8 Carat Diamond Ring: How Much Will You Pay and Why
An 8-carat diamond is a glittering statement piece the allure of which is hard to deny. Beautiful, rare, and sizeable, they are an eye-popping addition to any piece of jewelry.
However, as with all the high-carat diamonds, their unusual size means they can be difficult to snag as a quality piece. They’re rare to find, and that means you want to know exactly what you’re buying before you jump in.
Luckily, if you’re serious about getting yourself one of these brilliant baubles, we have everything you need to know to make your purchase journey a success.
- What Is an 8 Carat Diamond Ring?
- How Much Does an 8 Carat Diamond Ring Cost?
- How Big Is an 8 Carat Diamond Engagement Ring?
- Clarity Rating for 8 Carat Diamond Rings
- 8 Carat Diamond Ring Shapes and Cuts
- 8 Carat Diamond Ring Color
- How to Get the Best Value for an 8 Carat Diamond Ring
- Where to Buy an 8 Carat Engagement Ring
- An Eternity on the Finger
What Is an 8 Carat Diamond Ring?
With some celebrities showing off their beautiful 8-carat diamonds- think Gwyneth Paltrow and Gabrielle Union- they’ve become something of a coveted diamond category of late. But what does that glittering 8-carat description even mean?
Carats are a system of measuring diamond weight. Each carat weighs 200 mg, so an 8-carat diamond is weighing in at a robust 1.6 grams. Additionally, carats are broken into one hundred ‘points’, which help you to clarify the weight more closely. One point six grams may not sound a lot- but set in a gorgeous ring, it’s big indeed!
Let’s take this moment to mention that an 8-carat diamond is not the same as an 8-carat total carat weight or TCW. Where you see the TCW description, it means all the stones in the piece together amount to 8 carats. On the other hand, an 8-carat diamond is just that- one diamond that weighs 8 carats.
Of course, no two 8-carat diamond rings are alike, and even the diamonds themselves will vary greatly. They come in a range of shapes and colors, with different band metals, and can be a gleaming single solitaire (traditional for engagement rings) or the scintillating centerpiece of a full display. But wherever they are, they’re bold, beautiful, and unique.
If you’re in the market for an 8-carat piece of wedding jewelry, there’s some beautiful symbolism associated with the number 8. It’s seen to represent infinity and is often used as a sign of everlasting love.
However, along with that beautiful symbolism, you want a quality purchase. We’re going to walk you through using the 4C grading system- carat, cut, clarity, and color- to get the best possible balance of quality and cost for your fancy new ring.
How Much Does an 8 Carat Diamond Ring Cost?
Fire up your favorite search engine and pop in ‘8-carat diamond ring’. You’ll see a massive variance in prices! How is it possible that the same thing can be priced so wildly differently? From less than $100,000 to well over a million, what makes for this huge price spread?
Remember those 4Cs we mentioned? This isn’t just a cute term, it’s a globally accepted set of criteria that help evaluate and certify diamonds.
While there’s several rating systems around, the two most trusted are the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the AGS (American Gem Society), and we urge buyers to ensure one of the certifications is available for any diamond they buy. We’ll walk you through each of these critical categories to understand diamonds in a moment, but let’s get to grips with some figures!
Every certified diamond is evaluated on the 4C criteria and assigned a rating. Because the carats we’re looking at are fixed- 8 carats- and because the cut can be more-or-less consistent if you’re looking at the same shape of diamond (we’ll elaborate on this further below), there’s two gradings that have a particularly large impact on price- clarity, and color.
Don’t get too overwhelmed just yet! We’ll be tossing some grading terminology around, but it’s all explained later. Now let’s talk about price.
The most coveted color grade (D) and clarity grade (FL, or Flawless) will always be your most expensive option. A D-grade, FL-grade diamond is almost perfect on every metric, so you’d expect that, right? But they’re also super rare- if you find one, it will cost you well over a million dollars, and you’d be lucky to find it.
But few diamonds make this standard- and they don’t need to be stunning, either! A D-grade, VVS1-clarity 8-carat diamond ring can be had for a little over $500,000, and this is a seriously high-quality piece.
A G-color diamond will look near identical- still icy and clear- and at the same clarity rating (VVS1), will cost you a little above $300,000. We would, in fact, recommend an H-color and VS1 clarity diamond as the perfect balance of quality and cost-effectiveness, and these retail around the $200,000 mark.
However, you still have room to play around and get a fantastic piece. While we would recommend sticking with the VS1 or VS2 clarity categories as your best pick, even white metal bands (which can highlight color inconsistencies) still look great with an I-grade diamond, and you can expect to pay about $140,000 at this point. If you love the look of traditional yellow gold, you can step that down to J-grade, and pay about $120,000 for a blingy diamond that will look great.
You will find 8-carat diamonds priced as low as $90,000 at the minimum ‘good’ 4C ratings, but at this point, you’re paying for a diamond that’s a little low on the quality scale. On average, per-carat prices for 8-carat diamonds vary from $12,000- $40,000, and your best balance of quality and cost lies in the $17,500-$20,000 range for round diamonds.
