Diamond prices are based on a number of factors. In some ways, diamond pricing can be seen as an imperfect science. As all diamonds are unique, and no two diamonds share exactly the same qualitative or quantitative attributes, it isn’t really possible for vendors to set exact standards, nor is it the case that potential buyers can safely say, “I’m going to spend X dollars on a diamond, so I know I’m going to get features Y and Z.”
Although the issues behind diamond pricing can be complex, if you’re in the market for diamonds, whether wholesale or at retail, it’s worthwhile to take the time to familiarize yourself with some of these concepts. This way you can be certain that, when it comes time to make a purchase(*1), you’ll be able to get a good value for your money.
The standard criteria for diamond pricing are the diamond’s cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. These factors are commonly known in the diamond marketplace as the “four Cs.”(*2) The term “cut” refers to the overall finish of the diamond – diamonds that are finished in such a way that their quality is emphasized as much as possible have a greater value. (“Cut” in this respect is not to be confused with the shape[*3] of the diamond.) “Clarity” refers to a lack of visible flaws on both the outside surface and the inside of a diamond, with greater clarity not surprisingly leading to a higher price.
Diamond “color” is, in most cases, considered undesirable. Diamonds with less coloration and a more transparent appearance are considered more valuable. On the other hand, diamonds with a strong, bright, natural color – yellow or pink diamonds, for example – are considered more valuable the deeper the color is. Finally, carats are the unit used to measure the weight of diamonds, with heavier ones fetching a higher price.
*1 – “Online Diamond Buying Guide” article
*2 – “Diamond Ring Grading” article
*3 – “Diamond Ring Shapes” article