The Magic Numbers of Carat Weight

So you have finally started the arduous task of shopping for a diamond engagement ring? One of the factors that will most likely have a heavy impact on the size and quality of the stone that you select is going to be price. For most of us, unless you happen to be King Midas, you probably have a budget that you need to stick too. 

When working with your budget, there is a simple truth about diamond pricing that can save you a bundle, and get you a great stone that will fit your budget comfortably.

Diamonds are priced based on weight, color, and clarity. Diamond weights are broken down into groups, and all the stones in the weight group are priced on the same "price per carat" basis. For example... as of today 9/5/2013, a 1.00ct G color VS1 clarity round diamond is priced on the retail standardized price list at $9,000 per carat, while a .90ct G color VS1 clarity round diamond is priced at $6,800 per carat. (This list is a guide that jewelers use and prices can vary based on availability, cut quality, and lots of other factors. However, this list does serve as a guide to the entire industry and it is published to jewelers every friday.)

What does this mean to you in practical terms? It means that if you were to buy a 1.00ct G VS1 at list, you would pay $9,000 for it, however if you were to buy a .90ct G VS1 at full list you would pay $6,120! That is difference of almost $3000, for a visual difference that is very slight! 

Of course, because of this factor, .90ct stones can be a little harder to come by, but it is worth the wait to save that kind of cash! If you are patient, shopping by the numbers can get you a great product for HUGE savings!

Here are the magic numbers and how they work....

Diamond prices are grouped like this

0.23ct - 0.29ct
0.30ct - 0.39ct
0.40ct - 0.49ct
0.50ct - 0.69ct
0.70ct - 0.89ct
0.90ct - 0.99ct
1.00ct - 1.49ct
1.50ct - 1.99ct
2.00ct - 2.99ct
3.00ct - 3.99ct 

While it might not be feasible to find a .99ct stone, it is possible to get close to a magic number without going over it. The key is patience and compromise, but if you are willing to do a little leg work, you can find a great stone the puts you just under the magic number and saves you a bundle of cash in the process. 

If you are shopping for a 1.00ct stone, consider a .90ct stone. if you are shopping for a .50ct stone, consider something in the .45 - .48ct range. By shopping just under the magic price points, you will be able to save a considerable amount of budget on the stone, and you can apply that to the setting, or better yet, to the plans you have for popping the question!