Updated January 17, 2023

1 Carat Diamond Price Guide

Read more about Diamond Size Chart
Ad Disclosure: This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site. You help support CreditDonkey by using our links. (read more)

What is a 1 carat diamond worth? The 4C's can greatly affect price. Read this guide to avoid overpaying for your diamond ring.

For most, the diamond carat size is probably the most important aspect when shopping for an engagement ring. After all, size is what people see. Many see it as a symbol of both wealth and affection.

A 1-carat diamond engagement ring is the goal most people try to reach. It's a nice whole number. And it's a good size that you can show off and feel proud of without breaking the bank.

If you're interested in going a bit bigger, be sure to check our guides for 1.5 carat, 2 carat and 3 carat diamond rings.

A 1 carat diamond costs between $2,000 to $20,000. The cost depends on the quality of the stone and how well cut is. In general, we recommend the best value to be somewhere between $4,500 - $6,000. This is where you can find a good balance of quality, beauty, and price.

Learn about 1 carat diamond prices, so you don't get ripped off. In this guide, you'll learn:

How Much Does a 1 Carat Diamond Cost?

A 1-carat diamond can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $20,000. It's a pretty wide range as the price depends on the quality of the diamond and the diamond shape.

A 1-carat diamond with a higher grade in color and clarity will cost more. A diamond with more flaws and yellow coloring will be at the lower end of the price spectrum.

We have some detailed price charts below so you can see how this works.

The best value is somewhere in the $5,000 - $6,000 range. We recommend Ideal/Excellent cut, VS2 clarity, and H color for a sparkling, eye-clean, white-looking diamond. It will look just as beautiful as the $20k diamond.

Tip: When it comes to 1 carat diamond prices, Brilliant Earth, a CreditDonkey partner, is a name you can trust. Offering a wide range of ethically-sourced diamonds and elegant settings, Brilliant Earth ensures you'll find the perfect ring at a fair price. Experience the difference today and shop with confidence.

1-Carat Diamond Price Charts

To help you get a better idea of what you can expect to pay, we put together some price charts for 1-carat diamonds.

Here are the current retail price of 1 carat diamonds, based on diamond shape.

Round 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Princess 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Cushion 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Oval 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Emerald 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Asscher 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Pear 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Marquise 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Radiant 1 Carat Diamond Prices

Heart 1 Carat Diamond Prices


The shape of a diamond greatly affects price. Round, brilliant diamonds are always the priciest. They're in high demand and it takes more skill to cut them. Shapes like emerald cut and cushion cut tend to be the least expensive.

In general, fancy shaped diamonds can cost as much as 40% less than round diamonds. See our detailed guide for a rundown of all the shapes and purchasing tips for each one.

For just about all shapes, H color and VS2 clarity will get you the best value. If you're setting the diamond in a yellow gold or rose gold band, you can even go down to J color grade.


A 1-carat diamond is a good size that stands out. It's large enough to get noticed, yet small enough not to get in the way.

Did you know: The largest price jumps are at the half-carat and whole-carat points. To get a better value, look for a diamond just slightly under the whole number.

Here's a chart that shows how a 1-carat diamond looks compared to other sizes:

1 Carat Diamond Size Chart

Not all 1-carat diamonds look like they're the same size. Some diamond shapes appear a lot bigger visually. Here's a look at all 1-carat diamonds in all shapes:

Asscher cuts are notorious for looking the smallest. If you want the largest size possible, consider marquise, pear, and emerald cuts. They look bigger compared to other diamonds of same carat weight.

Here are the dimensions of 1 carat diamonds of different shapes:

ShapeSize (mm)
Round6.5 x 6.5
Princess5.5 x 5.5
Cushion6.5 x 5.5
Oval8.0 x 5.2
Emerald6.7 x 5.0
Asscher5.3 x 5.3
Pear8.0 x 5.2
Marquise10 x 5
Radiant6.0 x 5.5
Heart6.6 x 6.6

Carat actually refers to the weight of the diamond, not the size. So it's actually wrong to say "carat size."

