Why Are Diamonds So Expensive?

Why are diamonds so expensive

There’s nothing more beautiful than a sparkling diamond, especially when it’s used to create a breathtaking piece of jewelry. This beauty often comes at a steep price, though. Why are diamonds so expensive? There are several different factors that drive the price of diamonds up, including:

  • Rarity
  • Mining Difficulties
  • Durability


In general, diamonds are not incredibly rare. But, the high quality diamonds that are used in the jewelry world are rare. It’s estimated that only 30% of the diamonds that are mined around the world are gem-quality. The rarity of these diamonds makes them more valuable, which is one of the reasons why they are expensive.

Rough diamond mined from the Earth

Mining Difficulties

Diamonds naturally form in the high pressure, hot environment deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Extracting these diamonds from the Earth is not easy.

Mining involves the use of heavy machinery, hydraulic shovels, trucks, and other expensive equipment that is difficult to operate. This equipment is used to transport ore to the surface, where the diamonds are finally extracted. 

After a diamond is extracted, a diamond cutter must shape and polish it to ensure it is ready for sale. Mining, cutting, and polishing diamonds is a challenging, labor-intensive process. The complexity of this process undoubtedly increases the price of diamonds.


The diamond is ranked as a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which is used to measure the strength and durability of a gemstone. This high score indicates that the diamond is one of the hardest minerals in the world. It is nearly impossible to scratch the surface of a diamond and quite difficult to break or crack it as well.

This incredible durability is one of the many characteristics that sets a diamond apart from other gemstones. It’s also one of the factors that increases a diamond’s price. Diamonds will last much longer than other more delicate gemstones, so they are more valuable.

A close-up look at a diamond

How Much Does A Diamond Cost?

It’s true that diamonds are expensive, but the cost of a diamond can vary from stone-to-stone. Some of the factors that affect the cost of a diamond include:

  •  Cut: A diamond’s cut refers to its symmetry, proportions, and facet arrangement. A diamond with a high quality cut will have an intense sparkle.
  • Color: A color grade is used to measure the lack of color found in a white diamond. The most expensive diamonds are colorless, which means there are no hints of yellow-brown in the stone. 
  • Clarity: The term “clarity” refers to the presence of inclusions and blemishes. Flawless diamonds are incredibly rare and very valuable.
  • Carat: The carat is a measure of a diamond’s weight. Heavier diamonds are larger than lighter diamonds and thus more expensive.

Every diamond is unique. For example, the average cost of a one-carat diamond will fall between $2,700-$5,500. Where a one-carat diamond falls in this range will depend mainly on its cut, color, clarity, and carat.

Keep this in mind if you are shopping on a budget. For instance, if color is not very important to you, stay within your price range by choosing a diamond with a slightly lower color grade.

The Most Expensive Diamonds in the World

The diamonds that are found in most jewelry stones can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars, but there are also diamonds that are worth millions. Here’s a look at some of the most expensive diamonds in the world:

  • Cullinan I and Cullinan II: These two diamonds, which are 530.2 and 317.4 carats respectively, were cut from the same 3,106-carat diamond. The nine diamonds that were cut from this massive diamond are collectively worth billions of dollars.
  • Centenary Diamond: This 599-carat flawless diamond was cut down to 273.85 carats shortly after being discovered. The exact value is unknown, but it has been insured for $100 million.
  • Hope Diamond: The 45.52-carat Hope Diamond was gifted to the Smithsonian Museum by Harry Winston. Its estimated worth is $200 million.
  • The Regent Diamond: This 140.64-carat cushion cut diamond is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. It is believed to be worth about $61 million.

These diamonds are unbelievably expensive, but fortunately, most diamonds will not set you back millions or billions of dollars.

Beautiful Diamonds Are Priceless

There’s no doubt that diamonds are expensive, but some are far more affordable than others. As a result, there’s no need to shy away from diamonds simply because you are working with a small budget. You will have no trouble finding a stunning diamond that is well within your price range!

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