One Carat seems to be the gold standard for diamond engagement rings today. In fact, most readers who write to me usually look for a diamond with at least one carat in weight. Many will even try to go for a 1 carat diamond at the expense of the diamond cut!
This is the biggest crime you can commit in the diamond world, and I do not recommend this. But since what matters most to those who don’t know much about diamonds is the carat size, beauty can be subjective. Thus, 1 carat can be perfect for you, but it can also put a hole in your pocket!
The Cons of a 1 Carat Diamond Ring
To put it bluntly: The biggest con of a 1 carat diamond ring is the price! What do I mean by that? Let’s have a look at the James Allen database! If we search for round cut diamonds between 0.90 carat and 0.99 carat, we can find 4,957 actual results:
Now, that’s fine and dandy. So, how many diamonds do you think will there be if we only go for the ones between 1.00 carat and 1.01 carat? It should be way less, right? Nope! It is exactly the other way around! You will find a whopping 6,976 diamonds between 1.00 carat and 1.01 carat in weight:
If you don’t believe me, click on the pictures yourself to verify! Now, why would there be so many more diamonds in the much smaller 1.00 carat to 1.01 carat range?
The reason is quite simple: People want to buy diamonds with at least one carat in weight, and thus, diamond cutters do their best to fulfill the demand. They will often sacrifice the diamond cut (which is a no-no) because they know they can charge way more for a 1.00 carat diamond than for a 0.95 carat with a better cut!
Check out this Carat Size Simulator on the right to compare carat sizes:
Now, let’s have a look at several diamond prices that can illustrate this issue a bit further:
Here we have 0.9 carat H-colored VS2 diamonds with an Excellent Cut grade.
We can see the prices beginning at roughly 4,000 USD. Now, let us take a look at diamonds with the same 4C characteristics (H Color, VS2 clarity grade, and Excellent Cut) but beginning with 1 carat instead of 0.9 carat:
As you can see, prices have escalated to around 5,210 USD! That is a pretty steep rise for merely 0.10 carat in weight. Also, consider that the difference between a 1 carat and 0.9 carat diamond ring is hardly noticeable. Again, this is due to supply and demand! But aside from its high price, a bigger carat would require better 3Cs:
Need for Higher Color and Clarity Grades
The most fascinating thing about diamonds is their icy-white sparkle. History has made it clear that a colorless diamond is the face of traditional engagement rings. The thing about bigger diamonds is they tend to trap body color due to the greater size.
So, even if this 0.79 carat and 1 carat have the same cut, color, and clarity, the bigger stone appears a bit darker. If you click on the images, you’ll see in the diamonds’ 360-degree view that a hint of yellow is more evident in the 1 carat diamond.
Both diamonds have the same 4Cs except for carat weight, and this difference showed how easily a 1 carat diamond could reveal flaws. Although you can find eye clean 1 carats in the SI1 clarity range, diamonds in this grade are more prone to showing imperfections.
Speaking of exposing flaws, I think James Allen is currently the most suitable diamond vendor as they make diamond hunting way easier with their 360° videos in high definition and 20x magnification.
In a nutshell, having a 1 carat is not enough as you also have to consider a good color, a clarity grade where you can find eye clean stones, and of course, the best cut possible because cut is king!
Nonetheless, if you have incorporated all of the above to your 1 carat diamond and didn’t mind the premium pricing, then you will enjoy 1 carat’s ultimate advantage!
The Pros of a 1 Carat Diamond
Basically, it’s all in the name – or the number, rather:
On the grading certificate, you can show that the diamond has above 1.00 carat in weight. And it’s a legit indicator that you have a 1 carat diamond. In fact, you wouldn’t even need to do that because people will ask you anyway! It’s funny how this is usually the first question that you will be asked.
Apparently, big rocks captivate people, and if the wow factor is a big deal to you, then by all means, go for a 1 carat diamond ring – after considering the tips above, of course!
If you need help with your 1 carat diamond, please contact me here or let me know in the comments section below! I respond within 24 hours. 🙂