1 Carat Diamond Cost and Prices [Real Options]

Sharif Khan
Sharif Khan
Last Updated    EST 

Diamonds between 0.8 to 1.2 carats are the most traded precious natural stones globally. A 1 carat diamond can be beautiful when it is of good quality and cut elegantly. Current market trends indicate that a good-quality 1 carat diamond costs $3,500 to $7,000. Unfortunately, nothing is inevitable in the world of diamonds. Two diamonds of similar size and cut may vary significantly in price. Below are our average ranges for 1 carat diamonds.

  • Budget range for a good quality 1-carat round brilliant cut diamond is $3,500 to $6,000 and for a 1-carat fancy-shaped diamond, such as a princess or radiant cut, is $3,000 to $5,000.
  • Premium range would cost as much as $11,000 to $13,000 for a round shape diamond and $9,000 to $11,000 for fancy shapes. The highest grade being a 1-carat GIA graded Flawless (FL) and Colorless (D) Ideal Cut with No Fluorescence.

Watch 1 carat diamonds in super HD videos at James Allen.

1 Carat Diamond Price Options

In the section below, we will breakdown different scenarios for how a buyer might buy a 1 carat diamond depending on their budget. 

Top Quality 1 Carat Prices

Buyers under this category might opt for a 1 carat diamond in the “investment grade” category. To get the best deal, compare prices on multiple websites. Under this option, buying a super ideal cut diamond with a minimum of VVS clarity and E color with no fluorescence and GIA or AGS certification would be the best option. The budget for this range should be between $8,000-$12,000. Here is a great option for this range in rounds and this one for an oval cut (apply the same criteria to other fancy shapes as well).

Best Value 1 Carat Prices

This is also a great category under which diamonds are often in high demand due to high circulation. Buyers under this category should limit their options to VS2 clarity, G color, faint fluorescence, and ideal cuts with GIA or AGS grading reports. The budget for this range should be $4,500-7,000. Here is a good option under this category to consider.

Best Size 1 Carat Prices

Under this category, the goal is to get the best 1 carat diamond for a tight budget. If that is the case, opting for SI1 (and maybe eye-clean SI2) diamond with up to medium blue fluorescence and AGS and GIA certification is a great idea. We would still recommend cut to be ideal in this range. The budget for this range should range between $3,000-4,000. Check this diamond as a good example.

Budget 1 Carat Prices

Under this option, because of a tight budget, compromising on color to get the budget cut, clarity and carat weight might not be a bad idea. Considering a J to M range color with VVS clarity and ideal cut would be okay with IGI or any other reputable certification. The budget range should be $1,800-2,500. Check this diamond as a good example.

1 Carat Average Prices

The internet fundamentally changed the diamond business. In the past, retailers would charge up to 200% markups. Because shoppers can easily compare diamond prices online, the trends have changed.

Almost all online retailers work with the same set of dealers. They do not own any stone but are intermediaries between you and the dealer. The only difference is the percentage of markup. James Allen, for example, has one of the lowest markups in the industry.

Since the markup on GIA Certified Loose Diamonds Online is just 10-20% of the wholesale price, we have provided some examples in the 1 carat range in different criteria ranges along with their prices.

Criteria 1: Round Cut

Budget Option: 1 Carat, SI1, Very Good Cut+, H Color+, Medium Blue Fluorescence+, GIA Graded, Average $3,900-5,500. Here is a great example in this range (example one).

Premium Option: 1 Carat, Super Ideal Cut, D-E Color, No Fluorescence, GIA/AGS Graded, Average $11,000-13,000. Here is a great example of an investment grade 1 carat diamond (example 2). 

Criteria 2: Fancy Shape

Budget Option: Fancy shape such as a Princess Cut, 1 Carat, I Color+, SI1 Clarity+, Very Good Cut Proportions, GIA Certified, Medium Blue Fluorescence, Average $2,800-3,000. Here is a great example of an oval cut and an example of a radiant cut to consider.

Premium Option: Fancy Shape such as an Oval Cut, 1 Carat, D Color, Flawless, GIA Graded, No Fluorescence, Average $9,000-11,000. Here is a great example of a pear cut in this range.

one carat diamond size chart

1 Carat Diamond Prices Chart

The prices chart are for a 1 carat diamond with no fluorescence, GIA or AGS certification, and ideal cut proportions.


