How Much Is a One-Carat Diamond Worth?
We’ve all heard about diamonds and their perceived societal value. They’re mentioned in songs and movie titles like “Diamonds Are Forever,” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” But how much are diamonds, particularly one-carat diamonds, truly worth?
Before we run through market prices, it’s essential to understand the factors that affect diamond prices to ensure you get what you pay for. If you’ve been considering buying your significant other an Australian champagne diamond ring or a white diamond engagement ring, this article will help you understand the different considerations you need to make before purchasing your one-carat stone.
Costs of One-Carat Diamonds
There is no exact price for a one-carat diamond. The price range is so diverse that you can buy one for as low as $3,500 USD and as high as $16,000 USD–so what carat of diamond is best?
First, it’s necessary to differentiate diamond weight from size. Carats are a unit of measurement for weight; a one-carat diamond weighs one-fifth of a gram, or twenty milligrams. However, carats aren’t a very good metric for diamond size, as the diamond can bear its weight in height or depth rather than in the spread of its diameter.
Factors That Affect Cost
There are four main factors to consider when determining the price of a diamond, also known as the four Cs of diamond quality: colour, cut, clarity, and carat. We’ve covered carat, so let’s proceed to take a look at the other three.
Ironically, diamond colour refers to its lack of colour. The rarest, and therefore most expensive, rating starts with D (completely colourless) and goes all the way to Z (visibly yellow or brown). Many buyers opt for a nearly colourless grade to allot more of their budget to a better cut.
Why then would someone spend more on a well-cut diamond than on a perfectly colourless one? Not to be confused with shape, a diamond’s cut actually refers to how well its facets interact with light. Diamonds are famed for their sparkle–therefore, an excellent cut makes for a “shinier” and more eye-catching stone.
There are three bases for the quality of diamond cuts:
- scintillation—the amount of sparkle a diamond emits
- fire—the scattering of white light
- brilliance— ascertained by how light is reflected from the diamond
Diamonds, regardless of whether they are lab-grown or mined, typically have inclusions and blemishes. A diamond’s clarity ranges from flawless (those without inclusions and blemishes visible under 10x magnification) to included (those with noticeable inclusions and blemishes under 10x magnification), with several grades in between.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Money When Buying a One-Carat Diamond
- Break down the total weight of a one-carat diamond ring into smaller diamonds. You’ll find that a ring with four quarter-carat diamonds will cost less than a solitaire one-carat ring. The ideal setting to make the most of this strategy is to use a halo setting in your ring surrounding a one-carat diamond–making this switch can also be a great idea for redesigning wedding rings.
- Select a colour grade that will help you save some money by opting for a lower grade. For engagement rings, some of the best choices for a one-carat diamond are yellow and rose gold.
- The variety of shapes available in the market should be considered in order to find the best choice for you. You’ll save at least 10% on an average one-carat diamond ring if you explore options outside of traditional shapes, such as oval and princess-cut diamonds.
- Go for a slightly lighter weight diamond. At a glance, a diamond that weighs 0.95 carats looks as big as a one-carat diamond, but can be very different in price.
One-carat diamond prices can range anywhere from $3,500 USD to $16,000 USD depending on the four Cs: colour, cut, clarity, and carat. It’s ultimately up to you to balance these when selecting a diamond that fits your needs. Of course, it’s most important to choose a diamond you’ll always love, because diamonds are forever.