Diamond Value: How to Find What Your Diamond is Worth

Diamond Value: How to Find What Your Diamond is Worth2024-03-13T00:58:44+00:00

Understanding diamond value is the first step in uncovering the true worth of your precious gem, whether you’re considering selling it or simply curious about its market value.

So, you might be wondering: What’s my diamond worth? The ingratiating, yet accurate, answer is, “It depends.”

Determining the value of a diamond involves several factors, and it typically requires the expertise of a gemologist or a professional appraiser. From the outset, it’s important to note that what you’ll get for selling your diamond will be less than what you initially purchased it for at retail. In many cases, your diamond resale value can be as little as 5 percent to 50 percent1 of what you bought it for at a jewelry store. So, if you want to know your diamond’s value, request our free, insured Appraisal Kit:

Get a 10% Bonus Today

"*" indicates required fields

Step 1 of 2

Request a free appraisal kit here.


A diamond’s value at retail will be different than diamond value at resale.  Before we dive into how to estimate your diamond’s value, it might be helpful to understand a little of the history of diamonds.

A Brief History of Diamonds

Diamonds were first discovered in India,2 and the earliest known references to diamonds date back 2,500 years ago. These precious gemstones have held cultural, economic, and symbolic significance throughout various civilizations and were worn by kings, priests, and pharaohs.

Initially worn only by men, diamonds were believed to have “mystical and medicinal properties” when they first appeared in the West.

In the late 19th century, large diamond deposits were discovered in South Africa,3 leading to a significant increase in the global supply of diamonds. This discovery marked the beginning of primary diamond mining operations.

Cecil Rhodes, a British businessman, played a crucial role in consolidating control over diamond mines4 in South Africa. In 1888, he founded De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., which emerged as a dominant force in the diamond industry.

The tradition of giving a diamond ring for an engagement gained popularity in the 20th century thanks to the creative marketing genius5 of Frances Gerety. Her famous advertising slogan, “A Diamond is Forever,” was introduced in 1947, emphasizing the enduring nature of diamonds and boosting diamond value. De Beers noted: “In 1999, ‘A Diamond is Forever’ was named ‘The Slogan of the Century’ by Advertising Age.”

Diamonds have symbolized love, power, and endurance throughout history and today. Their allure and cultural significance persist, making them one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world.

How Diamonds are Valued

When trying to figure out the value of a diamond, unfortunately there isn’t a one-size-fits-all “Diamond Value Calculator” that can precisely determine the value of a diamond. The value of a diamond is determined by a combination of its physical characteristics, market conditions, and other subjective factors.

Other factors include the four Cs of diamonds: carat weight, cut, color, and clarity.6 Other factors, such as shape, certification, fluorescence, and market conditions, can influence purchase value. Fancy cuts, for example, are often valued lower than a standard round cut.

A famous, though flawed, metric for the value of a diamond is how many carats it is. The carat of a diamond refers to its weight and is a standard unit of measurement for gemstones. One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. The term “carat” derives from the carob seeds7 historically used as counterweights on balance scales to measure gemstones.

While the diamond carat value contributes to the value of the diamond, it is a flawed metric for its value because it’s only one factor out of many that estimate the value of a diamond.

The diamond size of the average engagement ring is one carat, and the price of a one-carat engagement ring can vary widely based on its cut. For example:

  • Round cuts range between $1,000 – $25,000
  • Princess cuts range between $1,000 – $10,000
  • Cushion cuts range between $1,700 – $17,000

Retail Value vs. Diamond Value at Resale

Buyers and sellers must know the differences in pricing and market conditions when dealing with the diamond price at retail versus at resale. There are three main diamond price points.8 These include:

  • Diamond retail or purchase value
  • Diamond appraisal value
  • Diamond resale value

In addition to the factors mentioned above, a diamond’s value at the retail level can also be influenced by the jeweler’s reputation, the quality of the setting, and the overall design of the piece of jewelry.

The diamond appraisal value is the estimated monetary value assigned to the diamond by a professional appraiser. The appraised value might not necessarily reflect the actual market value or the amount you paid for the diamond.

The diamond resale value can vary based on several factors, and it’s influenced by market conditions, the diamond’s characteristics, and the demand for diamonds at a particular point in time.