Remember- the traditional round-cut diamond will always be more expensive, so if you’re looking for a fancy shape, you may find these prices even lower for similar color and clarity.
How Big Is an 8 Carat Diamond Engagement Ring?
An 8-carat diamond is a flashy, chunky piece. No one will be in the room with you and fail to notice this splashy diamond ring!
Variations in faceting and cuts can make one diamond look more petite than another diamond of the same carat weight. The smaller diamond may carry more of its weight below its girdle (or the portion below the top surface we usually see on a ring). Alternatively, an elongated shape may look smaller than a round brilliant.
The average lady has about 16.5 millimeters of room on her ring finger. We’ll only use round cuts for this example. A 1-carat diamond measures 6.5 millimeters wide, taking up 40% of her finger.
In comparison, an 8-carat diamond is usually 12.7 millimeters across, meaning an entire 77% of finger space will be covered by this sparkly stunner! It will also feel quite heavy on the finger and can stand very ‘tall’ compared to smaller carats. Bear this in mind if you or the special lady you are buying for is a little clumsy, or you don’t like ‘big’ settings.
This is why you often find elongated shapes (like the eye-like marquise shape) in large-carat diamonds. They’ll be a little slimmer over the width of the finger but elongated further up it. There’s no way around it, an 8-carat diamond in any cut will look bold and big!
Clarity Rating for 8 Carat Diamond Rings
Choosing a big diamond? Pick carefully and smartly within your desired 4C parameters!
Remember those gradings we were tossing around above? From FL to VS1 and beyond, these are gradings that refer to the clarity of the diamond in the ring. But what does clarity even mean?
Squeezed and shaped in the mantle of the earth, diamonds are never 100% free of tiny little flaws, called inclusions in the trade. These can be caused by tiny amounts of other materials, or even air, getting trapped in the gem as it forms.
The clarity grading system shows how many of these internal inclusions are present in your diamond, as well as considering external blemishes.
It’s not something you can easily tell by looking at it. Experts grade the gems under 10x magnification, which is why the middle ratings (especially the VS1 and VS2 categories) can still be gorgeous pieces to own.
The lowest clarity grades will often have inclusions visible to the naked eye, especially on large diamonds like an 8-carat piece. Excellent clarity grades will appear near perfect (though no diamond is perfect). The fewer inclusions and the less noticeable based on their size, nature, position, and relief, the better.
Here are the clarity ratings, from highest grades to lowest:
- FL – Flawless
- IF – Internally Flawless
- VVS1 or VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly Included
- VS1 and VS2 – Very Slightly Included
- SI1 and SI2 – Slightly Included
- Included (I1, I2, and I3)
You don’t need to spring immediately for a flawless diamond. They can have hefty price tags and may not look all that different from an IF or VVS1. Instead, choose a stone of value but also one that fits in your budget and looks pretty darn clear to you. Remember, only an expert can accurately grade your diamond to establish value, a necessity with a diamond of this size.
An ideal cut 8.50-carat round diamond with a D color rating and FL for clarity will cost you $965,812. For an 8.22-carat round diamond with the same color rating and marginally less clarity—at a single rating lower—you’ll pay $475,100. That is a whopping $490,000 saving.
Note: All pricing examples are current as of 11/17/2022 and apply to in-stock diamonds.
8 Carat Diamond Ring Shapes and Cuts
Can you name ring shapes? Of course, you can. Anything other than a classic round-brilliant is known as a fancy shape. There are ten common shapes:
But did you know that shape doesn’t count all that much when it comes to price? It will have some effect, but not as much as you may think. However, what accounts for that price factor?
When raw diamonds are shaped, they lose mass to create the shape. Logical, right? Round cuts can account for up to 60% of the ‘raw’ stone lost, so they do tend to be pricier. While some of the square cuts can lose as little as 20%.
But what is the ‘cut’ that really matters to the price of an 8-carat diamond ring? While lay people like you and I often ‘cut’ and ‘shape’ interchangeably, ‘cut’ has a specific meaning. It’s the way the facets- those square planes created to dazzle with the light they reflect- are created.
Cutting facets into any shape of a diamond is an art in itself. The average round diamond has 58 gleaming facets, perfectly placed to retain beauty and symmetry.
The overall distribution and appearance of the facets help determine the quality of the cut. All round-brilliants are graded for cut, assessing their proportionality, use of light, and overall “look.” Here are the three categories evaluated:
- Brightness. Amount of light refracted and reflected.
- Fire. The signature rainbow effect created by scattered light.
- Scintillation. The sparkle, composed of light and dark areas within the stone.
As you may have guessed, this can help determine cost. But what about fancy shapes? They don’t have a GIA scale, but they do get graded on symmetry and polish.
Aside from this score, a shape’s popularity can influence value. For a long time, the cushion cut was the most popular for engagement stones, only being replaced by the round-brilliant after nearly one hundred years.
We suggest choosing a shape you love on a diamond that looks brilliant and pleasing to your eye, rather than sweating this one too much.
