When you're purchasing a high priced item like a 1 carat diamond ring, you want to make sure you're getting the maximum value for your money. To find an extraordinary, head turning 1 carat diamond ring, several components must be considered.
A wide range of 1 carat diamonds exist both online and in shops. Not only are there significant differences in beauty among these diamonds, there are significant differences in price as well. A higher price doesn't always mean a better diamond.
A 1 carat diamond simply refers to the weight of the diamond. 1 Carat equals 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams.
In terms of pricing, diamonds are all priced per carat. For example, a 0.50 carat diamond may have a price of $1,400 per carat. The diamond's price for the stone would be $1,400 x 0.50, equaling $700.
In addition, diamond prices per carat increase as you reach higher weight 'categories.' Diamond prices increase exponentially with weight because of the diamond's higher weight value and the higher price per carat for the increased weight category. For example, a 1 carat diamond might be priced $4,500 per carat, while a similar 2 carat diamond might be at $7,500 per carat.
We stress the word 'categories,' as prices per carat do not continually increase as weight increases. Diamonds are retail products driven more by emotion than reason.
Although it may seem advantageous to look for a diamond that's just below a new weight category, such as a 0.90-0.99 carat diamond, that really isn't the case. The search for an "almost" 1 carat diamond has become incredibly popular. This popularity elevates the price for those particular diamonds making the cost savings minimal.
Ultimately, you can search for a 0.90ct+ diamond, but we suggest not trying to find one specifically, as you're limiting your search potential without really saving anything.
Diamond pricing is often subjective because with diamonds, it's all about feelings. This quirk of "feelings" within the diamond business is the sole reason there are many poor cut diamonds on the market.
The world of diamond dealers is vast, but don't let that intimidate you. Many high quality and honest diamond sellers can be found online and in shops.
For 1 carat diamonds, we recommend finding an online seller as they tend to have a larger selection of quality 1 carat diamonds than traditional shops. With the online option, you have a greater chance of finding an exquisite diamond at an exceptional price.
If you're using online diamond dealers or any others, keep the following in mind:
Only purchase 1 carat diamonds that come with a GIA & AGS certificate.
Run comparisons for price and beauty across various websites before purchasing.
Ensure that the diamond cut is an ideal cut, or a GIA grade quality of Excellent. This level of cut maximizes the sparkle, brilliance and fire of your diamond. Diamond cut is the single greatest element that impacts a diamond's overall beauty and sparkle.
Consider asking a diamond expert to help you review diamonds or aid in your search of high quality 1 carat diamonds.
While it's easy to mistake diamond carat for diamond Size, it's a pitfall that can just as easily be avoided. Diamond carat refers specifically to the weight of the diamond. It does not impact table surface area, depth or other shape features. A larger carat does not mean a larger sized diamond.
Size, on the other hand, has to do with the visual appearance of the diamond. For example, a marquise shaped diamond will likely appear larger than a round brilliant cut in the same carat only because of its elongated shape. Various components, such as surface area and depth play into the diamond's size. Thus, two diamonds of the same carat usually appear different in size depending on shape design and cut quality.
When looking at the 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat) of a 1 carat diamond, an important area to consider is clarity. This factor dictates how many inclusions, surface defects (or blemishes) and extra facets are present in the diamond.
Similar to our recommendations for diamond color, we suggest reviewing the clarity of a diamond yourself or asking for assistance from an expert. What the naked eye can see is more important than simply a GIA grade rating.
For instance, a low clarity eye-clean diamond will look identical to a flawless diamond assuming all else is equal (yet will cost far, far less).
The GIA grades clarity on the following clarity chart from best to worst:
|FL||Flawless: No inclusions under 10x. A stone that is completely flawless. This is an extremely rare find.|
|IF||Internally Flawless: No internal imperfections. A stone that has no internal flaws at all but does have surface flaws. Also, an extremely rare find.|
|VVS1-VVS2||Very Very Slightly Included: A stone with very minute internal inclusions that are extremely difficult to see under a 10X magnification.|
|VS1-VS2||Very Slightly Included: A stone with very minor internal inclusions that range from difficult to somehwat easy see under a 10X magnification.|
|SI1-SI2||Slightly Included: A stone that has imperfections visible under X10 magnification and may be visible with the unaided eye.|
|I1-I3||Included: A stone that has significant inclusions most often visible with the naked eye. Inclusions of this level drastically bring down the diamonds value.|
For a 1 carat diamond, we generally recommend a minimum of a VS2 grade, as most inclusions and blemishes will be invisible to the naked eye. You may be able to find a SI1 with inclusions near the edges of the diamond that, depending on shape, may be covered by the setting prongs.
