Are you interested in buying or selling a diamond? No one likes a bad deal, so determining a fair price for your stone is important before entering any kind of transaction. Knowledge is power, after all. And with diamond pricing often being very nuanced and complicated, we want to help you set your expectations for buying or selling a diamond at a fair value.
The primary factors of the price of a diamond are the 4Cs: Carat, Color, Cut, and Clarity. You can read a more detailed analysis of the 4Cs here. Whether you’re buying or selling a diamond, it’s important to have certification papers by GIA, AGS, or another diamond certification company. This verifies the quality of the diamond and makes sure all parties involved understand what is being sold.
The prices above are for loose diamonds. If the diamond has a setting, that could influence the price.
Let’s take a look at the different parts of the table above to give you a better understanding of what to expect when buying or selling a diamond.
Retail Price – This is the price you can expect to pay if you go to a brick and mortar jewelry store. If you’re shopping for a diamond at your local mall or jeweler, this is the price you’ll likely see.
Online Price - Shopping online? This is the price you can expect to pay at an online retailer. You can browse some well-reviewed, high-quality online retailers on our website here.
Craigslist / Peer to Peer – This is the price you can expect if you’re using a peer-to-peer platform, such as Craigslist. There are online P2P platforms too, but they often take an additional 20% commission if you’re selling a diamond. These can obviously be riskier too if you’re buying or selling an expensive diamond, so take steps to be extra safe – both physically and making sure you aren’t getting duped – if you are buying directly from another individual.
Diamond Buyer – This is the price you can expect to get if you sell your diamond to an online diamond buyer. We maintain a list of trusted online diamond buyers that we recommend, but it’s always a good idea to get multiple offers and use our diamond value calculator as a guide to make sure you’re getting a good price for your diamond.
Wholesale – This is what a wholesaler would expect to pay for a diamond, who then resells it to retailers and diamond buyers. You can’t really buy from wholesalers unless you’re buying in bulk, and they don’t really have much interest in buying from individuals (and you won’t get a good price anyways).
Carat – Select the carat (size) of the diamond to the tenths place. The average diamond engagement ring in the United States is between 1.08 and 1.2 carats. The bigger the diamond, the higher the price estimate.
Color – The GIA laboratory recognizes a color scale ranging from D (totally colorless) to Z, which is brown or pale yellow in color. This is for diamonds where it’s desirable for them to be colorless, not special colored diamonds. If you’re buying a diamond, we recommend a color of G or higher.
Cut - The GIA scale uses Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor to grade cuts
of diamonds. Watch out for certain ways that unscrupulous jewelers may mark these cut ratings:
“Super Ideal” for Very Good, “Very Good” for Fair, and “Good” for Poor. G is our minimum
recommendation for cut quality when shopping for a diamond.
The shape of the cut can also influence the price. Take a look at our more detailed guide on different diamond shapes to learn more.
Clarity – Diamond clarity is a measurement of the existence and appearance of
inclusions and blemishes. Essentially, defects. The ideal rating here is flawless. You
can view images and
examples on our more detailed guide to diamond clarity. For the top clarity ratings, a
skilled grader inspecting the diamond with significant magnification would need to be required to
detect blemishes. Anything rated VS2 and above will give you great clarity with blemishes
undetectable to the naked eye, so we recommend starting there when diamond shopping.
Some diamonds are enhanced, which is not recommended. We consider most enhancements to decrease the value of the diamond by about 60%. Some enhancements such as laser removal of dark carbon inclusions allow buyers to purchase diamonds that they would not be able to afford with the enhancements. However, the resale value will take a noticeable drop and the enhancements are very easily detectable under a microscope (but not to the naked eye). By law, enhancements must be disclosed at the time of the sale.
Lab – GIA is the most reputable and well-recognized diamond grading agency. AGS is also well-known, but has looser standards so some jewelers have been known to send them to AGS to get higher grades.
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