Whether you are planning a surprise proposal or an anniversary gift to mark a special occasion, a 4 carat diamond ring can be the perfect way to express your feelings towards a loved one.
However, for people who have less experience in buying jewelry, the process of shopping for a 4 ct diamond ring can be very stressful. After all, how often do people make purchases involving huge sums of money (upwards of 5 to 6 figures)?
In this write-up, I am going to reveal the insider tips that will help you navigate common pitfalls and how to buy the best possible diamond for your budget.
Before we delve deeper, let’s address one of the most important questions that consumers have when buying a diamond.
How much does a four carat diamond cost? What is the price of a 4ct diamond ring? Prior to doing your research and landing on this webpage, I’m pretty sure you already have a rough budget or have a similar question in mind.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to give you an absolute figure because of the many factors that affect a diamond’s cost (e.g. cut, color, clarity, carat).
Instead, I will show you some real life examples to provide perspectives on how the 4Cs influence diamond prices exponentially.
Here’s an example of a diamond at the high end of the spectrum with its D color, internally flawless properties.
This 4 carat D color, internally flawless diamond costs almost half a million dollars!
In contrast, the following diamond which has H color (near colorless) and VS2 clarity (eyeclean) costs less than a fraction of the D/IF stone.
A super ideal cut round diamond with top of the line optical performance and precision.
Now, I want to point out something very important. While the H VS2 diamond is significantly cheaper ($91,713) and has lesser stats (color/clarity) compared to the D/IF diamond, it is much better cut for optics.
In real life, the H/VS2 diamond is going to be more sparkly, livelier and have better edge to edge brightness. In terms of visual appearance and appeal, the Brian Gavin diamond is the hands-down winner between these 2 stones.
As you can see, the sky is the limit when we talk about diamond prices. The top tier grades command a hefty premium due to their rarity and costs are compounded exponentially for larger carat sizes.
To give you some ballpark figures, a diamond with decent color/clarity grades that is well cut for light performance would cost upwards of $80,000.
If you go down to the lower color tiers (i.e. K color) and don’t mind seeing a tint in your diamond, a ballpark figure would be upwards of $50,000.
At the end of the day, you need to understand that diamonds are a zero-sum game. If you don’t have the budget to purchase a 4 carater, you need to manage your expectations and consider going down in carat size.
You would be far better off buying a beautifully cut 3 carat diamond ring from a reliable vendor than forcing a purchase with a limited budget just to hit the 4ct mark. And if you shop with the mindset of cheapening out and trying to find “unrealistic deals”, you will get ripped off and deservedly so.
Personally, I take on a practical approach when buying diamonds.
In order to shop with confidence and buy a high quality diamond, you will need to make educated decisions based on tangible and scientific data.
I advocate that readers utilize the same approach of using logic and practicality when shopping for diamonds. With that said, here are our recommended shopping guidelines for a four carat diamond:
Color: G or better.
Clarity: VS2 or better.
Cut (for round diamonds): GIA 3Ex or AGS 000 as a minimum base.
Grading report: ONLY GIA or AGS.
If you are shopping for a fancy shaped diamond (i.e. princess cut, cushion cut), you should refer to this proven method of picking out the best stones here.
Color is pretty straightforward as a G will ensure a center stone that faces up icy white in a 4 carat diamond engagement ring. In the Asian market, consumers tend to buy higher color diamonds due to societal reasons. On the other hand, consumers in the western world are usually fine with lower color diamonds in the I-J range.
Ultimately, color is an attribute that boils down to subjective preferences. If you have a tighter budget to work with on your purchase, going down lower in color would be the most logical compromise.
Due to the nature of how diamonds are graded in the laboratories, I would recommend a minimum of VS2 clarity at such a large carat size to stay safe. Rarely will you be able to find eyeclean 4 ct sized diamonds below SI clarity ratings without the inclusions impacting brilliance or causing durability issues.
Cut quality is paramount because it directly affects the visual appearance of the diamond. This is the key attribute that you should never compromise.
A diamond with great cut quality will help mask inclusions and body color through its sparkle.
I repeat: NEVER SKIMP on cut quality.
