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LB DIAMOND DIFFERENCE: Your Guide to Diamond Pricing

At Lauren B, a frequent point of contention is diamond pricing. We recently created an IGTV story on this topic and wanted to break it down further for you here!

 

 

Diamond Pricing 101

Economics

As most of our clients learn, the diamond market is ever-changing and heavily determined by a number of factors - primarily known as the 4 C’s. What many potential clients do not know is that the price of a diamond is also dictated by its journey to the jeweler. The price of diamond rough that is shined and polished to be converted into the diamond (or diamonds!) that you wear in your ring was cut in a specific way for a specific reason. The rough that the stone is cut from determines its natural color, the presence of imperfections (or inclusions), and what shape and size the end result is. Diamond cutters finish diamonds in a way that saves the weight and maximizes on sparkle, which will inevitably vary the cost. 

Round diamonds are typically sold at a premium, because they require the most rough cut away in order to maintain the shape and facet arrangement. Fancy cuts, like ovals and elongated cushions, have much more variation in their shapes and therefore are easier to cut in larger sizes. You may notice that by comparison, a round diamond and a fancy diamond of equal size and quality will not be the same price: the round is always more expensive. 

Oval and Pear, Rough to Finished Gem
Princess and Cushion, Rough to Finished Gem
Round Diamond, Rough to Finished Gem

Demand

 Another factor to consider when buying a diamond is demand.  As with any fashionable luxury item, certain styles - and in this case diamond shapes - rise or fall to the top and bottom of the popularity chart.  Because round diamonds are the most brilliant and timeless shape, they will for the foreseeable future stand alone at the top... After that it becomes unpredictable! At this very moment, ovals, cushion, pears and radiants are all trending diamond shapes. Part of this is due to the popularity of these shapes for celebrity engagements.. Celebrity examples include Hailey Baldwin’s oval cut ring, Ariana Grande’s pear shape, and Kim Kardashian’s cushion cut. 

Kim Kardashian, Cushion Diamond Engagement Ring
Hailey Beiber, Oval Diamond Engagement Ring


Emerald cut is a steadily classic shape and is followed by marquise, princess, asschers and heart shapes. If we look at this list in 10 years there could be many changes - ten years ago princess cuts were the number one fancy shape and before that heart shapes were first. Now both are nearly forgotten!

 

Exponential Pricing

The last crucial point of diamond buying  to consider is exponential pricing. As seen in the video, the price of a diamond increases exponentially as the size increases, as opposed to a linear increase, which accelerates at a fixed rate. It is more rare to find larger individual pieces of rough diamond that are considered gem-quality, or fit for an engagement ring (think J color or better, SI2 clarity or better).

Round Diamond - Price Increase per Carat (example)

For example, a two carat round diamond of equal quality/shape to a one carat diamond will not be two times more expensive -  it would be closer to three times the amount. With that said, a two carat diamond will NOT look twice as large as a one carat diamond.  Since the weight is distributed evenly throughout the diamond both at the surface and underneath in the pavilion, you will only see about a 20% difference in size despite adding 100% in carat weight. This is evident in how a typical one carat diamond has a 6.5mm diameter, while a 2 carat diamond will be about 8mm in diameter; a 4 carat is about 10mm and so on. 

 

To conclude, the diamond market and diamond pricing are determined by a number of factors and how each of those factors work together. As a buyer, the best way to get the most bang for your buck is by doing your research and staying informed. It also helps to understand what you can emphasize and sacrifice while choosing your perfect diamond to maximize its value!

For more LB information and pictures, follow us on Instagram at instagram.com/laurenbjewelry and visit our website at laurenb.com to explore all of our pieces. For any questions or inquiries, email us at [email protected].