1 Carat Diamond Price + Buying Guide
You can find a wide selection of 1 carat diamonds both online and in local diamond jewelry stores. When shopping for the perfect 1 carat diamond ring, you will notice that these diamonds vary considerably in both beauty and price. One of the reasons for this is the various markups charged by jewelers.
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about 1 carat diamond engagement rings to help you get the best value for money.
How Much is a 1 Carat Diamond Worth?
Like all other diamonds, the price of a 1 carat diamond depends on the current market situation. At the time of writing, a 1 carat diamond cost between $1,800 and $12,000.
Diamond price also depends on the quality of the stone itself. This is determined by various factors, like the color, clarity, and cut quality of the diamond. Diamond shape also has a significant impact on price, but the factor with the most influence on diamond price is cut quality. Cut quality not only affects a diamond’s worth but, also, its beauty.
You’ll also find that natural diamonds tend to command higher prices than lab-grown diamonds. The average asking price for natural, one carat round diamonds is between $6,800 and $8,500.
Size is also a driving factor behind diamond price, although carat weight is not a direct measurement of diamond size. 1 carat is equal to 0.2 grams. To put this into perspective, a one carat diamond weighs about the same as a paperclip.
Note that diamonds are valued per carat. To get the total diamond cost, you need to multiply the carat weight by the price per carat. For example, a 2 carat diamond may be priced at $9,800 per carat. Thus, the total amount you would pay for the stone is $19,600 ($9,800 x 2).
How 1 Carat Diamond Price is Calculated
Diamonds are sorted into categories based on their carat weight. Diamond prices rise exponentially as you move up in weight because of the higher price per carat charged per category. To illustrate, a 1 carat diamond might cost $5,880 per carat, while a 2 carat diamond might cost $10,425 per carat, all other factors equal.
However, it is important to note that prices per carat do not continue to rise as diamond weight goes up. This is because diamond pricing is often subjective and influenced more by emotion than logic.
In the past, it was often advantageous to buy diamonds that were just under a new weight category, such as a 0.9 carat diamond. But nowadays this isn’t necessarily the case. This is because the demand for a ‘near’ 1 carat diamond engagement ring has skyrocketed. This demand has led to an increase in price for these particular diamonds, meaning the amount you save is negligible.
Therefore, we recommend not limiting your search for a diamond engagement ring to a 0.9 carat stone. You’ll only impede your search potential without actually saving anything.
How Large is a 1 Carat Diamond?
As mentioned, above, diamond carat weight isn’t an actual indicator of size. Size is determined by a diamond’s shape. A 1 carat round diamond with ideal proportions, for example, measures approximately 6.5 mm. Other diamond shapes may measure smaller or larger, depending on the size of their surface area.
One carat Asscher and princess cut diamonds tend to appear smaller than round diamonds of the same carat weight, measuring around 5.5 mm in diameter. Elongated diamond shapes, on the other hand, like emerald, oval, pear, and marquise, typically appear larger.
Another factor that influences the size of a one carat diamond is its cut quality. This means that two diamonds of the same shape can have a slightly different visual appearance from one another even though they have the same carat weight. Of course, this also affects diamond price. A well-cut diamond will command a higher price than one that is poorly cut.
How To Choose a 1 Carat Diamond Ring
As mentioned above, a diamond’s price is influenced by a range of factors and not solely its carat size. Below, we provide you with expert tips on how to find the perfect diamond for your budget.
1 Carat Diamond Clarity
Diamond clarity is an important factor to consider when shopping for a 1 carat diamond engagement ring. It refers to the presence of inclusions or surface blemishes on a natural diamond (or lack thereof).
When it comes to a diamond’s clarity grade, many people assume that a flawless diamond is the best. But the truth is, this isn’t where you should be spending your money. This is because most inclusions can only be seen under a microscope – and you wouldn’t want to spend money on something you can’t even see! All you need is an eye-clean stone. This means that it will have some inclusions when viewed under magnification, but will appear flawless to the naked eye.
For a 1 carat diamond ring, we recommend a clarity grade of at least an SI1. This should be enough to get you an eye-clean stone. However, you might be able to drop down to an SI2 if the inclusions are on the sides of the diamond since these can be hidden by the setting metal in an engagement ring. Of course, this depends on the diamond’s shape and the style of the setting you choose.
The highest grade on the diamond clarity chart that typically falls within the average person’s budget is typically a VVS2. This practically guarantees that no imperfections will be visible to the naked eye. However, we encourage customers to find the most affordable stone with regards to clarity. This allows you to spend more money on factors that have a bigger impact on the diamond’s appearance.
1 Carat Diamond Color
Most natural diamonds have a slight yellow or brown tint. The Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) diamond color scale grades stones from D to Z. A color grade of D denotes a completely colorless diamond, while a color grade of Z denotes a diamond with a visible yellow or brown tinge.
When it comes to diamond color, there are two very important things to keep in mind. First, most individuals find it nearly impossible to discern one color grade from another. Second, the price difference between color grades can be substantial.
When shopping for a 1 carat diamond ring, you’ll want to examine each diamond carefully for any hint of color. The best way to do this is by folding a white piece of paper in half and placing the stone in the crease. Next, look at the diamond away from any bright lights.
If you see any trace of color, the diamond will likely have a slight yellow tint in a white gold or platinum setting. A diamond like this is a J or a K color grade at best and will be better suited to a yellow gold setting. This is because the gold will help to offset the yellowish tint.
In general, we suggest buying a 1 carat diamond in the nearly colorless (G-I) category. These diamonds cost much less than those in the D-F category and will still appear colorless to the naked eye.
Also, bear in mind that for round diamonds, the higher the cut quality, the harder it will be to perceive color. The same cannot be said for fancy shaped diamonds (i.e., any other diamond cut besides the round brilliant) since many of these are known for retaining color.
