Unquestionably, diamond is one of the most challenging stones to shop. The prices of diamond for consumers have steadily been on the rise over the years. Quality diamonds are difficult to come by, as the criteria for grading is stringent.
For diamond valuations, the qualities to look out for are the carat, cut, color and clarity (or the 4Cs). A well cut and polished stone is usually worth over 50 percent more than usual diamond. The growth of the diamond industry has significantly influenced by ads campaigns, the exponential development of the internet and social media. Most diamond purchases are frequently in the form of engagement rings or anniversary rings and are now usually shopped online. Online shopping has made it imperative that a buyer truly understands how to price a diamond ring. Whether you are a first-time buyer or return customer, having information on pricing cannot be over emphasized as many reputable online jewelers are stocking a variety of carats, cuts, and colors of diamonds.
Armed with the necessary information, shopping for inexpensive engagement rings from any reputable online jeweler can become a fun activity, not only does the buyer find discount diamond rings from a pool of different pieces, but there is also the comfort of variety. A variety of option allows the customer an opportunity to sample pieces from a different reputable online jeweler that stocking inexpensive engagement rings.
In your quest for finding affordable diamonds, it is advisable to shop only from credible offline stores or a reputable online jeweler to avoid getting ripped off or scammed. Customers should carry out due diligence before buying. Carefully read and understand terms of sale such as return policy, guarantee or warranty to know your stand, in the case of unforeseen circumstances. Carry out due diligence on shipping, returns, exchanges or customization, look for mainly potential hidden costs and price increase. It is extremely helpful if you know the common mistakes that people make when purchasing a diamond ring online.
As earlier said, a reputable online jeweler is a great alternative to traditional offline jewelry stores, as they not only offer a variety of pieces at more desirable prices, they are also a convenient choice for traditional stores. When choosing an online store to shop from, it’s important that you purchase your item from a big and famous brand. Ensure you carry out due diligence always when you price a diamond ring.
The certified gemologists appraisers of the American Gem Society and the Independent Certified Gemologists Appraisers maintain an accredited gem laboratory which consists of a gemological testing equipment and gemological reference library necessary to provide accurate identifications of stones. Purchasing diamonds can be a form of investment. Like all investments, there is the need for security through knowledge. A Diamond appraisal is usually advised to help determine the value of the diamond for tax or insurance purposes. A diamond appraisal does not only tell the diamond’s value, but it also provides information on the retail replacement value under an insurance policy.
The value of a diamond is determined by the combination of the “4C’s – Color, Clarity, Carat Weight and Cut”. These factors have varied impact on the price of a diamond ring.
Factors determined the quality of a diamonds
The carat of a diamond refers to its weight. The size of a diamond can determine the price of the stone. The cost of a diamond usually increases as its weight increases. The larger a diamond, the higher the price that is, the larger the carat, the rarer the diamond is.
A diamond that is priced $5,000 per carat and it is half a carat will carry a $2500 price tag. You will need to multiply 0.50 * $5,000 = $2,500 for the diamond. And if the same diamond that costs $5,000 per carat weighs 1.50 carat then it means 1.50 * $5,000 = $7,500 for the diamond. Below is a chart showing the carat value of common stones.
Cuts are crucial to unlocking the beauty of the polished diamond. It is the Cut that determines independent of the size, or the color, or clarity grade of the diamond, how much it will sparkle. A diamond cut is a design guide used when shaping a diamond for polishing. The cut of the diamond impacts its brilliance; this means that if it’s poorly cut, then it’s less luminous. Round Brilliant cut diamonds are notorious for carrying higher levels of premium than the fancier shapes. On the other hand, an emerald cut diamond with similar grades in carat weight, color, clarity, and cut, may cost 30% less than its round cut counterpart. Select a cut among the two top ratings, “excellent” and “very good” on the GIA scale and try to stay away from “good,” “fair” and “poor” cuts. When considering diamond cut, aside for its measurements like depth and table size, you should also consider polish and symmetry.
Clarity means the existence and visual appearance of any external or internal characteristics. Internal components are called inclusions and external characteristics, or surface defects, are called blemishes. Inclusions are particles that got stuck within the diamond in the formation phase. Subsequently, these inclusions are proof that diamonds are natural rather than man made. Clarity enhanced diamonds is a good alternative to save money for your engagement ring because they are inclusions free and very affordable. Clouds found in diamonds affect the ability for the rock to transmit light; this is typically due to foreign material.
