How Much is a 4 Carat Diamond?
Four is the number of stability and building strong foundations, so what better than a four-carat diamond to build the foundations of a solid relationship? If you’re thinking of buying a four-carat diamond for your honey, you probably have a lot of questions before you ask, “Will you marry me?” For example, “How much is a four-carat diamond?”
Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as the question. Diamonds vary greatly in quality, and their price does as well. When it comes to pricing a natural four-carat diamond, numbers can vary from $7,920 to $105,270 per carat.
That may not give you much of a starting point, however, we can give you one: a lab-created diamond. Lab-created diamonds will always be more affordable and will look as good or better than natural diamonds. Once you know how the carat size, cut, clarity, and color of the diamond affects the price, you have a better idea of why lab-created diamonds give you the most bang for your buck. This article will discuss:
- Carat Weight of Four-Carat Diamonds
- Color of Four-Carat Diamonds
- Clarity of Four-Carat Diamonds
- Cut of Four-Carat Diamonds
- Side by Side Comparison: Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds: Which is the Better Value?
Carat Weight of Four-Carat Diamonds
One common misconception about 4-carat diamonds is that they cost four times as much as one-carat diamonds. The fact is, it isn’t only the size of the four-carat diamond that matters, but it’s also the rarity. The reason the price of a 4-carat natural diamond is so high is because the chances of finding one is so low, and the chance of finding a perfect one is close to impossible.
Diamonds may be the hardest mineral known to man, but with the conditions they’re formed under, even they take a beating. Natural diamonds spend 1-3 billion years under high pressure, high-temperature conditions 85-125 miles below the earth’s surface. It’s not likely they’ll survive without a few scars, and even less likely that they’ll come to the earth’s surface four carats in weight.
Lab-created diamonds, on the other hand, are grown in a lab environment where the conditions can be controlled. Larger diamonds, lab-created diamonds with fewer flaws, are easier to produce. Since four-carat diamonds can be created more frequently and efficiently in a lab, they are more affordable than natural diamonds, which occur rarely in the earth.
Color and Four Carat Diamonds
One of the “scars” that diamonds are likely to bear is a yellowish tint. When diamonds are forming under the earth, chemicals and gases leak in and give the diamond an amber color.
The most valuable diamonds are the colorless ones; the more color they have, the lower their value will be.
Color distinctions can be subtle, but they make a big difference in quality and price. The GIA Color Scale. determines the amount of color in a diamond and assigns a grade ranging from D-Z accordingly.
Color is one variable that makes the price of the diamond so difficult to pinpoint. Colorless diamonds are the highest quality and command the highest prices. These receive a grade of D, E, or F. Grades G-J are near colorless and slightly more affordable; K-M has a faint yellow color. As the alphabet goes up, the value of the diamond goes down. Generally, diamonds below a K-rating are considered undesirable and are not commonly found in the commercial diamond market.
While finding a colorless natural diamond is rare, finding a lab-created natural diamond is more common. Color may be one variable in diamond price, but the origin of the diamond is another. A lab created diamond will be more reasonably priced than a natural one of an identical color grade because lab technologies can control the amount of chemicals and gases which cause the yellow tint. With a natural diamond, we don’t have the same control.
Clarity of Four-Carat Diamonds
After the extreme conditions Mother Nature puts her natural diamonds through, virtually all of them come out with some kind of imperfection. Small imperfections inside the diamonds are called inclusions; flaws on the surface are referred to as blemishes. When these flaws are present in a significant number, they interfere with the flow of light through the diamond, causing it to exhibit less brilliance.
The GIA Clarity Scale grades diamonds on the number of flaws they have and to which degree these flaws affect the brilliance of the diamond. This scale grades diamonds on an eleven-point system ranging from Flawless (Fl) to Included (I). Most diamonds fall into the VS (Very Slightly Included) or SI (slightly included) range.
Although no diamond is completely free of imperfections, some come close. Flawless diamonds are a rare breed; many jewelers have yet to see a natural one, much less a four-carat one. However, the likelihood of seeing a lab created one is greater.
While the brilliance of a flawless diamond makes it stunning, the scarcity of the diamond makes it expensive. Clarity may affect price, but so does the growth process. A natural four carat stone costs more than a lab-created diamond of similar clarity because the lab conditions are not as extreme as Mother Nature’s.
Cut of a Four Carat Diamond
The way the diamond is cut is the great equalizer. A good cut can hide a multitude of sins. Many consider cut to be the most important of the four C’s because it is the key to maximizing the light reflection in the diamond. An exceptional cut will optimize the diamond’s beauty more than any other factor.
The GIA Cut Grading System determines the quality of the cut of the diamond on a five-point scale ranging from ideal or excellent to poor. Diamonds are evaluated by how successfully they interact with light. The brilliance of a diamond (white light reflected), the fire of a diamond (colored light reflected), and the scintillation of the diamond (amount of sparkle) are all taken into account.
The diamonds with the highest light return score the highest grades. These are the costliest and most attractive. If you want to put a, “sparkler” on her finger, the cut should be the most important consideration.
Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds – Which is a Better Value?
Here’s a little sneak preview of what you can expect from your four-carat diamond shopping experience. We’ve taken two four-carat diamonds of similar quality. One is a lab-created diamond, and the other is natural. You may not spot the difference in the 4C’s but you’re sure to spot the difference in price.
The first diamond is a Ritani Natural Diamond. Its cut is Super Ideal. Its clarity is VS2, and its color rating is a G.
The second diamond is A Brilliant Earth Lab-Created Diamond. Its cut is Ideal, its clarity rating is VS2, and its color rating is a G.
As promised, these diamonds are very close in quality, but one is almost half the price of the other. The natural diamond is priced at $84,499 while the lab-created is priced at $48,280. We’ll let that resonate for a while.
So, what is the cost of a four-carat diamond? Unfortunately, we leave you no closer to the answer than when we began. The quality variables in the diamond make it too hard to pinpoint one exact price. However, if we have discovered anything it’s that there is one variable will always have a positive effect on price, and that’s the way the diamond is formed. Four-carat, lab-created diamonds deliver the highest quality at the lowest price, and that’s sure to go a long way in building a lot of strong foundations.
Would you buy a lab-created four-carat diamond now that you know how much you could be saving?