Everything Diamonds, How to buy a diamond

How Much Does a Diamond Cost?

by Clean Origin
Posted January 28, 2022

Diamond pricing can easily confuse anyone shopping for an engagement ring or new diamond. How can you be sure you’re paying a fair price, especially since the diamond cost can range from $1000 to $12,000 for a one-carat diamond? So, “how much does a diamond cost?” varies wildly. Read on to learn the factors that affect diamond prices.

This guide will introduce you to the factors that determine diamond cost and give recommendations on what to look for when shopping for diamonds. You’ll also learn about diamond pricing to help determine a diamond’s value. Understanding these factors will help you in your diamond education journey. If you’re short on time, look for the diamond price chart at the bottom, which gives diamond pricing estimates based on carat weight.

Diamond Prices

The prices of a diamond can vary widely according to its form, the cut, quality, and clarity. Some diamonds range from 10 to 20 times more expensive than other diamonds with the same carat weight. Generally, rarer diamonds are more expensive. Diamonds that have no imperfections and are colorless are rare, which drives the price up. The better the quality of the diamond, the higher the price per carat. With diamonds, the key is to maximize the amount you spend on the factors that affect diamond appearance saving money on factors that don’t. We cover these factors and which ones really matter when shopping for diamonds.

Use our diamond price calculator to get a more exact answer.

Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the 4 C’s as a standard for measuring the quality of a diamond. These standards (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) determine a diamond’s value and a fair price for it. It is good to get a basic idea of these categories and how they are measured. This will help you to understand the terms used in the diamond industry to describe diamonds and price them.

Cut

The cut grade determines the brilliance of the diamond. It will also have the most significant influence on diamond price for given carat weight. If you want a sparkly and beautiful diamond, you’ll want to look for an excellent cut grade. The way a diamond is cut will determine how it reflects light, making it more appealing to the eye. A poorly cut diamond will appear dull and unpolished.

Cut Grades

The quality of the cut is a measure of how well the cutter prepared and polished the stone and not on any natural characteristics of the diamond itself. The cut grades are good, very good, excellent, and ideal. This is not the same as diamond shape, which is the literal shape of the diamond. Some diamond shapes include princess cut diamonds and round diamonds. Diamonds with the same shape can have different cut grades, which simply refers to the quality of the cut.

Color

Diamonds are inspected based on color grade. Colorless diamonds are sought after because they are rare, so they’ll also be more expensive. Diamond color matters less the smaller the diamond, so you may not be able to tell the difference in color for a one-carat diamond but would for a two or three-carat diamond. Color differences in diamonds will vary based on the diamond shape.

Color Grade Scale

The diamond color grade scale is based on letters that range from D to Z. The higher the diamond is on the scale, the closer it is to being colorless. Diamonds graded a D, E, or F are colorless and the most expensive. The G-J range refers to near colorless diamonds that appear colorless to the naked eye of someone without training. K-M diamonds show a light color that you can see in larger stones. The N-R range refers to very light colors, and grades S-Z represent diamonds with light coloring that the naked eye can see.

Clarity

The diamond clarity refers to imperfections in a carat diamond. Inclusions are internal imperfections, and blemishes are external scratches. These imperfections in the diamond affect how light is reflected off of it. A higher clarity grade indeed equates to a higher-priced diamond. The different clarity grades are unnoticeable to the naked eye up to a certain level. The diamond shape and carat weight can also affect if imperfections are noticeable or not.

Clarity Grades

A flawless diamond (FL) or internally flawless (IF) is considered the best quality. The other grades are Very Very Slightly Included (VVSI), Very Slightly Included (VSI), Slightly Included (SI), and Included (I). These categories are further split into two grades labeled one and two (Included has three grades). So, VVSI1 has a better clarity grade than VVSI2, and I3 is the lowest clarity grade on the scale. Many people can save money on clarity when looking for a lower diamond price since many of the imperfections are invisible.

