How can two diamond rings that look the same be a different price?

How can two diamond rings that look the same be a different price?

How can two diamond rings that looks the same be a different price?

There are a variety of reasons why two seemingly identical rings may be different and it's really important to see how this is the case. Firstly, the cut of the gemstones may be different. Initially the actual style of cut may be subtly different, an asscher cut or a princess cut for example are to the untrained eye similar. One commands a different price than the other though. Even if the cut style is identical, then the actual quality of that cut may be different. Two brilliant cuts may be subtly different, the perfect symmetry being what is know as ‘hearts and arrows’ and as such commanding a premium price. The better the cut the more light will reflect out of the table without leaking out of the pavilion. Additionally one ring may have an old cut stone with the culet cut off which lowers the price when compared to a new cut stone.

Indeed, the size of the stones may be different but appear similar to the naked eye. Even the slightest size change impacts the price and indeed when moving from 0.99 to 1.00 carat the price will change relatively dramatically. The Clarity of the stones may be different which is (unless they are markedly differing quality stone) is only visible under loupe. The difference between a flawless and a VVS1 stone may be almost impossible to discern without the assistance of a glass but will impact the price.

For the same reason better colour grades, D or E as opposed to G or H, will command better prices and require identification in a shop environment where artificial lights may make stones seem similar. Beneath ‘headline’ characteristics, there are a number of minor details about diamonds – polish, symmetry, proportions that can affect the price by as much as 20%. Consider comparing a car – a BMW and a Ford both have 4 wheels, an engine, seats and a steering wheel, though dig beneath the surface and the differences mount up.

One of the rings may contain a certificated stone – this process of official grading adds a cost to the price of a stone and this may be reflected in the price. The rings themselves, in terms of mounts, may look identical but may be different. For example a yellow gold mount may be either 9 or 18 carat gold – 18 being more expensive. Similarly, if it was a white mount it could be either white gold or platinum, the latter being around double the price. One ring may be a second hand ring with less tax due to HM Customs and Excise.

 Lastly, the ring may be a designer ring as opposed to a more mass produced piece. Whilst looking similar, the designer ring would command a premium owing to its ‘brand’ image.

Don't forget to check out our range of rings in our rings section.

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Article by Adam J

Adam J

Adam's been working at Jacobs since 2003, has a professional jewellers diploma and looks after the business as whole.