Diamond Price -Diamond Buying 101: The Three Simple Stages
A diamond purchase is a complicated process.
At face value it appears prices and value are illogical.
Compare for example a round cut diamond from Amazon vs. one from an online jewelry retailer.
Even though they’re both 1.00ct stones, their prices vary.
How is this massive price gap of approximately $1,279 and $16,985 even reasonable?
What really doesn’t add up is the more expensive diamond might be the better value for your money!
Continue reading as we delve into all the specifics you need to know when it comes to calculating a particular diamond’s price.
You need to understand these to identify and remember the key aspects when you buy a stone.
As an example, contrast a 1.00ct G VS1 diamond with a 1.02ct E VVS2 .
Are you able to pick up any variances?
Most people probably won’t, but they’ll be quick to point out the roughly 20% price jump.
Recently we’ve gauged an increased number of curious readers on this subject.
Most especially, readers are contemplating Lab Created Diamonds (LCDs).
Simply ask yourself: would you cut on long term value to save some pennies now?
You can pick a company to get your own lab created diamond if you settle on this route.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what you’d like to purchase and how you’ll ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.
This is helpful regarding diamond pricing and what makes deals reasonable.
It’s imperative to stick strictly to the right steps to avoid being the victim of a scam.
It’s tough to determine exactly how much to pay for a diamond.
Besides that, it’s equally tricky to get the best value for your cash.
The most vital stage is certification.
If you’re spending a minimum of $1,000 on a stone, it’s a nonnegotiable piece of paper.
When you purchase a certified diamond the vendor will reassure you you’re receiving what the jewelry company or jeweler has indicated.
Only GIA and AGS laboratories offer such certificates.
Therefore, they’re the diamond industry’s leading gold standards.
You now know the correct certificate to obtain.
Most importantly, recognize the aspects the certificate outlines and what this means.
Perhaps you’ve come across the four Cs—namely carat, clarity, color and cut.
You can read our blog posts (opens in a a new tab) about each of these diamond features.
Take color as an example.
By opting for a sophisticated solitaire diamond setting, emphasize J+ for optimized worth.
Alternatively, by picking a slightly more intricate setting, deciding on H+ is better.
It can be rather overwhelming when you weigh up the various proportions and qualities of a diamond.
We’re more than happy to walk you through the step.
You’re welcome to connect with us for assistance.
You’ll get greater context regarding this as you continue reading this article.
The simplest means of calculating a diamond’s price is to approach it as you would with any other item—keep your options open.
Diamond industry leaders function as Amazon would for various other products.
Granted, a jewelry store is constantly going to be pricier than any diamonds you source directly from a manufacture.
It’s best to determine your correct starting point.
Once you have this you can then consider whether you’re happy to pay the top price for the additional store service and value. Or do you prefer the same stone directly from the manufacture?
As an example, after reviewing certain brands, one offered $6,477 for a 1.01ct I VS2 cushion cut diamond. If you’d understood diamond quality, you’d see this was an objectionable stone.
It was cut slightly too deep, and you should avoid “I” color in cushion cuts..
Now let’s do a brief price comparison.
A $2,700 diamond of a more sophisticated quality with a better cut and higher clarity costs less than a comparable $2,779 stone from a jewelry retailer.
Remember these three simple stages to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Be careful to sidestep other potential hazards too, such as fluorescence or enhanced diamonds.
We’ll gladly assist you as you make your way through the tricky diamond purchasing process.
Simply connect with us and tell us how we can help you.
We’ll strive to source several excellent items for you.
Alternatively, we can offer advice on diamonds you’ve already come across yourself.
Diamond Price Calculator Tool
A Diamond Price Calculator tool can help you calculate the probable price ranges for various stones.
We’ve created ours as well.
Diamond price chart
Prices of diamonds vastly differ and they’re dependent on the four Cs mentioned above.
As an example, a 1.00ct diamond’s price can be anything from as little as $1,500 to over $16,000 for an impeccably cut, high quality stone.
By contrast, you could pay $6,000 for a 2.00ct diamond.
In other cases you can pay a far greater sum of up to $80,000, as determined by its four Cs grades.
Diamond price ranges can be incredibly diverse.
Certain stones with an identical carat weight can cost up to ten times more than others.
Therefore, you can see that so many aspects influence diamond pricing.
This makes it challenging to offer a precise pricing estimation for these stones at large.
Most importantly, the four Cs of carat weight, clarity, color and cut quality are the most influential factors when it comes to diamond prices.
