Diamonds have always been popular among the masses because of their breathtaking beauty. Their sparkle, brilliance, elegance, value and mass appeal make them the perfect gifts for a loved one.
Buyers prefer 1ct diamonds to heavier diamonds of 2ct or more because they are affordable. Moreover, they look just as stunning as the heavier stones. In other words, your 1carat diamond engagement ring is capable of turning just as many heads as a 2 carat diamond engagement ring.
Needless to say, you want to make a very good job of it when you set out to buy a 1 carat diamond engagement ring. You want to get the best deal out there—the loveliest and the most brilliant diamond within your budget.
If you are buying a 1carat diamond for the first time, the wide choice of 1-carat diamonds can be overwhelming. You will find diamonds in various cut, clarity, and color grades. The price variation will have you perplexed and scratching your head in frustration.
This ultimate guide to buying a 1-carat diamond engagement ring is for such confused buyers. Read the following information to find a rare, extraordinary, and brilliant 1 carat diamond that can turn heads and make its wearer look elegant.
Diamond Weight or Size – What Matters the Most
The first thing you must understand before purchasing a 1ct diamond engagement ring is that there is a huge difference between the weight and size of a diamond.
When we talk about the weight of a diamond, we use the term “carat.” The weight of a diamond is measured in carats (ct). A carat is the equivalent of 200mgms or 0.2gms.
When we talk about the size of a diamond, we refer to its depth or shallowness, surface area or table area, and height and width. The size of a diamond depends a great deal on the way it is cut and shaped.
Two diamonds having the same carat weight can have different sizes depending on their cut or shape. Similarly, two diamonds having the same size can have different carat weight.
The cut of a diamond has a major impact on its carat weight as well as size. For example, an emerald cut diamond is a rectangular shallow stone while a round brilliant cut diamond is deeper. Two diamonds can have the same carat weight and cut, but different sizes depending on how they are shaped.
Consider a diamond cutter who gives different widths and heights to two round 1 carat diamonds. When mounted on palladium, white gold, platinum, or gold rings, the diamond with the deeper cut will appear smaller while the diamond with the shallow cut will appear larger.
It is possible for diamond cutters to cut their diamonds with the sole purpose of increasing their carat weight and therefore, their price. Usually, they do not overdo this as the result would be a low grade stone that just weighs more. A diamond cutter’s aim is to bring the best out of the stone in terms of carat size, clarity, color, and shape.
If you want to buy a 1 carat diamond, you should consider not only its carat weight, but also a number of other factors such as clarity, color, cut, shape, and certification.
1 Carat Diamonds – The Cut
As previously mentioned, the cut of a 1 carat diamond refers to the way it is cut—the symmetry of the stone, its dimensions, and the alignment of its facets. Well cut diamonds are those that have been cut to bring out the best in a stone in terms of beauty, elegance, grace, and brilliance. A well-cut diamond is a true work of art, a brilliant stone that can reflect light in a way that makes heads turn.
The slightest diamond cutting error can result in a worthless stone of poor quality. If a diamond cutter cuts his diamonds too shallow, they won’t reflect an adequate amount of light. On the contrary, if he cuts them too deep, they will display a dark point in their center. The aim of a diamond cutter is to display its best features. For example, a diamond cutter may give his diamond a shallow cut to showcase its clarity, sacrificing its brilliance a little.
In brief, cut refers to the quality of a diamond’s brilliance, facet alignment, proportions, and angles. While purchasing a 1ct diamond ring, you must pay special attention to the cut as it greatly enhances the beauty, value, and brilliance of a diamond.
The following are the grades the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a gem evaluation lab of international repute, has given for diamond cut—Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.
Diamonds with the Excellent or Ideal cut grading display the maximum brilliance, beauty, and sparkle depending on their shape.
1 Carat Diamond Rings – Clarity
While talking about clarity, one must understand that diamonds are natural works of art created in the depths of the earth under great heat and pressure. It took nature millions of years to create a diamond.
Since diamonds are the products of a time-consuming natural procedure, they have flaws in the form of blemishes and inclusions. The most valuable diamonds are those that have the least flaws and blemishes. The most expensive diamonds are the flawless ones.
The following are the terms used to define diamond clarity:
- F1 diamonds are internally and externally flawless.
- F1 diamonds are internally flawless.
- Diamonds with very very slight inclusions fall into the VVS1 and VVS2 categories.
- Diamonds with slight inclusions fall into the S1 category.
- Diamonds having very slight inclusions are called VS1 and VS2 diamonds.
