In general, a 1 carat diamond costs between $1,800 and $12,000. The cost depends on factors such as the Cut quality, Clarity, Color and Shape of the diamond. Cut quality is the aspect that most greatly impacts a 1-carat diamond’s price and its beauty.

This was the cheapest 1-carat diamond I found, that does not seem to be something you would want to put on your finger. On the other hand here is a 1-carat diamond that is as perfect as can be. But is this the best way to spend $12,000? We recommend finding a balance between the two to maximize value and size. 

A 1 Carat Diamond simply refers to the weight of the diamond. 1 Carat equals 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. To put it in perspective, a 1 Carat Diamond weighs roughly the same as a quarter of a raisin. All diamonds are 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.

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 at $4,615 or more per carat like this one, while a similar 2 Carat Diamond might be at $7,390 or more per carat like this diamond.

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 ring 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 Right Weight for Your Ring

Choosing a gem for a ring is a very personal decision that depends on several factors. Understanding and prioritizing those considerations will help you choose the right carat weight. Keep the following tips in mind.

Carat Weight and Size

It’s important to remember that carats are a unit of weight, not a measurement of size. Depending on how it is cut, a one-carat gem may look much larger or smaller. Four Mine reports that a one-carat diamond with a round cut maybe 6.5 mm in diameter, but a princess cut diamond of the same weight is only 5.5 mm. Additionally, cuts may vary depending on the jeweller, with one-carat diamonds coming in in a variety of sizes.

Set Your Budget

There’s no set guideline about how much you should spend on an engagement ring, but you do need to determine your budget before you start shopping for a stone. All other factors being equal, larger carat weights are going to cost more. The number of carats a ring should be is the number of carats that fit comfortably in your budget.

Consider Finger Size

Another important consideration is the finger size of the person wearing the ring. If the bride-to-be has wide fingers, she may look gorgeous wearing a ring that’s two carats or more. However, if she has delicate hands, a large gem may look out of place on her finger.

Think About Setting

The carat weight of the gem is only one part of its perceived size in a ring. Side stones, halos, and other design elements can make a stone appear larger. Additionally, many engagement ring settings are made to accommodate a certain size of the gem. If you choose one that’s too large or too small, it won’t sit properly on the ring.

Practicality and Preference

A large gem can be lovely, but it’s not the ideal choice for everyone. If the person wearing it works with her hands or needs to avoid high profile gems for other reasons, a smaller stone may be a better option. Similarly, some people prefer the simplicity of a smaller stone. These factors are very important when considering the right gem size for you.

How Big Is A 1 Carat Diamond Ring?

A 1-carat diamond is approximately 6.5mm in diameter. This is the size of a round diamond, cut to ideal proportions. Other shapes may have a larger or smaller surface area. Oval, pear and marquise diamonds have a larger surface area, while princess and Asscher cut diamonds are smaller, with just around 5.5mm table size.

While this may seem small, a 1-carat diamond is absolutely big enough to draw attention. Size and carat weight should be a consideration for your ring, but you should also focus on choosing a well-cut diamond. A stunning 1-carat diamond engagement ring that sparkles brightly, like this one from the Blue Nile, will be more brilliant and eye-catching than a dull 2-carat diamond engagement ring.

Where To Buy A 1 Carat Diamond Ring

The world of diamond dealers is vast, but don’t let that intimidate you. Many high-quality and honest diamond jewellery sellers can be found online and in stores.

For 1 Carat Diamond Rings, we recommend finding an online seller as they tend to have a larger selection of quality 1 Carat Diamonds than local stores. They’ll offer beautiful settings as well, made of 18k or 14k white gold, yellow gold, rose gold or platinum. With the online option, you have a greater chance of finding an exquisite diamond at an exceptional price.

With our years of experience in the diamond industry, we’ve been able to vet several diamond dealers. We have a consistent pulse on which companies you can trust and which companies produce the best diamond cuts at an excellent price point.

The Four Cs

So now that you know why you are buying an engagement ring made with a diamond, you can familiarise yourself with the “Four Cs” – cut, colour, clarity and carat. All must be considered equally when comparing diamonds, but more than any other factor, according to Tiffany and Co, it is how the diamond is cut that will determine its defining characteristic.

