As a jeweler with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry, one of the most common questions I receive is “How much are diamonds worth by weight?” Many people are surprised to discover that determining a diamond’s cost per gram or carat is not as straightforward as it may seem.
I know you want me to say, your diamond is worth $3,500! But the truth is, you will need an appraisal to get a true valuation.
In this article, I’ll share my insider knowledge to demystify diamond pricing, explain what factors impact cost per gram, and provide tips on how to evaluate diamond value.
Breaking Down the Price Per Gram
Diamond values run the gamut from approximately $250 to over $4,000,000 per gram! What accounts for this incredible variance in price? The combination of weight and quality grade.
Larger, higher clarity, colorless diamonds with excellent cut can cost over $100,000 per gram. Conversely, small, included stones with noticeable color can cost less than $1,000 per gram.
Chart to Calculate Carat Weights and Price Per Grams:
This chart provides a general idea of how cost per gram tends to increase exponentially as carat weight increases.
|Carat Weight Range||Grams (1 carat = 0.2 grams)||Price (Est)|
|0.01 – 0.19 carats||0.002 – 0.038 grams||$250 – $1,000|
|0.20 – 0.49 carats||0.040 – 0.098 grams||$1,000 – $4,000|
|0.50 – 0.99 carats||0.100 – 0.198 grams||$4,000 – $10,000|
|1.00 – 1.49 carats||0.200 – 0.298 grams||$10,000 – $15,000|
|1.50 – 1.99 carats||0.300 – 0.398 grams||$15,000 – $20,000|
|2.00 – 2.99 carats||0.400 – 0.598 grams||$20,000 – $30,000|
|3.00 – 3.99 carats||0.600 – 0.798 grams||$30,000 – $40,000|
|4.00 – 4.99 carats||0.800 – 0.998 grams||$40,000 – $50,000|
|5.00 – 5.99 carats||1.000 – 1.198 grams||$50,000 – $60,000|
|6.00 – 6.99 carats||1.200 – 1.398 grams||$60,000 – $70,000|
|7.00 – 7.99 carats||1.400 – 1.598 grams||$70,000 – $80,000|
|8.00 – 8.99 carats||1.600 – 1.798 grams||$80,000 – $90,000|
|9.00 – 9.99 carats||1.800 – 1.998 grams||$90,000 – $100,000|
|10.00 carats||2.000 grams||$100,000+|
Diamond weight is measured in carats.
One carat equals 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. The smallest diamonds may weigh just 0.01 carats, while the largest cut stones surpass 10 carats. Because large diamonds are exponentially more rare, carat weight significantly impacts overall and per gram pricing.
As a jeweler, I generally classify diamonds into the following weight categories:
- Melee: 0.01 to 0.19 carats
- Very Small: 0.20 to 0.29 carats
- Small: 0.30 to 0.49 carats
- Medium: 0.50 to 0.99 carats
- Large: 1.00 to 1.99 carats
- Very Large: 2.00 to 2.99 carats
- Premium: 3.00 to 3.99 carats
- Monumental: 4.00 carats and above
Price thresholds often increase at half-carat increments because appeal and rarity surge at each size upturn. The price hike between a 0.99 carat and 1.00 carat diamond may be over 10%, despite a 0.01 carat difference!
Demystifying Diamond Weight Measurement
The diamond industry utilizes both carats and metric grams to denote stone weight. Often, buyers conflate carat size with physical dimensions. However, carat specifically refers to diamond mass.
1 Carat = 200 Milligrams = 0.2 Grams
While heavier diamonds visually appear larger, carat weight does not directly correlate to physical size or area. Weight is an objective measurement, while size is subjective based on cut proportions.
Here’s an example: A 1 carat round brilliant with a 6.5mm diameter has an area of 33.18mm2. In comparison, a 2 carat round brilliant measuring 8mm has an area of 50.27mm2. The diameter increased by 23% while the carat weight doubled, but the size only grew by 51%!
I often help clients understand that weight and size do not have a linear relationship. Grams and carats denote mass, while millimeters determine area. This comprehension is key when evaluating diamond prices per gram.
Simplifying Conversions: From Carats to Grams
Thankfully, translating carat weight to grams is straightforward:
1 Carat = 0.2 Grams
0.25 Carat = 0.05 Grams
0.50 Carat = 0.1 Grams
0.75 Carat = 0.15 Grams
1 Carat = 0.2 Grams
And so forth. The math is not complex. Here are some examples:
0.30 carat diamond = 0.06 grams
1.25 carat diamond = 0.25 grams
3.00 carat diamond = 0.60 grams
However, the exponential price growth still applies. Let’s examine why.
