Customers are always asking “What size of diamond should I buy?“
My answer is simply “Buy whatever carat weight you can afford, or feel comfortable with“.
This question is quickly followed up by “What size of diamond do women want?“
Now that, my friends, is a totally different story.
It’s a one carat diamond, of course!!!
A one carat diamond (1.00) is the “dream diamond”. It is the carat weight size that every women wants and dreams about.
The next question is generally “How much does a one carat diamond cost?“
Well, I’m happy you asked…
How much does a one carat cost?
One carat diamonds are 100 points of pure magnificent carbon. It’s the perfect carat weight but it does have a pretty steep price point.
In fact, once you cross that 1.00 carat mark, the price really starts to climb quickly. This is because one carats are rare in nature (of good quality) and can demand the price.
Finding the price of a 1.00 carat diamond isn’t as easy as saying “A one carat diamond sells for this much…” There are so many more things that make up the price of a diamond other than carat weight.
What makes up the price of a diamond?
Diamond prices are made up of things like: carat weight, color, clarity, cut grade, shape, fluorescence, certification, proportions and symmetry.
These things can change the price of a diamond from $5,130 all the way up to $28,400 (as seen in the price sheet below). It’s all based upon quality.
You can even get one carat diamonds for as low as $1,750 if you want a low grade stone (I3, M color).
The better the overall quality of the stone, the higher the ticket price will be.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly goes into a one carat diamond price…
Diamond color can go from a pure white color (D-F) to a strong yellow, gray, or brown color (M-Z). The whiter the diamond, the higher the price. Pure white diamonds are my favorite and I highly recommend them.
Diamond clarity is all about the imperfections and flaws in the diamond. The cleaner the stone is, the higher the price.
Clarity grades go from diamonds that are full of cracks, clouds, black carbon spots, fractures, lines, pinpoints and more, to flawless diamonds where the flaws are pretty much non-existent.
Flawless clarity is the best clarity, but rarely found on the market. IF clarity (internally flawless) is more than likely the best you’ll find (featured below).
Diamond cut is how well the diamond is cut or proportioned. The cut of a diamond helps a diamond sparkle by allowing light to come in, bounce across the pavilion and stream back out in a thousands flashes of light and color.
Excellent cut all has to do with the width of the stone, the depth of the stone, the angles of the crown and pavilion, the alignment of the facets, the thickness of the girdle…
When everything is cut excellent, it achieves the maximum amount of brilliance and fire and scintillation a stone can get. The better a diamond is cut, the better it can utilize this light and give you that life that diamonds are known for. A stone cut too wide or too deep will lose light and lack brilliance and sparkle.
Ideal cut diamonds are the ideal cut to purchase and the most commonly known type of “excellent cut” on the market. That’s why I use ideal cuts for this example.
Even the diamond shape can play a huge role in the actual price of a diamond. The brilliant cut diamond (round diamond) can demand more in price because it’s the most sought after diamond shape.
All the other shapes are called fancy cuts and can cost a little bit less (a lot less in some cases). Shapes like: princess cut, marquise cut, emerald cut, radiant cut, heart cut, pear cut, oval cut…
Compare a 1.00 princess cut diamond to a 1.00 brilliant cut diamond of the same color and clarity…
|SHAPE, CARAT, CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, POL, SYM, FLUOR||PRICE||VIEW|
|ROUND, 1.00, VS1, E, EX, EX, EX, NONE||$5,630||VIEW|
|PRINCESS, 1.00, VS1, E, EX, EX, EX, NONE||$4,330||VIEW|
Princess cuts look pretty good don’t they?
Just the fact that a Diamond is certified can add to the price. Certificates are not free.
Usually a certificate from GIA (Gemological Institute of America) could run you between $200 – $400 extra for the same diamond quality without a report.
I assure you this added cost is necessary though. The procedures GIA uses are by far the best in the business. I would notbuy a diamond without one.
Certificates are worth every penny.
Diamonds that have fluorescence (especially when you get into strong fluorescence) can have weird reactions to light and make a diamond look foggy, cloudy or hazy (even if it has high clarity and high color). Each stone has to be judged independently based upon looks to see how they face up and if the fluorescence is noticeable.
Some diamonds handle fluorescence very well, others tend to appear milky and white.
Interestingly enough, fluorescence can make a diamond glow in the dark.
Proportions and symmetry
A diamond could be cut with the right percentages, but if the facets don’t line up, if the diamond has a huge culet, a large girdle, or even a lopsided table, it can throw light off and hinder the performance and light of the stone.
A diamond with excellent proportions and symmetry, can make all the difference in the world.
So now, let’s take a look at the prices of these dream diamonds (1.00 carat or larger) and see how cut and color can affect the overall package deal…
The prices below are listed for loose certified brilliant cut diamonds and based upon the current market price. These prices are taken from the James Allen website where you can do an up-to-date diamond search by using their easy choose a diamond search, that allows you to choose the diamond shape, color, clarity, cut, carat weight and price of the diamond you’re searching for.
