1-Carat Diamond Ring

Since the original De Beers campaign first shot the popularity of the diamond ring into the atmosphere, the cost and demand for diamonds have steadily increased over the years and still hold their position as the most sought-after stone today. Of all diamond sizes, the 1-carat diamond is the most popular for a standard engagement ring.

When you start looking for a 1-carat diamond ring, your first point of call would be the price. However, diamond prices vary highly based on their quality, more so than their size. For example, it is not strange for a 1-carat diamond to start at $1,000 and go up to $12,000 or more. This is one of the phenomena we will discuss in more detail in this article.

Remember, diamond price is determined by many variables, and there is no one variable that is more important than another when other variables are compromised. These variables have such an impact on the price differences between a 1-carat diamond with a specific variable score compared to another one-carat diamond with a slightly different score.

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Engagement Ring

Before the De Beers campaign, the stone of choice for engagement rings was the sapphire or even a ruby. These are still the stones of choice for royalty the world over. However, most other people will prefer a diamond in their engagement ring. Whether you want a one-carat diamond engagement ring or a 5-carat diamond on your ring, it is essential that you understand how to get the best possible deal.

If you do like the idea of a diamond engagement ring, then you will likely prefer a one-carat diamond engagement ring. A full carat is most popular for a diamond engagement ring. This size will refer to the center diamond only unless it indicates that it is in reference to total diamond carat size. Alternatively, if having diamonds in your engagement ring is important, but you want something completely different, you can opt for a 1-carat rough diamond. This is an unusual and unique choice for your one-carat diamond ring, and it has been seen advertised for an engagement ring before on some sites.

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Four C’s and Diamond Cost

For the most part, the cost of a diamond can be attributed to these four C’s: the color grade, the carat weight, the cut grade, and the clarity grade of the stone. No single “C” is more important than another, as compromise in anyone will significantly impact the overall price of the stone.

However, cut is most important when it comes to how the naked eye sees the diamond. Any compromise in cut grades really affects whether you get an eye-clean diamond or not. Remember also that natural diamonds will be more expensive than lab-created diamonds.

Carat-Weight/Diamond Size

While carat weight is important, we have to remember that compromise on clarity grades will mean a significant drop in price regardless of carat. The same for cut-quality, etc.

There are certain carat-weight points that see large jumps in prices. It starts at 0.5 carats, then 0.75, then 1-carat. The next is at 1.25, 1.5, and 1.75, then 2-carats, then 3-carats, etc. Interestingly, with diamonds, bigger is not always better. A 1-carat diamond with visible inclusions will naturally be worth less than a 0.75-carat diamond with no inclusions. This makes it difficult to judge diamond price without a lot of information to consider.

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Diamond Shape

As far as all of the four “C’s” are essential, there really is no substitute for a perfect diamond cut. The diamond-cut affects so much about the overall quality of the diamond that it just cannot be substituted. It also affects the surface area of the center stone, which will be a 1-carat diamond.

Here are some examples of surface area for a 1-carat diamond shape.

Diamond Clarity

Diamond clarity has a significant impact on the overall cost of the ring. However, if you are looking at saving some money, clarity becomes a starting point for compromise. There is a difference between a completely flawless diamond and a perfect eye-clean diamond. Usually, a VS1 and above is completely eye-clean.

At the S1 grades, inclusions become a problem because they affect the transparency of the diamond. This is where you begin to encounter inclusions that have an impact on the sparkle of the diamond and can cause structural weakness within the diamond.

When you look at the color grades of diamonds, they can be defined as follows:

  • I1, I2, and I3 – Included – Evident inclusions under 10x magnification
  • SI1 and SI2 – Slight Inclusion – Discernable inclusions under 10x magnification
  • VS1 and VS2 – Very Slight – Inclusions can be seen with some effort under 10x magnification, but these are minor
  • VVS1 and VVS2 – Very, Very Slight – Inclusions that are tough to detect under 10x magnification
  • IF – Internally flawless – no discernable inclusions under 10x magnification
  • FL – Flawless – has no inclusions or imperfections under 10x magnification

A diamond is considered high quality when it has clarity grades of VVS1 or better.

