Want to know how much a 2 carat diamond costs?
You're in the right place!
In this Learning Jewelry guide, I'll go over topics like:
- The 4 Main Factors of Diamond Cost
- How Diamond Shape Affects Cost
- Tips to Save on a 2 Carat Diamond
Factors That Affect Diamond Cost
If you're unfamiliar with diamonds, you probably assume that a two-carat diamond engagement ring is twice the cost a 1 carat diamond.
But that couldn't be further from the truth.
It'd be the correct math if diamond cost was dependent on carat weight alone, but it isn't. The price of a diamond isn't based on just one thing, but a few actually. The main factors that affect the cost of diamonds are going to be the 4Cs of Diamond Quality.
The 4Cs is a system invented by the world's leading resource in diamonds, jewelry, and gemology, the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA is the most respected authority in the diamond industry and sets the quality standard for all diamonds.
You see, initially diamonds didn't sparkle all that much because we didn't know how to cut them so they'd reflect the brilliant light we see today. It's also why you'll notice that kings and queens of old hardly wore diamonds, but chose colored stones instead.
But then ideal cut diamonds were invented and the GIA created the 4cs of Diamond Quality: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat.
#1 Diamond Cut Quality
Diamond cut can refer to two things: the shape of the diamond and the foundation of all diamonds. That's how we get names like round cut diamond, or princess cut diamonds.
But when I talk about diamond cut quality, it's the single most important factor in the overall durability and beauty of a diamond. Cut quality determines the durability of your diamond and its ability to reflect and refract light through the diamond and out creating the brilliance we all know and love.
There's a lot to be said about proper cut quality, but no need to agonize.
The GIA determines cut quality into the following 5 grades:
The following diagram shows you a general idea of the difference in the way light goes in and out of diamonds in their respective cut grades.
If you're interested in the best cut diamonds for brilliance and want exact information on the return of light in a diamond, I'd recommend you check out our friends over at Whiteflash. Their ASET and Idealscope images will illustrate how much light is being reflected in the diamond.
Only round diamonds can be ideal or excellent. You might come across ideal cut princess diamonds or ideal cushion cut diamonds, but it's not an official cut grade.
Ideal is used to describe a diamond that has perfect symmetry. Rounds are the only shape developed that way. When fancy shapes are called ideal on retailer sites, the diamond will be the best proportions recommended for that shape. They're not exact.
Regardless, you should stay away from Good, Fair, and Poor cut diamonds. Poor cut diamonds aren't really sellable. Fair and poorly cut diamonds are pretty scarce.
How to Save on 2 Carat Diamond Cut Cost
Unlike the other three Cs, my recommendation on saving diamond cut cost is buying the best cut grades: Excellent/Ideal or Very Good. If you're buying a round, go for ideal. This is for diamonds only.
Poorly cut diamonds affect the way your diamond sparkles and its resistance to daily wear. Diamonds are scratch resistant, they still can chip and crack if struck hard in the wrong spot. A Poor cut increases your chances of it happening.
You shouldn't buy a dull or breakable diamond to save money. There are plenty of other ways to save.
Never compromise on cut quality.
By buying the best cut quality, you'll save yourself money from having to buy a future replacement stone AND a avoid the headache that comes with it.
My recommendation is that you shouldn't go below a Very Good cut grade for diamonds. The difference between a diamond marked Very Good and Good is still a leap.
Unlike diamond cut quality, diamond clarity is easier to see in photos or in 360˚ videos. You'll be less likely to notice lower clarity while wearing the ring. So why do I need the highest clarity grade, you might ask.
Short answer: You don't.
Diamond clarity is how free of inclusions your diamond is. Inclusions are bits of crystal that gets trapped in natural diamonds while forming in the ground. Almost all diamonds have inclusions, but some may appear more noticeable than others. In natural diamonds, there a lot of different types of inclusions.
Some are dark colored and noticeable while others look like a faint, cloudy wisp.