D Color




$ 5,545

$ 6,745


$ 6,180

$ 8,034


$ 6,768

$ 8,798


$ 7,680

$ 9,984


$ 8,760

$ 11,388


$ 10,188

$ 13,244


$ 12,311

$ 16,004


E Color




$ 5,440

$ 6,635


$ 5,841

$ 7,593


$ 6,313

$ 8,207


$ 6,254

$ 8,130


$ 7,906

$ 10,278


$ 8,614

$ 11,198


$ 10,220

$ 13,286


F Color




$ 5,363

$ 6,477


$ 5,697

$ 7,406


$ 6,112

$ 7,946


$ 36

$ 7,977


$ 6,750

$ 8,774


$ 6,840

$ 8,892


$ 7,866

$ 10,226


G Color




$ 5,227

$ 6,334


$ 5,478

$ 6,914


$ 5,714

$ 7,355


$ 5,958

$ 7,674


$ 6,318

$ 8,277


$ 6,630

$ 8,686


$ 7,586

$ 9,937


H Color




$ 4,631

$ 5,858


$ 4,976

$ 6,468


$ 5,047

$ 6,663


$ 5,327

$ 7,031


$ 5,558

$ 7,336


$ 5,897

$ 7,784


$ 6,653

$ 8,782

Factors that Influence Diamond Prices

The seven primary factors that affect a diamond's price include diamond shape, diamond carat weight, diamond cut, diamond color, diamond clarity, diamond certification, and diamond fluorescence. Please read our article on diamond price factors for more information.

Diamond Quality Factors

Diamond rings have become the iconic symbol of all things related to love and romance. We have all been programmed to ask women to see their ring immediately after learning that her sweetheart has proposed. We then ask her questions about the type of diamond on her ring and instinctively comment on the diamond's size. 

While it may be true that De Beers has been credited with glamorizing the phrase 'diamonds are forever,' researchers have found evidence that traces the popularity of diamonds back to Ancient Greece. Diamonds have long been a symbol of status and wealth, especially today when we often equate diamond size with a couple's wealth. However, as we will discuss, bigger sometimes means better.

Purchasing a diamond of this size will require a substantial financial investment. Some men use several months' worth of their savings to buy a ring with a 1-carat diamond, only to end up with one that is fake or of inferior quality. Let us first discuss determining before considering spending such a substantial sum.

Determining Diamond Quality

There have always been several far-fetched rumors and folklore about assessing the authenticity of a diamond. One of the most popular options to test a diamond featured on television is biting it. It should be evident that this is a bad idea. Note that this could severely damage the precious materials around the diamond. Besides, the jewelry item is likely filthy, having passed through many hands. It is equally unwise to try and use the diamond to scratch glass.

A much safer option would be to make use of the breath test. Merely breathing on the stone and watching it as it fogs up should help you determine whether it is real. If the fog clears away immediately, the diamond is natural. But if the fog lingers for a few seconds, chances are it is not. Unfortunately, this method is not 100% accurate since the fog from your breath does not clear away immediately from several other precious stones as well.

Another option is to purchase an inexpensive diamond tester that can cost as little as $15. But it may seem impractical if you only shop for a diamond for the special person in your life.

Your safest, most accessible, and most affordable option is to request to see the diamond certification before making any purchases. The GIA certification is the most widely respected option. In addition to the physical certificate, a unique certification number is carefully inscribed on the stone in a location where it will not be visible.

The Gemological Institute of America issues a GIA certification. It is located in Carlsbad, California, and is a not-for-profit organization that has been certifying diamonds since 1931. The institute also has several officers worldwide and employs 1400 research professionals.

They aim to protect unsuspecting consumers from being deceived by dishonest salesmen. They have developed a time-tested standard that ensures that their certification provides an honest, impartial, and undoubtedly accurate assessment of the diamond's quality and value. The researchers also have a set of master stones used as a control when examining the stones being tested.

The trained professionals at the Gemological Institute of America spare no expense when seeking to certify a stone. Their assessment requires using delicate scales and powerful computers to determine the weight, accuracy of the cut, number of flaws, and the stone's overall brilliance or sparkle.

While the GIA is the most well-respected certification, we also highly recommend the American Gemological Society.

How 4Cs Affect the Diamond Cost?

Developed by the Gemological Institute of America, the price of a diamond is affected by what professional jewelers refer to as the 4Cs - cut, clarity, color, and carat. However, each diamond is as unique as a snowflake, whose cost depends on combining these four factors. Let us discuss a few of the variables that can affect the price of a diamond.

Diamond 4Cs Scale

The Diamond Cut

The cut of the diamond should not be confused with the shape of the diamond. It refers to the level of craftsmanship employed by the jeweler who carved the diamond from its rough state into the beauty used to make rings and other forms of jewelry. Many believe the cut is the most critical factor when assessing a diamond.

When expert jewelers carefully craft a diamond, they carefully examine the stone to determine how best to shape it to minimize the amount of diamond wasted. Once the finished product's shape is decided, the jeweler then carefully carves away the excess stone.

