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0.90 vs 1 Carat Diamond: Which Is Better? (2024 Comparison)

Looking to know which is better between 0.90 vs 1 Carat Diamond?

You’re at the right place!

This is our comparison of the 0.90 vs 1 Carat Diamond

In this article, I have reviewed both diamonds in-depth and will fully explain to you which one is better.

Let’s get started with an in-depth look at what sets these diamonds apart.

Let’s get started!

What’s The Difference Between 0.90 vs 1 Carat Diamond?

Size, Dimensions, and Proportions

When it comes to diamonds, size is often equated with carat weight. However, jewelers don’t typically describe diamonds based on their width or height when discussing a group of stones. Instead, carat weight becomes the primary identifier. One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams, so a 0.90 carat diamond weighs 0.18 grams.

While the difference in weight may seem slight, it does have an impact on the overall dimensions of the diamond. To illustrate this, let’s compare the measurements of two diamonds. The first is a 0.90 carat diamond, which I personally purchased for myself It boasts high-resolution images from various angles, allowing us to examine it closely. Its measurements are 6.13 – 6.21 mm x 3.80 mm, with the first number representing the minimum diameter and the second number representing the maximum diameter. The third measurement, 3.80 mm, indicates its depth, which is the height from the table to the culet.


Now, let’s turn our attention to the 1 carat diamond. Its dimensions are 6.36 – 6.41 mm x 3.87 mm. As you can see, the extra 0.10 carats result in a slightly wider diamond with greater depth. However, these differences are not easily discernible in most cases. If a jeweler were to show you a single diamond without disclosing its weight, distinguishing between a 0.90 carat and a 1 carat diamond would be quite challenging. However, when placed side by side, a closer examination would likely reveal the disparity.



When it comes to diamond pricing, carat weight plays a crucial role. Let’s break it down for you. Imagine a 0.50 carat diamond with a price of $1,400 per carat. To calculate the price of the stone, you simply multiply the carat weight (0.50) by the price per carat ($1,400), resulting in a total of $700. Now, let’s consider a 1 carat diamond with a price of $4,100 per carat. Since the diamond’s weight matches its carat count, the price for the stone remains the same at $4,100.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Diamond prices per carat increase as you move up to higher weight categories. In other words, the larger the diamond’s carat weight, the higher the price you’ll need to pay per carat. This exponential increase in price is due to the increased weight and the higher price per carat within the corresponding weight category.

For a 1 carat diamond, the price can range from $1,300 to $16,500, depending on various factors such as cut quality, clarity, color, and shape. Let’s take a look at the average price ranges for 1 carat diamonds across the ten most common shapes, considering a clarity grade of SI2 or better and a color grade of K or higher. The prices listed below are given in ranges, with amounts in parentheses indicating diamonds with recommended parameters:

  • Round brilliant cut: $2,500 to $16,500
  • Princess cut: $1,600 to $11,000
  • Cushion cut: $1,600 to $9,500
  • Emerald cut: $1,600 to $10,500
  • Oval shape: $1,600 to $10,000
  • Radiant cut: $1,300 to $7,000
  • Asscher cut: $1,800 to $6,900
  • Marquise cut: $1,700 to $10,000
  • Heart shape: $1,700 to $12,000
  • Pear shape: $1,700 to $11,400

For diamonds smaller than 1 carat, prices per carat are significantly lower. For instance, a high-quality 0.50 carat diamond with H color and VS2 or higher clarity may cost around $2,500 per carat, resulting in an approximate total diamond price of $1,250. Similarly, a 0.25 carat diamond with the same color and clarity grades may cost around $1,600 per carat, amounting to a diamond price of approximately $425.