Cut

As the only characteristic of a diamond not influenced by nature, the cut is open to mistakes and bad practices. Cut a diamond incorrectly, and the defining sparkle will be compromised. It is how the 57 or 58 facets (the tiny planes cut on the diamond’s surface) are angled and sized that dictate how light reflects and exits the diamond, an effect known as its “fire”. Make the cuts too deep or too shallow, and the diamond will be less brilliant.

The cut will also determine the shape of the diamond. The most common shape is the round cut, but others include the emerald, the pear, the marquise, the princess, the oval and the heart shape. Ask to see all of these shapes, if only in a picture, to make sure you have covered all your options.

Colour

The most valuable and rare colour is white, that is to say, colourless. Jewellers grade absolutely colourless diamonds with a “D”. The scale moves up to “Z” (don’t ask what happened to A, B and C) and, between these two extremes, diamonds will display subtle coloured tones. Diamonds with solid and distinct colour are extremely rare and are called fancies.

Clarity

Many people get unnecessarily hung up over the clarity of a diamond. Look into most diamonds with a jeweller’s loupe (magnifying eyeglass), and you will see small “inclusions”, also known as “nature’s fingerprints”. They look like little clouds or feathers but are usually invisible to the naked eye. Inclusions can affect the diamond’s fire, but they also make your diamond unique and shouldn’t always be seen as a fault. Why worry too much about something you can’t see, anyway? As long as the stone is graded SI1 (Slightly Included 1) or better (best and most expensive is IF, or Internally Flawless; worst is I3, or Imperfect 3), you should be all right.

Carat

The weight, and thus the size, of a diamond, is measured by carat. A carat is equal to 0.2gm, or 200mgm. A carat is divided into 100 smaller units called points. For example, three-quarters of a carat is 75 points. The average size of most engagement-ring diamonds is somewhere between one carat and half a carat. Do not confuse carats with karats, the unit of purity for gold.

Any reputable jeweller will know about the four Cs and be prepared to talk you through them all without prompt when displaying diamonds. But suppose you don’t wish to place your trust entirely in a jeweller. In that case, you should request a “cert stone” – a diamond that has been assessed, graded and coded with a laser by an independent gemological laboratory. The type of certificate is essential, as not all are universally recognized. The most internationally recognized are issued by GIA (the Gemmological Institute of America). Other popular certificates include HRD, IGL, EGL and AGS (see Diamond Certificate Issuers, right). The fee for a grading certificate varies depending upon the carat of your diamond, but for exact prices, contact a specific laboratory. And do not be afraid of organizing your own certificate rather than accepting the jeweller’s recommendation.

Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Engagement Ring

Is it about time to start ring shopping? Congratulations! Buying an engagement ring and gearing up for the proposal is a crazy exciting time, and it’s easy to get caught up in the romance, but remember: An engagement ring is usually a considerable expense, so you want to make sure you do it right.

Whether you’ll be scouting out rings together or you’re heading out to shop solo, this extensive guide is key to finding the perfect engagement ring for your significant other.

Narrow Down What Shape You Want

If you know what your significant other wants in terms of diamond shape, that helps focus the engagement ring hunt immensely. Every shape (also known as a cut) is priced differently—and each has a different price per carat. Round cuts are the most expensive whereas pear and marquise are less so. If the size is essential to you, you can get more carats at a better price when you choose an alternative shape to the classic round cut. Before heading out to shop for an engagement ring, study up on ring cuts and have one (or two) favourites in mind.

Choose a Metal for the Band

Traditionally, engagement rings (and wedding bands, too) are made from yellow gold, white gold, silver, or platinum—although in recent years rose gold has emerged as a fresh, modern alternative. While platinum may look quite similar to silver, platinum is significantly more expensive as it has a greater density (and is also rarer). Some metals scratch easier than others, so be sure to consider lifestyle—as well as budget, of course—before deciding how important of a factor metals are the final decision. 

Have a Carat Size in Mind

The age-old question of quality versus quantity also applies to engagement rings; some people prefer a larger stone to a whiter stone, while others want the absolute clearest possible diamond, despite the carat count. “The spouse-to-be should definitely have an idea of her (or his) stone size,”. “As much as people say size isn’t important, it’s always the kicking off point, because colour and clarity can always be tweaked to find something within your budget.”