1 Carat Diamond Shapes
Any well-cut 1 carat diamond will look beautiful in an engagement ring. In other words, diamond shape is largely a matter of personal preference.
That being said, the round shape is by far the most popular for engagement rings. Naturally, this means that you can expect to pay premium prices for round diamonds.
If you’re looking for something less traditional than a round brilliant diamond but still want the illusion of a larger stone for your 1 carat engagement ring, consider an elongated shape like an emerald, oval, or marquise. You can also opt for a halo setting, which can make your 1 carat diamond appear larger due to the ring of smaller diamonds encircling the center stone.
Thus far, we have only focused on the factors that influence the cost of natural or mined 1 carat diamonds. But because lab-grown diamonds have become more popular in recent years, we thought it worthwhile to briefly mention them here.
Put simply, lab diamonds are identical to natural diamonds in every way except in the manner in which they are formed. Lab diamonds are also more sustainable than mined diamonds, as well as being cheaper and easier to produce. This has a direct impact on diamond price, with a 2 carat lab-grown diamond costing around the same as a natural 1 carat diamond.
Where To Buy a 1 Carat Diamond Ring
If you want to avoid paying high markup prices for a 1 carat diamond ring, we suggest shopping at online diamond dealers. These sellers typically offer lower diamond prices than local jewelry stores because they have lower overheads. They also tend to have a wider selection of exceptional 1 carat diamonds, plus a variety of beautiful ring settings. You can find anything from 14K or 18K yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold to platinum. Put simply, shopping online increases your chances of finding the perfect diamond engagement ring at the best price.
Here are two reputable online diamond dealers that we recommend for a 1 carat diamond ring:
- Blue Nile: With over 17 years of experience in the diamond industry, Blue Nile offers the largest inventory of diamonds and settings plus exceptional diamond quality with the GIA certifications to prove it.
- James Allen: Offering a customer-focused experience with nearly 20 years in the business, James Allen provides attractive diamond prices, high-quality certifications from the GIA, and best-in-class diamond imagery.
Whether you decide to shop at these diamond dealers or others, it is a good idea to remember the following:
Tips When Shopping For a 1 Carat Diamond
- Only buy a diamond that’s been certified by the GIA.
- Compare 1 carat diamond prices across different websites before making a purchase.
- Prioritize a diamond cut grade of Excellent. Anything lower will reduce the stone’s overall visual appearance.
- Choose a high-quality setting made of 14K or 18K yellow, white, or rose gold.
- Ask for advice from a diamond expert to help you in your search for the perfect 1 carat diamond engagement ring.
Bottom Line: How To Get The Best Value For a 1 Carat Diamond Ring
To summarize everything that we’ve covered in this guide, here are our bottom-line recommendations for buying a 1 carat diamond ring:
- Only buy a diamond that comes with a GIA grading report. This will ensure that you are getting exactly what you paid for.
- Diamond cut is the number one factor that impacts a diamond’s beauty and worth. To get the most bling for your buck, only settle for an Excellent cut diamond.
- A diamond’s color grade is a good area to save money on since it frequently goes unnoticed by the naked eye. This means you can get away with buying a diamond in a nearly colorless (G-I) category and it will still appear white.
- Clarity is another factor that can have a huge influence on diamond price without actually making any visible difference to a stone’s appearance. You should therefore aim to find an eye-clean stone in the lowest possible clarity grade.
- Choose the diamond shape that appeals most to you. Also, ensure that the type of setting you want complements the shape.
- Buy your engagement ring from a reputable diamond dealer like Blue Nile or James Allen.
Frequently Asked Questions About 1 Carat Diamonds
What is the best carat size for a diamond ring?
Generally speaking, half a carat and over is considered a good carat size for a center diamond in an engagement ring. At 0.5 carats, the stone will be large enough to catch the eye without being conspicuous. At 1 carat, the stone will be more noticeable. A 2 or 3 carat diamond will turn heads, especially if you choose an ideal cut diamond with lots of sparkle.
If you want to maximize the amount of brilliance in your diamond engagement ring, choose a stone that’s eye clean and looks white in comparison to its setting. Also, consider the style of the diamond cut as this will influence the way the diamond interacts with light. For example, a ‘brilliant cut’ diamond (like a round or princess cut) will have more sparkle than a ‘step cut’ diamond like an Asscher or emerald.
What is the average diamond carat size for an engagement ring?
The most common diamond carat weight for an engagement ring in the United States is just below the one carat mark at 0.9 carats. A diamond of this size is frequently paired with smaller diamonds as accent stones, often bringing the total carat weight up to more than one carat.
How much is a 1 carat diamond worth?
A diamond’s value depends on a variety of market factors – there is no one-size-fits-all diamond price chart. Diamond quality also comes into play, including how well-cut the stone is, how many imperfections it has, and how colorless it is.
In short, no two 1 carat diamonds cost the same.
How much does a 1 carat diamond engagement ring cost?
The average cost of a 1 carat diamond engagement ring is around $8,000. It is possible to get one for cheaper if you opt for a classic solitaire setting in yellow gold and a diamond on the lower end of the quality spectrum. Of course, you can also splurge on an intricate setting encrusted with diamonds and pay over $20,000. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you can afford.
What is the best setting for a 1 carat diamond engagement ring?
You have an endless array of options when it comes to choosing a setting for your 1 carat engagement ring. Opt for a 1 carat cushion cut diamond in a halo setting for a vintage-inspired look, or keep it simple and modern with the clean shape of a princess cut in a solitaire setting.
You can also break with tradition and choose an alternative gemstone for your engagement ring, like a padparadscha sapphire, moonstone, or emerald.
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