Round 1 Carat Diamond - Know the Value

There are a lot of factors that go into determining the value of a round one carat diamond. Learn the importance of the various attributes that contribute to a diamond’s resale price.

While some may assume that all one carat diamonds have the same value, there are a lot more factors than just size that go into determining a diamond’s price. There are a number of intrinsic characteristics and attributes unique to each diamond that contributes to the final value. This is especially evident when you look at the average prices of diamonds by carat weight. On average, the retail price for one carat diamonds can be anywhere between $2,000 to $16,000, and between $8,000 to $72,000 for two carat diamonds.

How is a One Carat Diamond Ring Price Determined?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed a standardized formula for assessing a diamond’s characteristics that help sellers and buyers determine one carat diamond price and the value of diamonds of other carat weights. These characteristics are provided on a diamond grading report and the most well-known are four factors: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. The carat weight, as the name implies, is a measurement of the diamond’s weight. While all one carat diamonds weigh the same, they can actually appear different in size depending on the proportions of a diamond. There are ‘ideal proportions’ for every diamond shape, so two round brilliant diamonds, for example, can be one carat but one might appear smaller than the other because it has less than ideal proportions.


The cut refers to how well the diamond was crafted into a jewelry-quality stone. This affects how well the diamond is able to refract light and create that signature sparkle of a perfect diamond. The GIA grades the quality of cut on a scale of Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, to Excellent.

Color applies to the presence of color in white diamonds and is graded on a scale from D to Z. Diamonds with less color receive a higher grade, so a diamond with D color is essentially colorless, while a diamond with a lower grade, such as L or M, might have a visible yellow color. Since colorless white diamonds are more valuable, a one carat diamond ring price with a D color grade will be higher than that of a lower grade.

Last but certainly not least is clarity. A diamond’s natural creation process, in which carbon is exposed to great amounts of heat and pressure deep within the earth, leaves it extremely susceptible to internal imperfections called “inclusions” and external flaws called “blemishes.” A diamond deemed “flawless” has a high grade of clarity and is virtually void of inclusions and blemishes. Less than 1% of diamonds have so few imperfections, but the less they do have, the higher the cost of an item like a 1 carat diamond.

Why Are Round One Carat Diamond Engagement Rings More Expensive?

While important, a GIA diamond grading report doesn’t solely determine a one carat diamond price or value. Instead, it is the diamond’s attributes provided on a grading report that are used to determine how much a 1 carat diamond is within the market.

When valuing a diamond, all attributes including the diamond’s shape must be taken into consideration.  Take the price comparison for 1.00 carat diamonds in the price chart below. It was compiled by the International Gem Society (IGS) and compares at the price of different shapes of diamonds sold by Blue Nile:

igs price chart
This graph was taken from IGS. Prices reflected in the chart are retail.

All of these diamonds have the same color, clarity, and relative carat size, yet they vary by shape. It’s clear that round diamonds tend to be the most expensive regardless of carat size because that classic shape is the most popular.

The more demand there is for a specific shape, the higher the price will be. Any fancy-shaped one carat diamond engagement ring, which is any shape that isn’t round, will have more variation in price. However, fancy-shapes generally tend to have lower retail prices than round diamonds of the same size.


So, How Much is a 1 Carat Round Diamond?

This question, unfortunately, doesn’t have the simple answer you’re looking for. The retail cost of a one carat round brilliant diamond can be anywhere between $2,500 to $14,500, and the cost only goes up from there when you include ring settings or other additions.

If you thought you were set on a one carat diamond engagement ring with a round brilliant cut but this information is deterring you, don’t worry! You can still get the beautiful diamond that you’re looking for without the cost of a 1 carat diamond breaking the bank.

Keep your options open to other shapes in order to keep the cost of a one carat diamond as low as possible. The only way to really know what shape you want is to browse until you find the perfect one that catches your eye.

If you’re thinking you may want to sell your diamond and make the switch from round to fancy or vice versa, Mondiamo is here to help. We’ll evaluate your current diamond ring, provide our highest Final Cash Offer, and send immediate payment so you can find the new diamond that is right for you.