If size matters, keep an ideal carat size in mind when shopping together, and be flexible on the other elements to suit your budget.

But also, keep an open mind. Your significant other might think they know what they want when it comes to size or shape, but trying on rings, they might find out they want something else entirely—it’s always different once you start seeing things on your finger in real life. You can save some significant cash if you choose a less common carat size. Diamond prices increase significantly when they weigh the most desired weights: think half and whole carat weights (.50, 1, 1.5, etc.). “Buy a diamond that is just shy of these common weights, and you’ll save money, and no one will be able to tell it’s a .92 carat instead of a 1 carat,” says Emily Duke of Finesse Diamonds Corp.

Get Measured Correctly

This may seem obvious, but make sure you both get your ring fingers properly measured. You don’t want a ring that’s cutting off your circulation or, even worse, so loose it’s at risk of falling off. It should feel snug but comfortable. If you’re not shopping for engagement rings together, you can go get sized at a jewellery store on your own and then casually mention your size the next time the topic comes up (or tell your BFF, so they’ll know the answer when your partner asks them).

Consider How Your Engagement Ring Will Look with Your Wedding Band

While it is easy to get caught up shopping for the perfect diamond, the engagement ring is only one half (or less than half, if you’re going the rink stack route) of the equation. Your wedding band—you know, the actual symbol of your marriage—is the oft-overlooked other half. Definitely think about what style of wedding band would go with your ring. Some engagement rings don’t allow a band to fit flush against them, so it’s important to consider the full package of prong versus pavé and channel-set stones before committing to an engagement ring style.

Always Buy Certified

Buying an engagement ring is one of life’s most expensive purchases, so take your time to shop smartly. When you finally find the dream ring, make sure you are buying a certified stone from an accredited laboratory such as the American Gem Society or the Gemological Institute of America. Diamonds certified by the other labs can have inflated grades, giving the customer the illusion of a great deal when in reality they’ve gotten a lower quality diamond, warns expert Ira Weissman, creator of The Diamond Pro. In fact, according to Weissman, this is the biggest trick many jewellery stores play.

Make Sure the Certificate Matches the Diamond

Most diamonds are laser inscribed on the girdle, and this can be checked with a jeweler’s loupe, says Duke. “Many have inclusions so you can look at the diamond and see if you can match the imperfections to the map on the certificate, too.”

Be Smart About the Quality of the Cut and Clarity

Save big by purchasing the lowest colour diamond that will still look colourless to the naked eye, suggests Weissman. “For round diamonds in white gold, this is typically an I or J colour. In yellow gold, you could even go down to a K colour,” he says. “The difference in price between a J colour and a D colour is enormous.” As for clarity, the same concept goes. Opt for the lowest clarity diamond that is still clean to the naked eye, as it’ll look identical to a flawless diamond assuming all else is equal, he notes. “The difference in price between an SI1 or SI2 clarity diamond and a flawless diamond is huge.”

On the other hand, the quality of the cut of the diamond is one thing private jeweller Dan Moran, founder of Concierge Diamonds, advises clients to never sacrifice on. Why? It’s the cut of the diamond that gives it that gorgeous sparkle we love. “If you take a so-so rough diamond and cut it perfectly, it’ll look absolutely stunning. On the contrary, take a top-of-the-line rough diamond and cut it poorly, and it’ll look like absolute garbage.”

Negotiate Like a Boss

Engagement rings can be marked up well beyond the necessary margins, explains Rosey West creative director and founder Michael Dobkin. In fact, some rings are marked up as much as 500 per cent. “Really do your research before pulling the trigger and don’t be afraid to negotiate,” Dobkin suggests. “A good jeweller will be willing to work within your budget and get you the best quality that works for your needs.”

Head to the Wholesale District

Another option is to work with nontraditional diamond retailers or wholesalers to avoid unnecessary markups, says Monil Kothari, founder of NYC fine jewellery start-up Antandre. “A wholesaler or a private retailer like myself is able to work with customers on a one-on-one basis to create a ring specifically for them,” says Kothari. “Moreover, because we don’t have the traditional overhead retailers do, we can save them more than 30 per cent, giving them the best bang for their buck.”

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