The Fifth C: How Much Do 

Diamonds Cost?

Let's see what drives diamond prices and how to get the biggest and sparkliest diamond on your budget.

Diamond prices vary widely depending on the stone's characteristics. While some diamonds can cost thousands of dollars, other can be worth just several hundred. But how much do diamonds cost? Let's see what drives their prices and how to get the biggest and shiniest diamond on your budget.

We recommend taking a look at our other articles about Diamond Pricing as well:

Buying Diamonds on a Budget

History of Diamond Prices

Investing in Diamonds

What determines the price of a diamond?

The price of a diamond is driven by its carat weight and quality characteristics, which include the stone's color, clarity and cut.

As a general rule, the rarer the diamond's quality characteristics, the higher its value.

For example, colorless diamonds (DEF) are more expensive than near colorless diamonds (GHIJ) because its harder to find a perfectly white diamond.

Similarly, flawless diamonds are harder to find than those with visible inclusions, thus high-clarity diamonds sell at a higher price.

Another determinant is the diamond cut quality which refers to the proportions of stones.

In the diamond industry, there are proportions that are considered ideal to maximize a stone's brilliance and sparkle. The closer a stone's cut to these proportions, the higher the price of a diamond.

And last but not least factor is the diamond's carat weight. All else being equal (color, clarity, cut), bigger diamonds cost more per carat.

To sum up, the whiter, cleaner, more proportional and bigger a diamond, the more expensive it is.

What's the price of top-quality diamonds?

Diamonds with the best quality characteristics can be very expensive.

For example,

          1 carat round diamond, D color, IF quality and 'ideal' or 'excellent' cut grades can cost more than $20,000. While a stone with equal quality characteristics that is 0.75ct can cost up to $7,000-$8,000.

For comparison,

          1 carat round diamond, E color, VVS1 clarity, 'Very Good' cut can cost up to $10,000. While the same quality stone weighing 0.75ct will cost in the $6,500-$7,500 range.

Keep in mind that these prices can change over time, meaning even a single quality characteristic price variation can drive the price up or down by hundreds of dollars.

What's the price of low-quality diamonds?

Let's figure out which diamonds are considered to be low-quality. These are stones which have clarity grade I (Included) and lower, a color grade lower than J and cut grade "Fair" and lower.

Such 1 carat stones may be found for less than $1,000 - $2,000.

It turns out you can buy a pretty big stone that is quite cheap. However, its still a big question if such diamonds are worth the money because low-quality stones look tinted, have visible inclusions and low brilliance.

What's the price of best-value diamonds?

Best-value diamonds are those that look fairly colorless and clean to the naked eye. This means that people untrained in gemology would hardly see any difference between such a stone and one of the top quality unless two diamonds are put next to each other. Read Buying Diamonds on a Budget to learn how to find best value diamonds.

For example,

          1 carat round diamond, H color, VS2 clarity and 'Very Good' cut grades can look reasonably white and clean and would cost in $4,500-$6,000 range.

A little better diamond, lets say, G color and VS1 clarity would be around $5,000-$7,000. However, its still doubtful if it is worth to go higher on the quality scale since you might not be able to see a visible difference.

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