How Much Is a Diamond Worth? How To Find the Value of Your Diamonds

Female seller in a luxury jewelry store presents a ring.
djedzura / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Diamonds are treasured around the world for their beauty and sparkle. Although the gemstone and jewelry industries market them to symbolize enduring love, they’re also a scientific wonder. 

Natural diamonds are composed of pure carbon, shaped by eons of high pressure underground. Each diamond emerges as a stone unique in weight, purity and color. Diamonds can also be manufactured in a lab. Whether natural or artificial, there are no strict rules on how to price them. 

Whether it’s a natural or lab-created stone, it’s important to put yourself in the hands of an experienced and trusted seller when shopping for a diamond. That shop will clearly explain the four important variables in a diamond’s quality that play the leading roles in how much a diamond is worth. Here’s what you need to know on how to find the value of a diamond.

Carats: What a Diamond Weighs

The weight of a diamond is one of these variables that determines a diamond’s worth and is what the general public is most familiar with. The unit of measurement, called the carat, equals 200 milligrams. Each carat is further divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond is a half carat, while a diamond weighing a whole gram would tip the scales at five carats.   

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Good To Know

The weight of a diamond is measured in carats, but heavier stones are more expensive, carat for carat than lighter ones. 

Colored and Colorless Diamonds

The color of a diamond also plays a role in its value, with colorless diamonds given the greatest value.

There are pink, yellow, blue and even black diamonds. Although these are less common than clear diamonds, they are also less valuable. Without color, a stone allows light to pass and refract freely, giving the diamond more shine and sparkle.

The grading scale of clear diamonds ranges from D to Z. D means there is no color at all, while Z means there is significant and noticeable color. For colored diamonds, a different scale exists. Generally, the stronger the color of these stones, the more valuable they are.  

Clarity: Measuring Flawlessness

The clarity of a diamond depends on interior flaws that bend or block light as it passes through the stone. These are called inclusions and they lower the clarity and the value of a diamond. They also mark the diamond’s rarity, as stones without inclusions are more difficult to find. 

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To gauge the degree of clarity in a diamond, it’s important to work with a jeweler that you know and trust. The highest clarity grade is FL, meaning flawless.

The scale then runs to:

  • IF
  • VVS
  • VS
  • SI
  • I

The heavier the stone, the more important the clarity grade is.

Cut and Quality of Light

The final characteristic to consider in valuing diamonds is the cut. There are many different ways a diamond can be shaped and its facets cut, with the goal being to reflect and diffract as much light as possible through the stone.

Cut: The shape of a diamond — whether round, square, princess, rectangular or another shape — can be a personal choice for buyers.

Quality of Light: The sparkle a diamond gives off, however, depends largely on the quality of the cut. 

The scale of cut quality ranges from excellent to poor. At the highest end of the scale, a diamond’s proportions allow it to capture and reflect light to a viewer’s eye. When the cut is poor, meaning the proportions are too shallow or deep, the light passes through the stone with less direct reflection, contributing to a duller, less sparkly stone.   

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Once you have a handle on the four measurements of diamond quality, you’ll be better prepared to compare “apples to apples” and understand how much a diamond is worth. This means visiting several retailers, finding a stone that pleases your eye, and asking for the grades applied to that stone. You’ll be prepared to set your diamond budget, browse the competition and ask their price on a diamond with the same or very similar scores. 

Diamond Weight Price Per Carat Diamond Price Range
Diamond Weight Price per carat Diamond Price Range
0.50 Carat $1,100 – $7,690 $500 – $3,485
0.75 Carat $1,810 – $8,800 $1,360 – $6,600
1.00 Carat $1,910 – $15,650 $1,190 – $15,650
1.50 Carat $2,985 – $22,330 $4,480 – $33,500
2.00 Carat $4,025 – $42,180 $8,050 – $84,360
3.00 Carat $6,190 – $50,070 $18,580 – $150,220
4.00 Carat $7,575 – $68,130 $30,300 – $272,520
5.00 Carat $8,430 – $70,370 $42,150 – $351,850

This article was republished on April 26, 2022. Information is accurate as of April 20, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

​​A writer and editor with more than 100 book credits in the juvenile and young adult non-fiction format, Tom Streissguth has mastered the craft of explaining complex, difficult subjects clearly. His books have covered history, geography, economics, media and current affairs; he's also written biographies of historical figures for Lerner, Enslow, Facts on File, Greenhaven and other major educational publishers.
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