The maximum clarity rating, within a reasonable budget, will usually be a VVS2, which provides no inclusions or blemishes to the naked eye. Remember though that an eye-clean diamond is most important when it comes to clarity, so be sure to review it yourself or have an expert assist you.
A well cut 1 carat diamond with a beautifully designed setting will look stunning in any diamond shape. As such, diamond shape is primarily selected based on personal preference and style.
For those concerned with the size appearance of the diamond, there is a surface area difference amongst 1 carat diamond shapes. Depending on their differing table sizes (the top, flat leveled surface of a diamond), the 1 carat may seem larger.
Our chart below gives you insight into surface area differences among diamond shapes:
|Diamond Shape||Approximate Table Surface For 1 Carat|
|Round Brilliant Cut||6.5 x 6.5mm|
|Princess Cut||5.51 x 5.51mm|
|Emerald Cut||6.68 x 4.95mm|
|Asscher Cut||5.61 x 5.61mm|
|Radiant Cut||5.78 x 5.78mm|
|Cushion Cut||5.83 x 5.83mm|
|Oval Cut||8.12 x 5.41mm|
|Pear Cut||9.05 x 5.45mm|
|Heart Cut||6.56 x 6.56mm|
|Marquise Cut||10.38 x 5.19mm|
When looking at a range of 1 carat diamonds, one of the 4Cs to note is color. The GIA grades color on a scale from D to Z, with D being the most clear, colorless diamond, and Z being a diamond with easily noticeable yellow or brown tint. In addition to the GIA color grading, review the diamond's pictures and videos yourself or have an expert assist you.
Most people find it very difficult (if not impossible) to tell the difference from one color grade to another. The difference in price, however, can be significant. For this reason, looking at the diamond carefully is usually the best indicator of color quality. Most importantly, ensure the diamond looks white in relation to its setting.
The better a round diamond's cut is, the harder it is to discern color. For this reason, it's more important to focus on cut quality than on color. However, in general, we recommend a 1 carat diamond be in the nearly colorless G-I range. To the naked eye, it will appear just as colorless as diamonds in the D-F range but cost far less.
Our main goal is to help people find radiant, high quality diamonds at an exceptional value. We want you to find a stunning diamond without paying more than you should.
To ensure your diamond is exactly what the diamond dealer is stating, ensure the diamond comes with either a GIA or AGS certificate. The GIA and AGS are the two renowned and well respected diamond grading entities that issue accurate and consistent reports for diamonds.
If a diamond seller is trying to convince you to purchase a diamond with a different lab grading entity, politely decline their invitation. The actual quality of those diamonds are much less than what they're portraying to be "true."
To select an exquisite 1 carat diamond at the best value, follow our expert recommendations:
Cut - Maximize the fire and brilliance of your diamond by choosing only an Excellent cut diamond. Cut is the number one factor of a diamond's beauty and value.
Color - Choose a diamond in the nearly colorless G-I range, as to the naked eye, it will appear just as colorless as diamonds in the D-F range (and cost far less).
Clarity - Diamonds with a VVS1 and VS2 clarity grade offer the best value for what can be seen with the naked eye. Most inclusions and blemishes will be unnoticeable at these grades.
Shape - Select a diamond shape that is personally and aesthetically appealing. Ensure the type of setting you want is complementary and physically secure for the Shape.
Diamond Seller - Select only a well respected diamond dealer with high quality certificates and years of experience.
You can see how different diamond carat sizes look on a hand below. When shopping, consider her hand size as well as her finger size. Keep in mind that most fancy diamond shapes like emerald, oval and pear will look larger on the hand than a round diamond of the same carat weight. Consider that once set within a ring, the diamond carat weight can look even larger, depending on ring style.
Below are round diamonds that measure 0.25 ct, 0.50 ct, 0.75 ct, 1.00 ct, 2.00 ct, 3.00 ct, 4.00 ct and 5.00 ct respectively.
Searching for a 1 carat diamond ring may seem daunting at first, but with the information in this guide, you'll be able to select a brilliant diamond at an excellent price from a reliable diamond dealer.