If you've read the last four parts covering the 4C's, you're ready to start understanding how the pricing falls into all of this.
O.K. after looking at all the different qualities and viewing stones that I've got up for sale, you probably have a basic idea of what things are costing now. But let's tie some of these factors all together now.
Let's say you are a guy who's in the market for a diamond around the size of a 1 carat stone. You know you don't want anything less than an SI (cause you want an eye-clean diamond) and you know you don't want anything lower than a J color (cause face-up in that ring you want to keep with a white diamond). On just about all pricing reports they will list:
Remember "cut" quality is not on these reports.
Let's say you're budget on a diamond is around $4,500.00. As we look at some of the current price reports we see that diamonds that weigh from 1.00 - 1.49 in the SI clarity range that are in the mid 4's is either I or J color in the SI1 clarity range or G-I in the SI2 clarity range. Now, if you have your heart set on getting the "G" color, one thing you know for sure is that you're going to have to compromise a bit and get SI2 as opposed to SI1, but you're still at a $4,900 dollar list. If the diamond is an AGS "0", or "1" cut grade, plan on paying at least the $4,900 or possibly up to around 10% more. (Remember this. The markup in jewelry stores vary BIG TIME.) Believe it or not, if you go to a 2 - 4 in the cut grade this can decrease the value just a bit (and still let you get a beautifully proportioned stone) bringing you closer to your $4,500 budget. The H color should certainly do it though. If the diamond falls lower than a 4 cut grade, you'd like to know what makes it lower than a 4. If it's because of crown angles, it's not a biggy as long as they're somewhere between 30 - 37°, but if it's lower than a 4 because of the pavilion ESPECIALLY IF THE PAVILION IS TOO SHALLOW OR TOO DEEP, DON'T BUY. Remember, if you're looking for the cheapest possible 1 carat F color SI2 you'll get it alright and it'll be the dullest looking thing she ever laid eyes on... especially after she compares it to all her friends diamonds who bought from me! ;-) Bottom line is you want what you're paying for.
Now, if you're in a jewelry store and they are charging full list or higher DON'T ASSUME THE CUT GRADE IS A 0 OR A 1. This is where your shopping around comes to play.
I believe I stressed the importance of pavilion depth during our lesson on cut, but in case you forgot, THAT PAVILION IS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR INTERNAL REFLECTION. It 's your hard earned money. You owe it to yourself to know and don't be afraid to ask.
One thing that you need to keep in mind when you are pricing though is the rarity of the stone you want. I buy diamonds every week and there are always certain sizes I'm looking for. Diamonds that weigh a little less than those magic numbers, like stones in the .90's. Stones that weight from 1.25 - 1.49, 1.75 - 1.99. I know that when I get my hands on these particular carat weights I may be paying a premium (especially when they are cut properly). So, if smart diamond buyers are out there paying premiums for these particular sizes, guess who else is going to be paying premiums also. :)
Here is some good practical advice if you are hell-bent on getting a diamond that is "just under those magic numbers". Because of the rarity of these carat weights (the ones just under the magic numbers) and if the market does not have what you are looking for at the time... do one of two things. Either wait till your stone comes along or better yet just go into that next magic number. For example if you want a diamond that weighs in the 1.40's because you want to save the money you'd be spending on the 1½, go to the 1½ and drop down a color or a clarity. Be flexible to an extent. Or if your jeweler can't find you a stone in the 1.40's but finds you an absolute beauty in the 1.30's BUY IT!!! You'll be anal enough with all the information you are going to want from the jeweler (especially after reading this site), so be willing to be flexible a bit and don't give your jeweler such tightly rigid standards. Don't get me wrong, you want to be picky to an extent. You do want to draw the line somewhere in your clarity, color, cut and weight, but be flexible and have fun!!!
The final thing I can say about pricing is SHOP APPLES WITH APPLES! If you've decided your going to shoot for an eightstar this is a diamond that can't be compared to anything else out there on the market and demand the highest prices of any diamonds out there. If you're in a store looking at Hearts & Arrows and Hearts on Fire, you can shop comparitively. The one factor people seem to forget about when shopping is comparing apples to apples. Hopefully at this point you realize how important it is to have all the facts. Now ... just to give you some price indicators of New York street prices on things. Let's say we're looking at a diamond that weighs 1.10ct and it lists for 5000 per carat. 1.10 x 5000 = $5,500
If the diamond is
a cut grade of 7-10 and especially because of pavilion $4100 - 4400
a cut grade of 5-6 $4600 - $4700
cut grades of 3,4 $4800 - $5000
cut grades 1 &2 $5000 - 5300
ideal cut $5400- $5600
AGS 000 $5700 - $5800
Hearts and Arrows $5900 - $6000
Amazing huh? Of course nothing there is in stone AND I TAKE NO LIABILITY for the numbers above. They are only indicators. Very few appraisers are even aware of the various qualities of cuts out there much less the AGS cut scale.