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Diamond Quality VS Quantity

“The same price?”

This is a topic that a lot of people have a hard time understanding.

How can completely different carat weights (quantity) be all the same exact price?


Let’s take 5 different round brilliant cut diamond sizes:

  • .50 (half carat) diamond
  • .62 (5/8 carat) diamond
  • .75 (3/4 carat) diamond
  • 1.00 (1 carat) diamond
  • 1.50 (1 1/2 carat) diamond

There are huge size differences between these diamonds, yet they can be all the same price. Which (for this example) is…


People know that color and clarity affect the price of a diamond, but come on, by this much?

Double and triple the size for the same price?

Is this even right?

It’s true! The bigger diamonds may not be the best looking diamonds of the bunch, but they certainly will be big.

Starting small…

So let’s start at the .50 carat diamond and work our way up.

The .50 carat diamond that sells for $2,000 is a VVS2 clarity, with E color. Which in anybody’s book, is top of the line.

Excellent clarity, excellent color, exceptional diamond.

This diamond will be full of life and brilliance and sparkle. Very impressive indeed. Magnificent!

But wait…

For the same price of $2,000 you could step up into a bigger carat weight. You could get a .62 carat diamond, and you would only go down one notch in both color and clarity. For $2,000, this .62 diamond (example only) is VS1 clarity, F color. That’s still awesome.

To the bare eye, these 2 diamonds (VS and VVS) will look like the same quality. And even under a microscope it would be difficult to spot any differences. For the same price, with barely any visible differences, and a bigger carat weight… I’d say these stones are a winner:

VS1, F, is absolutely beautiful. You just can’t beat a pure white diamond

Are you sure about that?

Maybe you can. Look at this next stone…

This next diamond is even more interesting. It’s a .75 carat diamond selling for $2,000 as well.


It looks so big in fact, when you put it side by side with the .50 diamond, it looks almost double the size.

That’s a noticeable difference.

Especially since these stones have the same price tag.

Plus, the quality of this .75 is not too bad either… SI1 clarity, H color.

SI1 means it will have no eye-visible inclusions (You’ll need a microscope or a 10x jeweler’s loupe to see the flaws), and H color means that the diamond is a ‘fine white‘ color, which is at the high end of the near colorless range.

Now this diamond won’t be as bright or as white as the VS1, F, but most people would never notice the difference unless you put them side by side. To the average person, an SI1, H diamond will look stunning and sparkle just as much. Under a microscope, sure, you’ll be able to tell the difference, but to the eye… Not bad at all.

This diamond is a great buy.

I mean, it is still a ‘fine white‘ diamond with no black spots.

How could you go wrong?

You can’t really.


Here’s a 1.00 carat diamond for the same price???

You’ve got to be joking?

A 1.00 carat diamond for $2,000?

Now that sounds really sweet.

But what about the quality?

To be quite honest with you… it’s not great… But, it’s not that horrible either.

The clarity drops down to an I1. And the color drops down to an I… (Like these I1, I diamonds here).

So not only do you drop down in the lowest clarity range there is on the market (I clarity), but the color doesn’t look so white… It’s got the size though; mucho grande.

Every girl dreams of a 1.00 carat diamond.

This could be a tough decision.

The I color adds a little warmth to the diamond, no biggie…

But will anyone notice?

Probably!?! They’ll notice less sparkle… Diamonds like this don’t sparkle as much as the .75 diamond. And, you can see black spots and clouds and flaws in the stone. But the size…

It’s huge!

Why stop here?

When you could go even bigger

Much bigger.

You could even get yourself into a 1.50 carat diamond, I2 clarity, J color for the same $2,000 (which, James Allen doesn’t sell this low of quality, but I’ll link to the lowest quality available at this time here).

I2 clarity is starting to get really scary. The inclusions are much bigger. The diamond looks cloudy, there’s barely any life or brilliance in the stone, and it does have a yellow cast to it (like a piece of salt), but hey, it’s big.

Bigger is better, right?

Putting this 1.50 carat diamond up against the .50 diamond is an real eye-opener. The difference of quality is night and day. It’s almost startling. Seeing them in person might make you gasp.

So what does one do?

Do you choose:

Size or quality?

This is what makes buying a diamond so difficult. No one can tell you what’s better or worse. Different people have different opinions. Some will sway towards size and bling. But others will lean towards quality. Some don’t want to see black spots in their diamond.

Would you?

Most people tend to stick somewhere in the middle…

Probably around the .75 carat, SI1, H range. Middle ground is usually the best answer. You still get a big stone with a good color and a good clarity. Anything lower in quality is probably going to be questionable. And anything higher in quality is just going to be more money.

I recommend letting the microscope help you decide.

View the diamonds:

View the diamonds under 10x magnification before you buy them (which is Why I love James Allen, you can see all the real diamonds magnified up close at even higher magnification; 20x). Look at the clarity. Look at the color. Judge for yourself.

Study the certification papers. Compare similar quality diamonds side by side.

Every single diamond is different and every diamond will look different under a scope.

Diamonds are always a balance of clarity and color. If the price stays the same and the clarity goes up, the color will always go down (and vice-versa). Which means, an SI1, H diamond will probably be the same price as a SI2, G diamond. It’s a give and take. Something has to go.

So what are you going to give up in your diamond?

Color or clarity?

Maybe carat weight or price?

Or will you just suck it up and spend twice the money? Because really, you could buy the best diamonds there are, huge diamonds with flawless clarity and pure white color, like these diamonds here.

Pocket change, right?

It’s your call… and your money.

Quantity or quality?

You be the judge.

P.S. These prices are used only as examples for this post and do not reflect the going rate for diamonds or quality. They could change day by day, and availability will change as well.

Check James Allen for current listings and prices.

Cheers! :)

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