Summary in a few lines:
Diamond weight unit is measured by carat (not to confuse with gold’s karat), carat is 0.2 of a gram, which means that a gram of diamond is equivalent of 5 carats.
And here is how 1 carat (0.2 of a gram) actually looks on average fingers:
So as you see, it’s not small at all, we will see below how 1 gram diamond (5 carat) looks on a finger.
Regarding carat & gram prices, you probably noticed the price of a 1 carat diamond, and since the gram is 5 carat, don’t think it will be just 5 times a 1 carat diamond, it might reach 10x!
Average 1 carat diamond worth somewhere between $4000 & $6000, going to 1 gram (5 carat), we jump to $80k & $100k.
Let’s see why…
How Much Carat is 1 Gram Diamond?
Back to where we left off. Let’s talk mathematics!
A diamond carat is equal to 200 milligrams, and given that gram is worth 1000 milligrams, it means that 1 carat equals 0.2 of a gram and a gram equals 5 carat.
Namely, asking how much 1-gram of a diamond is worth is the same as asking what the price of a 5-carat diamond is!
5-carat diamonds are very rare. To the point that not many people in the diamond industry have ever seen one! To paint you an image, let us tell you that +90% of diamonds you’ve seen in your life are less than 1.5 carats! The same goes for any diamond expert!
How 5 carats diamond looks in real life? The left image is 1 carat, and the right one here is 5 carat, pretty clear how large is it!
How Much are Diamonds Worth?
It can be $100 or $1 million, or even more (here is a $2.3 million diamond on James Allen for instance).
Even for a 1 carat diamond, it ranges from $1500 to $25000 as we see in a quick search on James Allen, but for real, how much is a diamond worth in average?
Diamond Weight <> Price Correlation
Now that we are clear on the fact that diamonds aren’t sold by the gram, it should be noted that the weight measurement unit for diamonds is the Carat. But how can one actually estimate the price of a gram?
In order to get there, we need to know how much carat is in a gram of diamond. And if you don’t already know that, your mind will be absolutely blown! Let’s put a pin on that for now and talk carats, shall we?
For instance, check out this 1-carat diamond at James Allen; priced at $5020 (at the time of writing this), whereas this almost exact one (with double the carat weight) from Blue Nile, costs around $20k, any idea why is that?
Because diamond pricing doesn’t work this way! 2 carat diamonds are rarer, needs much larger stone to get 2 carat out of it, and needs higher levels of artistic work to get it the way you see it.
There’s a whole science behind this; way more than just weight!
Random note: You can absolutely find a 2-carat cheaper than a 1-carat! But that story is for another day.
What is Diamond Price per Gram (5 carat)?
While you probably will never find a 1-gram diamond in your local jewelry store, chances are, you can get an idea or two on its size and price on online stores (which is our preferable way of diamond shopping, actually!)
Being the largest online store with hundreds of thousands of diamonds, James Allen will be our reference for the following price estimation.
Remark: Out of +554k diamonds on James Allen (as of writing this), only ~900 diamonds are 5 carats or more, less than 0.002%!
Diamond prices vary tremendously; particularly with large diamonds like a 5-carat (1 gram), and there is no one-size-fits-all rule to know how diamonds are priced.
For the 5-carat, it’s safe to say that the cheapest 5-carat (1 gram) diamond is priced at $35400 as you can see here, while the highest-priced 5-carat diamond costs $282000, and no, there are no extra zeros here, $282k! Here’s a screenshot for the record:
No wonder, the diamond industry is insane, and such diamond is exceptionally rare, 5 carat (1 gram), E colored & VVS1!
To put this into more contest, 1-gram of diamond prices vary a lot, and you can’t limit that to these two diamonds (cheapest and most expensive), feel free to check this pre-set search on James Allen to see the price range before we get into details.
What is Diamond Price Per Carat?
Or in other words, what’s the price of 0.2 gram of a diamond?
You’re most probably at the stage of setting your mind on a budget for the ring. But the question remains, do I have to limit my budget to a particular carat weight? The answer is no, you don’t. We urge you to rather look for a good diamond despite your budget!
However, we sure as hell don’t want you to go through with this without a reference at least, therefore, let’s take a deeper look.
How Much is a 1 Carat Round Diamond?
To have a fair comparison, we will go with the minimum (and recommended start point 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!
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!
If you just change the search above to 2 carat, you will get diamonds ranging between $17k to $29k, this indeed isn’t 2x of 1 carat diamond! It’s almost 3x, and before we see why, let’s have a quick look on 1 carat diamond cost for different diamond shapes.
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 200! Less than half of the collection we found for round diamonds alone!
Why the Price of a 2 Carat Diamond isn’t 2x of a 1 Carat Price?
Diamonds are scarce, and the larger they are, the rarer they get!
