Howdy! Thank you for dropping by at Hageman Jewelry. We aim to provide you with insights to the jewelry industry, offer shopping advice for grooms-to-be and help you get the most out of your money when buying jewelry.
This month’s feature post discusses the mindsets of consumers when they go shopping for an engagement ring and how you can save costs without buying into the “1 carat diamond” marketing BS that jewelers feed to you.
Why Are People Obsessed with Getting the Magical “1 Carat” Diamond?
The psychology behind the acquisition of a diamond is often rather similar to the psychology behind buying a Ferrari. Let us admit it: most of us are quite vain, and if we decide to buy one of the Italian red beasts, we also want to be able to brag about it to our friends. Think about the differences between a whole new Ferrari and a Ferrari that has been used for a month.
Unless the first owner was Chuck Norris himself, the differences would be rather subtle. As a matter of fact, there would only be two differences: the price tag would be at least twenty percent smaller and you would not be able to tell everyone that you just bought a whole new Ferrari. You will be surprised to know just how similar the situation with diamonds is.
Some technical information on how diamond pricing works
Carat weight is one of the four basic characteristics (also known as the “four C’s”) of diamonds. It literally means the weight of the given diamond, where a carat equals 0.2 grams and can be divided into a hundred points. That is, the most basic unit in which we measure diamonds only equals to thousandths of a gram.
Diamond price depends on a bunch of different factors, but we could say that on average a one carat stone costs $2500. Taking into account this datum, one could easily say that the average price for diamonds is $25/points. Well, nothing could be further from that. Since diamonds cannot be shaped through melting, two tiny diamonds each weighing one point are worth less than a (still rather tiny) diamond weighing two points.
Similarly, two stones each weighing two points would cost less than a stone weighing four points. This all seems logical, however, in contrast to what you would expect; the price/weight graph does not show a nice, constantly increasing curve. Instead, there are humps on the graph. Let me explain why.
Let us talk about psychological threshold levels
Somewhat surprisingly, the price difference between a diamond weighing 49 points and another weighing 50 points (1/2 carat) is much higher than the difference between weights of 50 and 51 points. Similarly, the price difference between a stone weighing 99 points and another weighing 100 points (i.e., a carat) is higher than the price difference between a one carat stone and a stone weighing 1.01 carats.
If you think about the example with the new Ferrari, you will probably figure out the reason behind this anomaly. Again, we have to admit that we are all somewhat vain. If we buy a new diamond, we want to be able to tell that we bought a one carat diamond. Bragging about a diamond of ninety-nine points is just not cool enough, at least not in the social circles that make the diamond market move.
Is buying a one carat diamond difficult?
If you cast your vote for inner peace instead of social requirements, you might be able to spare a considerable amount of money. However, if you are willing to buy a diamond that weighs just under a carat, you are likely to have a bad time finding it. Since jewelers also realize the significance of a whole carat, they are doing everything they can to meet exactly that weight.
For that reason, there is a lack of stones weighing ninety-seven, ninety-eight, or ninety-nine points. That is, if you decide to buy shy, you will most likely end up with a stone weighing .90 or .95 carats. You do not have to worry, though: apart from making a considerable saving, you are going to buy a diamond that will look like a one carat stone to the majority of people.