1 Carat Diamond Prices & Cost [Real Options]

Sharif Khan
Sharif Khan
Last Updated    EST 
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Diamonds ranging from 0.8 to 1.2 carats are highly sought after in the global market for precious natural stones. A well-cut and high-quality 1 carat diamond can exhibit exceptional beauty.

Current market trends suggest that a good-quality 1 carat diamond typically costs between $3,500 and $7,000. However, pricing can vary significantly even for diamonds of similar size and quality.

Here are the average ranges for 1 carat diamonds:

  • Budget range for a good-quality 1 carat round brilliant cut diamond: $3,500 to $6,000
  • Budget range for a 1 carat fancy cut diamond (princess or radiant cut): $3,000 to $5,000
  • Premium range for a round cut diamond: $11,000 to $13,000
  • Premium range for fancy-shaped diamonds: $9,000 to $11,000

The highest grade is a 1 carat GIA-graded Flawless (FL) and Colorless (D) Ideal Cut with No Fluorescence.

The internet has transformed the landscape of the diamond trade. Before the digital era, retailers imposed markups as high as 200%. However, with the ability to compare prices online, such markups have become obsolete. Online retailers, like James Allen, often have minimal markups and act as intermediaries between customers and dealers, eliminating the need to hold inventory.

As the markup for GIA Certified diamonds online is only 10-20% of the wholesale price, the following prices in different criteria ranges can help buyers understand the latest prices for a 1 carat diamond.

Criteria 1: Round Cut

  • Budget Option: 1 Carat, SI1, Very Good Cut+, H Color+, Medium Blue Fluorescence+, GIA Graded, Average $3,900-5,500. Example: [Link to Example 1]

  • Premium Option: 1 Carat, Super Ideal Cut, D-E Color, No Fluorescence, GIA/AGS Graded, Average $11,000-13,000. Example: [Link to Example 2]

Criteria 2: Fancy Shape

  • Budget Option: Fancy shape (e.g., Oval Cut), 1 Carat, I Color+, SI1 Clarity+, Very Good Cut Proportions, GIA Certified, Medium Blue Fluorescence, Average $2,800-3,000. Example: [Link to Example 3]

  • Premium Option: Fancy Shape (e.g., Pear Cut), 1 Carat, D Color, Flawless, GIA Graded, No Fluorescence, Average $9,000-11,000. Example: [Link to Example 4]

These examples aim to guide buyers in selecting diamonds based on their preferences and budget within the specified criteria ranges. For additional insights, check the full 1 carat diamond prices chart below. For further insights, refer to our full diamond prices index.

1 carat diamond size against 2, 3 and 4 carat

Watch 1 carat diamonds in super HD 40X magnified videos.

1 Carat Diamond Price Scenarios

In the section below, we have broken down four 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, buyers compromise on color because of a tight budget to get the budget cut, clarity, and carat weight. They consider a J to M range color with VVS clarity and ideal cut with IGI or any other reputable grading lab report. The budget range is $1,800-2,500. Check this diamond as a good example.

1 Carat Diamond Prices & Cost

The following diamond price chart shows very conservative wholesale and retail prices for a one-carat diamond with no fluorescence, GIA or AGS certification, and ideal cut proportions.


D Color





$ 5,745


$ 5,180

$ 7,034


$ 5,768

$ 7,798


$ 6,680

$ 8,984


$ 7,760

$ 10,188


$ 9,188

$ 12,244


$ 11,311

$ 14,004


E Color




$ 4,440

$ 5,635


$ 4,841

$ 6,593


$ 5,613

$ 7,607


$ 6,254

$ 8,130


$ 6,906

$ 9,278


$ 7,614

$ 10,198


$ 9,220

$ 12,286


F Color




$ 4,363

$ 5,477


$ 4,697

$ 5,406


$ 5,512

$ 6,46


$ 6,050

$ 6,877


$ 6,950

$ 8,074


$ 7,740

$ 8,692


$ 7,966

$ 9,926


G Color




$ 4,227

$ 5,334


$ 4,478

$ 5,914


$ 4,714

$ 6,355


$ 5,858

$ 6,674


$ 6,418

$ 7,277


$ 6,830

$ 7,986


$ 7,086

$ 8,437


H Color




$ 3,031

$ 5,058


$ 3,876

$ 5,668


$ 4,047

$ 5,863


$ 4,327

$ 6,031


$ 4,858

$ 6,536


$ 5,597

$ 6,784


$ 5,853

$ 7,082

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

1 Carat Diamonds Certification

There have always been several far-fetched rumors and folklore about assessing the authenticity of a diamond. One of the most popular options for testing 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.

one carat diamond size chart

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 mist from your breath does not clear away immediately from several other precious stones as well.

Another option is to purchase an inexpensive diamond tester, which can cost as little as $15. However, this 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 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 highly recommend the American Gemological Society.

4Cs & 1 Carat Diamonds

The price of a diamond is affected by how it is graded on the 4Cs scale—cut, clarity, color, and carat. However, each diamond is as unique as a snowflake, whose cost depends on combining these four factors.

Diamond 4Cs Scale

The Diamond Cut

The cut of a diamond should not be confused with its shape. 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. However, having spent years in the dirt with other elements, it is bound to have imperfections. 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 1 carat range the ideal 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 carat ring. The differences are so minute that they are 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.

Related: How Much Does a 2 Carat Diamond Cost?

Buying 1 Carat Diamond on a Budget

Buyers often 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:

Play around with the color of the ring.

We all prefer a D-colored GIA certified diamond that is crystal clear, even though it comes with a hefty price tag. Lowering your color grade expectations will significantly impact the price, and you might be surprised by how much money you can save by choosing a diamond of excellent quality with a hint of color.

Don't be afraid of inclusions.

When we hear about flaws in a ring, we often assume it means inferior quality. This thinking is flawed; inclusions are often barely visible, and two diamonds with the same rating may have 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 your money.

Experiment with shapes.

The shape of the diamond significantly affects its cost. Consider reorganizing the content for a more logical flow—start experimenting with shapes, move on to discussing color, and end by suggesting the consideration of lab-grown diamonds. This will guide readers in considering different factors when choosing a diamond. Provide more specific information about types of inclusions to look for and those to avoid for a better understanding. Offer additional context on the benefits and drawbacks of lab-grown diamonds to help readers evaluate this option more informally. Round diamonds are the most expensive, second only to the oval cut. This is because these shapes require jewelers to whittle away and waste significant chunks of diamonds during cutting since none is naturally round. Thankfully, there are alternatives. If you prefer round diamonds, 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 requires diligence to avoid being taken advantage of or ending up with an unattractive stone. If budget is a significant factor, consider lab-grown diamonds in your final decision.

Final Thoughts on 1 Carat Diamonds

Diamond rings, symbolizing love and romance, have become iconic, with the diamond's size often tied to notions of wealth. While De Beers popularized "diamonds are forever," the roots of diamond popularity trace back to Ancient Greece. Today, purchasing a 1 carat diamond ring signifies a significant financial commitment. To avoid potential pitfalls, thoroughly educate yourself on quality factors and compare prices across various websites before making a substantial purchase.