The Diamond Price Guide – How Much Is A Really Diamond Worth?

Diamond prices can be confusing when you are looking to buy a Diamond, especially when Diamonds of the same weight and quality can vary so much in price.

But to help you understand and navigate the complex world of Diamond prices, I’ve created this guide that covers everything that you need to know, so let’s get started…

Quick Summary

  • A Diamonds price is determined by its quality, which includes its color, clarity and cut quality
  • Larger Diamonds are generally worth more but this isn’t always the case depending on the quality of the Diamond
  • Lab-Grown Diamonds are worth significantly less than Natural Diamonds
  • Treated Diamonds, whether for color or clarity are worth less than untreated Diamonds 

Diamond Prices

Price updated: 2nd July 2024

Diamond WeightPrice Per CaratPrice Per StoneView Diamonds
0.5 Carat$760 – $5,700$380 – $2,850View 0.5 Carat Diamonds
0.75 Carat$946 – $7,786$710 – $5,840View 0.75 Carat Diamonds
1 Carat$1,230 – $20,980$1,230 – $20,980View 1 Carat Diamonds
2 Carat$1,990 – $23,195$3,980 – $46,390View 2 Carat Diamonds
3 Carat$4,770 – $39,496$14,310 – $118,490View 3 Carat Diamonds
4 Carat$5,175 – $20,850$20,700 – $83,400View 4 Carat Diamonds
5 Carat$10,370 – $25,064$51,850 – $125,320View 5 Carat Diamonds

For the Diamond prices listed in this table, I’ve only looked at Natural Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds as I’ll cover the difference in prices between different styles of cut later in this post.

What Impacts The Price Of A Diamond?

As you can see from the table above, there are some big differences in the prices of Diamonds but what causes these differences?

There are actually a number of different factors, including the 4 C’s that determine the price of a Diamond and I’ve covered these below:

Carat

Carat, which is the weight of a Diamond, not the size has a big impact on the price of the stone as you can see in the price table above but many people wrongly assume that a larger Diamond is always going to be worth more than a smaller one. 

But this is only the case when the 3 other C’s are equal and there are many instances where a high-quality smaller Diamond is worth more than a lower-quality larger stone.

When it comes to prices, all Diamonds have a price per carat, which is how much the Diamond costs per carat and it is this price that is multiplied by the carat weight to give you to total price for the stone, for example:

  • A Diamond with a price per carat of $3,000 that weighs 0.5 carats would mean the price for the stone would be $1,500
  • A Diamond with a price per carat of $6,000 that weighs 1.5 carats would mean the price for the stone would be $9,000

You may see TCW advertised on some finished jewelry, this is the Total Carat Weight of the Diamonds on the piece, not the weight of the main stone

The Style of Cut

A Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Table Up
A Round Brilliant Cut Diamond
A Princess Cut Diamond
A Princess Cut Diamond
An Oval Cut Diamond

The style of cut, which is basically the shape of the stone, not the Cut that is part of the 4 C’s (I cover that a bit later) as some styles are more in demand than others, which means that they sell for a higher price per carat than a stone of the same quality that is cut into a different style.

Style of CutPrice Per CaratView Diamonds
Round Brilliant$3,130 – $8,670View Round Brilliant Diamonds
Princess$2,140 – $5,220View Princess Cut Diamonds
Oval$2,950 – $6,480View Oval Cut Diamonds
Cushion$1,970 – $3,800View Cushion Cut Diamonds
Emerald$2,280 – $5,780View Emerald Cut Diamonds
Pear$2,780 – $6,100View Pear Cut Diamonds
Marquise$4,140 – $6,400View Marquise Cut Diamonds
Radiant$2,320 – $4,440View Radiant Cut Diamonds
Asscher$2,530 – $3,680View Asscher Cut Diamonds
Heart$2,560 – $5,180View Heart Cut Diamonds
All prices based on a 1 Carat, G Color, VS Clarity with Excellent Cut

Some styles like the Round Brilliant, Princess and Oval are generally worth more as the demand for these styles is pretty constant and they could even be called timeless as the demand rarely gets impacted by current fashion trends.

