Diamond Carat

Diamond carat
Foto: Sarawut795 / Adobe Stock
In a recent article discussing the process of buying an engagement ring, we mentioned the four Cs of diamond quality; carat, cut, clarity, and color. In what has become the industry standard, the GIA scale is used to determine the quality of a diamond and is useful to all men and women looking to take the next step with their loved one. Now, we’re going to look into the four Cs in more detail… starting with carat.

What Carat Means and Measures

How much does the diamond weigh? It might sound simple, but this is the science behind diamond carat. Jewelers are incredibly accurate with measurements, and they need to be considering carat weight has the single largest impact on the price of a diamond ring. The heavier and larger diamonds are rarer, and this means they command a higher price tag.

Diamond Carat Weight – Thanks to the universal weighting system, 200 milligrams equal one metric carat. With the decimal points used when weighing diamonds, it allows for simple comparison (in addition to the introduction of industry terminology). For example, each carat contains 100 ‘points’. Therefore, a 0.50 carat diamond would be called a ‘fifty pointer’.

What is a 1 Carat Diamond Worth?

As we discovered, one carat is 200 milligrams, so this will be the weight of the diamond. Once you’ve decided on a carat weight, the factor that will play the largest role with pricing is generally the cut. With this in mind, you can pay anything between $2,000 and $16,000 for a 1 carat diamond. However, 2020 prices have a 1 carat diamond at an average of $4,500 and $6,000.

Ultimately, we can only provide a rough idea in this guide because the market contains thousands and thousands of options. When choosing a 1 carat diamond, you also need to pay attention to the cut, clarity, and color. If the diamond has an ideal cut, VS2 clarity, and H color, you will pay around $6,000.

If you choose an ideal cut, it’s then about finding a balance between clarity and color. In 2020, the sweet spot seems to be between VS2 and SI1 clarity with an H color; prices fall between $4,700 and $6,500. Of course, there are cheaper and more expensive options. However, this combination allows for an eye-clean diamond (and a happy fiancé!).

Diamond Carat Price

In truth, the whole science surrounding the pricing of diamonds is complicated. With the four Cs all interconnected, it’s easy to overpay for the wrong diamond. On the other hand, a little bit of research may provide you with the tools you need to find a fantastic deal (well done for starting your research with this brilliant guide!).

When looking online, you might see the phrase ‘price per carat’. Essentially, this is the price of the whole diamond then divided by the overall weight. For example, let’s say that a diamond has a price of $4,000 per carat – this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay $4,000. If the diamond actually has a carat weight of 0.50, you will only pay $2,000 because you only have half a carat. On the other hand, a diamond with a 1.50 carat weight will have a fee of $6,000 because you have one and a half the $4,000 carat weight in your diamond.

Choosing Carat Weight

Before we bring this guide to a close, it’s also important to note that diamonds get progressively more expensive as the carat weight increases. We noted earlier that diamonds get more expensive depending on scarcity and rarity, and this means that two 1 carat diamonds would cost less than a single 2 carat diamond. Even if the clarity and color are exactly the same, the very fact that the 2 carat diamond is harder to find will drive the price higher.

In our engagement ring guide, we provided you with a top tip with choosing a carat weight, and we’re going to repeat it in case you missed it. Generally speaking, diamonds with a carat weight slightly above or below whole numbers are available at a discounted price. What do we mean? Well, you’ll pay significantly less for a 0.99 or 1.02 carat diamond than a 1 carat diamond.


There we have it, the first of the four Cs. It’s the one that has the largest effect on pricing when the other three Cs stay the same, so it’s one that requires much attention. Hopefully, you now have a good understanding of carat weight, what it means and measures, and the pricing system!