What Is The Price of A 1.00 Carat Diamond?

What is the price of a 1.00-carat diamond?

I have been asked this question many, many times. Here is an idea:

Diamond Weight Color  Clarity  Price in USD
1.00 carat D VVS1  $15500
1.00 carat M I3 $1100

    The first diamond is top quality and the second being bottom of the quality scale. In between the two prices there are lots of diamonds with different combinations of color and clarity and the prices are different.

    (In case you need some knowledge on the terms I wrote above please refer to my article About Diamonds.)

    Please note that the prices I mentioned are based on the Rapaport price list and the diamond can be priced per the dealer's discretion. 

    Please note  - These prices get updated periodically. The prices presented were valid on the day the article was written. 

    Cape Diamond Exchange_Cape Town Jeweler and Diamond Dealer


    I am also being asked what diamond can I buy with a $4000?

    This is a difficult question to answer if you don’t sit with the customer and explain the options. There are many options to spend your $4000, there are many options for a 1.00 ct diamond as I said above.

    However, as “food for thought” on how much variation in a price of a diamond might be, I can give several more examples below which - again - are valid today, as I write and post this blog. Nevertheless, I would like to show in this article the differences between the diamonds, and therefore - the accuracy of the numbers is negligent.

    Prices are from the Rapaport Diamond Price List.

    Size matters!

    I will be comparing similar factors for some average quality diamonds, but change the size of the diamond:

    Diamond Weight Color  Clarity  Price in USD
    1.00 carat I VS2  $6600
    0.50 carat I VS2 $1450
    2.00 carat I VS2 $21000


    One can see that going half the size down is not half the price. Doubling the size is not double the price.

    • The bigger the diamond, the bigger the jump is.
    • Note that going double -  beyond tripled it! It is a huge jump.
    • similarly going half, made it 1/4 price.

      Let's see what happens if we drop the carat weight by just a fraction. from 1.00 to 0.99.

      Diamond Weight Color  Clarity  Price in USD
      1.00 carat I VS2  $6600
      0.99 carat I VS2 $5049


      Note the difference of a fraction, the price for the 0.99 goes down substantially! It’s a difference of $1,551 - it's about a 23% drop.


      • A very big drop with only a fraction.

      Let's for fun compare a diamond of a 2.00ct, with the same qualities as above - this is what we get:

      Diamond Weight Color  Clarity  Price in USD
      2.00 carat I VS2  $21000
      1.99 carat I VS2 $15721


          Diamond Scale at Cape Diamond ExchangeIsn’t it jaw-dropping? It is only a fraction! One does not see the difference AT ALL when it is set on a ring or on display. Only the diamond scale shows the difference…





          The Rapaport price list is divided into fractions of 10 points. For example, there is a price list for 0.40 to 0.49 and another for 0.50 to 0.59, then 0.60 to 0.69, and so on, and it goes up to 5ct.

          There is one exception (and it’s not clear why): the range of weight between 0.70 to 0.89 is 20 points without a level in the middle at 0.80.

          Here is a page from the Rapaport Price List

          Price List at Cape Diamond Exchange

          Seems confusing? Yes, I know...

          Diamond Color

          Now let’s look at what the difference is with diamond color. Here, we will step up with the color on the same diamond by one grade. Instead of color I, we go to color H (slightly better color).

          Diamond Weight Color  Clarity  Price in USD
          1.00 carat I VS2  $6600
          1.00 carat H VS2 $7600

          The same carat weight of 1.00 and the same clarity of VS2, the price goes up by $1000, which is about 13%.

          This is a huge jump, and to be frank – the difference between the I and H color is not so noticeable when it is on the finger and waving hello to the world like the queen of England.

          Diamond Quality

          Now let’s take diamond quality – the number of inclusions (small imperfections in the diamond). We will lower the quality from VS2 to SI1 (SI1 being a slightly lower quality then VS2).

          Diamond Weight Color  Clarity  Price in USD
          1.00 carat H VS2 $7600
          1.00 carat H SI1 $6800


          The differences in clarity are minute when the diamond is set in a ring or a pendant and sitting on the finger. Most of the inclusion can be seen only by a microscope with 10 times magnification. Yet, the price difference is about 11%.


          Another factor is Cut. The cut is the shape of the diamond. A round, perfect, proportional diamond is so much more difficult to cut and polish than the other shaped diamonds – that is the reason why the other cuts are cheaper.

          Diamond Weight Color  Clarity  Price in USD
          1.00 carat ROUND H VS2  $7600
          1.00 carat OVAL H VS2 $5400



          $2200 difference! All the other shapes (like pear shape, cushion cut, emerald cut, etc.) are the same price as the oval I just mentioned.

          In this article I will not explain the ideal cut in terms of proportions. This is too technical for the purpose of this article.  

          In cases where the round diamond is perfectly cut, a dealer may charge more for that round ideal diamond. As I said above, the final diamond prices are the discretion of the dealers. Prices I have mentioned here, are per the price list.

          To conclude, the combination of carat size (weight), color, and clarity make a major difference. You can see why asking how much a one-carat diamond makes it very difficult to answer… There are many variations to a diamond’s combination, and each of the combinations influences the price vastly; thus, the accuracy is very important and knowledge is vital.


          Your Diamond Budget

          Therefore, when buying, I always suggest my clients - first and foremost decide on their budget.

          Within that budget, one can find the right combination. Maybe the size of the diamond matters, but the clarity less. Maybe the color is more important for one and the clarity less.

          I personally suggest emphasizing a little less on clarity, because most of the inclusions (imperfections) are not seen by the naked eye. So, you can go for lower quality but choose a bigger size and a nice color.

          And again, all within your budget. It will be very helpful to disclose the budget and what matters most to you in your ideal diamond; to your jeweler – it will make it easier and faster to find the diamond that is suitable for you and your loved one.

          You are welcome to ask questions below or to just comment.

          You can also contact me directly aviva@capediamondexchange.com

          If you are in Cape Town, pop into our gorgeous shop, on St Georges Mall, or peruse our extensive window displays. Call for an appointment at  021 4222 350 / 021 424 6125 or out of office hours call or what's app +27613387544. 

          You might be interested to get more viewpoints on diamonds in some of our articles on our blog page. Click Here

          Hoping you brighten your life with the sparkle of your desired diamond!

           We are always here for you. 

          Aviva Ezra signoff_Cape Diamond Exchange








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