The clarity grade scale measures how eye clean, or free of inclusions your diamond is to the naked eye. There are 5 tiers of Clarity set forth by the GIA:
Rarely, you might see a clarity grade of SI3, but these are usually just I clarity diamonds. I clarity is the lowest tier of clarity and are usually heavily included. Some retailers won't even sell I diamonds, but most retail chain stores frequently carry them-and charge double what you'd see at an online retailer.
Even though you'll hear inclusions as a generalized term, jewelers should use the word "blemishes" to describe external or surface inclusions, while inclusions are within the stone.
For the most part, inclusions are more about what's visibly more appealing to you.
But the closer they are to the surface, you'll want to pay attention. Some blemishes can compromise the integrity of your stone, but usually they're near the surface or on the girdle.
How To Save On 2 Carat Diamond Clarity Cost
There are a couple ways to save on diamond clarity cost. Remember when I said you don't need a flawless diamond? You don't need an internally flawless diamond either or a VVS diamond either. Taking one look at the cost of VVS diamonds will tell you that this is an easy way to save a considerable amount of money.
If you can afford it, go for it. Just make sure your other diamond grades are appropriate A flawless diamond with a really low color grade isn't considered good quality. You can find diamond like this for much cheaper than you would a near colorless flawless diamond. These are among the rare and most expensive.
But we don't want the I clarity diamonds with a lot of black carbon bits that Kay, Jared, and Zales love to try to sell you. You might end up with a diamond like this GIA certified I clarity diamond below:
You can buy a 2 carat diamond with lower clarity and color grades, but it won't be pretty.
If your heart is set on a 2 carat, you should already know that you will be spending some cash. The general cost of a high quality 2 carat diamond is between $5000 to well over $20,000. It's a big range that depends on the combination of your other diamond grades.
The best way to save on clarity cost when buying a 2 carat diamond is to buy from an online retailers that lets you see the stone using 360˚ viewing. James Allen and Blue Nile are our favorite places to look at diamond clarity, but James Allen has better magnification.
These allow you to inspect individual diamonds and see the location of their respective inclusions.
It may be tedious, but it'll be worth it when you find yourself saving $1000 bucks because you found an eye clean 2 carat diamond with SI1 clarity when a retailer would tell you it's not possible. Because to them, SI diamonds will always have inclusions.
But if you dig, you could find one that's eye clean. You can even do that with I diamonds if you look hard enough. All it takes is a little bit of digging and a lot of patience.
The big retailers don't want you to know this handy little tool because they don't offer it. They're not going to bring in 600,000 loose diamonds for you to observe up close and personal like James Allen.
They don't want you to save money. They just want you to spend it so their poor employees can meet their sales goals and feed their fam, which is understandable for them, but unfair to you.
Like clarity, it's possible to tweak your color grades in order to save some cash. With a 1 carat diamond, you can get away with a JKL color grade. With a 2 carat diamond, you'll need higher color grades, even if it is a brilliant cut diamond shape. Color grade is linked to carat weight just like clarity is.
But just because you need higher color grades doesn't mean you need a D color grade. If you want and can afford a better colorless diamond, go for it, they're gorgeous. But if that's out of your price range, never fear.
You don't want a yellow diamond, unless you're going for a fancy yellow diamond. Fancy yellow diamonds are intentional, while faint yellow diamonds are lower quality.
I don't like faint yellow diamonds and I can usually tell a JKL grade by seeing it, so I always stick with colorless or near colorless. But for a lot of people who don't spend their days staring at diamonds, it can be difficult to even tell the difference.
They say that you don't really notice a difference in color grades unless its two grades away. For instance, an I color diamond and an H color diamond might not look that different. But an I color diamond and a F color diamond are probably going to be obvious.
If you purchase a diamond with lower color grades, you can save between $100-500 dollars by avoiding colorless grades.
