10 Carat Diamond Ring: How Much Will You Pay and Why
We like big rocks and we cannot lie! A 10-carat diamond ring is unmistakable. Its truly impressive size is impossible to miss and it radiates sparkling beauty. That is, as long as you abide by the 4C’s and choose a diamond with excellent color, cut, clarity, and the right carat weight!
There’s no denying the inherent eye-catching nature of this large diamond. However, a diamond of this size can also make it much easier for people to spot imperfections if you goof on making this critical buy. Luckily, you have us to help!
If you’re looking for a stunning 10-carat diamond ring, we’ve created this in-depth guide that includes everything you need to know to choose the perfect gem with confidence!
- What Is a 10 Carat Diamond Ring?
- How Big Is a 10 Carat Diamond Engagement Ring?
- How Much Does a 10 Carat Diamond Ring Cost?
- Clarity Rating for 10 Carat Diamond Rings
- 10 Carat Diamond Ring Cuts and Shapes
- 10 Carat Diamond Ring Color
- How to Get the Best Value 10 Carat Diamond Ring
- Where to Buy a 10 Carat Engagement Ring
- Ten and Done
What Is a 10 Carat Diamond Ring?
A 10-carat diamond ring is a juggernaut in the jewelry world. A ring of this size is exceptional and much more significant than typical engagement rings.
If you are familiar with diamonds, you’ll know that size isn’t based on physical appearance but on carats, which is a weight measure. However, there is no avoiding the fact that a 10-carat diamond ring is big!
How big? Well, each carat weighs 200 mg. So, this stone will weigh in at 2 g. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it will be pretty heavy on your finger!
Carat ratings can also include “points,” or a hundredth of a carat. So, you may see these diamonds listed as, for example, 10.05 carats. This means that you have 10 full carats, and a further 5 points, in this stone.
Let’s just quickly clear up a common source of confusion. A 10-carat diamond means the largest diamond on the ring is 10 carats by itself. Don’t confuse this with a 10-carat TCW (total carat weight) rating, which means that the combined diamonds in the setting total 10 carats.
Due to the large size of these diamonds, they’re often alone on a ring (a solitaire setting). However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have other diamonds or gemstones on your ring if you would like.
10-carat diamond rings can come in a variety of styles. They don’t all look the same but do share the commonality of an impressive diamond that weighs 10 carats.
How Big Is a 10 Carat Diamond Engagement Ring?
Big. Very big!
But let’s be more technical. Not all 10-carat diamond shapes occupy the same “space” on your finger, because of the way they are cut. In fact, the bulk of the diamond itself often lies within the setting.
No matter the shape, however, this rock will take up a lot of space. They often stand very “high” off the finger, needing a deep pavilion (setting) to accommodate them.
The average woman’s finger is about 17 millimeters across. A standard round-cut 10-carat diamond will be at least 14 millimeters wide. So about 90% of your finger will be covered by the diamond alone!
This is why you often see elegant and elongated oval and marquise cuts used on these diamonds, to add to wearer comfort—but they will still cover about 80% of the finger, and extend down the finger a lot more, too.
How Much Does a 10 Carat Diamond Ring Cost?
As with all diamond rings, the majority of the price of your 10-carat diamond ring comes from the famous 4Cs of diamond valuation—carat, cut, clarity, and color. At 10 carats, this diamond will most definitely be an investment.
When it comes to cost, obviously the carat is fixed—we’re talking 10-carat diamonds! Cut is a more nebulous thing, and while it affects the price, its impact will not be very big when comparing similar cuts of 10-carat diamonds. For ease, we’ll look at the classic round diamonds.
So, the bulk of your pricing variance comes down to color and clarity, two categories that we will explain in depth. Hang in there a moment, and don’t get too swamped by the technical chat, we will break it all down for you, I promise!
The most perfect diamonds sit at D-grade color and FL (flawless) clarity. So rare (and expensive) are these in 10-carats that we can’t even find solid data you can trust on this type of diamond! However, for a very, very beautiful and near-flawless D-grade, VVS1 clarity 10-carat diamond, you will be dropping a cool $500,000!
However, while the most perfect diamond grades offer impressive bragging rights, they’re not all that visually different. For an F-grade VVS2 clarity diamond, you can knock that price down to $400,000 and keep a near-identical look to the naked eye.
Many people find the G-grade color offers a near-identical visual experience, at a better price. We also typically recommended a VS1 or VS2 clarity as the perfect balance. For this ring, you’d be looking at $220,000. And you’d walk away with a remarkable ring!
Paired with a yellow gold band, the J-grade color diamonds still have almost all the same pop and sparkle as VS1, and retail for about $117,000. If your heart is set on platinum or white gold, which is a touch less forgiving with color, you could pick up an I-grade, VS1 10-carat diamond ring for $140,000.
As the cheapest color grade worth considering, K-grade, with a low clarity of SI2, you could pay as little as $90,000—but remember, high-carat diamonds are less forgiving of clarity issues than small-carat diamonds, and this may look like a dull purchase.