Diamond Clarity Grades Chart
- FL (Flawless) – No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification, <1% of diamonds.
- Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions visible under 10x magnification, <3% of diamonds.
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions so microscopic that they are difficult for a skilled grader to spot them under 10x magnification, VVS1 (Few minuscule inclusions) and VVS2 (VVS2: Slightly more minuscule inclusions).
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are visible with an application of under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor, VS1 (Difficult to see minor inclusions), VS2 (Somewhat easier to see small inclusions).
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are visible below 10x magnification, SI1 (Inclusions occasionally visible to the naked eye without any need for magnification). SI2 (Inclusions typically visible from the pavilion, and often seen from the top, without magnification).
- Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and this might just affect transparency and brilliance of the pieces.
Here are some common questions that people have regarding the 4Cs:
Diamond graders rate diamonds by what size is the inclusion? How many inclusions? What kind of inclusion? Feathers, needles, pinpoints, crystals, and clouds are good examples of different types of inclusions. How much does an inclusion stand out from the diamond? Where is the inclusion located within the diamond?
Usually, larger stones have more visibility which makes glaring whatever imperfections they carry, the smaller the stone, the higher the clarity which directly reflects on the cost. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the greater its value.
The color grade has a great impact on price, as the color of the diamond can potentially be visible to the naked eye. Speaking chemically, a pure and structurally perfect diamond has a higher value. Colorless diamonds have always been valued for crystal rarity and purity. Diamonds are categorized on a color scale developed in the 1950s by Richard. T Liddicoat. This scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (heavily tinted.) The closer the stone is to colorless, the more valuable and pricey it is. In the diamond market, there are two color ranges, the Cape series, which shows as a yellow tint and the brown series, which shows a brown tint. The brown tinted diamonds are less sought-after and therefore are of a lower value than the yellow. Diamonds beyond the Z color are graded separately with a different set of parameters, and they are called fancy colors
Diamond Color Grading System
- D (Absolutely Colorless) – The highest color grade. Extremely rare.
- E – F (Colorless) – an expert gemologist can detect minute traces of color. A rare diamond.
- G – H (Near Colorless) – Color difficult to detect unless compared side-by-side against diamonds of better grades. An excellent value.
- I -J (Near Colorless) – An exceptional value with slightly detectable warmth or tone.
- K – Z (Noticeable color).
- ‘D’ colored diamonds are the rarest and most expensive of diamonds within the D-Z scale.
Other factors play a role in pricing because a larger diamond does not necessarily cost more than a smaller diamond. Know this; a diamond is a combo of all factors combined. Some trade-offs may be required to balance price with the quality features that matter most to you, but the result should still be a diamond with beautiful brilliance.
Pricing diamonds is not a straight through affair as there are a lot of not 4Cs factors that can affect diamond valuations. These factors include place of purchase, fluorescence, symmetry, polish, and grading. The price of a diamond can also be determined if it is color enhanced or clarity enhanced.
In the diamond world, the Price per Carat list is the standard source for current market prices; it is used by professionals to check the current diamond rates. The current market value of one carat of a diamond ranges between $3,080 and $26,950 per carat. The price is dependent on the various factors highlighted above.
Below is a table showing the current price chart (as at Feb 2017) of one carat of a Round and fancy diamond. The number of carats will multiply the per carat value; in this case multiplied by 1.
Non-Diamond Related Price Adjustment factors
Diamonds do not exist equally. Imperfections in these stones exist that may or may not be visible to the naked eye but have an impact on price. The choice of where you are buying from, terms of sale, guarantees and warranties, return policies, cut, clarity and color, treated or enhanced are all determining factors in pricing for diamonds. There are some non-diamond related price factors that you should consider when shopping for your diamond ring:
- Policies and warranties of the jewelers
- The store location
- The brand name
The key here is to find a mix that best suits your desire and budget. At Beverly Diamonds, we know everything about diamonds and we can help you to get your perfect ring at the most affordable price possible. Many customers have given good ratings for us from reputable websites The Knot and Wedding Wire.