The higher the carat weight of a diamond, and if the four Cs impress you, more you’ll end up paying.
Simply put, you’ll pay for a diamond’s quality.
Therefore its price will match that quality rating.
It is still possible, however, to purchase a diamond of good quality and not pay an arm & a leg for it.
The secret to purchasing diamonds?
Spend as much as you can on aspects influencing the diamond’s appearance.
Skimp on those that don’t affect this.
You’ll see how we address this in greater detail as you read along.
To start off, let’s see how to calculate a diamond’s price.
We’ll cover its carat weight, clarity and color, among various other aspects.
How to Calculate the Per Carat Price of Diamonds
All diamonds have a per carat price.
For example, a 0.50ct diamond can have a per carat price of $1,400.
Therefore, the price for the actual stone would be $1,400 x 0.50, which calculates to $700.
Alternatively, if a 1.00ct diamond’s per carat price is $4,100, then the stone’s price wouldn’t change.
Per carat diamond prices rise along with higher weight classifications.
In essence, the higher the diamond’s carat weight is, the more expensive the per carat price will be.
The price of diamonds escalates at an exponential rate according to their increased weight.
Their prices rise based on both the increased weight and higher per carat price in the increased weight classification.
Diamond prices can differ according to form.
You can calculate average per carat diamond price ranges according to varying weights.
For further details on the relationship between a diamond’s form and price, you can consult our diamond expert.
You may find the per carat price range for diamonds is greater than what’s outlined in average calculations.
As an example, a diamond with a low M color grade and I1 clarity grade may have a less expensive per carat price compared to average prices.
You need to ask yourself, though: is this diamond a suitable option?
Excluding specific conditions, it’s probably not.
On the other hand, the highest end of the average price range is limited to diamonds containing remarkably high color and clarity grades.
However, this doesn’t always mean they’re worth what you pay.
1.00ct Diamond Pricing
A 1.00ct diamond’s price ranges from approximately $1,300 to $16,500.
More importantly, the four Cs determine much of this.
We’ve compiled a list below of the average price ranges for 1.00ct diamonds in the 10 most popular forms.
You’ll see it’s a limited search and we included diamonds offering a S12 or better clarity grade, and a K or higher color grade.
You’ll also notice we’ve included estimated totals in parentheses for diamonds within the same classification.
However, these estimates are within the advised limitations to ensure you have sensible pricing data:
Round brilliant cut: $2,500 ($3,000) – $16,500
Asscher cut: $1,800 ($2,100) – $6,900
Marquise cut: $1,700 ($2,300) – $10,000
Princess cut: $1,600 ($2000) – $11,000
Oval shape: $1,600 ($2000) – $10,000
Cushion cut: $1,600 ($2000) – $9,500
Heart shape: $1,700 ($1,900) – $12,000
Pear shape: $1,700 ($1,900) – $11,400
Radiant cut: $1,300 ($1,800) – $7,000
Emerald cut: $1,600 ($1,750) – $10,500
Diamonds of less than 1.00cts are much less expensive in their per carat prices.
As a general guide, this is what you should normally pay for a diamond of less than one carat:
How Much Does a 0.5ct Diamond Cost?
A 0.50ct diamond of a high quality—with an H color and clarity of VS2 or more—will have a per carat cost of approximately $2,500. Therefore you’ll pay roughly $1,250 for the actual diamond.
How Much Does a 0.25ct Diamond Cost?
A quarter of a carat—a 0.25ct diamond—containing the exact same color and clarity grades will have a per carat cost of about $1,600. Because of that you’ll pay an estimated $425 for this diamond.
2.00ct Diamond Pricing
A 2.00ct diamond’s price ranges from approximately between $6,500 and $16,500, but again this is all determined by the aspects of the four Cs.
We’ve compiled a list below of the average price ranges for 2.00ct diamonds in the 10 most popular forms and cuts.
As we’ve done above, we’ve limited our search.
We’ve included diamonds offering a S12 minimum clarity grade or K minimum color grade.
This automatically eliminates the majority of stones that aren’t striking enough for your consideration.
You’ll also notice we’ve included estimated totals in parentheses for diamonds with our suggested specifications:
Marquise cut: $9,400 ($10,500) – $36,900
Round brilliant cut: $7,400 ($9,000) – $55,000
Princess cut: $6,200 ($7,000) – $31,500
Emerald cut: $5,700 ($8,500) – $33,270
Asscher cut: $7,700 ($8,000) – $35,700
Heart shape: $7,600 ($8,000) – $33,800
Pear shape: $7,400 ($8,000) – $42,400
Oval shape: $7,200 ($8,300) – $33,000
Radiant cut: $6,500 ($7,000) – $29,500
Cushion cut: $5,600 ($7,500) – $28,300
Present-Day Diamond Pricing
Much like other valuable pieces, diamonds’ market worth generally grows along with inflation.
