Learn: Buying Diamonds > Diamond Prices
What Carat Weight Should I Buy?
How Much Should I Spend?
What Colour Should I Buy?
What Clarity Should I Buy?
What Cut Shape Should I Buy?
Pricing Myths & Facts
1. I can get cheaper diamond prices when I buy online:
Yes, because a drop-ship website is cheaper to run than a store. But listings include the build-up of diamonds the trade did not want.
2. When I search diamond prices I get recommended to buy online:
The recommendations come from affiliated websites that earn a 5% commission.
Read on for all the answers
You can get all sorts of advice as to what are the best value diamonds.
Some advice on diamond prices will be irrelevant to you and your situation. At the end of this section, there are relative price charts based on the leading industry guides. They do not show prices, but they allow you to gauge the relative differences for various of the 4C’s and to compare round to fancy-shaped diamond prices.
Firstly, this simplified one carat diamond price grid shows how rarity and snob value affect prices. At a glance notice a D flawless diamond will cost three times more than an H SI1. Most people could never pick the difference between those two diamonds set in rings if they were sitting in a café or restaurant with friends. The green box is our recommended range.
Consider all of the factors when it comes to pricing
In some countries and cultures, a diamond engagement ring is considered to be a business-like transaction of commitment. Diamonds can be considered as a portable asset to be sold quickly in times of political trouble and used to fund an escape. If you find yourself in that situation you will probably need to buy a GIA, D-E, Flawless to VVS1, nonfluorescent diamond and save the GIA report on your phone.
Cut quality is by far the most important factor and because it is the hardest to quantify, it can have the least impact cost. The chart to the left is a simplified guide. There is a little more detail below.
What clarity should I buy?
The same as above. Rarity and snob value make top clarity more expensive when combined with top colour. Make this work to your advantage and read up on how to get an eye-clean VS2 or SI1 diamond. Also, take note that a diamonds transparency can be concealed in it’s clarity grade!
What colour should I buy?
Rarity and snob value make top colour more expensive when combined with top clarity. Make this work to your advantage and read on to learn how to save on an eye-clean fully transparent diamond on how to get a better colour eye-clean diamond. At Holloway Diamonds, Garry Holloway set our standard in the 1980s at D to H. Above 2ct round the minimum colour is G and for some fancy-shaped diamond, the Holloway minimum is F.
What cut shape should I buy?
This is an important choice. Round diamonds sparkle more, however, you can save about a third of the cost buying a fancy-shaped diamond compared to a round cut. That can help if you are under family or peer pressure to come up with a magic carat weight, say one carat or two carats. But it is much harder to find a bright sparkly fancy-shaped diamond. So you must read the fancy-shaped diamond section and be prepared to do some work finding the diamond.
What carat weight should I buy?
If you are buying a ring to propose with, ask relatives, friends, and family what size and shape of diamond might be preferred. Try to work out the size of her friends and peer groups diamond rings. A 3 diamond ring has a larger show and costs less than a solitaire. You can play around, say for G VS2 diamonds a 0.90 carat center and two 1/2carat side diamonds will cost about the same as a one carat G VS2. The 3 diamond ring has twice the visual spread of diamond.
In general, staying just under a magic whole number carat weight can save heaps. However it also greatly limits your chance of finding a nice diamond because the cutters always push the yield from the rough diamond to achieve the whole number carat weight.
How much should i spend?
De Beers put out the idea that you should spend a number of months of your salary. That’s no longer the formula to use. In fact, there really is no formula. You may be saving for a deposit on a home or paying back a student loan. You need to set your own budget.
Remember: A reputable jeweller will stand behind the diamonds you buy and offer a trade-back and upgrade services.
Fluorescence is a controversial topic but a great way to save money and get a better diamond. But there are pitfalls and you need to learn and be very careful in choosing the diamond or the vendor. Read the section of Fluorescence and do not worry too much about the fake news on the Internet.
Appraisers – there are experts (and experts). Not all appraisers and valuers have the same skill level or education. Read the reviews, and if possible visit with any diamonds you want to be assessed.
In 1979 Martin Rapaport established the first diamond price list. He had death threats from diamond dealers who thought that was the end of the world. He survived and thrived. Today when haggling over prices, trade buyers and sellers do not try to remember all the prices (see the sample grids below). We simply talk about discounts (or very rarely premiums) to the ‘list’. There are different lists established by different trading platforms, but the Rap List is the Bible so to speak. We offer -17% and the seller says “I rejected -15% last week”. The lists are published weekly with values as prices fluctuate, with rises numbered in bold and falls in italics.
The samples below are so you can compare the relative differences in prices you may expect to pay for different weights, colours, and clarities as well as round vs fancy shapes. You will also note that there is an SI3 column. There are no reputable labs that issue this grade however, dealers make the distinction as there are many times more diamonds that fall into this category than there are VVS and VS diamonds.
THESE CHARTS SHOW THE RELATIVE PRICE OF DIAMONDS COMPARED TO A 1.00CT D IF ROUND DIAMOND