Blemishes and inclusions impact a diamond’s ability to reflect light and reduce its brilliance, fire, and sparkle. Even an Ideal or Excellent grade cut cannot make such a flawed diamond shine.
Make sure that the 1 carat diamond you are on the verge of buying is eye clean. An eye clean diamond is one that reveals no blemish or inclusion when examined with the naked eye.
1 Carat Diamonds – Color
Diamonds fall into two major categories—colorless diamonds and colored diamonds.
According to the GIA’s grading of colorless diamonds, D – F refers to diamonds with absolutely no color, G and H refer to diamonds that are nearly colorless, I and J refer to diamonds having a very faint color, K and M refer to diamonds with a faint color, N – R refer to very light colored diamonds, and S – Z refer to light colored diamonds.
When you examine a colorless diamond with your naked eye, you will not be able to make out any difference in the shade of its color. You have to study the diamond’s GIA certificate to understand its color grading. Or you can take the help of a diamond expert.
Knowing the color grade of a diamond is important because its price depends on its color grade. Diamonds bearing lower color grades are cheaper than diamonds bearing higher color grades although you may not be able to make out the difference with your naked eye.
Colored diamonds stand in a class of their own and have their own color grading. They are valuable just for their fancy colors. These diamonds come in attractive colors such as green, orange, blue, fancy pink, yellow, and red.
Shapes of 1 Carat Diamonds
1 carat diamonds come in a wide range of shapes, and the cost of a diamond also depends on its shape. Moreover, some shapes make your fingers look slender, elegant, and longer.
You will find the following shapes of 1 carat diamonds at jewelry stores:
- Round Brilliant– The round brilliant cut diamond enjoys the most popularity among buyers, chiefly for its brilliance, beauty, and variety. Diamonds of this shape are available in a wide range of cut, color, and clarity grades. The changes in grades do not make much of a difference to their brilliance.
- Emerald and Asscher Diamonds– If you want to see a lot of your diamond in its setting, we suggest selecting an Emerald or Asscher diamond. While the former is rectangular in shape, the latter is square in shape. Since these cuts give a large table area, you should buy stones with higher clarity grades.
Emerald and Asscher cut diamonds come in a wide range of rectangular and square shapes, respectively.
- Princess– The princess cut makes diamonds look unique, beautiful, and elegant. It is a square shape with pointed corners. While buying a princess cut diamond, choose one with higher clarity grades as a bit of color may be visible at the corners of the stone.
- Radiant– The radiant cut diamond has trimmed corners, which makes them the perfect stones for exquisitely designed jewelry. These diamonds look beautiful when set in gold or platinum along with round brilliant cut diamonds. Radiant cut diamonds have a wide range of rectangular shapes.
- Pear– If you are looking for a 1 carat diamond that looks bigger, choose a pear cut diamond, also called teardrop diamond. These are slightly long diamonds with pointed or rounded ends. Mounted in gold, palladium, or platinum rings, they make your fingers look longer, slender, graceful, and elegant.
- Marquise– Diamond cutters give their diamonds the marquise shape to increase their carat weight and enhance their beauty and brilliance. As a result, you get a large stone that looks exquisite when mounted in a ring along with round brilliant diamonds or pear cut diamonds. A marquise diamond engagement ring can make your fingers look longer and elegant.
- Oval – Oval diamonds emit just as much brilliance and fire as do round brilliant cut diamonds. A number of buyers prefer oval cut diamonds for their engagement rings because they can make the wearer look elegant.
- Heart– If you are a romantic at heart and want to give your beloved something to cherish for a lifetime, choose a 1 carat heart cut diamond. Although expensive, they are the ultimate symbols of romance and love.
Heart cut diamonds have a larger table area so you should obtain a stone with higher clarity grades. Buying a heart shaped diamond is not for the faint-hearted because of their cost. Even heart shaped diamonds with a low color grade are expensive.
- Pillow or Cushion– Pillow or cushion cut diamonds have been fast gaining popularity for the past fifty years. They have large facets that highlight their clarity. So you must choose a stone with high clarity grading. If you want to buy a cushion cut diamond for your engagement ring, you can choose from a variety of square or rectangular shapes.
The Diamond Certificate – Why It Is Important
Never purchase a diamond that is not accompanied by a diamond certificate issued by a reputed and independent gem evaluation lab. The diamond certificate is important because it guarantees that the diamond accompanying it has been subjected to a strict grading system before being declared to be a high-quality stone.
