How Much Does a 1 Carat Diamond Cost?


More than 80 percent of brides choose a diamond to wear on their ring fingers when they get engaged. When people buy a diamond, size is often the most significant factor in their decision. Purchasing a diamond that is a full carat is sure to impress.

If you wonder, “how much does a one-carat diamond cost,” the answer isn’t a simple one. Many factors impact the final price. Unlike other materials, diamonds can come in various colors, sizes, and cuts.

This one-carat diamond cost buying guide goes over everything you need to know about purchasing a gem of this size.

Diamond Jewelry Guide

A lot goes into pricing diamond jewelry, which means a one-carat diamond can have a huge range in cost. To understand how a jeweler prices a diamond, you need to know about the different qualities a diamond has.

Like gold and antiques, diamond prices change each day. Factors like time of year and market trends impact the daily diamond price.

Besides the shape, four other factors go into a diamond’s price. These factors, known as the 4 Cs, are cut grade, color grade, clarity grade, and carat weight. The combination of these four factors equals the final diamond price.

Cut Grade

If you look at a diamond, you’ll notice that it has many reflective surfaces or facets. A beautifully cut diamond has incredible brilliance and sparkle.

Most people choose a diamond for how much it shines and sparkles. There are four different cut grades that a diamond can have:

Ideal: These rare diamonds make up a very small portion of diamonds. These reflect the most light and have intense sparkle.

Very Good: These diamonds are close to ideal, but not perfect. They are a good option for those who want a great diamond for less money.

Good: Good diamonds reflect most light but not all. About a fourth of all diamonds get this rating.

Poor: Diamonds with this rating appear dark and dull. They are usually cut too deep or too shallow.

Even flawless diamonds can look dull if it doesn’t have a good cut. When factoring in your budget for your one-carat diamond cost, it’s essential to focus on the cut rather than the inclusion.

Color Grade

Most diamonds have some color to them. It is rare to find a colorless diamond.

Diamonds can come in fancy colors like gray, white, green, brown, pink, and yellow. White diamonds typically have at least a little color in them as well.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a color scale to determine how much color a diamond has. The scale goes from a colorless D to a yellow Z. Diamond colors are broken down in the following way:

  • Colorless: D-F
  • Near Colorless: G-J
  • Faint Yellow: K-M
  • Very Light Yellow: N-R
  • Light Yellow: S-Z

Clarity Grade

Because a diamond is from the earth, it can include imperfections inside the stone. Jewelers call these defects inside the diamond inclusions.

If diamonds have very few or no inclusions, they get a high clarity grade. Diamonds will many inclusions will cost you less money.

Many inclusions are too small to see with the naked eye. If you are looking for a diamond at a lower price, go for one that has a lower quality grade. Diamonds get rated on the following quality scale:

  • F: Flawless
  • IF: Internally flawless
  • VSI, VS2: Very slightly included
  • SI1, SI2: Slightly included
  • I1, 12, 13: Included

Carat Weight

A diamond gets measured by weight instead of size. The bigger the carat, the larger the rough crystal it comes from. This means that bigger diamonds often have more inclusions.

If you want to get a full carat but don’t have much money, try buying a fancy shape. Diamonds that are hearts or ovals can cost less than a round diamond of the same size.

How Much Does a One-Carat Diamond Cost

When you are ready to buy a one-carat diamond, the 4 Cs will ultimately determine the final price. A one-carat ideal cut diamond with a K color and VS1 inclusion will cost much less than a diamond of the same size with a higher inclusion and color rating.

A one-carat diamond with the same cut, color, and clarity can have significant price differences depending on the shape. Round diamonds tend to be the most expensive cuts, with cushion cuts being a cheaper option.

Diamond Alternatives

A one-carat diamond is a considerable investment, no matter the 4 C grade. If you want the look of a one-carat diamond without the price, there are some diamond alternatives you can look at.


There are many types of synthetic diamonds on the market to choose from. Moissanite is one popular diamond alternative. A chemist named Henri Moissan created this gem.

A scientist creates this crystal from silicon carbide. It is the second hardest gem globally and is almost indistinguishable from diamonds. A one-carat moissanite will cost up to a thousand dollars based on its 4 C score.


Another alternative is to buy a different type of stone for the center of a ring. Morganite, sapphire, and emeralds are all popular choices.

Lab-Grown Diamonds

Manufactured diamonds used to get a bad rap but have come a long way in recent years. Today, these diamonds are grown in a lab and are almost exactly the same as an earth mined diamond.

These diamonds have varying quality in cut, color, and clarity. They are a great option if you want a diamond for a cheaper price.

Find the Perfect Diamond to Wear Forever

You may have your heart seat on at least a full carat to make a statement with your diamond jewelry. If you find yourself wondering,” how much does a one-carat diamond cost”, it means you are ready to make a purchase!

If you can’t afford a full carat, try a halo setting to make it look bigger or a different type of stone. Whatever you choose, you’ll love the look of your new gem on your hand.

Dress up your new jewelry with an updated wardrobe! Check out our fashion blogs for inspiration today!