The cost of diamonds

Find out how much different types of diamonds cost

Find out how much different types of diamonds cost

Diamonds are definitely a girls best friend. The breath taking beauty of this rare stone has been admired by everyone from kings and queens to commoners. Depending upon several factors, the cost of diamonds can vary widely and can fit virtually any budget. Like many women, I love diamonds. Their icy, elusive sparkle always catches my eye and draws me in. I have yet to just pass by a jewelry store in a mall without going in, just ask my husband. He trudges behind me unwittingly, staring at his feet as I roam the store while sales people stalk me like I’m a moving target. Luckily, jewelry designers of today are keeping budget conscious shoppers like myself (and my husband) in mind.
Although men can be slightly clueless when it comes to jewelry, I’ve met women who are just as lost when it comes to the cost of diamonds. Before you shop for your next piece of diamond jewelry, it’s important to educate yourself about the 4 C’s of diamond buying:

Carat Weight
Often times, this is the ‘C’ that is most important and most daunting to many shoppers. It’s important to remember that even though you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have to settle for a grain of sand. Instead of searching for a solitaire design, try looking for a multi diamond design. With multi diamond designs, you can afford a larger carat weight. For example: a 2 carat solitaire diamond ring can cost nearly three times as much as a 2 carat multi diamond ring.

Although white diamonds are more common, recently, “fancy colored” diamonds have become more popular. The most popular colored diamonds are blue, canary yellow and pink. These rare colors are far more expensive than their white counterparts because of their beauty and rarity. For example: a 1 carat white diamond of average clarity may cost the same as a .50 carat yellow diamond. Other colored diamonds such as black and brown are not typically as expensive because they are not as rare and are not as popular. When shopping for white diamonds, you will encounter a color scale that ranges from letters D through X, with D being completely colorless and X diamonds being light yellow. Many retailers offer diamonds that are G-I colored, meaning they are colorless to the unaided eye. These diamonds offer the best quality and value for budget shoppers.

Diamond cutting is tricky business, especially when it comes to those tiny, glittery specks that adorn so many rings. By the time a rough diamond has been cut into a round brilliant cut, it is estimated that about 50% of the actual diamond is lost. Because of this, the round brilliant cut is the most expensive. Some of the most popular cuts include emerald, marquis, princess and cushion, but the round brilliant cut is at the top of the list as far as popularity. The round solitaire cut is also thought to be to show the brightness of the diamond.

Since diamonds are formed naturally, they typically have internal imperfections called “inclusions” and external markings called “blemishes”. Diamonds that are considered to be flawless are extremely rare, which is why they are so expensive. The average diamond is slightly included (SI1 or SI2) while lower quality diamonds are I1, I2 and I3. Those with larger budgets may be able to afford internally flawless or very very slightly included diamonds.

Many jewelers send their diamonds to the Gemological Institute of America to be professionally graded. Many diamonds that have gone through this process are offered with GIA certificates to prove their authenticity. Today, more and more retailers are offering conflict-free diamonds at extremely competitive prices. These diamonds typically come from Canada and are not mined using child labor or in the midst of land disputes and governmental conflicts.

No matter what kind of diamond you decide to buy, remember to abide by these guidelines to help you get the best “bling” for your buck.