If you’ve ever been in the market for a diamond, you’ve likely come across the wide range of prices that can be quite confusing. While you may know of the quality aspects that affect the price of a diamond, there are many other factors involved behind the scenes that will influence the final cost of the coveted gem.
According to GemSociety.org, diamonds are the only gems that are assigned a “set” price, much in the same way that gold and other precious metals are. This gives them a static worth on the most basic level, but that’s where their similarities end.
Earliest Factors That Affect the Price of a Diamond
Though a diamond’s going rate may be static initially, it is quickly changed throughout the creation, manufacturing and distribution processes. In short, the more the diamond is handled and changed (and changes hands), the greater the price increase noticed during traditional retail sales.
The Grading Scale
Each diamond is sent through a rigorous grading scale, most notably done by either the American Gemological Society (AGS) or the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). These grades are meant to determine the overall quality and worth of each individual gem after it passes through the final cutting process for jewelry placement and settings.
These diamond grades allow diamond brokers to fully take into account each gem’s brilliance and clarity in relation to its size. This grading work gives way to further pricing increases depending upon how well each piece performs during the grading process.
Further Grading Variations
While it makes sense to include diamond grades as a means of value and worth, many jewelers take this even further. By including modified grades to the existing AGS or GIA grades, jewelers are able to make even finer distinctions between each gem.
“Jewelers will sometimes add modifiers to a stone’s clarity grade. For example, a ‘high’ SI1 (slightly included 1) means it approaches the quality of a VS2 (very slightly included 2),” explains GemSociety.org.
Outside of a diamond’s specific set of grades, there are still other factors that will affect the overall cost. Many jewelers utilize specific cutting techniques and styles that are highly coveted for their ability to produce greater scintillation.
Pieces that are cut by a renowned gem-cutter or using a highly respected cutting process will garner larger price tags in the end. Despite their grades, the coveted cutting techniques hold a high influence over consumer purchases and by extension, purchase prices.
Similar to any other retail avenue, jewelry brand names lend to overall cost as well. Well-known jewelry designers and retailers will often come with a larger price tag simply due to the name that is being purchased along with the diamond. If you are in the market for a 1-carat diamond engagement ring with an excellent rating, you will see a major price difference between the same grading of ring purchased from your local jeweler versus the Tiffany brand.
Consider All Factors
Above all, there are several factors that will determine the final retail price of your diamond purchase. Understanding which factors are built in (grading scales), versus which factors you can control (brands), will help you get the best possible deal on your diamond investment.