Most of the diamond weight is at the bottom, where you can't see. You only see the top of the diamond and how big that looks. This is why it's important to buy a well-cut diamond, so the bottom part is not too heavy. We'll get more into that later.

Natural vs Lab Created 1 Carat Diamonds

More and more couples are choosing lab created diamonds for their engagement rings. It's a great choice for smaller budgets. Lab diamonds are now up to 80% cheaper than natural mined diamonds.

Lab diamonds are real diamonds with identical chemical and physical properties as those created from the earth. The lab replicates the creation process.

Here are some examples of pricing differences between 1-carat natural and lab grown diamonds.*

Natural DiamondLab Diamond
1 carat round, H, VS2, Ideal$5,200$1,100
1 carat, round, F, VVS1, Ideal$8,100$2,000
1 carat, princess, G, VS1$4,800$1,800
1 carat, oval, H, VS1$5,000$1,700

*Pricing based on typical market price of online diamond retailers as of 2023.

Going with a lab-grown is a great way to get a larger diamond at a much lower price. They are just as sparkly and durable as natural diamonds. Plus, they're more ethical and environmentally friendly.

Why Buying 1-Carat Diamond Can Be a Mistake

It sounds really good to say that you got a one carat diamond. But if you're too stuck on this number, you can be overpaying by 20%.

Jewelers know that people want to reach this goal weight. And that is why 1-carat diamonds have a huge price jump.

A good quality 1 carat diamond costs around $6,500. In comparison, the same quality 0.9 carat diamond costs around $5,000 - a whole 20% cheaper. But visually, there is no size difference between a 0.9 and 1-carat diamond!

Here's the math: A 1-carat round diamond is 6.4-6.5 mm in diameter. A 0.9-carat round diamond is 6.2-6.3 mm in diameter. This is literally just a difference of 0.2 mm - the thickness of a piece of paper. The normal human eye can't see this difference.

So don't spend the money on something you can't even see. Instead, it's better to use that money to get a nicer engagement ring setting, which will have a much bigger "wow factor."

The diamond industry typically has huge price increases at half and whole carat weights (like 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc.). Because they know people want to reach these numbers. For best value, stay just under these popular carat weights.

1 Carat Diamond Clarity

Clarity refers to how many flaws are in the diamond. But you don't need the perfect flawless stone. All you need is an eye-clean diamond.

We recommend VS2 clarity as the sweet spot. At this clarity grade, the flaws are usually small enough that they cannot be seen with the naked eye.

If you are able to see actual photos/videos of the diamond, you can go down to SI1 to save more money.

For emerald and asscher cut diamonds, we recommend upgrading the clarity to VS1. These step-cut diamonds have a large open table that easily reveals flaws.

1 Carat Diamond Color

Diamond color refers to how much yellow tint is in the diamond. The human eye can't differentiate color that well. So you don't need a premium colorless diamond.

An H diamond offers best value. It's priced lower, but will still achieve the icy white look. I color grade is even okay for some extra savings.

If your engagement ring is yellow or rose gold, then you can even downgrade to a J or K color grade. These diamonds have a warmer tone, which will complement the color of the ring well.

1 Carat Diamond Cut

Diamond cut refers to how the diamond's proportions reflect light. This is the most important of the 4Cs. It's what makes a diamond brilliant and beautiful. We recommend no less than an Excellent/Ideal cut grade.

A well cut diamond can be so bright that it masks color and hides flaws. So you don't need as high of a color and clarity grade. Since it reflects a lot of light, it makes the diamond appear larger.

If a diamond is cut poorly with a deep cut, this means more of the weight will be in the bottom, where you can't even see. The face-up area will be smaller. So you don't want to be paying for a 1 carat diamond that looks smaller than it should.

This is why it's more important to focus on getting the best cut quality possible. This is one area you don't want to compromise.

How to Save on a 1 Carat Diamond

Is a 1 carat diamond out of your budget? Here are some savings tips to get the best 1 carat engagement ring for your money.

Shop online
Where you shop will have the biggest effect on diamond pricing. A VS2, H diamond from Tiffany will look exactly the same as a VS2, H diamond from Blue Nile. But because it's a premium brand, it'll be way more expensive.