We strongly recommend buying diamonds that bear a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This is because the GIA is a globally acclaimed gem evaluation facility that is widely acclaimed for its consistent diamond evaluation procedure. Diamonds bearing GIA certificates are definitely rare and valuable.
Diamond Certification Procedure
Highly reputed and internationally acclaimed jewelers send their diamonds to independent, third-party diamond evaluation laboratories. The trained gemologists at these labs test, evaluate, and grade diamonds according to a well-established evaluation system. On the basis of this system, the lab prepares a report. Called the diamond certificate, this report accompanies the diamond wherever it goes, from the buyer to the seller.
The Diamond Certificate
The diamond certificate has a unique number. You must either memorize this number or note it down carefully in a safe place. The GIA maintains copies of all the diamond certificates it has generated. If you lose your diamond certificate, you can provide the certificate number to the GIA and request a copy.
Also the diamond certificate is laminated to prevent modification or tampering of any sort. If you give your diamond to a third party for any reason, you should make it quite clear that you hold its certificate. This will discourage the third party from either replacing your diamond with a stone of lower quality or tampering with your diamond in any way.
Your diamond certificate also comes in useful when you want to insure your stone or sell it.
The diamond certificate is a faithful report of the characteristic features of a diamond. The GIA also calls it the diamond grading report or the diamond dossier. It gives you complete details of the color, cut, carat, and clarity grading of the diamond you are about to purchase. It guarantees that the diamond truly has the characteristics that the sales representative says it has.
Diamond Appraisal vs. Diamond Certification
The diamond certificate does not mention the price of the diamond it accompanies as it documents the characteristic feature of the diamond, not its price. While a diamond appraisal establishes the price of a diamond, the diamond certificate impartially states the features and quality of a diamond. However, the diamond certificate, especially one issued by the American Gemological Society (AGS) or the GIA, is used to set the price of a diamond accurately.
Reputed Gem Evaluation Labs
We strongly recommend the purchase of 1 carat diamonds bearing diamond certificates from the GIA. This is because the GIA is the oldest and most reliable gem evaluation facility in the world. Unlike certain gem evaluation labs, it is truly independent and does not belong to any diamond wholesaler or retailer.
Moreover, it bears the credit of developing the 4Cs and giving the world a common language that can be used to communicate the value, quality, and features of a diamond. The 4Cs stand for Cut, Clarity, Carat, and Color of diamonds.
We advise against purchasing diamonds certified by lesser known gem testing labs because there are number of gem testing labs run by retailers and wholesalers. Needless to say, these labs use procedures dictated by the wholesalers and retailers, and therefore, you cannot trust their reports.
Some labs use relaxed grading procedures, certifying low quality stones as high quality stones. You may get these diamonds at a discount. But you must understand that reputed labs such as GIA and AGS may give the same diamonds a much lower grade.
1 Carat Diamond Price
Having covered the various factors you should consider while purchasing a 1 carat diamond, we come to the most important question. How much does a 1 carat diamond cost?
The cost, of course, depends a great deal on the quality of the cut, clarity, and color. Accordingly, 1 carat diamonds may cost as little as $2,000 to as much as $25,000. A decent stone could cost you somewhere around $11,000 – $12,000. If you do your research right and take the help of a diamond expert, you can get an excellent deal for around $6,000.
Round brilliant cut 1 carat diamonds cost $2000 – $25,000, princess cut diamonds cost $2000 – $10,000, and cushion cut diamonds cost $1,700 – $17,000.
To get the exact cost of a 1 carat diamond in the desired cut, shape, clarity, and color, you must subscribe to the Rapoport Price List. This list is a global benchmark for establishing the price of diamonds in all major markets.
The Rapoport Price List gives you access to the latest price of diamonds based on clarity, color, and size. They update this list every week on Thursdays at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Purchasing a 1 Carat Diamond Ring – Money Saver Tips
Purchasing a 1 carat diamond ring could dig a deep hole in your pocket, which is why you should do your research well, get the help of experts, and take all the steps you can possibly take to get the best deals.
The following tips can help you get the best deal:
- Purchase Diamonds of Lower Color Grades – If you are willing to purchase tinted diamonds and sacrifice some of the brilliance, you can get a beautiful stone at a cheaper rate.
- Purchase Flawed Diamonds – If you insist on purchasing a flawless stone, you have to part with a lot of your money. A diamond with a few blemishes or inclusions can look just a stunning as a flawless stone.
Examine a diamond with your naked eye. If it is eye clean, or in other words, if it appears flawless to the naked eye, you can go ahead and purchase it at a lower price.
