How Much is a 1 Carat Diamond?

1 Carat Diamond Cost – Basics

For most people, an engagement ring is a serious purchase. This is a treasured item the wearer will look at and cherish every day. Before buying that ring it’s important to establish a budget. In terms of the 4Cs, carat weight has the most influence on price. For those seeking a 1 carat diamond engagement ring it’s important to know the ins and outs of diamond buying, including how much the average 1 carat diamond costs.

PriceScope Pointer: Two 1 carat weight diamonds may not look the same size, depending on shape – and even within the same shape, based on physical spread and another rarely mentioned factor called visual spread. Learn more on our page covering Diamond Carat Weight.

Before going on: Check out the PriceScope Diamond Buying Guide

These pages may reference products from companies that help to support PriceScope.


1 Carat Diamond Cost Described

The cost basis for any diamond depends on its origin (natural versus lab grown) its shape, and its combination of the 4Cs.

4Cs alert: Shopping online can make one falsely believe that the 4Cs are commoditized. A casual shopper wonders “how much is a 1 carat diamond ring?” goes to our search engine, sees a half-dozen 1.00 carat G color VS2 clarity excellent cuts and presumes they are identical. They are not, and that will typically be reflected in the price.

Remember that diamonds are like snowflakes. We classify them according to the 4Cs but there are variables within each of those Cs which create price differences. For example, color occurs on a sliding scale. Clarity characteristics within the same clarity grade have different implications. Differences in cut quality, within the same grade, can create price differences of up to 25% between diamonds which seem to have identical Cs in an online search.

PriceScope Pointer: Did you know that fewer than 20% of round diamonds with the GIA Excellent grade pass our patented Holloway Cut Advisor test for proper spread and brightness? Check out those Diamond Ratings statistics and use our Diamond Search to filter results according to HCA scores..


Diamond Cost – Let’s Get Practical

 What is the average 1 carat diamond price?

The answer requires context. There are 1 carat diamonds which cost only $1,000 in low grade commercial outlets (which we do not recommend). Alternately, a collection quality 1 carat diamond’s price may be as much as $28,000 in the luxury jewelry boutiques on 5th Avenue, New York City.

On PriceScope we trim out the low grade and 5th avenue prices. Among PriceScope’s vetted vendors the average 1 carat diamond price for a 1.00 K color SI2 clarity princess cut is $2500*, while the average 1 carat diamond price for an all bells and whistles 1.00 D color VVS1 super ideal round brilliant is $14,000.*

*Pricing data from June 15, 2021

See 1 carat diamond cost in real time

On PriceScope we track prices for more than 500,000 diamonds cycling through our search engine in real time. The world’s top online diamond vendors list their total inventories here, making PriceScope the most reliable website from which to determine 1 carat diamond cost, with up to the minute information.

Click over to our Diamond Prices page for even more information.

Diamond Prices Guide: How Diamonds Are Valued

Remember the Cost Variables

Carat Weight: Be sure that the 1 carat diamond you’re considering has correct size appearance, in terms of its visual spread caused by edge to edge brightness (cut quality) as well as its physical spread.

Learn more specifics about 1 carat diamond size appearance on this page: 1 carat diamond ring.

Color and Clarity: Details not reflected on a grading report can impact 1 carat diamond prices. If two diamonds with identical Cs are offered at different prices by the same seller be sure to ask why.

Cut: A diamond’s price can vary up to 25% or more, depending on details of cut quality which are not listed on a grading report. There are far more average cut diamonds – at all carat weights – which have less physical spread than they should due to deep cutting angles and look visually smaller than they should in normal lighting because they are not cut with angles which promote edge to edge brightness.


Real World Information

True or false: Jewelers mark up diamonds by huge percentages and make enormous profit?

hand waving money

It used to be true. It’s still true in commercial outlets with low price points. When you buy mass produced department store jewelry nearly half of what you pay can be profit for the store.

Loose Diamond Values

The loose diamond game is completely different today. Jewelers used to mark loose diamonds up by as much as 100%. That still happens in many chain stores. The markups are even greater in the luxury boutiques on 5th Avenue in New York, but clients in those stores are often paying for the prestige of association with the store’s name, as much as for the product.

Retail Diamond Prices

Retail pricing has become extremely variable, depending on the sales channel. A 1 carat diamond purchased from a jewelry boutique in Ceasar’s Palace, Las Vegas, will be marked up considerably more than the same 1 carat diamond priced for sale by one of PriceScope’s vetted vendors, who use the industry’s most friendly markups.

The internet changed the way diamonds are priced. Even local jewelry stores have reduced the markups on loose diamonds. Today’s online sellers operate on extremely thin margins. They also tend to back their sales with no-risk policies.

Take advantage of the most customer friendly prices: Our short list of vetted vendors offer the best diamond values anywhere, and guaranteed no-risk purchase, inspection and return guarantees. Check out Wolf|CBI, Whiteflash, and Blue Nile.


Wholesale Prices

Unlike retail prices, wholesale prices within specific classes and categories of natural diamonds are relatively consistent across the industry. This means, when asking “how much does a 1 carat diamond cost?” you can make apples to apples comparisons between diamonds offered by the same seller.

This brings us back the 4Cs alert above. If a seller is charging more for diamond A then diamond B, yet A and B have identical 4Cs, the gemologists who priced them judge diamond A to have greater value. If you’re curious about why, pick up the phone and ask.

PriceScope Pointer: Beware sellers offering diamonds at “wholesale prices.” Legitimate diamond wholesalers do not sell to the public. However, many sellers infamously use this term to mislead consumers.

Get fast answers to any question: Ask our community of unbiased independent helpers.

Ready to find your diamond?

People also ask

Two 1 carat diamonds can look different sizes based on shape, physical spread and another rarely mentioned factor called visual spread. Learn more on our page covering Diamond Carat Weight.

Check out our Diamond Price Guide to see how different factors impact a 1 carat diamond’s price. We have also included a diamond price calculator for you to see today’s prices in real-time, based on more than 500,000 diamond listed in our search engine.

The proper combination of the 4Cs depends on a number of factors which include the wearer’s preferences. To balance carat weight against the other Cs, especially all-important cut quality, read the PriceScope Diamond Buying Guide.

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