Although a lot of factors play a huge role in diamond pricing, but the first thing people look at is the carat, it’s like a “benchmark” for diamonds shoppers and they decide their budget based on that.
While this is happening (looking first at the carat), it’s nowhere close to the correct way for looking for your diamond, and here is why.
People always look for the carat for 1 thing, they want their diamond to be noticed! Large enough so people can see it (and appears easily in photos as well 😉 ), let me tell you this, the carat should be the LAST thing to look for in a diamond after picking the best cut, a clean clarity, and a colorless color!
Then it becomes the choice of picking the carat, this is how you should do shopping for your diamond.
Now back to the main question, what’s the price of 1 carat diamond?
The simple answer: It varies, and varies a lot.
And here are two screenshots in case diamonds got sold (honestly I will feel sorry for anyone who will get any of them, will know why later):
Does this make any sense? Sure not.
Let’s understand how to properly calculate and find the correct price for a 1 carat diamond, a little understanding of other 4Cs might be needed here.
How the 3Cs affect 1 Carat Prices?
If we put 1C (the carat) on the side for a bit, how Cut, Color, and Clarity will affect the diamond price?
1. Cut: The most and highest effect on pricing, NEVER get a diamond with good cut (the name says good, but it’s very bad actually), that’s why you will see a huge jump in prices when going from V.Good for example, to Excellent cut (the grade we always recommend) compared to a jump in color for example! Read more about the Cut
2. Color: Why it has a higher effect than clarity? Basically that’s the demand, people go crazy if they know the diamond isn’t colorless, or if they hear “some yellow”.
That’s why stores tend to increase prices significantly between color grades, and mainly when you jump from a near-colorless to a colorless grades, like what you see here:
A jump from H to G will not be the same as G to F for example, you get the idea. Understand everything about the Color here.
3. Clarity: It also plays a huge part in determining what would be the price of 1 carat diamond, because getting an eye-clean diamond is a must, so you will see a price shift when getting to VS2 for example.
Now, we know that the price of a diamond isn’t solely determined by the carat, so let’s look what is a “reasonable” price for a recommended 1 carat diamond.
How much 1 Carat Round Diamond Costs?
To have a fair comparison, we will go with the minimum (and recommended for most people) diamond characteristics:
Cut, Polish & Symmetry: Excellent.
Color: G or H (read why G should be your first choice)
Clarity: SI1 or VS2 (SI1 is eye-clean in most cases, go VS2 if you want to play safe)
Doing this search on JA will pull up 268 diamonds (at the time of writing this), that ranges between $4100 & $7930.
If we exclude the edge prices, we will get a reasonable range of $4400 & $6800 for 1 carat diamond.
If you do the same search on Blue Nile, you will get 94 diamonds, ranging from $4010 to $8496!
Again, excluding edge prices will give a better range of $4600 – $7400.
So as we see, you will be able to get a stunning 1 carat diamond for less that $5000!
Remember that we’re talking about Round diamonds here only!
How Much 1 Carat Diamond Costs for Different Shapes?
We will make it quick here, this is an average summary for diamonds in shapes other than the round, keeping in mind that the Round has the largest collection and you won’t be able to find that much inventory on both James Allen or Blue Nile when you’re searching for shapes other than round:
Princess: $3200 – $4300
Cushion: $3100 – $3900
Emerald: $3100 – $4200
Oval: $3700 – $4700
Radiant: $3300 – $4500
Asscher: $2500 – $3400
Marquise: $4200 – $4500
Heart: $3000 – $3800
Pear: $3500 – $4800
One note here, total number of diamonds for all these shapes TOGETHER didn’t reach 100! Less than half of the collection we found for round diamonds alone!
1 Carat Diamond Price Summary
Needless to say, price range for the 1 carat diamonds varies a lot! We’ve seen diamonds for less than $2000 and others for $18000, but these don’t reflect the correct prices for diamonds.
We also noticed different ranges based on diamond shape, with Round being the more expensive among all other shapes.
In short, a great 1 carat diamond can be found for an average of $4500-$5500 in stores like James Allen or Blue Nile (and don’t expect to find these prices for similar diamonds in your local store).