The thought of purchasing a diamond ring for your loved one is an exciting one, and once you’ve decided to, it’s all you look forward to. But numerous terminologies surround the diamond trade, and if you aren’t familiar with them, making a choice can get overwhelming. Plus, most diamonds are present at price per carat. But this doesn’t automatically mean stones of equal carats will be of the same cost.
Imagine you wish to buy a 2-carat diamond ring for some reason and decide to hit the stores. You’re immediately met with an insanely wide range of prices that gets you wondering if you know what you’re doing. Even for one who hasn’t left the house, planning a budget around a 2-carat diamond can be difficult if you don’t know how it’s priced. It’s why here, we’ll explore how much it requires to purchase a 2-carat diamond and the factors to check to ensure you’re paying for nothing but top quality.
What is a Carat?
A carat is a unit measuring a diamond’s weight and is considered the most objective of the 4Cs of diamond attributes. One carat equals approximately 200 milligrams (0.20grams), and each carat is further subdivided into 100 points, so a precise measurement to the hundredth decimal place is possible.
The carat weight system is derivative of the carob seed, an item used in the early times of the gem trade. The seeds were placed in the balance scales as counterweights due to their small, uniform sizes. It’s also noteworthy that the carat system is universal, meaning a diamond’s weight remains the same regardless of where it was taken.
A special scale is used to determine a diamond’s carat, and these tools can be found in numerous jewelry stores. The scales are often digital and designed to capture extremely small weights. They’re built to hit highly accurate numbers, and this is achieved through thorough calibration before use.
Carat vs. Karat
Amateurs and newbies may confuse these two, which is why we must point it out. When most people hear the word ‘carat,’ they often assume it’s karat,’ a common misconception. While carat is the unit for measuring a diamond’s weight, karat is entirely different. For one, it has nothing to do with diamonds but everything to do with gold.
Karat is a unit of measurement for gold’s purity and displays how much gold jewelry contains compared to other impurities. The reason is not everyone can afford to use pure gold, so it’s mostly combined with other metals to form an alloy. By standard, 24K is pure gold and the highest measurement rate, meaning the closer the number is to this, the purer the gold is. With that in mind, 12K equals 50% purity and 50% base metals.
But carat and karat still share certain connections. For one, most diamonds are mounted on gold rings, and the combination of their measurement is indicated in the price. For instance, a 2-carat diamond ring is considered high quality and commonly features 14K to 18K gold mounts. Secondly, both units share a similar price evaluation, meaning the higher the number, the more expensive the jewelry.
Carat vs. Size
Because carat is a measurement of how heavy a diamond is, many believe it indicates the gem’s size, which isn’t true. It’s important to note that size and weight aren’t the same things diamonds. For one, their units are different- while carat is measured in milligrams or grams, the stone’s size is measured in diameter (its millimeters, length by width).
The size mostly depends on how the diamond is shaped, and in many cases, some stones would look larger than others. But the heavier stone would always be more valuable, provided both diamonds are equal in clarity and color. That said, if a 2-carat diamond looks smaller than a 1-carat diamond of equal cut, clarity, and color, the 2-carat diamond would command a higher price.
What is a 2-Carat Diamond?
Now that we fully understand what carat means in diamonds, we can fully grasp what to expect in a 2-carat diamond. So, using measurement value, a 2-carat diamond weighs 400 milligrams (0.4 grams). To put it in a more familiar term, a 2-carat diamond would be roughly the weight of half a raisin. You’ll also expect the stone to be around 8.10mm in diameter.
Rings: Carat Diamond vs. Carat Diamonds
It’s also normal to come across what is commonly called a 2-carat diamonds ring. Yes, we know this doesn’t seem very clear, but it’s quite simple. Unlike the regular 2-carat diamond ring where you find only one stone of the mentioned weight, a 2-carat diamond ring comprises a collection of rings whose total weight equals 2 carats. And such diamonds are usually more expensive because they can feature numerous stones of different cut, color, and clarity grades.
How Are 2-Carat Diamond Prices Determined?
A diamond’s carat is considered the most objective factor and is an integral element when determining the stone’s cost. But it’s also important to note that it alone doesn’t determine the stone’s price. The carat helps the jeweler prepare an accurate measurement of the other Cs in two stones of similar weight. That way, they can tell which stone is of higher quality, thus fixing a deserved price for its purchase.
To clarify this statement, let’s explore how the other attributes can influence its price when combined with carat. And let’s see how 2-carat diamonds of varying factors compare with each other.
1. Size and Shape
Diamonds come in various shapes, and most times, this determines how large they look. And some shapes rank higher than others, making them more expensive on the market. To clarify, here’s a list of the common diamond shapes in comparison with their approximate sizes.
- Round Brilliant Cut – 8.19 by 8.19mm
- Princess Cut – 6.94 by 6.94mm
- Oval Cut – 10.23 by 6.82mm
- Asscher Cut – 7.07 by 7.07mm
- Cushion Cut – 7.34 by 7.34mm
- Emerald Cut – 8.42 by 6.24mm
- Pear Shape – 11.4 by 6.87mm
- Radiant Cut – 7.28 by 7.28mm
- Heart Shape – 8.27 by 8.27mm
- Marquise – 13.08 by 6.54mm
- Trillion Diamond – 9.75 by 9.75mm
Of all these shapes, round diamonds are the highest-priced, as they’re the more traditional. As such, a 2-carat round diamond would command more money than, say, a 2-carat oval diamond of equal attributes. Oval and pear-shaped diamonds are less pricey, costing around 10% to 15% less than most round diamonds. And princess cut, cushion, and emerald diamonds cost even less- around 30% of an equivalent round diamond price.