Some other styles of cut are more susceptible to current fashion trends and this can result in their prices fluctuating, an example of this is the Cushion Cut, which saw a huge increase in demand following the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and prices increased but they soon fell again when they weren’t as fashionable.

There are also fancy cuts that have a very niche customer base, such as the Heart Cut and prices for these are usually a lot lower than the equivalent weight and quality Round Brilliant or Princess cut.

Color

A D Color Diamond
D Color Diamond
A H Color Diamond
H Color Diamond
A J Color Diamond
J Color Diamond

As another of the 4 C’s, Color also has an impact on the price of a Diamond and the better the color, the more expensive the Diamond (assuming all other quality factors are equal).

But how much does color impact on price? In the table below, I’ve shown the prices for a VS1 Clarity, Excellent Cut, Round Brilliant Diamond weighing 1 Carat but with different color grades:

ColorPrice Per CaratView Diamonds
D$5,260 – $9,100View D Color Diamonds
G$3,870 – $8,670View G Color Diamonds
J$1,910 – $3,880View J Color Diamonds

As you can see, the better the color, the higher the price per carat but is it worth paying a premium for a D or E Color Diamond?

Honestly, no as the only difference between a D/E and an F/G/H is how ‘bright’ the Diamond looks and is only really noticeable to people with a trained eye as all these 5 color grades are colorless when looking through the top of the Diamond.

Most people will only start to notice a hint (and it is a very slight hint) at an I color.

F, G and H color Diamonds are colorless but don’t attract the premium of a D/E color Diamond and are a great option for engagement rings.

Clarity

A good SI1 Clarity Diamond
A poor SI1 Clarity Diamond

Clarity also has an impact on the price of a Diamond and stones with a higher clarity grade will cost more but one thing that you will notice when looking at Diamonds is that stones with the same Clarity and quality can have sometime pretty big price differences but why?

Well Diamonds can have the same Clarity grade but the inclusions in the Diamonds can have a big impact on the visual appeal of the stone.

Take the two Diamonds in the pictures above, they are both D Color, SI1 Clarity, Excellent Cut, 1ct Diamonds but the one on the right is 15% cheaper than the one on the left, this is because:

  • The inclusion in the first Diamond is quite small, light and under the crown facets (it’s just under the 9 o’clock position), meaning that it isn’t particularly visible a could potentially be hidden when set, such as under a prong
  • There are not only more inclusions in the second Diamond but they are also much darker and more noticeable and this means that the stone just doesn’t look as good

Clarity also follows a similar pattern to color as for the majority of buyers, there is no point buying a Diamond with a clarity grade higher than a VS1 as only a trained Diamond Grader using magnification will be able to spot the difference between a VS1 and a VVS2 or Flawless Diamond.

When looking to buy, a VS1, VS2 or SI1 will in most cases be your best option and I would avoid any I clarity diamonds, even if the prices are very attractive.

Always look at the Diamonds before deciding to buy and don’t just buy from the information on the report as the clarity grade alone doesn’t tell you what the Diamond will look like.

Cut

The final of the 4 C’s is Cut and this is the one that many people overlook but it is arguably the most important.

This is because the quality of the cut (which is what cut is referring to) has a big impact on how good or bad the Diamond looks as:

  • A well cut Diamond will have good levels of fire and brilliance, meaning that the stone will have lots of life and sparkle
  • A poorly cut Diamond will often lack fire and brilliance, meaning that the stone can look dull and lifeless

When it comes to cut grades, currently the GIA only cut grades Round Brilliant Diamonds and when doing this, they look at three elements, which are individually graded from Poor to Excellent:

  1. Proportions – this is the angles and ratios to which the Diamond is cut
  2. Symmetry – this is how symmetrical the Diamond is (image placing a line down the middle of a Diamond)
  3. Polish – this is how good the final polish of the Diamond is

The Cut Grade is something that I wouldn’t compromise on and would always go for a Very Good or Excellent grade as these stones will generally sparkle like a Diamond should.

