Finding the perfect diamond ring is one of the most exciting steps in getting engaged. And for many brides-to-be, the dream is a gorgeous 4 carat diamond ring that will dazzle everyone. But most people have to stop and wonder: how much does a 4 carat diamond ring cost exactly?
The prices for 4 carat diamond rings can vary quite a bit, ranging anywhere from $15,000 to over $100,000! There are many factors that impact the price, so it’s important to understand these details before setting out to purchase a 4 carat diamond ring.
In this complete guide, I will cover everything you need to know, including:
– Diamond quality characteristics that affect the price
– How the diamond shape impacts the cost
– Ring settings and metals that influence the price
– Where you can shop to find the best deal
– Tips for finding an affordable 4 carat diamond ring
Follow along as I examine each aspect and explain exactly how much a 4 carat diamond ring will cost.
Diamond Quality Factors that Impact the Price
The first and most important factor to consider is the quality of the 4 carat diamond itself. Not all 4 carat diamonds are equal! Even two diamonds that are exactly the same carat weight can have dramatically different values based on the combination of the “4Cs” of diamond quality: cut, clarity, color and carat weight.
These four factors have a significant influence on the price of a 4 carat diamond. Understanding how diamond sellers determine the quality grades will empower you to make an informed decision.
The cut grade refers to how well the diamond is proportioned and polished to maximize brilliance and “fire.” Diamonds that are cut poorly will not sparkle, even if the clarity and color grades are high.
Ideally, you want to look for a grade of Excellent or Very Good for cut. An Excellent cut will command a higher price, while a Good or Fair cut will be cheaper. However, sometimes a Good cut can look nice if the other Cs are very high quality.
Clarity refers to the internal flaws within a diamond. Flawless or Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds are the highest clarity but extremely rare, especially as the carat weight increases. Most 4 carat diamond rings will have minor inclusions visible under 10X magnification.
Here are the GIA clarity grades, from highest to lowest quality:
– Flawless (FL)
– Internally Flawless (IF)
– Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2)
– Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2)
– Slightly Included (SI1, SI2)
– Included (I1, I2, I3)
Stick to VS2 clarity or higher when shopping for a 4 carat diamond. Lower grades will have noticeable inclusions that detract from brilliance and beauty. As you go down the scale, the price discount will be steeper.
The color grading scale starts at D for a 100% colorless diamond and goes down alphabetically to Z. Faint yellow tints start becoming visible around G or H color. The best value is finding a near colorless grade of G-I.
Diamonds over 1 carat usually have a detectable color tint unless they are D-F. However, slight warmer tones are not always readily apparent in a ring and may not be worth paying a premium to go up the color scale.
Larger diamonds are exponentially rarer and more valuable. Diamond price per carat increases as the weight goes up. Because of this, you will pay a significantly higher price per carat for a 4 carat diamond than a 1 carat diamond.
It takes an astute eye to detect the difference between a 3.95 carat and 4.05 carat diamond, but you’ll notice a big price jump once you pass that 4 carat marker. Those just under 4 carats can offer great value.
Certificate from GIA, AGS, or Other Lab
Always buy a certified diamond graded by a respected gemological lab like GIA or AGS. The grading report will verify that the quality grades match the description and allow you to accurately compare options.
Beware of sellers who grade their own diamonds or use unknown labs. Only trust certificates from GIA, AGS, or other reputable diamond grading authorities.
Based on the combination of these 4 Cs, here is an approximate range of prices for different quality grades of 4 carat round diamonds:
– D-F color, VVS2+ clarity, Excellent cut: $80,000+
– G-I color, VS1 clarity, Very Good cut: $50,000 – $70,000
– H-J color, SI1 clarity, Very Good cut: $30,000 – $50,000
– I-J color, I1 clarity, Good cut: $15,000 – $25,000
As you can see, higher-quality diamonds command substantially higher prices. While a lower-grade diamond costs less, it will not have the same sparkle and brilliance. Finding the optimal balance depends on your budget and preferences.
How Diamond Shape Impacts Price
The diamond shape also significantly contributes to the range in pricing for 4 carat diamond rings. Let’s overview the characteristics of the most popular shapes and how they compare:
Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds
The traditional round brilliant is the most expensive shape, as it requires more of the rough diamond to cut and exhibits maximum brilliance. You’ll pay a premium for a 4 carat round diamond, but the extra sparkle is appealing.
Price Range: $15,000 – $100,000+
Oval shapes elongate the round cut into a flattering oval shape when set in a ring. They cost around 15% less than a round of equal carat weight. Ovals are very popular ring choices.
Price Range: $12,500 – $80,000
Cushion Cut Diamonds
Cushion cuts have large facets like rounds, but in a square shape with rounded corners. Their beauty and visual appeal may warrant a slightly higher price than other square shapes.
Price Range: $12,000 – $75,000
Emerald Cut Diamonds
The emerald cut has a classic elongated rectangular shape with a straight edge. It is more affordable than other shapes when cut properly to emphasize clarity.
Price Range: $10,000 – $60,000
Princess Cut Diamonds
A princess cut is a square diamond shape that can save you up to 25% compared to a round. It’s a great choice for maximizing size on a budget.
Price Range: $9,000 – $50,000
Asscher Cut Diamonds
The Asscher has an elegant, vintage look reminiscent of the 1920s. It has a square outline with cropped corners, providing value similar to the other square shapes.
Price Range: $9,000 – $50,000
Radiant Cut Diamonds
A radiant combines the square cut with triangular facets to increase brilliance. This unique style comes at a lower cost than round diamonds.
Price Range: $9,000 – $50,000
The Impact of Ring Setting and Metal
The ring setting and type of metal will impact the final price as well. Here are the main options and how they affect the cost:
Solitaire: A single diamond stands elegantly in a four-prong setting. This is the most traditional and affordable setting.
