1 Carat Diamond Ring Buying Guide

1 Carat Diamond Ring
Photo: DiamondGalaxy / Adobe Stock
You’re interested in buying a 1 carat diamond ring but have no idea of where to start? No problem, we’re going to provide all the answers you need in this guide.

Previously, we’ve covered the foundations of this question. For example, you’ll find our guides on diamonds, the four Cs, and how the four Cs impact the price of an end product.

Today, we’re putting all that information together and hopefully allowing you to make good decisions in your 1 carat diamond ring hunt. If you haven’t read our previous material, please feel free to keep this tab open, go and check out this guide, and then return. Otherwise, keep reading to learn more!

Cost of a 1 Carat Diamond Ring

Firstly, we should note that the term ‘carat’ refers to the weight of the diamond. With 1 carat equal to 200 milligrams, this will be the weight of the diamond in the ring. In terms of price, this all depends, and you might see two 1 carat diamond rings available at very different prices. While one might be priced at $3,000, another that looks similar might have a cost of $15,000.

Of course, this doesn’t really answer your question and isn’t ideal for a buying guide. Therefore, we’ll take you into the factors that affect price.

Importance of the Four Cs

Essentially, there are two main factors that affect the price of a 1 carat diamond ring:

  • Diamond Quality
  • Material Choice

Firstly, we’ll deal with the four Cs since this plays the largest role. In case you haven’t seen our guide (and individual detailed guides on each of the four Cs), they stand for Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. We know the Carat of your ring, but the other three Cs will vary depending on the ring.

Clarity

Does the diamond have defects or inclusions that affect the way that light passes through the stone? This is the basics of clarity, and diamonds are judged on a scale from Flawless to Included. While Flawless is the clearest of all diamonds, it’s also the most expensive, and it’s not always necessary considering that lower grades still have a sensational appearance without magnification. Even at the fourth tier down, VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included), it’s impossible to see blemishes and inclusions with the naked eye.

Color

With color, this is another factor assessed by the GIA and other institutes, and they look at the colorlessness of the diamond. When a diamond has a yellow or tinted hue, it will have a lower grade. When buying a 1 carat diamond ring, we recommend staying between G and I. Even when set against the lighter metals, the diamond should still look colorless (and you can save some money by avoiding the very top grades).

Cut

Thirdly, people often mistakenly think the cut is all about shape when it also considers the interaction with light and beauty of the diamond itself. With an Excellent cut, it will have maximum fire, scintillation, and brilliance. There’s not necessarily a correct answer to the question of cut, but we recommend choosing Excellent while sacrificing in other areas.

When buying a diamond ring, the relationship between the four Cs will affect the price you pay. With three of the Cs on a 1 carat diamond ring in the lower grades, it will be low in quality and low in price. At the other end of the scale, a ring with the Cs in the higher grades will be significantly more expensive.

With this in mind, it’s something to consider when buying a ring. Remember, you don’t always need to go for the highest grades when something just below the top grades will look and perform just as well.

Material Choice

As well as the diamond itself, don’t ignore the choice of material. While some will go for platinum, others prefer gold or even white gold. Here’s a little insight into each:

  • Platinum – Durable and dense, platinum is a hypoallergenic material and one that will never change color or fade. With the natural strength and purity of the material, it’s a popular choice.
  • Gold – Unfortunately, the purity that offers strength to platinum is what causes problems for gold. As a naturally soft metal, the best rings are combined with other metals for durability and strength.
  • White Gold – Finally, although it requires re-plating, white gold is a more affordable version of platinum. It offers a beautiful reflective appearance and a beautiful setting for a diamond.

Where to Buy a 1 Carat Diamond Ring

Now we know more about the product you’re buying, where should you look? In our opinion, the best place these days is actually your bed, sofa, on the train, and wherever else you carry your phone. Although physical stores are good to get an idea of what you like, they carry limited stock and often charge higher prices because of their operating expenses. We recommend working with a trusted jeweler that offers magnified images and videos; many actually provide 360-degree videos too.

Getting the Best Value

To finish, here’s some advice on getting the best value from a 1 carat diamond ring and ensuring you don’t overspend.

  • Always choose a diamond with a quality certificate from AGS or GIA.
  • Be willing to drop down grades (don’t worry, the diamond will still look amazing!). As long as you have an Excellent cut, you could choose a diamond between G and I for Color and VS1 and VS2 for clarity. The diamond will sparkle brightly while not causing too much damage to the bank account.
  • With material and shape, go with your personal preference (and don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your partner if it’s an engagement ring). With one simple conversation, you prevent buying a ring they will dislike.
  • Go see diamond rings in a physical store, and then use what you learn to shop online.
  • Consider getting a diamond that’s just over or under 1 carat because this will save some pennies.