Lastly, the objective of a grading report is to provide a reliable and unbiased opinion of the diamond’s qualities. Never buy any diamond that isn’t graded by GIA/AGS (a notorious example is EGL) because these reports misrepresent diamonds and utilize dubious grading standards.
This goes back to the point of cheapening out.
Many times, consumers are offered an “alternative” grading report that was made in-house or from some obscure organization. They think they are getting a good deal from unethical dealers because the diamond’s grades are similar to that of another diamond graded by GIA.
Well, you are in for a giant rip-off if you think so because these manipulative reports artifically inflate a diamond’s quality. A diamond graded as G/VS2 by an unreliable grading report could well be a J/SI2 if the same stone was graded by GIA.
In 99.99% of these cases, unsuspecting consumers would have overpaid for an inferior diamond because of their stupidity and greed. And since you are reading this and know better, you will avoid becoming part of that statistic.
Where do you think would be the best place to buy a large sized diamond if you are someone shopping for a diamond with good light performance and prices?
Is it your local jewelry store?
Wrong! Lack of selections and mediocre cut quality.
Would it be a large jewelry chain store?
Wrong! Lack of selections, mediocre cut quality and high prices.
What about branded stores like Tiffany or Cartier?
Depends. Lack of selections, decent cut quality but extremely overpriced.
As you can see, the common denominator of shopping in a physical store is the lack of selections and availability of truly well cut diamonds. This is because the high price tags and affordability result in little demand and supply for these goods.
Now, if you are thinking of buying in a brick and mortar store, you better think again.
Shopping in physical stores is a terrible decision due to a triple whammy of factors: limited selections, lousy quality (especially in cut!) and higher prices.
Get this, I haven’t even listed the common issues encountered in physical stores like high pressure sales environment, jewelers with poor knowledge, mediocre store policies where businesses don’t stand behind their products and etc…
In my opinion, there is no better place to buy a 4ct diamond than to go online and shop at reliable vendors.
At this point, I know some people with misguided beliefs of shopping in physical stores are going to scream: “You must be mad to suggest buying a 4 carat diamond online!”
The fact is, more people get taken advantage of in a physical store than purchasing online.
Let me be absolutely clear here.
Going online enables the possibility of cherry picking the best stone for your needs due to the larger inventories available. But that’s not the main reason why I advocate going online.
In today’s age of digital disruption, shopping online enables you to have far better transparency of a diamond than what a traditional store would offer. Here’s what I mean using an example listing found on WhiteFlash.com…
Not only do you get to scrutinize diamonds upclose, you are also able to get tangible data on the diamond’s performance. All the technical details of the diamond are laid out openly for you to see, analyze and interact with.
From top left (clockwise): HD video of diamond, magnified image at 20X, hearts patterning and ASET image.
Here’s a reality check.
The majority of physical store jewelers have absolutely NO idea what cut quality and performance is. And the few that actually have good understanding of cut mechanics will usually not make these data available to consumers.
It is because the availability of these data will instantly make the sub-par diamonds they sell look bad.
Now, let me tell you outright that ideally cut 4 ct diamonds like the example above from White Flash are unicorn rare. The chances of you finding a diamond in the market cut to this level of precision and performance is almost zero.
This is because you need specialized labor and proper manufacturing know-hows to produce such diamonds. And even if all the stars and constellations align perfectly for you to find one at a local store, it will not beat the competitive prices offered by online retailers.
For a 4 carat size diamond, you would be looking to spend anywhere between $40,000 – $500,000 depending on its specifications. At the end of the day, your budget and taste should be balanced according to your recipient’s preferences.
Here’s my take. If you already decided to spend a large sum of money on this purchase, it would only make sense to make sure that the money is well spent.
It would be wise to plan ahead and start your search early to avoid making a rushed purchase as it may not be easy to find a 4 carat diamond engagement ring that fits your budget or specifications perfectly.
With that, we’ve come to the end of this write up and I hope this guide has helped. I encourage you to re-read this article and spend some time browsing on Beyond4cs.com to build up your knowledge.
And if you still have questions or need a second opinion on a diamond, feel free to drop me an email and I’ll promptly reply to help you out.