Diamond Value Factors

Before selling your diamond, you have to get a good idea of how much it’s worth. By understanding what you’re selling, you’re more likely to make a sale and get a deserving amount for it.

Before selling your diamond, you have to get a good idea of how much it’s worth. By understanding what you’re selling, you’re more likely to make a sale and get a deserving amount for it.

Here are some diamond value factors to evaluate before you try and sell your jewelry:

  • The 4 C’s of your diamond
  • Proportions
  • Shape

The 4 C’s of Diamond Value

The 4 C’s are: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.

Color: Diamonds can range in color, from the classic “clear” color for white diamonds, to fancy diamonds in yellow, pink, blue and more.

For the most part, white diamond color actually refers to how colorless it is. The clearer a diamond is, the higher its value. White diamonds with yellow or brown tints are less valuable. When it comes to judging diamond color, there’s an industry standard grading scale set forth by GIA (check it out here). Overall, the better color grade of the diamond, the higher the value.

Clarity: Clarity refers to the absence of internal and external diamond flaws. External flaws (referred to as blemishes) include chips and scratches, and internal flaws (called inclusions) include graining or clustering from irregular crystal growth, cavities in the surface, or small cracks within the diamond. The ideal (and most valuable) diamond is flawless, with no blemishes under intense magnification. However, it’s very rare to see a flawless diamond. See how the GIA measures diamond clarity here.

Carat Weight: A carat (ct.) is a standard unit of measure used to convey the weight of gemstones. One carat = 1/5th of a gram. The total carat weight (TCW) refers to the total weight of all the gems used in a piece of jewelry. It’s important to note that the carat weight of a diamond doesn’t necessarily reflect its size, and two diamonds with the same carat weight aren’t the same in value. Therefore, carat weight should be used relatively, and in conjunction with the other 4 C’s when taking diamond value into account.

Cut and Proportion

Cut: A diamonds cut is based on the person who actually cuts the stone to shape. This affects the diamond’s proportions and symmetry, how light shines through and the overall finish/effect of the stone. The cut impacts how big the stone looks, whether imperfections show or not, and can improve the color. Therefore, the cut of a diamond is very significant in its overall value. GIA has a diamond cut scale that ranges from excellent to poor.

The precision of a cut matters greatly to diamond value. When taking two diamonds within the same clarity grade, one may be worth more due to its symmetry and proportions. Better symmetry and more ideal proportions make for a more valuable diamond.

Diamond Shape

The shape of the diamond can affect the value as well. Diamonds come in many shapes, the most notable being the round brilliant. Other popular traditional shapes include oval and cushion. Fancy cuts include: asscher, emerald, heart, pear, princess, marquise and triangle shaped diamonds (see a helpful infographic on diamond shapes here).

Round brilliants tend to be the most valuable of all diamond shapes, due to their popularity and how the shape lends to brilliance, with maximum sparkle and fire. Other brilliant cut shapes include oval, marquise, princess and radiant. Because of the way these shapes reflect light, they tend to be more valuable.

An alternative to brilliant cuts, steep cuts focus on clarity over sparkling facets. Asscher and emerald are two examples of steep cuts, which tend to cost less than brilliant cuts.


Now that you understand your diamond value factors, you can start getting your piece appraised to get a recommended price to sell for. Diamond Buyers offers a risk-free mail-in evaluation process, that you can witness via video. Get your free diamond appraisal.

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