Making sense of diamond prices


How can diamonds with the same 4Cs have a completely different price?
What can enhance the value of a diamond? Let us break down what you need to know about how diamonds are valued.

First, take a look at these two diamonds. They are both graded by GIA as 1.02 carat,
F color, VS2 clarity, Excellent cut, polish and symmetry and look the same, right?
Click on the diamonds’ image to see them under an ultraviolet light. Cool, right?

The left diamond has no fluorescence while the right one has strong fluorescence.

While the 4C’s (carat, clarity, color & cut) are important, they don’t tell the full story. In the example above, the value of the two diamonds you saw varied by 50%! There are over 17 parameters on a typical grading certificate, which must be taken into account. However, even that is not sufficient to price an important gem and a physical examination is required. Why?

Well, imagine you’re looking to buy a house. Would you be comfortable making an offer on a home by simply looking at the floor plan?

Of course not! While that information is helpful in thinking about what you might offer, you’re going to want to understand the quality of the home’s finishings, the amount of natural light that flows in, what walking into each room feels like, etc.

Illustration of how an apartment looks on paper (i.e. floor plan) vs. in person
A ring being measured with a diamond gauge after cleaning with the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner

The same holds true for diamonds. Beyond the 4Cs and what the grading certificate covers, there are other factors that require physical examination. Here are some important things to check:

  • Fluorescence

    The emission of visible light under
    ultraviolet stimulation

  • Artificial enhancements

    Treatments used to improve
    a diamond’s appearance

  • Body color

    If the diamond is milky, has any
    cloudiness, or tints of color such as
    brown or green

  • Damage

    Any scratches, chips, and internal cracks beyond normal wear and tear, including those that might be hidden by a setting

  • Brilliance

    The brightness of a diamond, created from white light reflections

  • Scintillation

    The sparkle and pattern of bright and dark areas in a diamond as it moves

  • Fire

    The dispersion of white light into its spectral colors


At Mondiamo, we go well beyond the inspection of the 4Cs when valuing diamonds, utilizing cutting-edge technologies, a highly experience team, and global distribution channels, all of which are geared toward maximizing the value of your item.



Next, you have the market conditions to consider. When demand is high, there is more competition for your product. Sometimes demand can be higher in international markets, such as Europe, China or Japan. Our global network at Mondiamo gives us access to the strongest buyers for your diamond.

In certain cases, there is an opportunity to recut a diamond to improve its appearance, or even its color and clarity. We use a Sarine machine to measure the facet arrangement and proportions of a diamond to determine if re-cutting the diamond will increase its value and enable us to pay you more.


Mondiamo proprietary pricing algorithm

We are often asked about the difference between retail prices and wholesale prices. Due to the notion that ‘diamonds are forever’ and do not depreciate, the expectation is to receive a value close to retail. The reality is retailers add markups based on their location, their costs, fashion trends, etc., while in the secondary market, our valuation is bound by strict pricing indices defined by diamond grading characteristics. Picture buying a new car and driving out of the dealership. If you turned right around and asked them to buy it back from you, the car would have already lost much of its retail value. The same holds for diamond jewelry in the resale market, you can expect between 45% to 65% of what you originally paid depending on the conditions under which you purchased it at retail.

At Mondiamo, we go well beyond the inspection of the 4Cs when valuing diamonds, utilizing cutting-edge technologies, a highly experience team, and global distribution channels, all of which are geared toward maximizing the value of your item.