To demonstrate, James Allen’s has 27000 diamonds weighing exactly 1 carat, anyhow, they have only 2000 diamonds weighing exactly 2 carats!
Are you following us on the numbers we’re seeing here on online stores? We mean, common, you can’t possibly get that in your local store! Not even on most online stores!
To be honest, James Allen and Blue Nile took the online jewelry competition to new levels!
Pretty insane! More than a million diamond in 2 stores.
Back to our topic on hand, does the diamond price only depend on carats?
Let’s take another quick look at James Allen’s diamond ring setting tool. You can clearly notice that the search limits the options to 1 carat only, and gives us thousands of options ranging between $1500 and $25000.
Yes, a low-quality 1-carat (0.2 of a gram) diamond costs around $1500, whereas a superior 1-carat diamond might cost approximately: $25000 for a brilliant-cut, extremely high clarity & color, and a gorgeous shape!
The same goes for 2 carats, if you include low quality grades (color & clarity) as well as superior grades, you might be looking at a number as high as +$68000 or as low as $7000! As you see in these two screenshots:
In conclusion, a 2 Carat diamond is not a 2 x 1-carat diamond, it’s actually almost 3x.
Why? As simple as 1 word: Rarity!
What Factors Count into Diamond Pricing?
Diamonds are extremely unique, and like the iris of the eye, you can never find two identical diamonds on earth.
As we’ve already discussed, many factors come into place when it comes to diamonds and so lots of variables sum up the final price of a diamond!
We have quickly mentioned these factors: Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity. Let’s go a bit deeper:
Cut is the most important element in any diamond. It’s mainly responsible to make the diamond proportion ideal in order to reflect most of the light that goes through it. This image tells you the whole story behind the Cut:
Quick Tip: Always seek an ideal cut (start from there), then look for other factors based on budget (i.e. don’t start by: I have $5k and want 1 carat, let’s see what cut/color I can get).
Some retailers have special line of products for extremely high-cut diamonds, called Hearts & Arrows, as we see in True Hearts™ by James Allen, and Astor by Blue Nile™, the same goes for A CUT ABOVE™ with Whiteflash.
The moment your heart is set on an ideal-cut, you’re starting to think “Colors”! You’re lost between the colorless and the yellowish. Well, before you decide, you should probably be aware of the Diamond Color Chart that you can see down the article there!
According to GIA standards, diamond colors are scaled from D to Z, with D being the most colorless grade:
Pro tip: In 99% of cases, you will be safe getting an H color diamond.
This factor determines how clean the surface of a diamond is, if it has inclusions (flaws) or not, what types is the inclusion, and if the inclusions are visible to the naked eye or not.
And again, we have another chart grading all diamond clarities for you: Diamonds Clarity Chart from I3 to FL.
Pro Tip: SI1 is eye-clean in most cases.
These 3 factors (along with many others like certification labs which assess the diamond, polish, symmetry, etc…) play a huge role in determining the price of a diamond; which’s the reason for the huge gap that we see between the prices of a 1-carat!
To give a clear example: A diamond with an excellent cut, D color, VVS1 clarity price will cost 5 or 6 times more than one with only a good cut, K color, and I1 clarity diamond.
Diamond weight isn’t measured by gram, rather by carat, which is 0.2 of a gram.
1 carat diamond costs somewhere between $4.5k to $7k for recommended grades (Ideal cut, H or G Color, SI1 or VS2 Clarity).
A diamond that weights 1 gram worth as low as $35k, or as high as $282k.
The price of any multiple of 1 carat (2 carat, 3 carat, gram, etc..) isn’t the multiplier of 1 carat diamond price, for many reasons, but mainly rarity! The larger the diamond, the less available it is.
When you’re searching for your perfect diamond, Carat is the last thing to look for (from the 4Cs). We suggest you consider the other 3Cs first and… the tips below:
- Always start with the cut. Don’t get below an Ideal/Excellent cut diamond, even if it was smaller in size. A 0.5 carat ideal diamond might be better than a 1-carat v. good one!
- Next, head to color and spend your money on what matters. H will be good enough!
- As for the clarity, get an eye-clean SI1 and you will be just fine.
- Make sure that your diamond is certified by a well-known lab like GIA or AGS (some blogs mention 5Cs counting certificate as the 5th C), and please don’t think about getting one certified by EGL!
Happy diamond shopping!
Still not sure where to buy your diamond?
We always recommend shopping diamonds online and created a Full guide to shop diamonds like a Pro.
Among online retailers, here are our favorite stores
click their logo to visit store
Our favorite online store, best diamond imaging technology available today, comes with the largest collection with more than half a million loose diamonds.
Widest collection of loose diamonds of all sizes, great imaging technology for most of their inventory (hundreds of thousands of diamonds), great customer support.
Home Of A CUT ABOVE® Super Ideal Diamonds, they stand out from the crowd by offering premium diamonds cuts, tailored to those who love the details, at great prices too.