NEW DIAMOND SALES / DEALS ALERT:
2013 Holidays & Christmas Diamond DEALS – Don’t miss up-to 55% sales!
Diamond Prices Estimator will help you estimate the TRUE retail cost of a round or fancy diamonds.
This calculator is based on prices in Rapaport Diamond Prices Index (RAP SHEET), which is up-to-date as of June 2013. This tool is the most accurate and up-to date diamond price estimator on the web. It does not artificially inflate the prices, because we are not selling you anything – our goal is to help you get the best stone at the best price.
Why? Because we (my fiance and I) spent 3 weeks researching and shopping for our diamond engagement ring and have learned a lot, and want to share it with you!
How to use the Diamond Calculator:
1) Enter Carat Weight of the stone: For example, a 3/4 CT. (75 points) diamond, would be entered as .75
Note that diamonds are priced in steps, and the price increases in geometrical progression, as the size goes up. For example, same specs diamonds at .49 and .50 CT. will have a price difference from $275 at low end (G color, I1 clarity) all the way to $2000 for a high-end stone (D, IF) – all for a mere 1/100 of a Carat! So if you want a certain size stone, if you can go down just a few points in color and/or clarity, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
2) Enter Color: Color is what you see – if you want a perfectly white stone, go for an D, E or F colors – these are considered colorless, but cost slightly more. See GIA diamonds color chart below:
Note that Rapaport provides prices for colors ranging from D (colorless – best) to M (faint yellow – not so good), and does not appraise colors below M.
Although color is not a huge factor in determining the cost of the stone, at .50 CT. with SI1 clarity, going from just 1 step up, F to E (both colorless) will cost $150 or nearly 10%. Going to D (best color), add another $150. Note – these are all colorless stones, and you can’t really tell the difference, even when they are side-by-side (F and E, or E and D, etc).
3) Choose Clarity: Clarity or inclusions are what really make a difference in the price, but NOT always in how the stone looks.
Real Example: I’ve put two same carat size, E color stones next to each other. One was SI2 (slight inclusions, invisible to the naked eye), and another was I1 (visible inclusions). I looked at each of them for a long time (I have perfect 20/20 vision) – did not see anything! Then I took a 10x magnification jeweler’s loupe and looked at both stones until my eyes started hurting. And then finally, on the I1 stone, I saw on the edge (outside the table) a small milk-color white inclusion (not that big nasty black dot that you can see right away in cheap stones). You could never see it without a loupe, because it is white. However that inclusion made the diamond I1 clarity, and the price difference was almost $400 for just one step down! Visually these were the same stones!
Update – July 15, 2013 – We did comprehensive research on QUALITY and PRICE of diamonds and engagement rings sold by a popular shopping mall chain – Kay Jewelers, and found that they overprice their diamond on average by 80-90%, and inflate the diamond’s quality. Read the full report on Why you should not buy diamonds from KAY, and other mall jewelry chains if you want to save REAL money and get the best diamond for your buck.
What is RAP SHEET – Rapaport Price List: To learn more about RAPAPORT price index, and how to use RAP sheet, as well as see the copy of 8/17/12 edition, check out out RAPAPORT / RAP sheet guide.
This calculator uses the Rapaport Diamond Price List (RAP sheet) to estimate the cost of round brilliant-cut stones based on Carat Weight, Color and Clarity. Rap sheet is used by the vast majority of jewelers to price their diamonds* – it is a de-facto standard in retail pricing for loose diamonds. After you calculate the cost, we will guide you how to choose a better stone, and how to negotiate with the jewelers, to get you the best price. We will soon enhance this tool by adding Cut, Polish and Symmetry metrics.
* Although RAP SHEET is used by most US and European jewelers, it is a proprietary / copyrighted information, and requires a subscription to RAP NET, which only people in the trade can get. Most jewelers will not show you the RAP Sheet, unless you ask VERY nicely or really insist on it. They will not let you make copies unless you are a friend. We acquired several copies of RAP sheet from different sources (including Google Image Search), and compiled an up to date price matrix for brilliant-cut/round diamonds, which is the most popular shape of diamond in the world.
How to choose the diamond and negotiate best price:
All of the above examples show that when choosing a diamond, it is very important to SEE it yourself. We looked at over 30 stones and liked only 3 of them. That is a mere 10%. All stones were brought to us as we asked by size, color, clarity and cut.
I understand that you might find a better deal online, but buying a diamond based on specs is wrong, because specs are just a piece of paper. You need to see what you are getting. Once you find what you like, then whip out our calculator, and a copy of RAP sheet, and demand at least the Rapaport price. If you don’t get it, give your phone number and walk away. They will call you.
Read my comprehensive Man’s Guide to Buying a Diamond, for more information on how to choose the right size, color and clarity, and bargain for the best deal, and NOT let your girlfriend / fiance / wife affect the buying process (mistakes that I made).