differ (as of 8/5/2020). Remember, only round diamonds are graded on their cut, all other fancy shapes do not have a cut grade.
|Carat Weight||Diamond Shape||Price|
|1.0 carat||Round||$1,485.00 – $3,240.00|
|1.0 carat||Cushion||$2,200.00 – 2,267.00 * 1.02 and 1.01 carat|
|1.0 carat||Oval||$1,782.00 – $2,550.00|
|1.0 carat||Princess||$2,100 – $2,300.00|
|1.0 carat||Emerald||$1,782.00 – $2,244.00|
|1.0 carat||Pear||$1,980.00 – $2,100.00|
*Lab-grown diamond prices from Clean Origin.
Rapaport Price List
The Rapaport Price List, or “Rap List” is used by diamond dealers and buyers as a guideline when evaluating diamond prices, and released weekly. The prices are listed in hundreds, but remember that this isn’t the final say in price. This list is only for mined diamonds.
If you’re spending more than $1,000 on a diamond, it should come with a diamond certification. Every Clean Origin loose diamond or engagement ring comes with a diamond certification, using the same scientific rigor applied to mined diamonds. This certificate will give you peace of mind that the diamond you bought matches its displayed qualifications.
Ways To Save on a Diamond
Buy A Diamond Slightly Below the Next Full Carat
Another trick to saving money on your diamond is by choosing a diamond that is just slightly under a full carat size. 2 carats vs 1.8 carats will not only be cheaper, but the size difference is so small that you’re unlikely to notice the difference. Luckily, carat size doesn’t have to be the first thing on the budget chopping block! There are still a few other tips to help shave off costs without shaving down your diamond.
The only difference between a mined and lab-grown diamond is its origin. A lab-created diamond is “grown” inside a lab that replicates the natural growing process. Because lab-created diamonds remove the mining process, creating a shorter supply chain, lab-grown diamonds are 20-40% less expensive. This will allow one to purchase a larger or better cut diamond within the same budget.
Get A Halo Setting
The trendy halo setting is perfect for anyone looking to make a statement. Halo settings are ideal if you’re looking to save on the center stone but still want that wow factor. The smaller diamonds surrounding your center stone will make the diamond appear larger without spending more on increasing the ring’s carat weight.
Consider Fancy Cut Diamonds
If you’re looking to save on your diamond, consider a fancy-shaped diamond which is typically less expensive than a round brilliant diamond because less of the rough diamond is cut away during the shaping process. What is a fancy diamond? Anything other than a round diamond! This includes emerald, oval, cushion, Asscher, pear, heart, radiant, and princess. Another benefit of fancy shaped diamonds is that they often appear larger than round diamonds. For example, a 1-carat oval will look bigger than a 1 carat round. Oval, emerald, and pear-shaped diamonds appear larger because of their elongated shapes.