How To Save On 2 Carat Diamond Color Cost
In a 1 carat diamond, you can get away with buying a lower color grades. With a 2 carat diamond, not so much. So if you're looking at that diamond now and thinking it's too yellow, it'll look much worse in a bigger carat weight.
Unless you prefer warmer diamonds, my advice is to stay away from K and L diamonds, and eyeball any J color graded 2 carat diamonds.
One way to maintain the bright white appearance while buying a lower color grade is to choose the right cut and shape of your diamond. It also depends on your other diamond grades.
With a 2 carat round brilliant cut diamond, you can get away with a J color grade, maybe a K if you like it. Remember, round diamonds are brilliant cut, so there's lots of choppy white light reflected.
As long as you bought the ideal cut round diamond like I told you, that cut grade should alleviate some of the yellow from that diamond the same way it does with clarity. It's almost like a diversion.
But if you've chosen a step cut diamond shape or a shape with a larger surface area, your diamond could end up looking really yellow. Step cut shapes like Asschers and emeralds have longer facets, so you really get a good look at the stone.
Now if you're really wanting to save money on by choosing a low color grade, it can be done. But you're going to have to be really flexible. White gold may be the most popular metal for engagement rings, but yellow gold or rose gold ring settings will allow you to choose a lower color grade.
This works best with yellow gold. The metal color can offset the faint yellow look in a K diamond. It can work with rose gold because of the pink coloring, but make sure you look at it first because some notice the difference more than others.
Diamond Carat Weight
One of the biggest misconceptions customers have when thinking about diamonds is carat weight. However, what most of them are really thinking of is carat size. They want the big rock, and they want it for a bargain price.
The problem is, diamonds don't come with a bargain price. If they do, they're more likely to be poor quality advertised as high quality.
Carat weight and carat size are two different concepts. Carat weight is how much it weighs and carat size is how big it looks, or the surface area. The reason why we confuse it is because we're told the weight and we see the size in traditional cuts like round brilliants or princess cut diamonds.
But when you get to more unique shapes like marquise or emerald cuts, you realize the visual difference between them. A 2 carat round diamond is going to look much smaller than a 2 carat emerald diamond. Some shapes are more shallow than rounds so they have a wider face up appearance. Round cut diamonds have more depth.
The carat weight is distributed to the bottom of the diamond.
For me personally, carat is my most expendable C of the 4Cs.
The higher in carat weight you go, the higher the price increases because it boosts your other diamond grades. Another reason why the price skyrockets with 2 carat diamond rings is because it's hard for gem cutters to cut a larger diamond rough that has higher clarity and color than it is for a lower carat weight.
That's why you can't take the cost of an eye clean 1 carat diamond and expect an eye eye clean 2 carat diamond to cost double. It could actually triple.
Make sure you know the difference in total carat weight and center carat weight. Total carat weight adds up every single diamond in the ring. You can have a "1 carat ring" with a half carat center stone and the other .5cts in a pave setting.
If it says TDW on the tag or the site, make sure you find out what the center is because it will be a considerable price difference.
How To Save Cost on A 2 Carat Diamond
Since we've got our heart set on a 2 carat diamond, we don't need any tricks to make it appear bigger. Even in a shape with a smaller visible table, it still looks quite sizable to most people.
However, if you wanted to have a small halo around a 2 carat marquise to make it look bigger, you could. Just remember that while a cut like marquise doesn't have much surface area, it's a long shape that could look strange with too big of a halo.
You'll notice that you usually hear engagement ring carats measured like 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 and 1, right? A lot of chain stores only advertise carat weights in fractions rather than decimals, or carat points.
Places like Jared and Zales don't let you pick out from a variety of diamonds with different carat weights because they know you can save money that way.
But if you choose an online retailer that allows you to choose from diamonds of different carat points, you have the chance to save yourself a bit of money. The rule of 7 applies to carat points, as in you can go .7 above 2 carats or .7 below.