A 2-carat diamond is considered pricey when its attributes are of the highest quality. But of the numerous factors, the cut is the main determinant of the diamond’s value. This quality dictates how much sparkle and brilliance the diamond radiates. The cut grade of a diamond measures from Excellent to Poor. But when dealing with jewelry purposes and investment possibilities, you’ll want to stick to the first three levels; Excellent, Very Good, and Good.
By default, a 2-carat diamond with excellent cut grading will feature a higher price, regardless of its shape. For instance, around good cut diamond can cost up to $12,000 while a pear, excellent cut diamond hits $16,000. This price difference is factual, even though round shapes normally command a higher market price than oval because, in this scenario, the pear-shaped stone offers the best cut.
Natural diamonds come with flaws in their crystal forms, gathered during their formative years under the soil. And the measurement of how many of these flaws are present and can be seen refers to clarity. While most diamonds contain significant amounts of blemishes and inclusions, very few come with extremely little to zero flaws. Technically, there are ten grades on the clarity scale, and a description of the range is listed below;
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very Very Small Inclusions (VVS 1 and 2)
- Very Small Inclusions (VS 1 and 2)
- Small Inclusions (SI 1 and 2)
- Inclusions (I 1, 2, and 3)
By default, the higher the clarity grade, the more expensive the 2-carat diamond. But Internally, Flawless stones are considered extremely rare and ranked the highest quality in terms of clarity grade, thus offering extremely high prices. Most times, high-quality diamonds sold by jewelers fall under the VVS to VS ranges of clarity grading.
4. Color and Setting
Color is another important attribute of diamonds and one of the 4Cs determining their overall price. It’s an indication of how easily you can notice a hue in the stone’s crystal form. But this factor isn’t as pronounced as most people assume, so it helps to note it to be sure that the fixed price is suited.
Gemological institutes and associations like the GIA and AGS set a color grading scale ranging from D to Z, with the former indicating the most colorless and clear diamonds. But the latter hints at stones with the most noticeable tints of brown or yellow.
Stones at the DEF range are extremely clear but intensely pricey, while those at the GHI range offer a close semblance to the high-quality stones but at a lesser price. The JKL color ranges offer a slightly warm tint and are subject to buyers’ preference. But all stones that gain a rating from the MNZ range display an obvious yellow tint in their crystal structure.
Most 2-carat diamonds offered for retail fall under the G, H, and I color grade and are affordable for general purchase. Most stones at the D, E, and F grades are incredibly pricey, and stones from the M to Z range aren’t considered appealing for engagement jewelry. The color grade combines with clarity to boost a diamond’s higher cost price since both factors are heavy determinants of the gem’s quality.
The mount and setting also influence a 2-carat diamond’s price. For instance, stones set on 14K to 18K gold rings will be issued at super high prices, as the same also goes for when platinum is used. Also, if you use a halo setting or combine multiple diamonds to reach the 2-carat weight, the price will significantly increase. Halo settings, for instance, generate high prices for 2-carat diamonds.
How Much Do 2-Carat Diamonds Cost?
Now, to the big question! How much should you buy a 2-carat diamond? Do note that the combination of the numerous factors and other attributes determine the price a stone would be offered. As such, 2-carat diamonds may range from $8,000 to $70,000- quite an extensive margin to consider.
In most cases, 2-carat diamonds make up 90% of a ring’s total price, even when multiple stones are embedded in the metal. And most purchasers buy for personal use rather than as an investment asset. So, unless you plan on keeping that stone in a vault, there’s no valid reason why you should buy a 2-carat diamond for $60,000.
But that takes us to the low end of the spectrum, and while it may sound appealing, not all affordable diamond rings are worth the cost. It’s why you should consider the factors the gem offers before deciding if you’ll pay. For instance, some of the best value 2-carat loose diamonds range from $15,000 to $30,000. And they include G to I color, feature a yellow or rose gold mount, and come from VVS2 to SI1 clarity ranges.
In such stones, the setting may range from $250 to $1,000 for solitaire or $1,000 to $2,000 for halo. And if the rings are made by a branded design, these prices may spike by twice to three times the amount!
In summary, 2-carat diamonds come at an average cost of $18,000 with an average price of $33,000. And a 2-carat engagement ring will then feature at an average cost of $20,000.
What to Look For When Buying 2-Carat Diamonds?
So, you know how much most 2-carat diamonds go for, but the journey doesn’t end here. Even with this knowledge in hand, you’ll still have to master the art of buying smart, that is, spending wisely while ensuring you get the best value. And these are the best ways to go about it;
- Always gun for the highest cut quality when purchasing a 2-carat diamond; an excellent cut diamond should be non-negotiable.
- You can pick a VS1 to clarify grade for the best price at high quality. The blemishes in these stones are hardly noticeable to the naked eye, and they’ll offer a closely similar face value as their high clarity grade counterparts.
- Pick the shape that matches your personal preference but ensures that its setting is firm and stable. This way, the stone lasts for a long without early repair costs.
- The G to I color diamonds give great quality while costing less than the stones in the DEF ranges. But ensure to pair them with a ring that masks the possibility of their warm hints.
- Only buy your 2-carat diamond rings from a trusted, tested, vetted, and certified retailer. Ensure to do your research on their background and years of service.
- Ask for the GIA or AGS certificate before paying for a diamond. And to be even safer, go with a diamond expert to help you confirm the accuracy of the documents. This move can be the difference between buying a high-value natural diamond and a lab-created counterpart offered as a natural one.
Diamonds will always be a major part of our social lives, and the carat size determines the occasion it’s needed. And whether you’re getting it to propose or adding it t your wardrobe, a 2-carat diamond ring will cost you a good deal of money. So, why not take the time to understand the dynamics surrounding its cost, so you can spend wisely and ensure you get the best quality.