1 Carat Diamond Ring: The Expert Buying Guide

By Michael Fried

Scared of getting ripped off? Don’t want to waste your money? Confused by all the choices? Contact us.

When you’re purchasing a high priced item like a 1 Carat Diamond Ring, you want to make sure you’re getting the maximum value for your money. To find an extraordinary, head-turning 1 Carat Diamond Ring, several components must be considered.

A wide range of 1 Carat Diamonds exist both in online markets and local stores. Not only are there significant differences in beauty among these diamonds, there are significant differences in price as well.

And a higher price doesn’t always mean a better diamond.

1 Carat Diamond Pricing

A 1 Carat Diamond simply refers to the weight of the diamond. 1 Carat equals 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. To put it in perspective, a 1 Carat Diamond weighs roughly the same as a quarter of a raisin.

In terms of pricing, diamonds are all priced per carat. For example, a 0.50 carat diamond may have a price of $1,400 per carat. The diamond’s price for the stone would be $1,400 x 0.50, equaling $700.

In addition, diamond prices per carat increase as you reach higher weight ‘categories.’ Diamond prices increase exponentially with weight because of the diamond’s higher weight value and the higher price per carat for the increased weight category. For example, a 1 Carat Diamond might be priced $4,615 per carat, while a similar 2 Carat Diamond might be at $7,390 per carat.

We stress the word ‘categories,’ as prices per carat do not continually increase as weight increases. Diamonds are retail products driven more by emotion than reason.

Although it may seem advantageous to look for a diamond that’s just below a new weight category—such as a 0.90-0.99 Carat Diamond—that really isn’t the case. The search for an “almost” 1 Carat Diamond has become incredibly popular. This popularity elevates the price for those particular diamonds—making the cost savings minimal.

Ultimately, you can search for a 0.90ct+ diamond, but we suggest not trying to find one specifically, as you’re limiting your search potential without really saving anything.

Diamond pricing is often subjective–because with diamonds, it’s all about feelings. This quirk of “feelings” within the diamond business is the sole reason there are many poor cut diamonds on the market.

We’re here to help you avoid purchasing one of those diamonds.

Where To Buy a 1 Carat Diamond Ring

The world of diamond dealers is vast, but don’t let that intimidate you. Many high-quality and honest diamond sellers can be found online and in stores.

For 1 Carat Diamonds, we recommend finding an online seller as they tend to have a larger selection of quality 1 Carat Diamonds than local stores. With the online option, you have a greater chance of finding an exquisite diamond at an exceptional price.

With our years of experience in the diamond industry, we’ve been able to vet several diamond dealers. We have a consistent pulse on which companies you can trust and which companies produce the best diamond cuts at an excellent price point.

We highly recommend the following sellers for a 1 Carat Diamond:

  • James Allen: 18+ years of experience, high quality certification (GIA & AGS), focused on customer experience, attractive prices, best in class diamond imagery.
  • Blue Nile: 17+ years of experience, high quality certification (GIA & AGS), largest inventory of diamonds and settings, exceptional diamond quality and refined jewelry.
  • Brian Gavin Diamonds: 20+ years of experience, high quality certification (GIA & AGS), unprecedented dedication to offering the best cut diamonds, offers super-ideal cuts with “Brian Gavin Signature” Hearts & Arrows.

If you’re using these diamond dealers or any others, keep the following in mind:

  • Only purchase 1 Carat Diamonds that come with a GIA & AGS certificate.
  • Run comparisons for price and beauty across various websites before purchasing.
  • Ensure that the Diamond Cut is an ideal cut, or a GIA grade quality of Excellent. This level of Cut maximizes the sparkle, brilliance and fire of your diamond. Diamond Cut is the single greatest element that impacts a diamond’s overall beauty and sparkle.
  • Consider asking a diamond expert to help you review diamonds or aid in your search of high quality 1 Carat Diamonds.

The Difference Between Diamond Carat and Diamond Size

While it’s easy to mistake Diamond Carat for Diamond Size, it’s a pitfall that can just as easily be avoided.

Diamond Carat refers specifically to the weight of the diamond. It does not impact table surface area, depth or other shape features. A larger carat does not mean a larger sized diamond.

Size, on the other hand, has to do with the visual appearance of the diamond. For example, a Marquise Shaped Diamond will likely appear larger than a Round Brilliant Cut in the same carat only because of its elongated shape.

Various components, such as surface area and depth play into the diamond’s size. Thus, two diamonds of the same carat usually appear different in size depending on shape design and cut quality.

Clarity Rating for 1 Carat Diamond Rings

When looking at the 4 C’s (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight) of a 1 Carat Diamond, an important area to consider is Clarity. This factor dictates how many inclusions, surface defects (or blemishes) and extra facets are present in the diamond.

Similar to our recommendations for Diamond Color, we suggest reviewing the Clarity of a diamond yourself or asking for assistance from an expert. What the naked eye can see is more important than simply a GIA Grade rating.

For instance, a low clarity eye-clean diamond will look identical to a flawless diamond assuming all else is equal (yet will cost far, far less).

Currently the only vendor offering sufficiently high quality images on all of their diamonds for reviewing Clarity is James Allen. With their technology, you are able to find this beautiful SI2 diamond that saves you almost 25% over a mediocre VS2.

