Diamonds are a reliable way to store value, but it isn’t always easy to find a buyer who’s willing to give you what your jewel is worth. Some vendors count on people being uninformed when they’re selling jewelry and thus give low offers that don’t represent a fair value.
This article will cover everything you need to know in order to appraise your diamond and connect with reputable buyers. Keep in mind that you may benefit when selling diamonds by waiting for prices to increase—most jewelry sales happen around Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas.
Average Diamond Value
Diamonds can vary significantly in price depending on a number of factors, but most gems are worth a few thousand dollars. It isn’t solely about weight—the average 1 carat gem is around $5,000, but some gems of that size are worth more than $15,000.
Of course, larger diamonds can be substantially more valuable, especially those of an unusual color. It’s critical to have your diamond appraised by a professional to get an accurate estimate of its value.
The Four Cs
Diamonds are generally evaluated based on four characteristics:
Carat weight is the simplest way to evaluate a diamond, although people often underestimate its importance in a jewel’s overall evaluation. It’s more difficult to find large gems, so price increases exponentially relative to weight.
A diamond’s cut represents its reflective properties, and experts look at the jewel’s sparkle and brightness to determine its cut. Cuts are graded on a scale of poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent.
External and internal marks can make a diamond less clear, and a pristine diamond is worth far more than one with imperfections. The clarity scale starts at Flawless and goes down to Included:
- Internally Flawless—IF
- Very, Very Slightly Included—VVS1 and VVS2
- Very Slightly Included—VS1 and VS2
- Slightly Included—SI1 and SI2
- Included—I1, I2, and I3
Colorless diamonds are generally more valuable than those with distinctive colorings. That said, as mentioned above, certain colors like blue, pink, and gold can significantly increase the price of a diamond. The color scale starts with Colorless at D and runs through the rest of the alphabet with Z being the lowest grade.
Selling diamonds can be confusing, but a professional appraiser can evaluate your diamond based on the four Cs and other factors. The Gemological Institute of America provides GIA reports including information on every aspect of your diamond’s value. This can be a great resource when you’re comparing offers and negotiating with diamond vendors.