The result? Diamond prices from a few years ago are no longer relevant today.
(Always feel free to check with our diamond expert for today’s diamond prices).
These might also not be of great assistance on your diamond shopping search.
The following average present-day diamond prices we’ve issued are for differing carat weights of a round cut brilliant diamond.
It’s important to know these prices are for the entire diamond, and not the per carat cost:
50ct: $600 – $2,900
00ct: $2,500 – $18,000
5ct: $4,800 – $35,000
00ct: $8,500 – $59,000
00ct: $20,000 – $155,000
00ct: $35,500 – $286,000
00ct: $45,500 – $337,000
The Guide to Spending Less On a Diamond Purchase
Now, do you realize there are vast differences in the price ranges we’ve provided for varying diamond forms and carat weights?
Take as an example a 2.00ct round brilliant cut diamond.
More than $50,000 or only $7,400 is what you could expect to spend.
Spending less on a diamond purchase relates to sourcing the point where the quality of a diamond and its monetary worth meet.
Various stages comprise reaching this point.
Firstly, acknowledge diamond pricing is regularly dependent on their classification.
This is instead of an unbiased assessment of the stone’s exterior or superiority.
Secondly, consider how the process of diamond cutting influences a loose diamond’s sale value.
Thirdly, know how color and clarity grades determine a diamond’s price.
In addition to clarity grade and the correct color selection, you’ll purchase a stunning & correctly priced stone.
We’ve outlined these three stages below.
More importantly, we include examples of how each of these aspects influences the price of a diamond.
You’ll see how this can benefit you as a purchaser.
Classifications and Their Significance
You may erroneously think per carat diamond prices rise constantly as their weight increases.
This is not correct.
Hence, we refer to classifications.
A 0.99ct diamond will be worth only roughly 1% more than a comparable 0.98ct diamond.
Why? Because diamonds are retail products and their greater influence is sentiment instead of purpose.
You may ask yourself: why is a 1.00ct diamond then worth approximately 20% more than a comparable diamond weighting 0.99ct?
Perhaps you can answer it’s a 1.00ct stone, or it’s three full digits—this is uncertain.
When it comes to diamonds, sentiments are everything.
There are numerous diamonds of poor cuts available due to this oddity of the trade.
The Diamond Cut Affects the Price
You might notice a 20% price gap between a 0.99ct diamond and a 1.00ct diamond.
Therefore it’s understandable the diamond cutter shouldn’t attempt to make a more beautiful stone by cutting away 0.01ct.
If he does, his boss may fire him.
A diamond with a more attractive cut may have a value of 15% less rather than 20%.
However, this is still a huge forfeiture, no matter how you view it.
International leading diamond establishments have maximized manipulation prices through preserving weight classifications.
These companies will use rugged diamonds that should have been used to construct a 0.75ct-0.85ct diamond.
When you use the right cut you can get optimum brilliance.
However, they’ll maintain the carat weight at over 0.96ct.
Their purpose? Selling them to leading jewelry chain stores such as Zales or Kay, as 1.00ct stones.
They’ll need to sell these stones at drastically reduced prices in comparison to 1.00ct diamond of a good cut.
However, these diamonds still retail at a substantial premium to that of superior cut 0.75ct stones.
It’s important not to grow too fond of a stone if it’s within a particular classification of carat weight.
A 0.9ct diamond of an excellent cut is certainly going to appear more spectacular compared to a 1.00ct stone of a poor cut.
The price could also either be identical or a little lower.
Take as an example a 1.00ct H color VS1 diamond with a fairly good low cut grade.
This will be evident upon inspecting the stone.
A marginally smaller 0.90ct diamond could have a much more superior cut quality.
In addition, it could have a more appealing appearance for a comparable cost.
Of all the four Cs, cut is possibly the most significant.
Therefore, you need to realize this ahead of your diamond shopping expedition.
The Influence of Color and Clarity on Diamond Pricing
The Rapaport Prices List determines a large proportion of calculating a diamond’s price.
This is also known as the “Rap List”.
It’s an industry price guide outlining standardized pricing for diamonds of various clarity grades and colors.
What’s fascinating about basing the complete diamond industry on the Rap List?