These diamonds are sorted by clarity grades (SI2-IF), and then by color (J-D). Enjoy!
1 Carat, SI2 Clarity Diamonds:
|CARAT WEIGHT, SI2 CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, CERTIFIED||PRICE||VIEW|
|1.00, SI2, J, EXCELLENT, GIA||$3,090||VIEW|
|1.00, SI2, I, EXCELLENT, GIA||$3,190||VIEW|
|1.00, SI2, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$3,300||VIEW|
|1.00, SI2, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$3,390||VIEW|
|1.00, SI2, F, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,040||VIEW|
|1.00, SI2, E, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,210||VIEW|
|1.00, SI2, D, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,690||VIEW|
1 Carat, SI1 Clarity Diamonds:
|CARAT WEIGHT, SI1 CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, CERTIFIED||PRICE||VIEW|
|1.00, SI1, J, EXCELLENT, GIA||$3,570||VIEW|
|1.00, SI1, I, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,230||VIEW|
|1.00, SI1, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,650||VIEW|
|1.00, SI1, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,770||VIEW|
|1.00, SI1, F, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,170||VIEW|
|1.00, SI1, E, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,480||VIEW|
|1.00, SI1, D, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,830||VIEW|
1 Carat, VS2 Clarity Diamonds:
|CARAT WEIGHT, VS2 CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, CERTIFIED||PRICE||VIEW|
|1.00, VS2, J, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,200||VIEW|
|1.00, VS2, I, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,680||VIEW|
|1.00, VS2, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,650||VIEW|
|1.00, VS2, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,840||VIEW|
|1.00, VS2, F, EXCELLENT, GIA||$6,470||VIEW|
|1.00, VS2, E, EXCELLENT, GIA||$6,720||VIEW|
|1.00, VS2, D, EXCELLENT, GIA||$7,350||VIEW|
1 Carat, VS1 Clarity Diamonds:
|CARAT WEIGHT, VS1 CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, CERTIFIED||PRICE||VIEW|
|1.00, VS1, J, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,400||VIEW|
|1.00, VS1, I, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,110||VIEW|
|1.00, VS1, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,870||VIEW|
|1.00, VS1, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$6,300||VIEW|
|1.00, VS1, F, EXCELLENT, GIA||$7,310||VIEW|
|1.00, VS1, E, EXCELLENT, GIA||$7,510||VIEW|
|1.00, VS1, D, EXCELLENT, GIA||$8,280||VIEW|
1 Carat, VVS2 Clarity Diamonds:
|CARAT WEIGHT, VVS2 CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, CERTIFIED||PRICE||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS2, J, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,370||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS2, I, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,080||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS2, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$6,100||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS2, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$6,790||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS2, F, EXCELLENT, GIA||$7,610||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS2, E, EXCELLENT, GIA||$8,310||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS2, D, EXCELLENT, GIA||$9,220||VIEW|
1 Carat, VVS1 Clarity Diamonds:
|CARAT WEIGHT, VVS1 CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, CERTIFIED||PRICE||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS1, J, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,230||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS1, I, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,060||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS1, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$6,130||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS1, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$7,370||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS1, F, EXCELLENT, GIA||$8,660||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS1, E, EXCELLENT, GIA||$9,210||VIEW|
|1.00, VVS1, D, EXCELLENT, GIA||$10,830||VIEW|
1 Carat, IF Clarity Diamonds:
|CARAT WEIGHT, IF CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, CERTIFIED||PRICE||VIEW|
|1.00, IF, J, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,630||VIEW|
|1.00, IF, I, EXCELLENT, GIA||$5,370||VIEW|
|1.00, IF, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$6,390||VIEW|
|1.00, IF, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$7,600||VIEW|
|1.00, IF, F, EXCELLENT, GIA||$8,700||VIEW|
|1.00, IF, E, EXCELLENT, GIA||$9,960||VIEW|
|1.00, IF, D, EXCELLENT, GIA||$13,390||VIEW|
James Allen does have flawless (FL) diamonds as well. They’re just rare and limited. See their flawless diamonds here.
So there you go…
Now you have a better idea of what to expect in case you’re in the market for a one carat diamond engagement ring.
Price is all about the total quality of the stone (and was good at the time of this post).
Now the final question is:
“What quality are you willing to pay for?”
I recommend SI1+, Pure White, True Hearts diamonds (the best cut diamonds in the world).
14k Wheat Chains (top post 2)
Top Diamond Vendors:
James Allen is a leader in diamonds. Their real time interactive diamond inspection is the best in the industry. View and rotate any diamond under 20x magnification. Their prices, selection, lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer support and hassle free returns are unbeatable. Visit James Allen today.
Blue Nile is the largest and most well known respected diamond dealer online. They are highly trusted, have a huge inventory, and low low prices (compare anywhere and see for yourself). If you want to save money, or build your own ring, this is the place to shop. Visit Blue Nile today.