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.
If you want to know how much is a 1 carat of diamond, you will get the general answer in the next paragraph, but the important part of knowing how much is a 1 carat diamond will be explained shortly after as we will look for the average price of a great 1 carat pick.
For example, here is the cheapest diamond currently available on James Allen, priced at $1710:
So as you see, you can get 1 carat diamond for as less as $1700, but personally, I wouldn’t take such diamond even if they give it to me for free!
How expensive 1 carat diamond can be? They say “the sky is the limit”, it’s somehow true here, because you can find an insanely-priced 1 carat diamond on Blue Nile for $21385:
So as you see, we can easily say that 1 carat diamond can be as cheap as $1700, and as expensive as $21000! But this is not what you’re looking for today of course.
Why People Focus on Carat?
A lot of people focus mainly (and unfortunately sometimes “only”) on the carat, they start searching for their diamond by the carat, then they go down in cut, color, and clarity, just for the sake of getting 1 carat diamond.
This is 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!
You want a diamond that is beautiful? Reflects light well? Get an Excellent cut diamond, even if it’s 0.5 carat! It would be much better than 2 carat diamond with a cut that passes all the light through it!
Pick a diamond that doesn’t show any yellow color on it, and also make sure it has NO visible inclusions by getting an eye-clean clarity grade.
Then (and ONLY then) it becomes the choice of picking the carat, this is how you should do shopping for your diamond.
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 is a 1 Carat Round Diamond?
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 (diamonds with a bit over-priced or lower quality), we will get a reasonable range of $4400 & $6500 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 – $7200.
So as we see, you will be able to get a stunning 1 carat diamond for less than $5000!
1 Carat Diamond Price Average Summary:
Bearing in mind that both James Allen & Blue Nile are really very competitive in terms of diamonds pricing, we can clearly see that the average price for 1 carat diamond goes between $4500 – $7000, and we don’t recommend spending more than $6000 on 1 carat diamond in general.
If you’re shopping somewhere else, whether online or in a local jewelry store, you probably will find prices a bit higher (10%-20%), that’s why we always recommend getting your diamond online, and from one of these two stores, since they also have the largest collections ever.
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 variety of options 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!
How Much is a 2 Carat Diamond?
No, it’s not double the average we saw above for 1 carat diamond, pricing for diamonds doesn’t work this way unfortunately, 2 carat diamonds are found much less in nature, therefor, their prices are relatively high if we compare them to 1 carat.
We won’t compare all 2 carat diamonds (any color, any cut, any clarity, anything) because this will get us diamonds for $6000 and others for $56000! Yes, $56k for 2 carat diamond, and here is it if you want to see.
To have a clearer (and fair) idea on the cost of 2 carat diamond, we will follow the same method we used above, let’s look at James Allen first with this search.
To start, we have 18 diamonds in this search, compared to 268 diamonds when we did the same search for 1 carat! This tells how less available 2 carat diamonds are, and partially explains why the price of 2 carat diamonds are high.
The cheapest diamond between these 18 diamonds is priced at $14790:
While the most expensive 2 carat diamond is priced at $23380:
We’re talking about $15000-$23000 for 2 carat diamonds price.
Doing the same search on Blue Nile gives us “almost” similar prices for 2 carat diamonds, ranging between $16000 to $23000.
So in general, we can say that the average price range for 2 carat diamonds is between $16000-$20000.
By now, I think you already know why 2 carat diamonds prices aren’t double the 1 carat!
How the 3Cs affect 1 or 2 Carat Diamonds 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.
Diamond Price per Carat 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.
Same goes for 2 carats diamond, even with more extreme ranges between $6000 to $54000.
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-$6000 in stores like James Allen or Blue Nile, 2 carat diamonds are generally priced between $16000 and $20000
Last thing, don’t expect to find these prices for similar diamonds in your local store! And if you need help in choosing the right diamond, just contact us and we will be glad to offer you a free consultancy.