Some retailers will have their own top-quality cut grade but this won’t appear on a GIA Diamond report as the highest grade GIA gives is Excellent

Fluorescence 

diamond fluorescence

Fluorescence is one of the things that has a big impact on a Diamond’s price but is something that many people don’t really understand (including many within the industry).

This is because fluorescence only has a negative impact on a small number of Diamonds as it can give the stone a milky appearance but this only usually happens in stones that have very strong fluorescence and most retailers don’t sell these.

When Diamonds are graded, the fluorescence is checked and given a grade between None and Very Strong and even though most retailers don’t sell Diamonds with Very Strong fluorescence, there is still a big difference in price between a Diamond with no fluorescence and one with strong fluorescence.

A Diamond with no fluorescence
A Diamond with strong fluorescence

Take the two Diamonds pictured above, they are both 1ct, G/VS Diamonds with Excellent cut but the Diamond on the left has no fluorescence and the one on the right has strong fluorescence, which results in more than a 20% difference in price!

The crazy thing is that without exposing the Diamonds to UV light, you probably would never know as the fluorescence has no negative impact on how the Diamond looks.

Reports (Certificates)

Another factor that affects the price of a Diamond is whether or not it comes with a report (often incorrectly called a certificate).

GIA Lab Report

The reason why it affects the price is that a report contains information about the quality of the Diamond, such as the color, clarity and size, which gives customers more confidence when buying a Diamond.

But not all reports are equal as a Diamond with a report from the GIA, which is regarded by many as the gold standard when it comes to gem labs, will have a higher price than the same quality Diamond with a report from IGI.

Most of the main retailers, especially ones that sell loose Diamonds only stock stones that come with GIA reports and I do recommend buying a Diamond with a GIA report.

Avoid Diamonds that are accompanied by any documentation that says Certificate or Certificate of Authenticity as reputable gem labs only issue reports.

Treatments

Even though I always recommend that you don’t buy a treated Diamond, it is something that I will cover as treatments have a big impact on the price of a Diamond.

Most large retailers such as Blue Nile and James Allen don’t stock treated Diamonds but you may still encounter them on your Diamond buying journey and the price may seem very attractive as they are a lot cheaper than untreated Diamonds.

But why is there a big difference in price between treated and untreated Diamonds?

The simple answer is that treated Diamonds are of a lower quality than untreated ones because:

  • Clarity Treated Diamonds – have poor clarity such as large fractures that need to be filled with glass or large dark inclusions that need to be removed and while they may look “better” after being treated, the clarity of the Diamond hasn’t actually been improved
  • Color Treated Diamonds – generally have a poor or undesirable color, which is why they are treated to either remove color or turn the color into a more desirable fancy color

There is limited demand for these lower-quality Diamonds because many buyers don’t like the idea of buying a treated Diamond, which is reflected in the price.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different elements that affect the differences in Diamond prices and sometimes there can be very subtle differences that mean one Diamond is worth more than another, even though on paper they are of the same quality.

So when it comes to getting the best Diamond for your money, what do you need to look for:

  • Color – an F, G or H Color Diamond will be colorless but won’t attract the premium of a D or E color Diamond but will look the same when set in a piece of jewelry
  • Clarity – a VS1, VS2 or good SI1 will look clean to the naked eye but won’t attract the premium of a VVS, IF or F Diamond
  • Cut – always go for an Excellent or Very Good cut Diamond as this increases the chances of the stone having the sparkle you expect from a Diamond
  • Reports – if possible, go for a Diamond with a GIA report but don’t buy the stone just from the information on the report, always look at the stone
  • Fluorescence – not as big of an issue as some people make it out to be, in general only Diamonds with very strong fluorescence will have any kind of visual impact on the stone
  • Treatments – treated Diamonds are best avoided, even though the price may seem very appealing there is reason for that as they are low-quality Diamonds.

You may have noticed that I missed Style of Cut and Carat from the list, this is because the style you choose is based on personal preference and the weight of the Diamond is very much going to depend on your budget.

I'm Paul Haywood FGA DGA, the owner and founder of Haywoods Gems, I'm a fully qualified Gemmologist and Diamond Grader from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

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