A 1 carat diamond may cost approximately $5,000 per carat or $1,000 per 0.20 gram.
A 2 carat diamond prices around $8,000 per carat or $1,600 per 0.40 gram.
So when the weight doubled, the price per gram also doubled from $5,000 to $10,000!
This clearly demonstrates that diamond prices per gram increase exponentially, not linearly. The rarity difference between carat sizes accounts for huge valuation gaps.
Comparing Diamond Prices: Retail vs. Wholesale
Understanding the difference between retail and wholesale pricing is a key skill. The spread between these channels allows retailers to earn ample margins while compensating dealers for mining, processing, and trading.
Retail Pricing: The diamond price per carat increases steadily as weight grows. Each jump in carat threshold sees a price hike. This allows jewelers to maximize profits.
Wholesale Pricing: Rough diamonds are separated into thousands of quality grades. Similar diamonds are grouped into <parcels> with fixed $/carat prices.
Here are two actual diamond evaluations comparing retail and wholesale pricing:
Specs: 0.50 carats, VS2 clarity, G color, Very Good cut
Retail Price: $3,500 per carat = $1,750 total
Wholesale Parcel Rate: $2,700 per carat = $1,350 total
Specs: 1.00 carat, VVS2 clarity, D color, Ideal cut
Retail Price: $6,500 per carat = $6,500 total
Wholesale Parcel Rate: $5,900 per carat = $5,900 total
Note how the retail jewelry store charges significantly more per carat and overall vs. the wholesaler. This markup covers expenses and profit margin.
I try to guide clients to focus on wholesale pricing ranges when evaluating diamond prices. Retail markups are often 30-50%, skewing value calculations. Understanding true wholesale market rates based on quality grades is key to determining prices accurately.
How Market Conditions Affect Diamond Prices
Like any commodity, diamond values fluctuate over time. Jewelry sales depend heavily on discretionary spending. Economic growth cycles, consumer confidence, stock investments, real estate booms, etc. allow greater spending on luxuries like diamond jewelry.
Conversely, recessions, wars, pandemics, inflation, oil price shocks, and austerity measures reduce disposable income. Tighter wallets lead consumers to be more selective and frugal.
The diamond market follows the basic economic principles of supply and demand. When the wealthy make money, demand rises along with willingness to pay higher prices. Sudden demand spikes can rapidly inflate prices.
Conversely, declines in demand push excess inventory into oversupply. Dealers must then cut wholesale prices to stimulate sales. Recent examples include the 2008 global financial crisis and 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
I always factor the current market climate into my valuations and advice. By buying at optimal times, savvy investors can secure diamonds at wholesale prices!
How Much Carat is 1 Gram Diamond?
By now the nuances of diamond weight measurements should be clear. A 1-gram diamond, which is equivalent to 5 carats, could be worth anywhere from $60,000 to $300,000 or higher
Here’s a simplified example of a chart that shows approximate price ranges for 1 Gram or 5-carat diamonds based on color and clarity:
|Color/Clarity||Price Range (Approximate)|
|D (Colorless), IF (Flawless)||$200,000 – $300,000+|
|D (Colorless), VVS1-VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)||$160,000 – $250,000|
|D (Colorless), VS1-VS2 (Very Slightly Included)||$120,000 – $200,000|
|E-F (Near Colorless), IF (Flawless)||$180,000 – $270,000+|
|E-F (Near Colorless), VVS1-VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)||$140,000 – $230,000|
|E-F (Near Colorless), VS1-VS2 (Very Slightly Included)||$100,000 – $180,000|
|G-H (Near Colorless), IF (Flawless)||$160,000 – $250,000+|
|G-H (Near Colorless), VVS1-VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)||$120,000 – $210,000|
|G-H (Near Colorless), VS1-VS2 (Very Slightly Included)||$80,000 – $160,000|
|I-J (Near Colorless), IF (Flawless)||$130,000 – $220,000+|
|I-J (Near Colorless), VVS1-VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)||$90,000 – $180,000|
|I-J (Near Colorless), VS1-VS2 (Very Slightly Included)||$60,000 – $140,000|
Let’s now shift our focus to appraising diamond worth.