Diamond Retail Value

The diamond value at retail is often considerably more than the same diamond offered for resale.

Diamonds at retail are available for purchase directly by consumers through jewelry stores, online retailers, or other outlets that cater to the public.

The retail diamond price is influenced by several factors that don’t necessarily influence the diamond resale value. These factors include the operational costs of the retailer, such as staffing, business insurance, lease payments, and mining costs, for which the jeweler pays for procurement and then transfers those costs to you, the consumer. All these variables are factored into the retail markup of each diamond, typically referred to as a “keystone markup.”10

The keystone markup is a pricing strategy commonly used in the jewelry industry, including selling diamonds. The keystone markup refers to doubling the cost of an item to set its retail selling price. For diamonds, the keystone markup involves setting the retail price at twice or 100 percent of the wholesale or cost price. Some high-end retailers or luxury brands, like De Beers and Tiffany, apply a higher markup, some as high at 1,000%.

Other variables that affect the retail diamond price include supply and demand. During periods of high diamond demand or specific seasons (like Christmas, holidays, and special occasions), retailers might adjust their prices accordingly.

If the diamond is part of a piece of jewelry, the cost of the setting or mounting is added to the retail value. The type of metal used in the setting, its design, and any additional gemstones can affect this cost.

Also, any certificates and grading can affect the diamond value. If the diamond comes with a certificate from a reputable gemological laboratory, then that additional cost associated with the certification might be factored into the retail diamond price. Diamond certification, a diamond grading report or certificate,11 is an official document issued by an independent gemological laboratory that provides an expert assessment of a diamond’s quality and characteristics.

GIA Certification

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the most respected and renowned gemological laboratory,12 providing diamond grading and certification services. GIA’s diamond reports offer detailed information about a diamond’s characteristics and serve as a standard reference in the diamond industry. The GIA certification can help consumers understand the quality and retail value of a diamond.

The Rapaport Diamond Report

The Rapaport Diamond Report,13 often called the “Rapaport Price List” or simply the “Rap List,” is a pricing guide used in the diamond industry to provide wholesale prices. The Rapaport Price List is named after Martin Rapaport, the founder of the Rapaport Group, a leading provider of information and marketing services for the diamond industry.

Diamond Value at Resale

The diamond resale value is influenced by factors like its intrinsic value,6 condition, certification, and the overall demand for pre-owned diamonds in the market.

While diamonds are not considered commodities with intrinsic values in the traditional sense, they hold significant cultural, emotional, and symbolic value. When calculating the diamond value, it’s essential to consider its quality, rarity, market context, and any sentimental value associated with the stone.

Certification papers can help protect the diamond resale value. This certification serves as a detailed and objective record of a diamond’s attributes, including the Four Cs (carat weight, cut, color, and clarity) and additional information, like fluorescence and measurements.

The leading grading laboratories include the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Hoge Raad Voor Diamant (HRD), in Flemish meaning the “Diamond High Council,”14 International Gemological Institute (IGI), and the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). It’s important to note that not all diamond certifications are created equal. Reputable gemological laboratories, such as the GIA, AGS (American Gem Society), and EGL, are known for their rigorous standards and unbiased evaluations.15

Diamonds are traded and sold in various markets, each catering to different aspects of the diamond industry. The market in which you choose to resell your diamond will affect its resale price. Markets include:16

  • Retail – consumers purchase diamonds from jewelry stores, online retailers, and other outlets
  • Online – e-commerce markets connect buyers directly with diamond sellers, which are sometimes between 18 percent9 and 20 percent8 of retail prices
  • Peer to Peer – direct transaction of diamonds between individuals without the involvement of intermediaries or traditional retail channels
  • Diamond Buyer – sales from a consumer to an established online diamond buyer
  • Wholesale – transactions between diamond manufacturers, dealers, and traders

Value of Lab-grown or Synthetic Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

Up until now, we’ve been talking about natural diamonds. But today, lab-grown diamonds,17 also known as synthetic or manufactured diamonds, are quite popular. Synthetic diamonds are created in a laboratory setting using technological processes that simulate the conditions under which natural diamonds form. Manufactured diamonds have become an alternative to natural diamonds in the jewelry market.

