How Much is a Diamond Worth and Why?

July 8, 2020
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This is a big question with a lot of variables. Believe it or not, rarely are any two stones truly identical. Think about it like this: how much is a car worth? Exactly. ‘What kind of car? How old is it? Is it well maintained?’ It is similar to determining the cost of a diamond. Let’s talk about how you can tell how much a diamond is worth, but be forewarned, there’s no singular answer.

How Much is a Diamond Worth?

When a certified gemologist or jeweler appraises a diamond to find its value, they have to look at a number of different things. We have talked about some of those several times over including diamond clarity, cut, carat, and color. But let’s address them briefly here.

Clarity

Clarity is how clear of visible, internal flaws the diamond is. Things like lines, spots of carbon, or blemishes might affect the clarity of the diamond. The clearer it is, the more it is worth.

Find out more about clarity here.

Carat

Carat is the weight of the diamond, a single carat being equal to 0.2 grams. The higher the carat, the higher the value of the stone.

Find out more about carat here.

Color

The less color in the stone the better when it comes to how much a diamond is worth. Clear diamonds are worth more than a stone with a yellow hue for instance.

Find out more about color here.

Cut

Cut is the proportions of the diamond and the different facets of the stone. This isn’t as obvious a metric of worth, but to the expert eye (like Stewart Kuper Jewelers) we can see how close to the ideal proportions these stones are. The better the cut, the higher the value of the diamond.

Don’t Forget The Fifth ‘C,’ Certification

Once a diamond has been evaluated on those other metrics, a reputable diamond grading lab can certify the status of the stone, it’s ranking on all those scales and the perfect intersection of value.

Other Factors in Determining Diamond Worth

The C’s aren’t the only factors out there for determining a diamond’s worth. Here are some other criteria that go into the appraisal.

Shape

While it might sound similar to cut on the surface, the shape is a different thing entirely. This refers to the actual, physical shape of the stone. Diamonds are frequently cut into various shapes. The most popular being the round brilliant, but there are a number of different fancy cuts available including princess, heart, cushion, radiant, oval, emerald, and pear cut. When it comes to shapes, the value fluctuates based on market trends.

Fluorescence

Fluorescence is how much glow a diamond has when viewed under ultraviolet light. Not all diamonds have this, in fact only about a quarter to a third of stones will glow. Fluorescence grading ranges from None to Very Strong. Fluorescence is a bit of a wild variable. In some diamonds, the fluorescence can be seen as valuable (helping yellower stones appear whiter in natural sunlight) while in others it’s a detriment.

Polish

Polish is the smoothness of each facet of the diamond. When a stone is cut, tiny, microscopic defects may be created in the surface of the diamond. These grades range from Excellent to Poor.

Treatments 

Sometimes a diamond may be treated to artificially improve its color or clarity. As you can imagine, diamonds that have been treated in such a way are typically less valuable than their natural counterparts.

Bringing Them All Together

Each of those factors can be thought of like spectrum or range of value, but they all work together to determine the value. A stone with perfect clarity but a small carat may be worth more or less than a diamond that is less clear but somewhat larger. And that’s not taking into account the cut and color! All four metrics are crucial in determining the true value of a diamond.

Other Things to Note:

If a stone is evaluated while it is still mounted on a ring or in a necklace, the appraisal may not be as accurate as it could be. Good settings will work to hide the flaws or accentuate the best parts of the diamond. That can work in your favor when it comes to buying a diamond, as you can find a stone that might be lower on those scales but in getting it mounted hide those flaws, giving you a great deal.

Hopefully, all of this has helped you to understand how professionals determine how much a diamond is worth, but it’s not something the untrained can do. If you’re looking to sell a diamond and want some expert eyes on it, Stewart Kuper Jewelers is here to help!