How much consideration is given to clarity and color for price calculation.
Like we’ve previously stated, of the four Cs, cut is debatably of utmost prominence.
In the majority of cases, a diamond’s cut largely influences its look, compared to its clarity grade or color.
Now, let’s compare two stones:
a G color SI1 clarity diamond of a perfect cut with an attractively presented inclusion
a G color VS2 clarity stone of an ordinary cut
It’s unbiased to say that the first is more beautiful than the second.
More importantly, a G SI1 superior diamond such as a Brian Gavin Signature one will top them all.
Also keep in mind this same example.
A1.00ct G SI1 diamond of a flawless cut and overall excellent standard would equate to an estimated $6,100 x 0.75.
That totals a per carat price of $4,575.
This would be roughly “25 back”.
By comparison, a G VS2 diamond of an average cut may be “35 back” or $7,200 x 0.65, equaling $4,680.
Undoubtedly the $4,575 stone is far more attractive than the G VS2 stone.
However, at $4,860 the G VS2 remains the pricier of the two.
The reason why this may seem complicated is because it is.
In essence, the diamond industry uses pricing standards which favor clarity and color more when calculating a diamond’s price.
An astute diamond purchaser will take this as the occasion to purchase a diamond that’s not only beautiful, but also reasonably priced.
Because of its clarity grades and color.
We’ve expounded on this more in our diamond clarity and color guides.
For this very reason, it’s beneficial to have a helping hand through this process.
In particular you need to know how to assess the various aspects influencing a diamond’s price.
A person who genuinely knows how to do this can source remarkable value in the diamond world.
What do You Need?
Are you in need of further information about how to find the correct combination of color, clarity and cut quality for the best pricing of a diamond?
You’re welcome to connect with us.
We have a team of highly experienced specialists.
They’ll assist you with picking the most exquisite and highest quality diamond according to your budget.
Two simple diamond classifications exist regarding diamond pricing.
Essentially, this refers to the diamonds priced according to the Rap List, and the stones that aren’t.
As outlined below, Rapaport releases weekly diamond pricing updates for your reference.
The Rapaport Diamond Report Price List
Wikipedia states Martin Rapaport began his work by cleaving and rough sorting in Antwerp, Belgium.
He started brokering rugged and polished diamonds in 1975 in New York City.
Three years later came the design of the Rapaport Price List.
After his creation of this price list, Rapaport founded various companies within the diamond industry.
One of these was an electronic trading network traders RapNet and INDEX utilized.
The other included print and web formats of diamond specific news & updates.
The Rapaport Diamond Report price list—Rap List—releases on a weekly basis each Friday.
However, it sometimes remains unchanged from week to week.
This list is utilized as a pricing starting point for generally all loose diamonds which are sold as individual stones.
Note that this is in comparison to diamonds normally sold in parcels.
The diamonds usually have a SI3 or more clarity, and a K or better color.
The price list includes prices for colors of L and lower as well as clarities of I1 & lower.
Despite that, these are seldom utilized in the diamond industry.
How Do I Read the Rapaport Diamond Report?
The Rap List contains four separate grids. Each represents a distinct size classification. You’ll notice a matrix of color compared with clarity. In order to determine the “Rap Price” for a particular stone, you’ll rely on color, clarity and site classification.
Prices are listed in hundreds.
As an example, a 1.55ct H color diamond with SI1 clarity would have a Rap Price per carat of $7,600.
However, it’s important to note that sourcing your diamond’s Rap Price is just the start of the diamond pricing process.
How Do Diamond Companies Lose Certifications?
You’ll seldom find a diamond of an I1 clarity grade whose sale is accompanied by a certificate.
Our article on diamond clarity shows hardly any diamond companies sell GIA certified diamonds online.
Smart diamond industry companies don’t sell GIA certified I1 stones.
This is because they’re aware they can be sold at a higher price without the certification.
This also means they sell diamonds minus the starting point of the Rap Pricelist.
If a company receives an I1 clarity grade for a stone which they’d expected would receive an S12, they merely toss out the certificate. They carry on as though the document was never there.
Reduced and Superior Pricing of Diamonds
Just how does one determine the reduced or superior diamond pricing in comparison with the Rap Price?
Most diamonds trade at a reduced price compared to the Rap Price.
Two diamond dealers will undoubtedly negotiate this price.
Let’s stay with our previous example.
A diamond with 1.55 H color and SI1 clarity will use the three aspects of color, clarity and weight as a starting point.