How are natural diamonds formed? Natural diamonds are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle over millions and even billions of years under high pressure and temperature. They are brought to the surface through volcanic activity. Therefore, they’re generally more expensive than synthetic diamonds due to the geological processes involved in their formation and the time and means it takes to be brought to the Earth’s surface.

On the other hand, synthetic diamonds18 are less expensive, making them a cost-effective alternative to natural diamonds. They possess the same physical properties19 and are also composed of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure as natural diamonds, making natural and manufactured diamonds virtually identical. To the naked, untrained eye, they can look identical in color, clarity, and fluorescence.

Two additional benefits make synthetic diamonds appealing. First, they’re more environmentally friendly,20 require less energy, and have a smaller carbon footprint than mining natural diamonds.

The second is that synthetic diamonds are created in laboratories using advanced technological processes, eliminating the need for traditional diamond mining operations. This makes synthetic diamond production more worker-friendly.21 Diamond mining, particularly in certain regions, has been associated with hazardous working conditions, child labor, and environmental concerns. By opting for lab-grown diamonds, consumers can contribute to reducing the demand for diamonds mined under such conditions.

The Resale Value of Synthetic Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

Despite the relative environmental and human rights benefits of synthetic versus natural diamonds, the fundamental laws of economics remain22 at play. Thus, supply and demand dictate that natural diamonds are initially more expensive than synthetic diamonds and retain their value by as much as 50 percent23 relative to the near zero percent resale value retained by synthetic diamonds.

Diamond Value FAQs

What is the value of diamonds right now?

Diamond prices change daily. The value of diamonds at any given time is influenced by the quality of the diamonds (4 Cs), market demand, supply conditions, and economic conditions. The cost of your diamond might not correlate to the price of 1-carat diamonds today.

What’s a 1-carat diamond worth today?

Because not all diamonds are created equal, it is near impossible to provide a cost. As noted, the value of a diamond is based on several factors, including subjective ones.24 To be able to answer what’s a 1-carat worth today, it is best to get a professional jewelry appraisal or diamond grading report.

How much are diamonds worth?

The value of diamonds can vary widely based on a range of factors. The most important factors that influence the value of a diamond are commonly referred to as the Four Cs: carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. Apart from the Four Cs, other factors can influence a diamond’s value, shape, fluorescence, original brand, and market conditions.

If you’re considering the value of a specific diamond, again, obtain a professional appraisal from a certified gemologist or a reputable gemological laboratory.

How do I know what my diamond is worth?

Determining the value of your diamond, as detailed above, involves assessing its specific characteristics and considering current market conditions. Other factors, including any professional appraisals and subsequent certification, the Four Cs, its fluorescence, brand recognition, the overall design of the jewelry piece market, conditions, and demand, as detailed above, will also have effects.

How much will I get when I resell my diamond jewelry?

This is a popular question, and the likely reason you’re here is to find out how much money you can expect to make by reselling your diamond jewelry. The amount you’ll receive when selling diamond jewelry depends on several factors, as mentioned above. It can vary based on market conditions, the specifics of your jewelry, the diamond or diamonds themselves, and the method you choose for selling.

It’s important to note that, in general, the resale value of jewelry is often lower than its original retail price. In many cases, the value of your jewelry is the diamond itself rather than the metals and other adornments accompanying it. Likewise, jewelers will offer a price that reflects the wholesale market value, which can be as little as 5 percent to 50 percent8 of the retail markup you initially paid.

Loose diamonds, on the other hand, maintain a relatively stable market.1 However, you’ll likely get lower than the initial retail price that you paid.

In both cases, the resale process might involve fees or commissions depending on the method you choose for resale. If you’re considering selling your jewelry or loose diamonds, obtaining updated appraisals, researching potential buyers or channels, and being aware of market conditions are essential. Reputable appraisers and experienced jewelers can guide the current market value of your specific loose diamond.