If the stone is cut carefully, it is carved to reveal its true beauty. Only when the diamond is cut carefully will the stone reflect light brilliantly. Stones that are not cut carefully will not sparkle or reflect light and appear somewhat dull and unattractive, which is why many believe the cut of the stone has the most significant influence on its price.

The Diamond Clarity

A diamond is a beautiful stone. It is bound to have imperfections, having spent years in the dirt with other elements. These imperfections could include shards of other stones or traces of other elements. A diamond's clarity is determined by the number of imperfections and how obvious they are to the naked eye. A 10x magnification loupe and a microscope are used to examine the inclusions that are not visible.

The type, size, and number of inclusions vary from stone to stone. More imperfections will affect the stone's brilliance and cost. Diamonds with no apparent inclusions are rated flawless, while those with the most apparent ones are rated as I3 on the GIA clarity scale.

The Diamond Color

In the world of diamonds, the less color a diamond has, the better. Clear or nearly clear diamonds appear more brilliant than colored diamonds. Therefore, colorless diamonds are far more expensive than colored diamonds, which usually have a light yellow or brown tint. When making your selection, be mindful because gold jewelers tend to give crystal clear diamonds the appearance of having a yellowish tint.

The Diamond Carat

As previously highlighted, the carat weight of a diamond is the most popular of the 4Cs; one carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. Thus, it is easy to see a correlation between the carat weight and the size of the diamond.

Please note that the carat weight of a diamond does not always determine its size. Just as a short person can weigh more than a tall person, a 1 carat diamond can be smaller than a 0.90CT diamond with a deeper pavilion or broader circumference. However, these differences are hard to distinguish by the naked eye.

Many consider the 1ct. diamond the ideal carat weight for a center stone on a ring, especially when selecting engagement rings. Diamonds that are 1 carat or higher tend to be more expensive than smaller diamonds because the former (large diamonds) are rare and thus command a higher price than their smaller counterparts found quite easily. Some have even noted an almost 50% difference in the cost of a 1CT ring versus a 0.95CT diamond ring.

Many prudent shoppers have purchased rings slightly below the one-carat mark and saved thousands. A 0.95CT ring is almost as impressive as a 1 cararing. The differences are so minute that it is easier to distinguish with the assistance of a trained diamond expert.

Other prudent shoppers have purchased rings with clusters of much smaller diamonds. You will pay significantly less for a ring with several 0.25 carat diamonds than one with only a single 1 carat diamond, even if the cumulative weight of all the smaller diamonds equals or exceeds 1 carat.

Selecting a diamond—and the right diamond for the occasion you have in mind—requires focusing on more than the diamond's grade. Two diamonds with the same grade and certification may look completely different. Hence, understanding how the price is affected by variations of the 4Cs is critical to making informed decisions.

Many opt to compromise on quality to save money, only to end up with a ring that could be more impressive. Here are a few additional tips on how to purchase the ideal diamond without breaking the bank:

Related: How Much Does a 2 Carat Diamond Cost?

Tips for Getting the Right Diamonds

Play around with the color of the ring.

We would all prefer to get a D-colored GIA certified diamond that is crystal clear, though it will attract quite a pretty penny. Opting to lower your color grade expectations will significantly affect the price. You will be surprised how much money you could save by purchasing a diamond of excellent quality with a hint of color.

Do not be afraid of inclusions.

When we hear about inclusions or flaws in a ring, we immediately assume that the ring will be of inferior quality. This thinking is very flawed since, often, these inclusions are barely visible. Additionally, two diamonds with the same rating will have very different types or quantities of inclusions. Scrutinize the diamond and its inclusions before ruling it out. You can even ask to examine the stone using a microscope to ensure you get value for money.

Experiment with shapes.

The shape of the diamond also has a significant bearing on the cost of the 1. Consider reorganizing the content to flow more logically. For example, start experimenting with shapes, move on to discussing color, and end with the suggestion of considering lab-grown diamonds. This will help readers understand the order in which they should consider different factors when choosing a diamond.

2. Add more specific information about the types of inclusions to look for and those to avoid. This will give readers a better understanding of what to look for when scrutinizing a diamond and help them make a more informed decision.

3. Provide more context around the benefits and drawbacks of lab-grown diamonds. This will help readers evaluate whether this option is right for them and make a more informed decision about their purchase. Round diamonds are the most expensive, second only to the oval cut. It is so because these shapes require that the jeweler whittles away and wastes significant chunks of diamonds when cutting them because none is naturally round. Thankfully, there are many alternatives. If you prefer round diamonds, why not consider an oval shaped diamond instead? A round ring with the same rating as an oval ring can cost up to 20% more.

Choosing the right diamond takes work and due diligence to avoid being taken advantage of or ending up with an ugly stone. Finally, if budget is a significant factor in making the final decision, consider lab-grown diamonds.

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