When buying a diamond, one of the first things we want to know is how much it costs. It is true, it is so easy to get enchanted by the fascinating diamond sparkle, but it is hard to settle for a price that would probably put a permanent dent on your wallet. Hence, the increased interest in learning more about diamond prices and the factors that determine the value of the stone. Following are a few important facts you would be happy to be aware of in order to avoid overpaying your diamond or getting ripped off, in the worst-case scenario.
Fact No. 1
ALL DIAMONDS ARE PRICED PER CARAT
You must have been wondering, why does one diamond engagement ring cost $2.500, while another comes at a price of $6.250? And the most confusing part of all is that both rings are made of the same metal (ex. 14K white gold) and are centrally mounted with the same loose diamonds, which by the way, have an excellent cut (ex. round-brilliant). So, what makes the difference? The secret lies in the carat weight. On the diamond price chart, size is the major factor that determines the cost. Therefore, let’s suppose that the $2.500 ring features a 0.5-carat diamond, while the other one that sells for $6.250 features a 1.25-carat diamond. This means that 1 - carat diamonds trade for $5.000.
To better understand how diamond prices are calculated, use the following formula:
Total Diamond Price = Carat Weight x Price per Carat / ex. $2.500 = 0.5 x $5.000
Notice: Diamond prices per carat vary due to a range of circumstances, including massive competition and fast-paced diamond industry as the two primordial ones.
Fact No. 2
OTHER FACTORS ARE ALSO INCLUDED IN THE PRICING PROCESS
Carat weight is definitely the leading criteria in the overall diamond pricing process, but not the only one. There are also other factors playing their role in evaluating the quality and price of diamonds, which is exactly what we are going to talk about in the following lines.
To cut a diamond means to give it a final shape. Some types of diamond cuts require eliminating a greater part of the rough diamond material, while others retain almost the entire diamond mass, thus making it heavier and consequently, more expensive. If a diamond has some evident inclusions, the cutter will have to go as deep as needed to eliminate them and make the stone inclusion-free for the naked eye. The other goal of cutting a diamond is to optimize its luster and brilliance. Diamonds that are cut with precise proportions often fetch a good price; their cut grade is either “Very Good” or “Excellent”. Some of the most popular and at the same time, budget-friendly diamond shapes are emerald, oval, asscher and princess. They all belong to the group of fancy diamonds, which are all remarkable for their opulent look that makes a diamond appear bigger and more expensive than its actual worth.
Diamond clarity refers to a property which tells if a diamond is showcasing some flaws or not. In diamond grading, the most expensive diamonds are those with no inclusions at all and they are graded “Internally Flawless”. Since they cannot be afforded by the vast jewelry shopping auditorium, the most reasonable option is to pick partially colored diamond that contains inclusions, but are not visible to the naked eye. These diamonds are commonly referred to as “eye-clean”.
This is another determinant in evaluating and pricing a diamond. Generally, diamonds that are displaying tints of color are less desired, because the presence of color diminishes the stone’s sparkling capacity. Simply said, the more colorless the diamond, the higher its price.
» Culet Size
The culet is the sharp, pointed part at the bottom of the diamond. It represents the base of the pavilion where all the pavilion facets meet at one single point. The modern jewelry practice shows that most diamonds do not have culets or if they have, they are very small. The main reason for that is because a large culet will hinder the passage of light through the stone, which is essential for it to exhibit the desired sparkle. Therefore, if you come across a diamond with a large culet, it is very probable that it is going to sell at a lower price.
» Girdle Thickness
Diamond prices are set by putting into consideration the condition of the girdle too. So, diamonds with too thin or too thick girdles stand for lower prices, but also lower quality. A girdle that is thinner than the normal standards is going to increase the stone’s vulnerability (it will be more prone to scratching and chipping), while an overly thick girdle will make it less attractive.
Some diamonds have a special characteristic of emitting a soft colored glow when the stone is exposed to ultraviolet light. That is called fluorescence. According to the statistics, about 30% of the overall diamond supply is fluorescent, which is a rare and extremely desired phenomenon in diamond jewelry. But, as you already know, what is rare and unique always comes at a high price, meaning that fluorescent diamonds could not be afforded by average consumers.
Polish represents the way a diamond’s surface looks. More precisely, are the facets smooth, silky and brilliant? “High Polish” is the highest and costliest polish grade, because it enhances the luster of the diamond and the star-studded look of the overall jewelry piece.
Not surprisingly, diamond prices are affected by the retailer (brand) that sells the specimens. Generally, popular brands in the jewelry industry generate slightly higher prices than the lesser-known retailers, based on their well-built reputation on the market. They also stand for fine quality and reliable diamond certification that includes 100% correct information about the diamond’s specifications. There are retailers that sell their own brand(s), like Kobelli moissanite, which is offering beyond-extraordinary grades of fire and brilliance, even higher than diamond itself, while also being the cheapest alternative to diamond’s beauty.
Fact No. 3
DIAMOND PRICES INCREASE AT POPULAR CARAT SIZES
If you compare the prices of a 0.7-carat solitaire diamond ring and a 1-carat solitaire pendant, you may see some irrational numbers without really understanding where do they come from. The truth is, there is a tendency of raising the prices of the best-selling carat sizes, like 0.50, 1.00, 1.50, 2.00, etc. Therefore, do not be surprised if the 0.7-carat solitaire diamond ring sells for $3.200, while the 1-carat solitaire pendant fetches a price of $4.500. To save money on your purchase, the smartest thing you can do is to concentrate on less popular carat sizes to take advantage of reduced diamond prices.
Fact No. 4
BIGGER DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN BETTER
Many enthusiastic diamond buyers are driven by the belief that larger stones are more promising than smaller ones. Well, that is not how it really is. In fact, a diamond of 0.75 carats can be sparklier and way more alluring than a 1.75-carat rock with poor cut or low clarity/color grades. This means that when inspecting diamond prices, you should not always think “big”. Sometimes, you can get much more with a smaller diamond, which at the same time, will stay within your preferred budget.
Fact No. 5
CERTIFIED DIAMONDS OFFER THE MOST RELIABLE PRICES
The first thing a savvy consumer does when entering the confusing world of diamond prices, is selecting a retailer that sells a diamond labeled “certified”. This should be the number one principle of anyone planning to spend more than $1.000 on this particular purchase. A diamond that has been provided with a certificate issued by a renowned gemological laboratory (GIA, IGI, AGS) will give you a peace of mind that you have paid for a precious stone that truly stands for each and every of its qualities.