One-carat diamonds are the industry standard. They’re easy to standardize and compare, meaning you can easily contrast two diamonds of the same size to determine price and quality. Plus, they’re a great size when worn. But one-carat diamonds can be pricey, and are often elevated because they’re a popular choice and therefore in high demand.

For those looking to save money or stick to a specific budget, a 0.9 carat diamond is just as impressive. They don’t have the same ‘psychological’ weight as one-carat diamonds (as people tend to enjoy a nice round number), and are only a few millimeters smaller than a one-carat diamond. WIth a 0.9 carat diamond, you cleverly avoid paying a premium for a great diamond.

So what is there to know about 0.9 carat diamonds? How can you find them? How much do they cost? How can you save money during the buying process? Read on to find out.

What is Diamond Carat?

Diamond carat simply means the weight of the diamond. Evidently, the larger the carat, the larger the price. However, remember that larger doesn’t always mean better—you can find some diamonds which are more than four carats which I would never recommend due to being low quality.

Image credit: Whiteflash

When you’re looking for a good quality diamond, carat size is actually the last thing you should care about. Clarity (internal purity), color (the less color, the better), and cut quality are the all-important traits you must look for. For example, look at the 0.901 ct D VVS2 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond, a stunning example of a 0.9 carat diamond.

What’s the Size Difference Between 0.9 and One-Carat?

A common concern is that 0.9 isn’t big enough to be impressive. This isn’t the case. Unless you’re familiar with one-carat diamonds, and unless you’re looking closely at two diamonds of these sizes, you’re not going to be able to tell the difference. On average, a well-cut one-carat diamond will average about 6.4 to 6.5mm in diameter, whereas a 0.9 carat diamond is roughly around 0.2 to 0.3 mm smaller than this.

Here is an image of a 0.90 ct G VS2 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond that’s measures: 6.20×6.14×3.81 mm.

How Much Does a 0.9 Carat Diamond Cost?

Diamond prices don’t necessarily conform to set rules. While the higher the quality, the higher the price definitely applies, some retailers might charge more than others. Essentially, the price of a diamond is highly context-specific and depends on multiple factors, but we can do comparisons to provide a general view. Let’s look at two similar diamonds from Whiteflash.

1.01 ct F VS2 Premium Select Round Cut Loose Diamond 0.92 ct H VS1 Premium Select Round Cut Loose Diamond
Cut: Excellent

Color: F

Clarity: VS2

Carat: 1.01

Price: $9,218

Cut: Excellent

Color: H

Clarity: VS1

Carat: 0.92

Price: $6,850

These diamonds are very similar, however, there’s almost a $3,000 difference between the two. The 0.92 carat diamond is 0.9 carats smaller, yes, but actually has a better clarity than the more expensive diamond. Essentially, you’re getting a higher-quality diamond with a massive saving.

We can also compare two diamonds from Blue Nile.

0.90-Carat Round Cut Diamond 1.00-Carat Round Cut Diamond
Cut: Very Good

Color: H

Clarity: VS2

Carat: 0.9

Price: $3,067

Cut: Very Good

Color: H

Clarity: VS2

Carat: 1.01

Price: $4,179

As you can see, while the only difference in these diamonds is the size, there’s just over a $1,000 difference in price. What you’ll also see is that there’s quite a large difference in price between diamonds available from Blue Nile, and those available from Whiteflash. This is a good example of what I mentioned before, where diamond price is context-specific.

Overall, diamond costs depends on quality, market price, retailer overheads, and multiple other factors.

What to Look For in a 0.9 Carat Diamond

More often than not, people go for one-carat diamonds. Now, as I’ve said, there’s a psychological component to that. Round numbers are attractive, solid, robust. Ever wonder why items in a shop might be priced at $9.99 rather than ten dollars? It’s because people view 9.99 as being far smaller than 10—even though there’s little difference. The same may be true for 0.9 and one-carat diamonds, making the whole number much more popular because it seems like a whole lot more diamond.

One-carat diamonds come with a premium because people are willing to pay more for that whole number, and retailers know they can charge more because they know those diamonds are going to sell, even if they’re more expensive. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. Often, just to hit that one-carat mark, some diamond cutters will sacrifice cut quality for size, which is a real issue, as cut potentially has the most impact on the visual appeal of a diamond.

If you want to get the most out of your money, there’s a few characteristics you should look for:

  • Cut grading of Very Good to Excellent (or Ideal).
  • A color grading of G to H (which is not the highest grading but is essentially colorless to the naked eye).
  • A clarity grading of VS1 to VS2.
  • The grading of ‘eye-clean’.

You might be curious about why I recommend a diamond that doesn’t have the best of the best gradings. That’s because to the naked eye, a Flawless D Very Good Cut diamond will look exactly the same as a VS1 H Very Good Cut diamond to the naked eye. A move like this could save you thousands of dollars.

Where Can You Buy 0.9 Carat Diamonds?

There are many online and physical stores where you can buy diamonds. Too many, arguably. Definitely too many to spend all of your time and effort sorting through which retailers are trustworthy and which are not. I’ve got a way to save you time.

Over the last several years, I’ve been compiling data and research on many of the best diamond retailers that operate on the market today. Some of them I’ve used in this blog—Whiteflash and Blue Nile. There’s also James Allen to consider. These three are my favorite diamond retailers, offering the best quality diamonds available and at competitive prices.

However, there are more than those three. Head to my Retailer Reviews section to discover my reviews on a wide array of retailers today.

Richard Jenkins, The Diamond Guru

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