Diamond Color-Grade

For a 1-carat diamond, anything between a D and K color grade is considered good. An I to K color will look clear, even more so in a yellow or rose gold setting that is a warmer tone. Color grades are separated as follows:

  • D to F grades are entirely colorless and are extremely valuable
  • G to J grades are almost colorless with a slight tint that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
  • K to M indicates a light color that might be easy to see in larger stones but is hard to pick up in a 1-carat diamond.
  • Colors S to Z are diamonds with slight coloring that can actually be seen with the naked eye of any size.

One-Carat Diamond Setting

A price point factor that is not related to the four C’s is the setting of the diamond. Setting is very much a personal choice, but there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an ideal setting for your 1-carat diamond ring.

We have a few articles dedicated to specific settings, so we will only discuss them here briefly.

The prong style settings, including the famous solitaire setting, are the most popular settings, especially for 1-carat diamonds. A bezel setting is also popular and offers more protection for your stone but hides much of its sparkle. These are the most popular settings for a one-carat diamond engagement ring.

A tension setting is quite an impressive setting that also brings out a lot of the diamond’s sparkle and brilliance but is very difficult, if not impossible, to resize. A good substitute would be a tension style setting which looks like a tension setting but does not rely solely on the tension of the band to hold the stone in place.

Channel and pave settings are fairly impressive when it comes to sparkle but can hike up the price of a ring impressively. It can be combined with a number of other settings. A halo setting and cathedral setting often enhance the size of the stone significantly and make diamonds look much bigger than they actually are.

Three-stone settings and cluster settings also make rings look bigger and sparkle more, but can also push up the price quite a bit. A three-stone setting also had a lot of symbolism connected to it.

Infinity and eternity band settings are most suited to wedding bands than engagement rings. They are also not suited to 1-carat diamonds. Smaller diamonds are better for these settings.

Split shank settings are popular for a smaller diamond and are suited to a 1-carat diamond ring as well. They would, however, hide most of the diamond between the shanks.

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Lab-Grown Diamonds

There are many questions about the authenticity and value of a lab-grown diamond. We can assure you that a lab-grown diamond is absolutely real, and the price differences are only related to the resources involved in coming by a mined diamond of gem-quality versus a lab-grown diamond.

In a lab, a tech can grow you a perfect diamond or a perfect ring of your desired carat weight and diamond shape. There will be no inclusions because there is nothing contaminating the diamond in the lab as there might be in the earth’s crust.

This makes it easy for the technician to grow a completely colorless diamond, and this can be matched to any color and clarity grades that you might want in combination with carat weights that suit your needs. You can thus grow the best diamond for your individual needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do fancy-shaped diamonds differ in terms of price?

If the diamond shapes you are looking at are uncommon and unpopular, the price will likely be lower. Round diamonds are more expensive because the round diamond cuts are in high demand. So, if you are staying away from a round diamond, you might end up with the same carat size but a lower diamond price than you had initially anticipated.

If I find a beautiful diamond with a yellow tint, is it okay to compromise?

Sure! If you find a well-cut diamond at a jewelry store that you trust, but its color is not great, then you can certainly compromise if it does not bother you. Diamond experts might agree that colored diamonds, especially a slightly yellow one, are worthless, but if you and your partner like the color diamond, then you should go for it.
The diamond pricing will likely be lower because the diamond industry views it as a less than perfect quality diamond if the color is a little bit off.

Why does the cut quality have such an impact on the diamond price?

The cut grade of a diamond has a major impact on the fire and brilliance of the diamond. Round diamonds are popular because they sparkle more than diamonds with another cut of the exact same size and quality. Two diamonds that are both 1-carat and set in white gold, for example, will have different prices if the diamond shapes are not the same.
Remember, a diamond’s carat weight is not the main thing that affects the price. You can only tell the final price when you have chosen the exact diamond you want. Diamond buying can be a strange experience for first-time buyers. Ultimately it becomes impossible to give an accurate estimation for what a one-carat stone might cost simply because of vast variations in the Four C’s.


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