The GIA scale of diamond clarity ranges from best to worst: Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Small Inclusions 1 (VVS1), Very Very Small Inclusions 2 (VVS2), Very Small Inclusions 1 (VS1), Very Small Inclusions 2 (VS2), Small Inclusions 1 (SI1), Small Inclusions 2 (SI2), Inclusions 1 (I1), Inclusions 2 (I2).

For a 1 Carat Diamond, we generally recommend a minimum of a VS2 grade, as most inclusions and blemishes will be invisible to the naked eye. You may be able to find a SI1 with inclusions near the edges of the diamond–that, depending on shape, may be covered by the setting prongs.

The maximum Clarity rating, within a reasonable budget, will usually be a VVS2, which provides no inclusions or blemishes to the naked eye.

Remember though that an eye-clean diamond is most important when it comes to Clarity, so be sure to review it yourself or have an expert assist you.

1 Carat Diamond Ring Shapes

A well cut 1 Carat Diamond with a beautifully designed setting will look stunning in any Diamond Shape. As such, Diamond Shape is primarily selected based on personal preference and style.

For those concerned with the size appearance of the diamond, there is a surface area difference amongst 1 Carat Diamond shapes. Depending on their differing table sizes (the top, flat leveled surface of a diamond), the 1 Carat may seem larger.

Our chart below gives you insight into surface area differences among Diamond Shapes:

Diamond ShapeApproximate Table Surface for 1 Carat
Round Brilliant Cut6.5×6.5mm
Princess Cut5.51×5.51mm
Emerald Cut6.68×4.95mm
Asscher Cut5.61×5.61mm
Radiant Cut5.78×5.78mm
Cushion Cut5.83×5.83mm
Oval Diamond8.12×5.41mm
Pear Shaped Diamond9.05×5.45mm
Heart Shaped Diamond6.56×6.56mm
Marquise Diamond10.38×5.19mm
Trillion Diamond7.74×7.74mm

1 Carat Diamond Ring Colors

When looking at a range of 1 Carat Diamonds, one of the 4 C’s to note is Color.

The GIA grades color on a scale from D to Z, with D being the most clear, colorless diamond, and Z being a diamond with easily noticeable yellow or brown tint.

In addition to the GIA Color Grading, review the diamond’s pictures and videos yourself–or have an expert assist you.

James Allen states it well in their article about Diamond Color, saying:

“Most people find it very difficult (if not impossible) to tell the difference from one color grade to another. The difference in price, however, can be significant.”

For this reason, looking at the diamond carefully is usually the best indicator of Color quality. Most importantly, ensure the diamond looks white in relation to its setting. For example, here is a stunning K color diamond in a yellow gold solitaire setting. Normally, a K color diamond would have a yellowish tint–but because it’s contrasted to something darker (the yellow gold), it appears clear and vibrant.

On the other hand, here is a similar K color diamond in a halo setting. As you can see, the tint of the K diamond is easily noticed.

The better a round diamond’s cut is (for example, a Brian Gavin Signature Hearts and Arrows Diamond, which is the best there is), the harder it is to discern color. For this reason, it’s more important to focus on Cut quality than on Color.

However, in general, we recommend a 1 Carat Diamond be in the nearly colorless G-I range. To the naked eye, it will appear just as colorless as diamonds in the D-F range but cost far less.

For more detail on Diamond Color and our recommendations, be sure to check out our Diamond Color Guide.

How To Get The Best Value For a 1 Carat Diamond Ring

Our main goal is to help people find radiant, high-quality diamonds at an exceptional value. We want you to find a stunning diamond without paying more than you should.

To ensure your diamond is exactly what the diamond dealer is stating, ensure the diamond comes with either a GIA or ASG certificate. The GIA and ASG are the two renowned and well-respected diamond grading entities that issue accurate and consistent reports for diamonds.

If a diamond seller is trying to convince you to purchase a diamond with a different lab grading entity, politely decline their invitation. The actual quality of those diamonds are much less than what they’re portraying to be “true.”

To select an exquisite 1 Carat Diamond at the best value, follow our expert recommendations:

  • Cut: Maximize the fire and brilliance of your diamond by choosing only an Excellent cut diamond. Cut is the number one factor of a diamond’s beauty and value.
  • Color: Choose a diamond in the nearly colorless G-I range, as to the naked eye, it will appear just as colorless as diamonds in the D-F range (and cost far less).
  • Clarity: Diamonds with a VS1 and VS2 Clarity grade offer the best value for what can be seen with the naked eye. Most inclusions and blemishes will be unnoticeable at these grades.
  • Shape: Select a Diamond Shape that is personally and aesthetically appealing. Ensure the type of setting you want is complementary and physically secure for the Shape.
  • Online Diamond Dealer: Choose a well-respected diamond seller with years of experience, such as James Allen, Brian Gavin Diamonds, or Blue Nile.


Searching for a 1 Carat Diamond Ring may seem daunting at first, but with the information in this price guide, you’ll be able to select a brilliant diamond at an excellent price from a reliable diamond dealer.

If you’d like assistance in finding the perfect diamond, contact our Diamond experts today and we will get started on your search right away.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
Top Recommended Vendors
Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

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