1. The Brighton Savoy – Why Does A Diamond Have No Resale Value?, https://www.brightonsavoy.com.au/why-does-a-diamond-have-no-resale-value/. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2023
2. De Beers Jewelers, A Brief History of Diamonds, https://www.debeers.com/en-us/a-brief-history-of-diamonds.html. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
3. GIA – Historical Reading List: The Diamond Fields of South Africa: Part 1 (1868-1893), https://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research/historical-reading-diamond-fields-south-africa-1868-1893. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
4. Encyclopedia.com – Rhodes, Cecil 1853–1902, https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/rhodes-cecil-1853-1902. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
5. De Beers Group – A Diamond is Forever, https://www.debeersgroup.com/about-us/a-diamond-is-forever. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
6. Circa Jewels – 1 Carat Round Diamond – Know the Value, https://www.circajewels.com/carat-diamond/. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
7. Merriam-Webster – ‘Carat’ vs. ‘Karat’ (vs. ‘Caret’), https://www.merriam-webster.com/grammar/usage-carat-vs-karat. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
8. The Diamond Registry – Resale Value Of Diamonds: What Is My Diamond Worth?, https://www.diamondregistry.com/education-guides/resale-value-of-diamonds/. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
9. The Diamond Pro – Diamond Resale Value, https://www.diamonds.pro/guides/diamond-resale-value/. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
10. Apples of Gold Jewelry – Keystone Pricing: How Jewelry Prices are Determined, https://applesofgold.com/jewelryblog/2012/04/keystone-pricing-how-jewelry-prices-are-determined/. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
11. The Diamond Pro – A Complete Guide to Diamond Certification, https://www.diamonds.pro/education/diamond-certification/. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
12. GIA – What is GIA?, https://retailer.gia.edu/EN-US/what-is-gia.htm. Retrieved Dec, 30, 2023
13. David S. Diamonds – Introduction to the Rapaport List, https://davidsdiamonds.com/the-rapaport-list. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
14. MID House of Diamonds – Discover HRD Diamonds, https://www.middiamonds.com/loose-diamonds/hrd-diamonds/. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
15. Diamond Experts – Differences Between GIA, AGS, EGL, IGI Certification Labs, https://diamondexpert.com/difference-between-gia-ags-egl-igi. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
16. diamond karma – Diamond Value Calculator Table, https://www.diamondkarma.com/diamond_calculator. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
17. Brides – Natural Diamonds Versus Lab-Grown Diamonds: What’s the Difference?, https://www.brides.com/lab-grown-vs-natural-diamonds-what-s-the-difference-5216790. Retrieved Dec, 30, 2023
18. International Gem Society – Lab-Grown Diamond Production Methods, https://www.gemsociety.org/article/lab-grown-diamond-production-methods/. Retrieved Dec, 30, 2023
19. Gemology Resources – The Difference Between Lab-Grown and Natural Diamonds, https://www.gemologyresources.com/a-gemologists-blog/the-difference-between-lab-grown-and-natural-diamonds. Retrieved Dec, 30, 2023
20. Grown Diamond Corporation – Why Are Lab-Created Diamonds Called Eco-Friendly Diamonds?, https://www.growndiamondcorp.com/blog/why-are-lab-created-diamonds-called-eco-friendly-diamonds/. Retrieved Dec, 30, 2023
21. The Guardian – Are laboratory-grown diamonds the more ethical choice to say ‘I do’?, https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/10/diamonds-lab-grown-climate-change. Retrieved Dec, 30, 2023
22. nathan alan – Guide To Lab Created Diamond Engagement Rings, https://www.nathanalanjewelers.com/lab-diamonds-vs-natural-diamonds. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
23. The Diamond Pro – Lab-Created Diamond Vs. Natural Diamond, https://www.diamonds.pro/education/lab-grown-diamonds-vs-natural/. Retrieved Dec, 29, 2023
24. GIA – Diamond Quality Factors, https://www.gia.edu/diamond-quality-factor. Retrieved Feb. 28, 2024



Diamonds USA is a prominent online buyer of all diamonds, as well as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, in the United States. Since 2005, we have paid millions to thousands of customers for their unwanted diamonds or broken precious metal jewelry. We offer a quick and straightforward selling process, ensuring customers receive prompt and competitive offers for their items. Learn more about us, or request your free Appraisal Kit now:

    Get 10% Extra

    Get a free appraisal now and receive an extra 10% bonus on your quote.
    No risk, no commitment.

    Go to Top