Moving on to 2 carat diamonds, the price range extends from $6,500 to $55,000, depending on cut quality, clarity, color, and shape. Here are the average price ranges for 2 carat diamonds across the most common cuts and shapes, considering a minimum color grade of K and a minimum clarity of SI2. The amounts in parentheses indicate the minimum prices for diamonds with recommended specifications:

  • Round brilliant cut: $7,400 to $55,000
  • Princess cut: $6,200 to $31,500
  • Cushion cut: $5,600 to $28,300
  • Emerald cut: $5,700 to $33,270
  • Oval shape: $7,200 to $33,000
  • Radiant cut: $6,500 to $29,500
  • Asscher cut: $7,700 to $35,700
  • Marquise cut: $9,400 to $36,900
  • Heart shape: $7,600 to $33,800
  • Pear shape: $7,400 to $42,400

Diamond prices are subject to market fluctuations and tend to increase with inflation over time. Published prices from several years ago may not accurately reflect current market conditions. Here are the current diamond prices for round brilliant cut diamonds in various carat weights:

  • 0.50 Carat: The price range is approximately $600 to $2,900 for the whole diamond.
  • 1 Carat: The price range is approximately $2,500 to $18,000 for the whole diamond.
  • 1.50 Carat: The price range is approximately $4,800 to $35,000 for the whole diamond.
  • 2 Carat: The price range is approximately $8,500 to $59,000 for the whole diamond.
  • 3 Carat: The price range is approximately $20,000 to $155,000 for the whole diamond.
  • 4 Carat: The price range is approximately $35,500 to $286,000 for the whole diamond.
  • 5 Carat: The price range is approximately $45,500 to $337,500 for the whole diamond.

These prices reflect the current market conditions and serve as a general guide. Keep in mind that prices can vary based on other factors such as cut quality, clarity, color, and market demand. It is always advisable to consult with a reputable jeweler to get accurate and up-to-date pricing information for the specific diamond you are interested in.

Popularity in Engagement Rings

Engagement rings featuring one carat diamonds are more popular than those with 0.90 carat diamonds. There is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes with having a diamond that meets the one carat threshold, even if it comes at a premium price.

In fact, the average carat weight for an engagement ring diamond is often close to one carat, typically ranging between 1 and 1.09 carats. This demonstrates the preference for diamonds around this size in the context of engagement rings.

Consider a stunning 1 carat diamond engagement ring as an example. When set in a 14K white gold solitaire setting, the one carat diamond becomes the focal point, capturing all the attention. At this size, there is no need to worry about the diamond appearing small or feeling compelled to add additional diamonds to the ring.

For engagement rings with diamonds less than one carat, it is common to incorporate features like a halo or pave diamonds. These additional gemstones contribute to the overall weight and presence of the ring, without incurring the same price increase that comes with selecting a one carat diamond.

However, it is important to note that such embellishments are not necessary to create a stunning engagement ring. In general, it takes about a 20 percent increase in carat weight for the difference to become noticeable to the naked eye.

For instance, when purchasing my wife’s engagement ring, I initially felt that the diamond appeared smaller than expected. The store representative explained to me the principle of visual perception and the minimal distinction between 0.90 and 1 carat diamonds. Though I was considering upsizing by 0.10-0.15 carats, the representative was honest in advising me against it, and I ultimately stuck with my original purchase. I can confidently say that I am glad I made that decision.

Color Grade

The color grade of a diamond refers to the presence of yellow or brown hues in its facets. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) established a color scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (strong color) to classify diamonds based on their color characteristics.

The color grades are divided into five categories:

  1. Colorless (D-F)
  2. Near colorless (G-J)
  3. Faint (K-M)
  4. Very light (N-R)
  5. Light (S-Z)

As a buyer, it is not necessary to overly focus on a specific color grade. Instead, the goal is to find a 0.90 or 1 carat diamond that appears colorless to the naked eye, without the need for magnification.

In both cases, diamonds with a color grade of H or higher often meet this standard of appearing colorless. Take, for instance, a high-quality image of a 1 carat diamond with an H color grade. Comparing it to a diamond with a D color grade, it becomes difficult to distinguish the color difference between them.

The same principle applies to 0.90 carat diamonds. Generally, higher carat weights necessitate improved color grades for the diamond to appear eye-clean and colorless.

It is worth noting that I recommend considering near colorless diamonds rather than colorless ones due to the value they offer. Choosing a near colorless diamond allows you to avoid the price increase associated with colorless diamonds, while still achieving an identical appearance of colorlessness.