Here’s when the process develops into being far more biased.
Aspects influencing a reduced price compared with the Rap Price may take cut, color quality, fluorescence, inclusion quality and luster of the diamond into consideration.
The Meaning of “20 Back” or “20 Below”.
Let’s say the stone was a superior cut, and the SI1 was stunning & so far off on the side it was barely noticeable.
In addition, the H color appeared more as though it were a G, and there was no fluorescence.
This means it’s possible for this stone to trade at -20% or perhaps even -15% less than the Rap Price.
In “diamond speak”, this would be referred to as “20 back” or “20 below”.
This figure is debated numerous times.
A diamond seller may attempt to sell the stone at “15 back”.
However, the purchaser may only want to pay a price of “20 below”.
The percentage must be cut from the Rap Price in order to determine the actual diamond price.
Continuing with our example, “20 below” would mean a per carat price of $7,600 calculates to $7,600 x (100% -20%).
This could also be $7,600 x 0.80, which totals $6,080.
To reach the final per diamond price, you’d multiply that price by the weight.
In other words, $6,080 x 1.55 would equal $9,424.
How to Find a Sweet Spot of Value
Next, look closely at a “Rap Sheet”. You may see how the variances between neighbouring prices in each matrix aren’t constant.
As an example, there can be a $1,000 price difference between a 1.00ct G color VS2 clarity diamond and a 1.00ct H color VS2 clarity one.
In comparison, there’s a $500 price difference between the identical G VS2 and a 1.00ct F VS2 stone.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to explain the reason for this. Besides that, the diamond industry seldom functions according to logic.
With the helpful hands of an expert diamond dealer, you will be able to work through these discrepancies.
The focus will be to hit the sweet spot of value on this diamond pricing grid.
In our example, you can see why it’s evidently not worthwhile to upgrade from an H color VS2 clarity diamond to a G color VS2 clarity stone.
It’s simply too expensive to warrant improvement.
As indicated in the article on color, it’s hardly worth your while to upgrade diamond colors.
Substitute Diamond Pricing Instead of the Rap List
People in the industry have tried to design substitute diamond pricing guides in the place of the Rap List.
The Rap List has received a fair amount of disapproval.
No one knows Martin Rapaport’s methodology.
Moreover, the man himself is financially interested in diamonds, so the conflict of interest is evident.
To highlight one of the most courageous attempts at designing a new diamond industry pricing standard, we acknowledge IDEX.
The IDEX company is comparable to Rapaport.
They publish industry studies as well as provide an online B2B industry diamond exchange.
What makes them different to the Rap List?
Their IDEX Diamond Price Report as a pricing tool exposes its methodology entirely.
The IDEX price list is used by some leading diamond dealers.
However, it generally hasn’t been as well accepted by the wider diamond market.
The Diamond Retail Benchmark
Furthermore, IDEX also publishes an additional price list for consumers.
This is in addition to the Diamond Price Report—known as the Diamond Retail Benchmark—or DRB.
Similar to the Rap List, the DRB provides a high level standard price.
This can be applied to a reduced price in order to reach the final consumer price.
It’s tricky to obtain any helpful information from such a list.
Besides that, if you don’t know what reduced price is applicable in your particular purchase case, it’ll be even more challenging.
What Happens to Diamonds That Are Priced Without Using the Rapaport Price List?
The majority of diamonds that aren’t certified—and consequently not sold as single stones—are sold in accordance with a “parcel price”.
This amount refers to the per carat price for the weight of the purchased stones, regardless of the number of picked diamonds.
No list governs the starting point prices. Therefore, it’s much more difficult to understand these prices.
It takes many years of expertise to know the proper value of a diamond parcel.
Trusting the Diamond Specialists
Take as an example the fact that at Leo Schachter no employees were diamond specialists.
They weren’t experts in all stone sizes and forms.
The process of parcel diamond pricing is extremely complicated and requires so much expertise.
This diamond company was actually divided into diamond size and form.
This gave the directors the opportunity to become specialists in their areas of knowledge.
One manager dealt with emerald and princess diamond cuts.
This was in addition to round cuts of 0.90ct and above, below 0.90ct & additional elaborate forms.
In all honesty it’s more worth your while to purchase a certified diamond.
The specifics might not be of much significance to the majority of you.
The only reason why you’d purchase an uncertified stone is if someone you trusted could assist you.
Perhaps you’re still unsure about figuring out the steps of diamond purchasing by yourself.
Please connect with us. We’ll gladly offer you some more advice relating to your particular needs.