Diamonds weighing 1.93-2.07 are all considered a 2 carat diamond. But most places will charge you more for a 2.0 carat diamond because that's what everyone's looking for.
I mean, if you're searching for a 2 carat diamond, you're probably not looking for anything less than 2.0. But you should be. Diamonds within the .7 range often show no visible difference to its whole number, but it's often a couple hundred in price difference.
That's because those extra carat points may be adding a little weight in the pavilion, or bottom half of the diamond. Since you can't see that portion from face-up, it makes little sense to choose the 2.0 carat over a 1.93 if there is no visible difference. Why would you want to pay more for something you can't see?
You probably know by now that diamond shapes have an impact on the cost of a 2 carat diamond. One of the reasons why round diamond shapes are so expensive is because of how much rough stone gem cutters have to trash when faceting rounds.
In fact, in a 1 carat diamond, around 40% of the diamond rough has to be discarded.
But take another mega popular shape like the princess cut diamond and only 20% of the rough has been thrown away. That's one reason why you might see princess cut diamonds of the same grades costing less than round brilliants.
The average ring customer or diamond buyer probably doesn't know a whole lot about diamond fluorescence. It's not talked about much, usually because jewelry stores find it unnecessary and it can save you a little bit of cash.
All diamonds can have fluorescence, but not all do. Most jewelry retailers that don't allow you to pick your own diamond won't reveal these details to you unless it's a certified diamond. I'm betting most regular employees don't even know what it is.
Basically, if you were to stick your diamond under a UV light or a black light, it could glow blue. Diamond specifics will identify fluorescence by Very Strong, Strong, Medium, Faint, and None.
For the most part, the average person isn't going to notice the difference between a Very Strong and a None diamond. Now, a diamond with Strong or Very Strong may emit subtle blue light in high UV rays outside. But it's not bright blue like you're thinking.
Check out this video below:
So diamonds with no fluorescence are considered "better", but most people can't tell the difference?
Personally, I feel like the blue glow is really cool and unique, so I'd prefer it to a diamond with none. And fluorescent diamonds can cost less? Sign me up. How about you?
Diamond Grading Report
Most brick and mortar stores don't allow you to choose your own diamond, because they know you can save lots of money by doing so. The other thing about these stores is that they usually won't stress to you the importance of a certified diamond unless you ask for it.
By now, you know that every diamond is different. They're all diamonds, but there are good and bad quality. The same goes for diamond certification. Don't ever buy a non-certified diamond.
A certified diamond or a diamond that comes with grading report lets you know that what you've purchased is exactly what you have. A diamond without a certification is a gesture, letting you know that the diamond grades advertised might be what they say they are.
Problem is, there are a lot of crappy labs that grade worse than others. That's why you should only buy certified 2 carat diamonds from the GIA or AGS. Never buy "independently certified" diamonds or diamond from other labs because they grade looser than the other two. GIA and AGS are the authority in diamonds and set standards.
Read also: Best Places to Buy GIA Certified Diamonds
Bottom Line: How Much Does a 2 Carat Diamond Cost?
Diamond pricing is a bit fickle, I'm afraid. As you can see, there are many factors that make up the cost of a 1 carat diamond, and most of it has little to do with the carat weight itself. The price of a diamond depends most heavily on the 4 pillars of diamond quality: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat.
Overall the average is said to be as low as 5,000 for a quality 2 carat diamond and as high as $60,000.
There are smaller contributing factors that account for some of the cost such as the shape of the diamond, whether or not its certified, and diamond specific details like fluorescence or length to width ratio.
The good news is, you don't need to buy top quality of each of these pillars, and there are many ways to compare and contrast different clarity and color grades to help you save when when picking out the perfect diamond. .
I'm going to leave you with one last bonus tip when saving the cost of a 2 carat diamond. If you want to save 40% or more when buying a 2 carat diamond, you should consider buying a lab grown diamond, also known as synthetic diamonds. Clean Origin carries high quality 2 carat lab grown diamonds.