An 8.03-carat oval cut diamond with a VS1 rating for clarity, a very good cut, and G for color will cost you $437,342. An 8.07-carat cushion cut diamond with the same clarity and color ratings, but with a good cut will cost you $233,215.
8 Carat Diamond Ring Color
When we talk about color in the 4Cs, it’s specifically aimed at the lack of color in the traditional white/clear diamond.
Does that mean all diamonds are white? Nope! You’re probably familiar with pink, black, chocolate, and even yellow diamonds. And did you know red diamonds are the rarest of the colored diamonds?
These intentionally colorful diamonds are known as ‘fancy’ diamonds. They don’t fall under the true diamond color grading but are rated for consistency and vibrancy of color on a scale called fancy-vivid to fancy-faint.
However, the perfect classic diamond is like a chunk of glittering ice- clear through and through. If they have faint yellow or brown shading, the grade (along with the value) goes down.
You’ll see that the below Gemological Institute of America (GIA) scale ranges from D to Z, with D being the purest diamond possible. Usually, D stones look cool, icy, and sparkle. Near colorless stones in the G to J range can appear more natural, slightly warmer, and cost less.
For this reason, many jewelry-wearers prefer near-colorless stones. However, only you can make that decision! Remember that ‘warm’ bands, like traditional gold, are more forgiving than cool bands like platinum, and can make a yellowish diamond look crystal clear.
- D (colorless)
- G to J (near colorless)
- K to M (faint)
- N to R (very light)
- S to Z (light)
This color variation is very difficult to pick up with the untrained eye. Even experts do it by comparison to known graded stones! Grading is always done loose because the band and other stones can influence the look so much.
You will have a hard time telling the difference between a G and H, or even an E and G. So don’t pay a fortune for a letter rating alone! An 8-carat stone that is very yellow will be obvious, but a near-colorless stone will have such minute tones that you may not even notice. Your best balance of color and cost typically lies in the G-K ratings.
If you are fixed on color, an 8.02-carat round cut diamond with an ideal cut, E for color, and a VS2 for clarity you’ll look at paying $314,572.
By comparison, an 8.07-carat round cut diamond with the same cut and clarity but K for the color rating would cost you $168,632. While these two may show markedly different colors, the price saving is more than $145,000.
How to Get the Best Value for an 8 Carat Diamond Ring
The 4C’s, clarity, cut, color, and carat are very important. When choosing an 8-carat diamond, the carat weight is a given. However, you have choices when it comes to clarity, cut, and color- and now you have all the knowledge you need to leverage them for the best results! Can you chop that price tag down further, however? Here are some other tricks to know.
Lab-grown diamonds have become a popular choice in the diamond market. Because they are created in controlled laboratory conditions, rather than mined from the earth, they typically have few inclusions and can be better controlled for color.
And they are 100% real diamonds! Even experienced jewelers can’t tell the difference without using a laser to examine the certificate number. Because there is no scarcity with lab-grown diamonds, they start at about 50% cheaper than mined diamonds- and by the 8-carat point, they can be as much as 80% cheaper.
To demonstrate this, if you look at an ideal cut lab-created 8.02-carat round diamond with an F color rating, and a VS1 for clarity, you can expect to pay $55,590.
For an excellent cut natural 8.02-carat round diamond with the same clarity and color rating, it will cost you $464,740.
Buying online helps cut the costs a brick-and-mortar store can face. Additionally, you can usually find a better selection. Of course, it comes with its own risks, which you can manage by using a trusted and reputable dealer and ensuring you have a GIA certification for your piece.
Drop a Few Points
Dropping a point or two below a round 8 carat can net you a better deal, believe it or not! The resulting stone will be near-indistinguishable from a full 8-carat ring while bringing you a price discount to love.
To demonstrate this, an ideal cut 8.16-carat round cut diamond with H for color and VVS1 for clarity will cost you $430,817. A 7.32-carat round cut diamond of the same cut, color, and clarity prices at $300,587.
Shape Your Stone
Remember how we explained that round-brilliant diamonds are the most expensive to cut? If you like the look of other shapes, you may find them a more budget-friendly option. And it can be more practical to wear, too!
With these tips in the bag and your chosen 4C parameters, you can find the stone of your dreams for less.
Where to Buy an 8 Carat Engagement Ring
You can buy diamonds in-person in a brick-and-mortar store or online. The rarity of 8-carat diamonds can make finding an in-person option difficult, however. In some cases, high-end luxury jewelers may be able to procure some for you.
Most individuals looking for an 8-carat diamond will end up searching online options. Whether in-person or online, check the seller’s reviews, reputation, and policies (like the return policy). All sellers should be able to present you with a diamond’s grade and certification. Never buy a large diamond like this without solid certification!
We put together this list of reputable vendors to help you get started.
An Eternity on the Finger
An 8-carat diamond is a beautiful gem that will perfectly symbolize your eternal love. Hopefully, you feel more prepared (and inspired) after reading this guide! We’re sure you’ll soon find the ideal diamond cut, color, and clarity for your treasured forever jewelry.
Is an 8-carat diamond not your perfect match? Check our other diamond guides to see if there’s a better match:
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