How Much are Diamonds Worth? Calculating Diamond Price
So how should you appraise diamond prices as an investor or jewelry shopper? I generally evaluate diamond values across three parameters:
Wholesale Price Range: What dealers pay suppliers and sell amongst themselves at industry rates. Excludes retailer margins.
Retail Price Range: The typical jewelry store customer price inclusive of retail markup. Varies by origin country and region.
Gemological Appraisal: A accredited gemologist like myself carefully judges the 4Cs and other factors to produce an independent professional valuation.
Determining an accurate yet reasonable wholesale price range for a diamond requires years of experience. As a veteran, I examine hundreds of diamond certificate reports and transactions regularly to calibrate my retail price conversion ratios.
When clients ask me “How much is this diamond worth?”, they want hard numbers, not vague guesses. Here is my analytical process for coming up with a specific yet sensible appraisal:
Carat Weight: Look up the current wholesale $/carat rate the quality grade and size would fetch. Larger and higher clarity grades trade higher.
Quality Attributes: Judge how the color, clarity, cut and other factors affect the stone’s desirability. Does it merit a premium or discount?
Market Conditions: Factor in signals from recent industry sales and inventory reports. Are prices rising, declining or stable?
Symmetry and Polish: Do excellent workmanship and optical symmetry justify a slightly higher valuation?
Consumer Demand: Appraise if current preferences favor certain shapes, sizes, colors etc. Supply-demand imbalances alter markets.
Comps (Comparables): Reference several comparable GIA or AGS certified diamonds with nearly identical 4Cs and grades to derive the price range.
Using this methodology enables me to deliver clients an educational appraisal reflecting true wholesale diamond market rates. Let’s go through some real examples.
What is Diamond Price Per Carat? Evaluating Diamond Value
Let’s explore the valuation process using real-world diamond appraisals. As you’ll see, adjusting for each diamond’s individual characteristics is crucial for determining market price and worth.
1 Carat Round Diamond Appraisal
Many clients ask me “How much is a 1 carat diamond?”. Here’s an example:
- Shape: Round
- Carat Weight: 1.01 carat
- Clarity: VS2
- Color: G
- Cut: Excellent
- Current wholesale 1 carat VS2-G rounds trade around $5,300 per carat
- Excellent cut adds appeal, but feather inclusion is minor distraction
- Market demand very healthy for 1 carat category
- Polish, symmetry and table alignment are ideal
- Comps validate $5,500 to $5,600 is a fair wholesale range
Total Appraisal Range: $5,400 to $5,900
This 1.01 carat round has an expected wholesale price of around $5,500 and likely retails near $8,000. By accounting for the full picture, my valuation relies less on just the 4C report statistics.
0.50 Carat Princess Diamond Appraisal
Now let’s examine a 0.50 carat princess diamond:
- Shape: Princess
- Carat Weight: 0.52 carat
- Clarity: VS1
- Color: E
- Cut: Very Good
- Current 0.50 carat VS1-E princess wholesale around $1,600 per carat
- Black inclusion by corner needs consideration
- Cut quality deducts slightly for not being Ideal
- Strong wholesale demand in the princess category
- Comps align with $1,500 to $1,700 expected range
Total Appraisal Range: $780 to $850
Despite the inclusion, this 0.52 carat princess retains appeal and likely retails near $1,300. The very good cut prevents it from reaching the top 2% of value. By consulting the parcel market, I feel my valuation is fair.
What Factors Count Into Diamond Pricing?
Let’s summarize the key influencers of a diamond’s per gram valuation:
Carat Weight: Prices rise exponentially above 1, 0.50, and 0.25 carat thresholds owing to substantially higher rarity.
4Cs: Quality attributes like high clarity, cut quality, and colorless color drive premium pricing. Polish and symmetry also factor in.
Wholesale Rates: Parcel prices reflect true diamond value better than retail markups. Evaluating real dealer transactions sets accurate pricing.
Demand Conditions: Strong consumer demand increases prices while recessions and uncertainty lower them.
Market Positioning: Premium branding and exclusive distribution channels allow higher pricing for branded store goods.
Sourcing Ethics: Supply constraints on conflict-free stones meeting carbon neutrality standards are cost factors.
The interplay between these considerations determines fair market diamond prices per gram. No single factor tells the full story. As a professional, I weigh the different data points to appraise my clients accurately and ethically using real market prices.