Buying your diamond engagement ring online is the biggest money saving move. Online jewelers can be as much as 40% cheaper than traditional jewelry chain stores.

Plus, they have much larger selections, so you have more options to choose from. It's easier to find the perfect diamond within your budget.

Consider lab created
If your budget is smaller, go for a lab created diamond instead. Lab grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds. But because they're made in a lab, the price is a lot lower. You can get a good quality 1-carat lab diamond between $800 - $2,000.

It's also a great alternative for an ethical and eco-friendly diamond engagement ring.

Go just shy of 1 carat
Don't get stuck on the 1-carat weight goal. Go for a 0.9 carat diamond instead and save over $1,000.

And guess what? Visually, there is no size difference between a 0.9-carat and 1-carat diamond. But the savings are insane.

Go for an alternative shape
Round diamonds are the most expensive because of demand. Other diamond shapes cost as much as 40% less. And some even appear larger.

Consider shapes like oval, emerald, and pear for unique engagement rings that will really stand out.

Use a halo setting
A halo ring is the best choice to make a huge splash on a smaller budget. It has a ring of small diamonds around the center stone. From far away, it looks like one big sparkly diamond. It makes the engagement ring look huge.

With a halo, a 0.50 carat diamond can look as large as a 1 carat diamond. Compared to $5,000+ for a 1 carat diamond, a 0.5-carat diamond costs only around $1,300.

Check out our guide on engagement ring settings. Instead of being too caught up on carat weight, it's important to get the right ring for your style.

Quality Recommendations for a 1 Carat Diamond Ring

Round, Cushion, and Princess Cut
Aim for a color of H and clarity of VS2 for an eye-clean diamond that appears white. If your budget is smaller, you can go down to SI1 clarity and color I.

Oval, Pear, and Marquise Cut
These shapes have elongated ends, which trap more color. We recommend you don't go below H in color.

Emerald and Asscher Cut
These step-cuts have a large window straight into the depth of the diamond. Any flaws or color are more easily seen. We recommend you go with clarity of VS1 and color H. Only get VS2 if you can verify that it's eye-clean.

Yellow Gold or Rose Gold Band
You can afford to go for a warmer-toned diamond to complement the band. You can go down to a K in color.

Where to Buy 1 Carat Diamonds

As mentioned before, online jewelers are the best places to buy a diamond engagement ring. Their diamond pricing is much closer to wholesale prices. They don't have the crazy overhead that premium brands charge.

Here are the top recommendations for reputable jewelers:


Why are 1 carat round diamonds more expensive?
Round diamonds are the most expensive because of demand and the skill it takes to cut the round shape. Also, more of the rough diamond is lost when cutting. Other shapes can be as much as 40% cheaper.

Is a 1 carat diamond considered big?
A 1 carat diamond engagement ring is a good size to show off. But it's not so big that it will attract crazy attention. Especially if you have smaller fingers and hands, a 1 carat diamond will definitely stand out.

What is a 1 carat diamond worth?
A one carat diamond costs between $2,000 to $20,000. Its worth depends on the quality of the diamond (cut, color, and clarity). The more flawless it is, the higher the price.

However, diamonds are not good investment pieces. Don't expect to be able to resell your 1 carat diamond at the same price you bought it for.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what you can expect to pay for a 1-carat diamond.

Before you start shopping, make sure you understand how diamonds are priced, so you don't overpay for features that you won't even be able to see. Our beginner's guide to best value explains what to look for and what you can "go cheap" on.

Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Get Diamond Shopping Tricks That Jewelers Don't Want You to Know
Blue Diamonds

Blue Diamonds

Blue diamonds look too stunning to be true. So just how real and expensive are they? Find out what to look for and how to own one yourself.
More Articles in Diamonds

Next Page:

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a diamond jeweler comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.

About Us | Reviews | Deals | Tips | Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info | Terms | Contact Us
(888) 483-4925 | 680 East Colorado Blvd, 2nd Floor | Pasadena, CA 91101
© 2024 CreditDonkey Inc. All Rights Reserved.