Diamond prices vary widely depending on the stone’s characteristics. While some diamonds can cost thousands of dollars, others can be worth just several hundred. Let’s see what drives their prices and how to get the biggest and shiniest diamond on your budget.
What Determines the Price of a Diamond?
The price of a diamond is driven by its carat weight and quality characteristics, which include the stone’s colour, clarity and cut.
As a general rule, the rarer the diamond’s quality characteristics, the higher its value.
For example, colourless diamonds (D-E-F) are more expensive than near colourless diamonds (G-H-I-J) because it’s harder to find a diamond that is perfectly white.
Similarly, flawless diamonds are harder to find than those with visible inclusions, thus high-clarity diamonds sell at a higher price.
Another determinant is the diamond cut quality which refers to the proportions of stones.
In the diamond industry, there are proportions that are considered ideal to maximize a stone’s brilliance and sparkle. The closer a stone’s cut to these proportions, the higher the price of a diamond.
And last but not least factor is the diamond’s carat weight. All else being equal (colour, clarity, cut), bigger diamonds cost more per carat.
To sum up, the whiter, cleaner, more proportional and bigger a diamond, the more expensive it is.
What’s the Price of Top-Quality Diamonds?
Diamonds with the best quality characteristics can be very expensive.
For example, a 1-carat round diamond that has D colour, IF clarity and “Ideal” or “Excellent” cut grades can cost more than $20,000. While a stone with equal quality characteristics that is 0.75 ct can cost up to $7,000-$8,000.
For comparison, a 1-carat E colour, VVS1 clarity, “Very Good” cut round diamond can cost up to $10,000. While the same quality stone weighing 0.75 ct will cost in the $6,500-$7,500 range.
Keep in mind that these prices can change over time, meaning even a single quality characteristic price variation can drive the price up or down by hundreds of dollars.
What’s the Price of Low-Quality Diamonds?
Let’s first figure out which diamonds are considered to be low-quality. These are stones which have clarity grade I (Included) and lower, a colour grade lower than J and cut grade “Fair” and lower.
Such 1-carat stones may be found for less than $1,000-$2,000.
It turns out you can buy a pretty big stone that is quite cheap. However, it’s still a big question if such diamonds are worth the money because low-quality stones look tinted, have visible inclusions and low brilliance.
What’s the Price of Best-Value Diamonds?
Best-value diamonds are those that look fairly colourless and clean to the naked eye. This means that people untrained in gemology would hardly see any difference between such a stone and one of the top quality unless two diamonds are put next to each other.
For example, a 1-carat round diamond that has H colour, VS2 clarity and “Very Good” cut grades can look reasonably white and clean and would cost in $4,500-$6,000 range.
A little better diamond, let’s say, G colour and VS1 would be around $5,000-$7,000. However, it’s still doubtful if it is worth to go higher on the quality scale since you might not be able to see a visible difference.