Diamond Weight and Price Correlation
In my career, I have analyzed thousands of diamonds to derive the general price-weight correlation guidelines below:
- 0.01 to 0.24 carats: Under $2,500 per carat
- 0.25 to 0.49 carats: Up to $5,000 per carat
- 0.50 to 0.99 carats: Up to $8,000 per carat
- 1.00 to 1.49 carats: Over $10,000 per carat
- 1.50 to 1.99 carats: Over $12,000 per carat
- 2.00 to 2.99 carats: Over $15,000 per carat
- 3.00 to 3.99 carats: Over $20,000 per carat
- 4.00 carats and above: Over $25,000 per carat
These prices are for round brilliant diamonds with high clarity and colorless grades. Fancy shapes and lower quality diamonds trade at discounts from this curve.
Of course, the continuum of price increments makes generalizations imperfect. However, the takeaway remains that weight drives exponential pricing.
How Much is a 1 Carat Round Diamond? Diamond Price Points
Armed with the knowledge that larger diamonds are exponentially rarer and pricier, what is the actual current market range for one-carat polished diamonds?
As an appraiser, here are the typical wholesale price points I apply for certified 1 carat round diamonds:
- I1: $3,000 to $3,500 per carat
- SI2: $3,500 to $4,000 per carat
- SI1: $4,000 to $4,500 per carat
- VS2: $4,500 to $5,000 per carat
- VS1: $5,000 to $5,500 per carat
- VS1, VVS2: $5,500 to $6,000 per carat
- VVS1: $6,000 to $6,500 per carat
- VVS1, IF: $6,500 to $7,000 per carat
- IF: $7,000 to $7,500 per carat
- D Flawless: Over $8,000 per carat
As you can see, clarity and color have a significant impact on 1 carat diamond pricing. An internally flawless (IF), colorless (D) ideal cut could surpass $10,000 per carat at retail. By comparison, a heavily included (I1) stone with visible imperfections may cost 60% less.
This exemplifies the importance of evaluating cut, clarity, color and carat weight holistically to determine fair diamond values. Don’t fixate on just one factor!
Now that we’ve explored price points for 1 carat rounds, let’s examine other popular diamond shapes and sizes.
How Much is a 1 Carat Cushion Diamond?
The cushion cut has an elegant squared shape with rounded corners reminiscent of a pillow. Here are typical wholesale prices for 1 carat cushion diamonds:
- SI2 to I1: $2,800 to $3,200 per carat
- VS2 to SI1: $3,200 to $3,600 per carat
- VS1: $3,600 to $4,000 per carat
- VVS2: $4,000 to $4,400 per carat
- VVS1: $4,400 to $4,800 per carat
- IF: $4,800 to $5,500 per carat
Cushion cut diamonds offer slight pricing discounts from round brilliants while featuring a beautiful antique-inspired shape. Their larger facets showcase color saturation appealingly.
How Much Does a 1 Carat Princess Cut Diamond Cost?
The princess cut is a square diamond with sharp, angular corners. Here are typical 1 carat princess cut wholesale rates:
- SI2 to I1: $2,500 to $2,800 per carat
- SI1: $2,800 to $3,200 per carat
- VS2: $3,200 to $3,500 per carat
- VS1: $3,500 to $3,800 per carat
- VVS2: $3,800 to $4,200 per carat
- VVS1 to IF: $4,200 to $4,600 per carat
Modern princess cuts feature a sleek, contemporary square shape reminiscent of emerald cuts. They maximize carat weight visually while showing color very faintly.
How Much Does a 1 Carat Emerald Diamond Cost?
Lastly, the emerald cut has unsurpassed clarity thanks to its hall-of-mirrors optical design with wide, open facets and step-cut pavilion. Here are typical 1 carat emerald cut wholesale diamond prices:
- SI2 to I1: $2,200 to $2,600 per carat
- SI1: $2,600 to $3,000 per carat
- VS2: $3,000 to $3,400 per carat
- VS1: $3,400 to $3,800 per carat
- VVS2: $3,800 to $4,300 per carat
- VVS1 to IF: $4,300 to $5,000 per carat
Emerald diamonds reveal inclusions more easily, leading to slightly lower prices for lower clarity examples. However, internally flawless emerald cuts are prized for unmatched brilliance.
I hope this guide brought transparency to the nuances involved in diamond pricing per gram, carat, and overall cost.
Assessing diamond value requires in-depth knowledge of wholesale and retail markets, quality characteristics, and consumer trends.
No two diamonds are alike! Let me know if you have any other questions about determining diamond prices or finding the perfect stone within your goals.
I’m always happy to share insider tips with savvy diamond buyers.