Halo: Smaller diamonds surround the center gem in a halo shape. This can increase the price but also the overall sparkle.
Three-Stone: Three matched diamonds set side-by-side for a romantic, anniversary style. The two side stones add cost.
Pavé: Tiny diamonds are inset into the band on all sides for mega sparkle. A pavé setting significantly increases the price.
Platinum: The most expensive option, platinum is ultra-durable and perfect for a 4 carat diamond. The price is about 50% more than gold.
White Gold: White gold has a similar look to platinum for much less cost, with some maintenance required over time.
Yellow Gold: The most affordable metal option, yellow gold allows you to maximize your diamond size and quality.
Here are typical price ranges for 4 carat diamond rings based on the setting and metal type:
– Solitaire yellow gold setting: $15,000 – $80,000
– Solitaire white gold setting: $16,000 – $85,000
– Halo platinum setting: $25,000 – $100,000+
– Three-stone white gold setting: $20,000 – $90,000
– Pavé platinum setting: $35,000 – $120,000+
Where to Shop for the Best Deal on a 4 Carat Diamond
Now that you see how much variation there is in 4 carat diamond ring prices, where do you go to find the best value? Here are the pros and cons of the different shopping options:
James Allen is a prominent online diamond retailer renowned for its comprehensive collection of certified diamonds and custom engagement rings. They offer high-resolution 360-degree images of their diamonds, which allows consumers to inspect the quality and characteristics of their potential purchase closely.
Offering competitive prices compared to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, James Allen is an excellent choice for budget-conscious buyers. Their customer service is well-regarded, providing online consultations and a lifetime warranty.
Additionally, they offer a hassle-free 30-day return policy, ensuring customer satisfaction.
However, keep in mind that while their online platform offers convenience and a wide range of options, it lacks the tangible, in-person experience some customers prefer when purchasing such a significant item.
Blue Nile is another leading online diamond retailer known for its vast selection and competitive pricing. They offer a well-curated array of certified diamonds and fine jewelry, catering to an audience that values quality and affordability.
Blue Nile’s user-friendly website provides detailed information about each diamond, including high-quality images, which aid customers in making informed decisions. Their customer service is top-notch, offering expert advice and guidance throughout the buying process.
Blue Nile also offers free shipping, 30-day returns, and a lifetime warranty, which further increases the value for customers.
However, similar to James Allen, while the online shopping experience offers ease and convenience, it may not cater to individuals who prefer physically seeing and assessing a diamond before purchase.
Local Jewelry Stores
Shopping locally allows you to see diamonds in person before purchasing. Local jewelers may be willing to negotiate pricing so you can potentially get a deal.
On the downside, local independent jewelers tend to have high markups and may not have access to the same inventory as larger companies. Make sure you still get a grading report for any diamond you buy locally.
Jewelry Districts and Wholesalers
For the lowest prices, you can go directly to diamond dealers in jewelry districts like the Diamond District in New York City. They have connections to diamond cutters internationally.
This option requires knowing how to validate diamond quality or bringing your own jeweler. But you can save 40-50% off retail prices.
Purchasing diamonds directly from global diamond cutting centers can offer tremendous savings, but has higher risks and requires expertise.
Many reputable vendors online import their own diamonds, allowing you to get the discount indirectly through their services. This helps ensure the quality is still there.
Overall, you’re likely to find the best price on a 4 carat diamond ring through an online jewelry company that imports diamonds directly and has high standards for grading quality. The savings are passed down to consumers.
How to Find an Affordable High Quality 4 Carat Diamond
What if your budget doesn’t allow for a $15,000+ diamond ring? Are there any tips for finding an affordable 4 carat diamond that still looks amazing? Here are a few options:
Buy Just Under 4 Carats
If you can compromise ever so slightly on size, dropping just below the 4 carat threshold can save significantly. A 3.9 carat diamond has much lower prices than a 4.1 for example, with nearly the same appearance.
Consider an I-J Color Diamond
As mentioned earlier, a just visible tint to the diamond can drastically reduce the price. I-J colored diamonds still face up white in rings yet cost 30-50% less than higher colors.
Look for SI Clarity
Clarity grades of SI1 or SI2 will have minor inclusions visible under magnification. However, eye-clean diamonds that appear flawless can provide great bang for your buck.
Try a Fancy Shape
Choosing an oval, cushion or other shape instead of a round brilliant diamond can make that 4 carat size much more attainable.
Select Yellow Gold
Opting for a yellow gold setting rather than white gold or platinum will bring down the total cost. And yellow gold is coming back in style!
Moissanite has gained popularity as an affordable diamond alternative with excellent brilliance. Large moissanite center stones can have the look of a 4 carat diamond at a fraction of the price.
Buy a Lab Created Diamond
High quality lab diamonds have the same material properties as mined diamonds, with lower pricing. Most 4 carat lab diamonds cost 30-50% less than equivalent natural diamonds.
The Takeaway on 4 Carat Diamond Ring Prices
As you shop for the perfect 4 carat diamond engagement ring, look for a high-quality diamond certified by GIA or AGS that optimizes cut, color and clarity based on your budget.
Pricing varies significantly, but expect to pay roughly $15,000 to $30,000 and above depending on the individual diamond characteristics and ring style.
Personally, I find that shopping for diamonds online is the most convenient and cost-effective route. I visit local retailers to see what they really look like, then I shop online where I can filter through all the various diamond specifications and prices to find the best stone within my budget.
With knowledge about diamond and ring quality now in your toolset, you can decipher listings, comparison shop like a pro, and find the most dazzling 4 carat diamond ring!