Of course, having other high-value diamonds or gems in the ring, and your choice of ring metal, will also impact your price.
Clarity Rating for 10 Carat Diamond Rings
A poor-clarity 10-carat diamond ring may only cost $15,000 per carat, but a nearly flawless one might come in at $200,000 per carat or more. What’s the difference, you may ask?
Well, sometimes, the differences between these two rings can be invisible to the naked eye. We’re talking about inclusions and blemishes, which affect a ring’s clarity.
It all starts with the process by which diamonds are formed, meaning that clarity isn’t a significant issue for lab-grown diamonds (more on these in a moment).
Natural diamonds are formed in the earth, where they are subjected to mass amounts of pressure and intense heat. Sometimes, particles can get trapped inside during their forming, or something can occur with their development molecularly.
These issues will present as inclusions, usually small tube-like channels within a diamond when the process is complete. Or, there may be blemishes that occur on the outside of the gemstone.
Sometimes, these inclusions can be seen with the naked eye. However, they’re usually only visible under magnification. Jewelers evaluate the clarity and assign clarity gradings under 10x magnification.
No diamond is completely inclusion free, but the larger and more noticeable the inclusions, the more they affect the value. And larger-carat diamonds can show them more than smaller-carat diamonds.
Here are the six inclusion categories, ranging from best to least desirable
- IF—internally flawless
- VVS1 and VVS2 —very, very slightly included
- VS1 and VS—very slightly included
- SI1 and SI2—slightly included
Even if you can’t see anything wrong with the diamond, you’ll still want it to be checked over by a diamond grader because its authentic clarity level plays a significant role in the value of the diamond, as we’ve seen.
10-carat diamonds are large and therefore have a lot of mass that can contain inclusions, especially when compared to smaller stones. Their large mass can also make it easier to spot inclusions, so you would be wise to keep clarity at the top of your considerations list!
As the carat weight increases, diamonds become increasingly rare as seen in the chart below.
Note: All pricing examples are current as of 11/17/2022 and apply to in-stock diamonds.
10 Carat Diamond Ring Cuts and Shapes
The shape of the diamond can sometimes be used interchangeably with the term “cut.” However, there is a very important difference!
The cut, which is part of the 4Cs, is what helps the diamond refract and scatter light, creating that sparkle we all know and love. It’s created by the facets, or flat sides, cut into the diamond to help bounce the light.
A professional diamond cutter works hard to determine the proportion of the diamond and how to best use its surfaces to cut the most symmetrical facets for optimal brilliance. The standard round brilliant cut diamond usually has an astonishing fifty-eight facets!
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certification is most recommended when grading your diamond, with the AGS (American Gem Society) certification the other solid choice. They grade the quality of the cut with three parameters
- Brightness—the amount of light reflected externally and internally
- Fire—does the scattering of white light create a desirable rainbow appearance?
- Scintillation—a mixture of white and dark patterns that create a sparkle effect
However, grades for cuts are only given to round-cut diamonds per GIA guidelines. Fancy shapes can still be rated, although it is done based on their symmetry and polish.
Shape vs Cut
Now, let’s talk about shape. Although it’s sometimes called cut, this is misleading. The shape is simply the, well, actual shape the diamond is cut into in the ring. It has a much smaller—but not negligible—impact on the price.
As we mentioned, round is the most coveted shape, because it best showcases the sparkling inner fire of the diamond. Everything else is labeled a “fancy cut.” Many of these are just as beautiful as round, but they will be a little cheaper.
Why? Because some of the price is also determined by the wastage of the raw diamond as it is cut and polished. Round diamonds can waste up to 60% of the raw diamond, while fancy cuts are more forgiving and so cost a lot less. But they do have a little less vibrant sparkle as they have fewer facets.
As we mentioned, the shape of your stone can affect how big it looks on your finger. Additionally, it might play a role in value too, as shapes can fall in and out of style.
You may be surprised to learn that not only can their price tag be smaller, but their apparent size, too. Fancy cuts usually have a deeper cut.
The depth refers to how much of the stone is below the girdle, or the band separating the top and bottom of the diamond. They might look smaller straight on but will sit more prominently.
10 Carat Diamond Ring Color
What do you think of when you hear “10-carat diamond ring?” Is it a round, sparkling white gem? If so, you’re very normal! However, there are other colors of diamonds. They can be black, pink, yellow, or even red.
All diamonds are rated for color, but colorful and white diamonds are not graded on the same standards. Any diamonds that aren’t white but have some sort of natural color are referred to as fancy-color diamonds.
Like gemstones, there isn’t a standardized grading scale or classification system for these fancy-colored stones. There is, however, some consensus in the industry about what is desirable and what is least preferred.
When it comes to colored stones, valuable ones often have a saturation of color that makes them quite vivid. Too little color and the stone is considered too pale; too much and the stone is too murky.
Also, if other hues are mixed in, or it shifts over the stone, the stone may not be considered valuable. Fancy-color diamonds will usually be placed along a scale ranging from fancy-faint to fancy-vivid.