Carat Weight

Diamonds are priced per carat. A carat is a measure of the physical weight of the diamond. The price per carat will vary between individual diamonds depending on the quality of the diamond. Carat weight does not mean size. So, a 0.45-carat diamond is not necessarily smaller than a 0.50-carat diamond, even though it has a smaller carat weight. You will often see diamonds for sale that are slightly below the next carat weight category (e.g., 0.50, 1.00, 2.00) that will cost less because diamonds are priced by carat weight.

Price Per Carat

The price per carat method allows you to compare two different diamonds better. This is essential since not all diamonds are the same, so the diamond price per carat will differ. Ensure you check to see if a diamond price is listed as per carat or the total price when shopping for diamonds.

Price Increases Exponentially

Diamond price increases with carat weight exponentially. Buying a two-carat diamond will cost you more than twice the amount of a similar quality one-carat diamond. Large diamonds with bigger carat weights are rare, especially natural diamonds. You could buy two 0.50 carat diamonds for less than a 1-carat diamond. So, two diamonds may be cheaper than one if they have a small carat size.

Rapaport Price List

The Rapaport Price List is a table released weekly that provides estimates of diamond prices per carat based on the 4 C’s for mined diamonds. This chart gives a baseline for diamond prices, but you can expect the actual diamond cost to differ due to diamond dealers offering discounts to outcompete each other.

Other Factors that Determine Diamond Prices

Diamond Shape

Besides the 4 C’s, some other factors go into diamond pricing. One is diamond shape. The diamond shape is different from the diamond cut, referring to how well the stone was cut and polished. The most popular diamond shapes include round, cushion, oval, princess, emerald, and pear. The classic diamond shape many people think of first when looking for engagement rings or other jewelry is the round diamond. Round diamonds have great brilliance and visual appeal, and they are generally the most expensive. Most diamonds for engagement rings are round diamonds.

Save Money When Buying Diamonds

If you’re shopping for an engagement ring or a one-carat diamond, you can get a reasonable price by shopping savvy. So many factors determine a diamond’s price, but some are less important. Since the diamond cut is a massive factor in determining the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond, it is recommended to spend less on other factors because a diamond with a poor cut will look dull no matter the color and clarity grades. Round diamonds have great brilliance and visual appeal, and they are generally the most expensive. This calculator lists the diamond price for different shapes of 1 carat loose diamonds, including the popular round diamonds.

Choose a Slightly Lower Carat Weight

Buying a diamond with a lower carat weight is one way to keep more cash in your pocket. You can get the same-sized diamond cheaper if you opt for a slightly lower carat weight. Instead of paying for a 1-carat diamond, you can look for a 0.95-carat diamond.

For example, this round diamond by Clean Origin is 0.50 carats and costs $715. Another round diamond from Clean Origin is 0.37 carats and costs $361- a considerable price difference! The dimensions of the first diamond are 5.00 X 5.05 X 3.21mm, and the dimensions for the second one are 4.57 X 4.62 X 2.87mm, about half a millimeter smaller on all sides. With the cut, color, and clarity, all the same, the bigger diamond is almost twice the price of the smaller one. You don’t have to sacrifice diamond quality to save money.

Look for Clarity in the Middle Range

When on a budget, look at the clarity of the diamond. While there are a lot of grades on the scale, the difference between the diamonds that are perfect or internally flawless (IF) and very slightly included (VS) can’t be seen by the naked eye. It’s not necessary to buy a diamond that is flawless if another one with a lower clarity grade looks the same. There’s no need to pay more to remove invisible imperfections. Opt for a diamond with clarity grades of VVSI or VSI, which might save you enough to buy a bigger diamond or one with a better cut.

The same 0.50 carat diamond from the previous example has a clarity grade of VVS2 for $715. Another round 0.50 carat diamond with the same size and color has a clarity grade of VS1 and costs $683. So you can save a little on diamond clarity.