- Get the Best Cut – Be willing to pay for the best cut. In other words, avoid cuts that go below GIA’s Very Good grade. If you buy a poorly cut stone just because you want to save some money, you will end up with a poor quality stone.
- Choose the Shape with Care – Needless to say, some shapes do make the fingers look better, longer, and more elegant. But they cost money. If you are unwilling to pay for the shape, settle for attractive but low-cost shapes such as cushion cuts, emerald cuts, and halo shaped diamonds.
- Hunt for Discounts – Despite their rarity and value, diamonds are available at discounted rates. It depends on when the jeweler will offer a discount. You have to wait for the right time. Avoid buying diamonds at rush hours or during the holiday season as they are the most expensive during those times.
- Hunt for the Best Deal – Visit a wide range of jewelers looking for the diamond of your dreams. You surely won’t find it in the first shop you visit. Even if you like a stone at the first jewelry store you entered, make it a point to visit as many shops as possible to see if you can get a better deal.
- Shop Online – This is a bit risky as you cannot touch or examine the diamond before buying it. Still, you can get a 1 carat diamond at lower rates if you make an online purchase. Study the diamond certificate and the online store’s return policy carefully before you actually make the purchase.
- Round Numbers Don’t Matter– The number one looks great, but you don’t have to purchase a 1 carat diamond. If you purchase a slightly lighter stone, it will cost less and you won’t even notice the difference.
- Buy Them in Clusters – Instead of buying a 1 carat diamond, buy a diamond ring with four small diamonds of 0.25ct each. The cluster of four small diamonds will resemble a 1 carat diamond and will save you a lot of money.
- Buy Them in Halos– If you want a 0.50ct diamond to look like a 1ct diamond, consider buying a halo diamond ring. The halo will make the central diamond look as big as a 1 carat diamond, saving you money while giving you a beautiful, head-turning diamond engagement ring.
- Pay Attention to the Mount– White gold looks elegant and beautiful and is definitely less expensive than platinum. Moreover, platinum jewelry loses its brilliance over time while gold jewelry remains just as bright.
- Purchase Your Wedding Ring Too – You will get a very good discount if you buy two rings at the same time—the engagement ring as well as the wedding ring. This way, you can also get a wedding ring that matches the engagement ring.
1 Carat Diamond Ring FAQs
The following are a few frequently asked questions about 1 carat diamond rings:
Q1: What does “price per carat” mean?
A: As previously mentioned, the diamond industry’s benchmark for establishing the value of loose diamonds is the Rapoport Price List. This list gives diamonds their value on the basis of carat, clarity, and color and describes these values as “price per carat.”
Price per carat refers to the price of a diamond divided by its carat weight. Diamond merchants use this value to set prices for the diamonds in their inventories. The final retail price may be either below or above the estimate mentioned in the Rapoport price list.
The price of a diamond increases with its carat weight. Since larger diamonds are rare, their price is also high.
Q2: What causes fluctuations in price per carat?
A: Two major factors cause fluctuations in price per carat. The first factor is the rarity and size of a diamond and the second factor is quality. These qualities are expressed in terms of the diamond 4Cs, indicating color, cut, carat weight, and clarity. Changes in quality give different price tags to two diamonds that weigh the same. The more expensive of the two may have a better cut, less blemishes, and more brilliance.
Q3: Which is the best metal for a 1 carat diamond engagement ring?
A: It depends a lot on personal tastes and preferences. Each metal has its own merits and demerits. 18k white gold, platinum, or yellow gold are ideal metals for diamond engagement rings. Palladium and 18k white gold are the preferred metals for men’s wedding rings, although men who don’t mind splashing money around set their diamonds in platinum.
Q4: Can I purchase loose 1 carat diamonds?
A: If you would like to buy a loose diamond for a pre-existing mount, the jeweler will examine the mount and show you a diamond that would look best for that setting. The jeweler will also set the diamond in the mount for you.
Q5: Can I just purchase a setting for my 1 carat diamond?
A: If you already have a 1 carat diamond, any jewelry workshop would be willing to make the ideal setting for your diamond. You can also purchase an existing white gold, yellow gold, platinum, or palladium setting and ask the jeweler to replace its center diamond with your diamond.
Buying a 1 carat diamond is an once-in-a-lifetime activity for most buyers. Ideally, you should know exactly what you are doing while purchasing your diamond. We suggest spending a lot of time getting educated on the diamond 4Cs and other factors such as cost, certification, and shape before actually making your purchase.
We invite you to visit this website as many times as you like whenever you need information about purchasing a 1 carat diamond ring.