The cut of a diamond plays a crucial role in its brilliance. Even if a diamond is large and possesses good color and clarity, a poorly cut diamond will appear dull.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has developed a cut scale with five grades: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. Regardless of its carat weight, I highly recommend selecting a diamond with an excellent cut. It is worth the additional cost as it maximizes the diamond’s light performance and brilliance.

It’s important to consider more than just the final cut grade mentioned on the diamond’s report. The cut grade encompasses various factors, including polish (the smoothness of the diamond’s surface), symmetry (the alignment and arrangement of its facets), girdle thickness, and proportions. Even if a diamond may not be perfect in all these areas, it can still receive the highest cut grade.

Let’s take a look at a GIA report for a one carat diamond as an example. The table percentage is 60 percent, which falls outside the ideal range of 54 to 57 percent. However, its girdle falls within the ideal range of thin to slightly thick. The diamond has also received excellent grades for symmetry and polish. These combined factors result in an excellent cut, ensuring exceptional light performance and shine.

In comparison, let’s examine the qualities of a 0.90 carat diamond with a good cut grade. The girdle of this diamond measures thick to very thick, which is outside the ideal range. It has received a very good grade for symmetry, and its table percentage of 62 percent is far from perfect. As a result, we would expect this diamond to appear dull in comparison to the excellent cut.

Understanding the factors that contribute to a cut grade becomes especially important when dealing with fancy-shaped diamonds such as emerald, princess, and marquise cuts. These shapes do not receive traditional cut grades from the GIA like round diamonds. Consequently, it becomes necessary to examine the specific qualities of these fancy-shaped diamonds in detail to determine their cut quality.


Clarity is another important aspect of a diamond, referring to the presence of inclusions or blemishes that can impact its appearance, brilliance, and durability.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has established a clarity scale ranging from flawless to I3, with each step indicating increasing levels of visible blemishes.

Just like with color, the goal is not to focus on a specific clarity grade when choosing between a 0.90 or 1 carat diamond. Instead, the aim should be to select a diamond where the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye.

It is extremely rare for a diamond to receive a flawless grade, so most diamonds will have some level of inclusions such as bruises, etch channels, cavities, feathers, indented naturals, or twinning wisps.

In most cases, I recommend starting the search with SI1 clarity diamonds for both 0.90 and 1 carat diamonds. You may need to work your way up the scale (I personally chose a VS1 clarity for my wife’s diamond), but you can find great value with SI1 or VS2 clarity diamonds.

These diamonds may have several pinpoints scattered across the table or a transparent feather on the pavilion, but they are generally only visible under 10x magnification.

For example, consider a 1 carat diamond with a VS2 clarity grade. The clarity plot on its report may show crystals, clouds, needles, and naturals, but each instance is small and likely invisible to the naked eye in a normal setting.

If you place this diamond next to a 0.90 carat diamond with a higher clarity grade of VVS1, you won’t be able to distinguish between them. However, you would end up paying up to 50 percent more for that slight improvement in clarity grade.

By opting for a 0.90 carat diamond and selecting color and clarity grades that avoid premium pricing, you can reduce the overall cost of your engagement ring without compromising on the diamond’s appearance.

How to Decide Between 0.90 or 1 Carat Diamonds

When deciding between a 0.90 or 1 carat diamond, there are several factors to consider in order to make the right choice based on your preferences and budget.

If you opt for a 0.90 carat diamond, you can save between 30 and 50 percent compared to a 1 carat diamond. This is a significant cost-saving advantage if reaching the 1 carat threshold is not a priority for you. Additionally, choosing a 0.90 carat diamond allows you the opportunity to enhance the overall carat weight of the piece by incorporating diamond accents such as a halo or pavé setting. It’s important to note that visually, a 0.90 carat diamond will appear almost indistinguishable from a 1 carat diamond.

On the other hand, if having a full carat diamond is personally important to you, and you are willing to pay the premium associated with a slightly higher carat weight, then exploring 1 carat diamonds would be the right choice. A 1 carat diamond carries the satisfaction of owning a diamond that reaches the coveted 1 carat mark. It also works well as a standalone stone in a solitaire setting without the need for additional gemstone accents.

By considering these guidelines, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your desires and ensures you find the perfect diamond for your occasion.

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