Diamond Articles

Understanding Diamond Prices

August 25, 2017 - Diamond Articles
Diamond prices can leave many feeling confused. With so many misconceptions about diamonds and how much they are worth, trying to understand how diamonds are valued and what makes diamonds valuable can be a struggle. So our gemologists have decided to answer some of the most common diamond pricing questions:

  1. What affects a diamond’s price?
  2. How much is my diamond worth?
  3. Are diamonds investments?
  4. Where can I sell my diamond for the best price?



Gemologists determine the value of a diamond by determining the quality of the stone. They do this using the following criteria:

  • Carat weight – the weight of the stone measured in carats (ct).
  • Cut grade – the proportions of the stone and therefore how well it reflects light.
  • Color grade – the presence or lack of yellow/brown in the diamond.
  • Clarity grade – the presence or lack of internal/external flaws.
  • Polish – the quality of the surface condition of the diamond.
  • Symmetry – how symmetrical the diamond is.
  • Fluorescence – whether the diamond emits a glow under ultra-violet light.
  • Diamond shape – round, princess, heart, oval etc.


Here is how the factors detailed above affect the price of a diamond:

  • Carat Weight

Carat weight, often abbreviated to ct, is the standard unit of weight measurement for a diamond. You can expect larger stones to have a larger carat weight. The price-per-carat of a diamond increases as the weight increases.

To find out the carat weight of your diamond, use our Diamond Weight Calculator.


  • Cut Grade

The parts of a diamond that affect the cut grade are as follows: proportions (table, width, depth), symmetrical facets (girdle, pavilion, table, culet), polish (final treatment), brilliance (strong brightness & contrast), fire (distribution of colored light), scintillation (sparkle). It strongly impacts a diamond’s appearance and sparkle, making it the most important of the 4 C’s.

Cut Grade
Excellent Maximum polish, symmetry, brilliance,  fire, and scintillation
Very good Much of the light is appropriately reflected
Good Light is properly reflected but the fire and brilliance are not intense
Fair Light escapes, and the fire and brilliance are quite dull
Poor Diamond appears dull with the light escaping the stone

A diamond with an Excellent cut grade significantly fetches more in the market than diamonds with a Poor cut grade. However, a diamond with a Poor cut grade can be re-cut to get a better cut grade, but this process sacrifices the carat weight. It is always best to choose a diamond with at least a Very Good cut grade.

how much is a diamond worth

  • Color Grade

For white diamonds, the absence of color makes it more valuable. Color grades range from D-Z, where D is colorless and Z is tinted yellow or brown.

Color Grade
D-F Colorless
G-J Near Colorless
K-M Faint (Slight visible tint)
N-R Very light (More visible tint)
S-Z Light (Noticeable yellow or brown tint)

A diamond with a color grade closer to a D grade will have a greater value than a diamond leaning towards the Z end of the scale. Although a diamond may seem colorless, when inspected by a skilled gemologist, it may actually have a hint of yellow or brown that an untrained eye just cannot see. To be safe, opt for a diamond with H-grade or higher.


  • Clarity Grade

Diamond flaws are called inclusions, hence the clarity grade that ranges from Flawless (perfect inside-out) to Included (visible flaws to the naked eye).

Clarity Grade
FL Flawless (No flaws externally and internally)
IF Internally Flawless (No flaws internally but some flaws externally)
VVS1, VVS2 Very, Very Slightly Included (Slight internal flaws)
VS1, VS2 Very Slightly Included (Slightly internal flaws but cannot be seen by the naked eye)
SI1, SI2 Slightly Included (Slight internal flaws that may be seen by the naked eye)
I1, I2, I3 Included (Flaws that are visible to the naked eye)

Some diamonds have blemishes that cannot be seen by the naked eye. However, when examined under a loupe by a trained gemologist, these imperfections may be easily pointed out. The more included the diamond, the less valuable it will be.


  • Diamond Shape

As much as this is a matter of preference, the shape can also determine a diamond’s price. Some shapes are more popular in the market, making it more expensive than the rest. Today, the most sought-after shape is round, followed by princess.

A list of diamond shapes:

  • Asscher – similar to a square emerald shape
  • Cushion – square or rectangle with rounded corners
  • Emerald – cut with rectangular facets and with step cuts on the pavilion
  • Heart – the shape of a love heart
  • Marquise – almost looks like a small boat when worn on the finger
  • Oval – quite similar to a round-shaped diamond, only longer
  • Pear – shape of a teardrop
  • Princess – square with pointed corners
  • Radiant – a cross between the princess and the cushion shapes
  • Round – the shape that reflects light the best

gemologists can see diamond inclusions


It is important to understand that much like a car, diamonds depreciate in price once they are purchased.

When selling a diamond, you can typically expect to receive 20%-50% of what the diamond was bought for at retail. The reason being that jewelers have to mark up diamonds to cover their costs: staff, rent, insurance, inventory, marketing etc.



No. Or at least extremely rarely. Diamonds do not appreciate in value and as such are not investments. Only exceptionally valuable and rare diamonds can be considered investments.

Understanding the difference between diamond retail and resale price is important if you are looking to sell your diamond. Diamond resale value is typically 20%-50% of retail value.



Whether you want to sell your diamond or upgrade it, at WP Diamonds we provide a fast, easy and safe service. As professional diamond buyers, we work with hundreds of customers every day, helping them sell their diamonds for the best price. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, we pride ourselves on offering a service that is entirely free of charge and can take as little as 24 hours. Our GIA trained gemologists are on hand to value your diamond, so simply fill out our online form to get your diamond price quote today.

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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