You’ll want the red diamond if you’re looking for the most expensive fancy-colored. However, finding specimens as large as 10 carats in fancy colors can be challenging indeed!
Grading Traditional Diamonds for Color
Traditional diamonds are the white, sparkly gems we commonly think of. These stones are graded based on their lack of color. Unlike fancy-color diamonds, the industry wants these stones to be free of tones and hues—as pure as a drop of sparkling, clean water. Any diamonds with slight tones of yellow or brown aren’t quite as valuable.
The GIA diamond color grading scale begins at D and ends at Z. A diamond grader won’t view a stone under just any conditions, of course! They use precise conditions, where they can control the light to accurately discern any subtleties in color.
Nor will they ever look at an already set stone to evaluate this. As we’ve already seen, the metal of the band can affect the perception of the color.
Any color metal will keep a D diamond looking colorless because of its high color grade, but a yellow-gold setting paired with a faint diamond may be able to produce the same look! Diamonds are always loose when they are graded for color.
Average diamond buyers, like you and I, often won’t be able to tell the color nuances from stone to stone at all—especially once they are set in a ring.
From D to Z, every letter will have a strict range of color features and characteristics. To find out which range a diamond is in, the grader will use a control stone that they know to be a certain color grade. The grades are
- D (colorless)
- G to J (near-colorless)
- K to M (faint)
- N to R (very light)
- S to Z (light)
Looking at a D and a Z, you would probably be able to note a difference. However, distinctions from colorless to near-colorless, for example, are tough to spot.
For most of us, this isn’t a bad thing! You can, as we have already seen, purchase a more inexpensive diamond because it has a less desirable color rating. But you won’t be able to tell when wearing it!
Most diamond-wearers tend to gravitate to near-colorless or faint (grades G–J and K–M), not only for their lower prices but also for their “warm and natural” feeling, instead of looking so cold and “icy.”
Color also impacts the price. This 10.10-carat ideal cut round diamond has an IF rating for clarity, but only a K for color and is priced at $360,253.
Compare it with this smaller 10.03-carat ideal cut round diamond with only a VS2 for clarity but a G for color priced at $524,735. The color rating increased the price by $150,000 even though the clarity and carat weight were less.
How to Get the Best Value 10 Carat Diamond Ring
We know there’s a lot to think about, but we recommend keeping the 4C’s at the top of your considerations. Finding the best balance of the 4C characteristics with your price point is the top way to find the best value ring when buying a 10-carat diamond ring.
A VS2 or higher for clarity is best for a 10-carat diamond since larger diamonds can have more inclusions for the same grade. A G rating for color will get you the best sparkle for your 10-carat diamond. On average, a 10-carat diamond with at least those ratings will run about $550,000 and up.
Here are some other tips.
With no hefty overheads to consider, online retailers can often offer better prices on the same stock. You’ll also find more choices—a key consideration with this unusual carat weight. However, make sure you are buying a GIA or AGS-certified ring from a reputable vendor.
There is no chemical or physical difference between lab-grown and “natural,” or mined, diamonds. Yup, none at all! The only difference is that one is mined from the earth, and one is created in a lab.
Even the most skilled jeweler will have to read the diamond certification number with a laser to tell if it is lab-grown or mined.
Because there’s no scarcity associated with lab-grown diamonds, they are considerably cheaper than mined diamonds. Additionally, they often have lower occlusions and better clarity—something particularly important for 10-carat gems.
You can score up to 80% off with a diamond as large as 10 carats, just by opting for a lab-grown diamond.
For example, this 10.15 ideal round cut diamond with an E for color and SI2 for clarity is $47,627 while the natural version would be $344,140 with a lower color rating.
Did you know that there’s a significant price drop if you go a tiny fraction below the 10-carat mark? Even something as small as a 0.1 difference can mean fantastic savings, and no one will be able to see the difference in size—we promise!
Choose Your Cut
Remember that round diamonds are the priciest, and also may not be the most practical for this size diamond. The choice is ultimately down to your personal taste.
Where to Buy a 10 Carat Engagement Ring
Most physical jewelry stores won’t carry a 10-carat diamond because they’re so unique and rare. If they do, it may not have great clarity or color. To find a 10-carat diamond of fine quality in a brick-and-mortar store, you would likely need to visit a reputable vendor such as Cartier or Van Cleef Arpels.
Alternatively, you could turn to an online seller. Usually, they can offer a wider selection of diamonds in terms of the 4Cs and overall jewelry design. However, do your research!
Check their reviews and return policy, make sure they offer certification of their diamonds from accredited institutions and check that they can provide paperwork, as well as pictures with measurements.
To help you on your search, we put together this article on our favorite retailers.
Ten and Done
A 10-carat diamond ring will make a stunning addition to your jewelry collection. It’s a stunning investment that will turn heads wherever you go, and retain a solid value too.
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you and set you up with everything you need to know to find your ideal 10-carat diamond ring. Enjoy that bling, baby!
Is a 10-carat diamond not right for you? Check out our other diamond size guides:
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