Save Money on Color

Lastly, a diamond’s color is not easily detectable by untrained eyes, especially if the diamond is smaller. There’s no need to buy colorless diamonds if you can’t tell the difference between one lower on the color scale. The look of a diamond also depends on how it is set. The color of a wedding ring can complement the diamond well or poorly. A center stone may look different depending on the diamond’s color. As long as the diamond color complements the setting (white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, platinum, etc.), you don’t have to pay for the best possible color grade.

This 0.91-carat diamond has a color grade of F and is priced at $1,238. This 0.91 carat diamond with the same round shape, cut, and clarity has a G color grade and costs $1,147.

Choose Lab-Grown Diamonds

Many people might not be aware of lab-created diamonds and that they are 20-40% less expensive than mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds that not only create ethical jewelry but save you money. In the diamond industry, lab-grown diamonds are real, but they were created in a lab setting. They can have the same color and clarity grades as mined diamonds and are great for a diamond engagement ring or a center diamond in a piece of jewelry. They can be cut into fancy shapes like the princess cut or be the classic round diamond. There is no difference in the diamond grading to calculate diamond prices of mined diamonds versus lab-grown diamonds.

Ethical Jewelry Options

They are certainly the best value diamonds on the diamond market, and choosing them is the simplest way to spend less on a 1-carat diamond for an engagement ring. An ethical engagement ring is an excellent option for your bride and allows you to save for the wedding.

Diamond Price Chart

This diamond price chart displays the average costs of a diamond for different carat weights. The Lab-Grown data comes from the prices of Clean Origin lab-grown diamonds. There is no perfect diamond price calculator, but if you know what the factors are in determining actual diamond prices, you will be able to figure out if the current diamond prices you see are fair. Expect to pay thousands for a 1-carat diamond and tens of thousands for 2 carats and up. This chart shows the total diamond cost, not the price per carat.

Carat WeightLab GrownMined
0.50$600-$800$1,000-$4,000
1.00$1,300-$4,000$3,000-$18,000
1.50$2,000-$6,000$8,000-$20,000
2.00$4,000-$9,000$13,000-$38,000
2.50$6,000-$8,000$23,000-$40,000
3.00$9,000-$17,000$36,000-$57,000

Bottom Line Recommendation

Knowing what you want before buying a diamond is essential. Pick out a carat weight range you are comfortable with, like a 1-carat diamond or up to a 3-carat diamond. Large diamonds will be much more expensive, but if you know how to set a diamond properly in diamond jewelry, then a smaller diamond can appear to have the same carat size as a larger one. One carat diamonds are standard on the market, and it is easy to determine the total cost based on price per carat.

Make a Plan Before Shopping

The diamond’s shape will affect a loose diamond’s appearance and how it looks in an engagement ring. Having a specific diamond’s carat weight and shape in mind will narrow down your options. Fancy-shaped diamonds may be priced differently and have different cut qualities.

Best Practices for Buying Diamonds

Please pay attention to the diamond’s quality since it impacts the diamond’s fluorescence and beauty. The cut grade has the most significant effect on diamond quality. The diamond color will affect how it looks in different settings. If you know what color engagement ring band you want, look for a color grade that complements it.

If you know that you want a fancy-shaped diamond or are looking for lower diamond prices for a one-carat diamond, you will be much more prepared for diamond buying. Most people look for mid-range color and clarity grades but a good cut quality.

Estimate Diamond Prices

Now you’re ready to estimate diamond prices when searching for an engagement ring or loose diamonds on the market. The cut grade is most important for appearance, but color and clarity can vary depending on the band’s engagement ring style and color.

Clean Origin Diamonds

If you’re looking for the best engagement ring or one-carat diamond, Clean Origin has the best selection of diamonds at a lower cost than mined diamonds. You can be sure to find the perfect diamond for any piece of jewelry and know that it is certified, ethical, and beautiful.