0.5 Carat Diamond Price in the UK
Why there’s not an easy answer to the question: “How much does a half carat diamond cost?”
Written by: Alastair Smith
Last updated on: July 22nd, 2022
There’s no getting around it: diamonds are a significant investment, both financially and emotionally.
Known as a ‘magic weight’, a half carat diamond is significantly more expensive than a 0.48 carat stone, although they will look absolutely identical.
So how much does a 0.5 carat diamond cost? The answer depends hugely on the quality you are looking and also where you choose to buy from.
How diamond prices change over time
Diamonds are subject to the same supply and demand forces as any other good, which means that their price can change significantly over time.
As this graph from US-based diamond search engine StoneAlgo shows, the average price in the US for a 0.5 carat diamond has fluctuated by more than 15% over the last 12 months:
Of course, those prices are in the US, so aren’t necessarily reflective of what you should expect to pay in the UK, but prices in the UK have varied similarly.
So, while this article is reflective of the time it was last updated (July 11th 2022), the prices when you look at retailers may be different to those listed.
The best way to understand current prices is to play around with the an online diamond search tool which will allow you to see today’s prices, and how changing different quality factors of the diamond affects the price.
We also have guides to other diamond carat weight prices, which can be interesting to compare to half carat prices
Factors that affect 0.5 carat diamond ring prices
No two diamonds are exactly the same, which means that there can be a significant difference in price between two stones that look very similar on paper.
In this section, we’ll look at some of the factors that can have a major effect on the price of a 1 carat diamond
- diamond shape
- cut quality
- colour and clarity
Diamond shape and its affect on price
There are 10 commonly chosen shapes for diamond rings and while the ’round brilliant’ is the most common, it’s also the most expensive. To show how much changing the shape can affect a half carat diamond’s price, we searched for an average price with the following stats:
- Cut: Excellent
- Colour: H
- Clarity: VS2
The results are below:
|Name||Shape||Price (£)||Difference (£)||Difference (%)|
There’s obviously a pretty significant difference between the top and bottom prices there – over a 25% lower price for choosing a 1 carat cushion cut compared to a round diamond.
Colour and clarity and their affect on price
Colour and clarity are two of the key ‘4Cs’ that you’ll need to consider and will make a huge difference to how much you pay.
Some examples of realistic prices for good examples of each combination of color and clarity:
- A half carat round cut with H colour and VS2 clarity is likely to cost around £1,500, although this could be 10% either way, depending on the individual stone. This combination of colour and clarity is a good starting point for your search.
- At the top end, a D colour, IF clarity 0.5 carat stone is likely to cost around £3,800. Despite the huge increase in cost, this diamond will look very similar to a well-cut H colour, VS2 clarity diamond once mounted in a ring setting.
- At the lower end, an I colour, SI1 clarity diamond is likely to cost around £1,100, but again there can be some variation depending on how it is affected by the SI1 clarity grade.
- At the very lowest end, an L color, SI2 clarity 1 carat is likely to cost around £500, although we don’t recommend that you choose a diamond with these specs as its appearance will be compromised by the low clarity grade.
How where you buy will affect how much your half carat diamond ring will cost
Where you buy a 0.5 carat diamond will have one of the biggest effects on its price.
In this section, we’re going to look at four types of jewellers:
- High St Jewellers
- Luxury jewellers e.g. Tiffany & Co.
- Online retailers
For each of these types of retailers, we’ll show you what to watch out for and how you can avoid getting ripped off.
Price of a 1 carat ring on the High Street
In this section we’ll look at buying a ring from a jewellery shop you might find on your local high street or shopping centre. We’re talking about chains like:
These aren’t specialist diamond sellers and the majority of their revenue actually comes from the pricey designer watches they sell.
We can’t look at every retailer in this article, so we’ll take a look at how much a 0.5 carat diamond ring costs at Mappin & Webb.
They have a half carat solitaire ring in 18 carat white gold on their site for £3,000:
However, if we look at the quality of the diamond used in this ring, its clarity grade is ‘I1’ which means that flaws will be visible with the naked eye:
Most of my recommended retailers don’t sell I1 carity diamonds, but here’s what an I1 diamond typically looks like:
Inclusions are very obvious and as a result, prices are usually significantly lower for a stone with this level of clarity.
Mappin & Webb also don’t mention the cut quality – the most important factor when choosing a diamond ring as (which determines how much it sparkles)
Hopefully you can see that High Street jewellers charge higher prices than they should for lower quality products.
Price of a 0.5 carat diamond ring at a designer jeweller
The second category we’re going to look at is designer engagement ring retailers:
- Tiffany & Co.
These retailers undoubtedly sell high quality merchandise and beautiful diamonds. And buying a ring from a designer jeweller is a lovely experience. You get a glass of champagne, attentive service and are treated as a VIP. It’s fantastic.
What is less fantastic is the price you pay to be treated so well.
Tiffany & Co. have a limited selection of 0.5 carat diamonds to choose from on their website, but a 0.53 carat, F colour, VVS2 clarity diamond in a platinum setting is priced at £6,025:
While having a brand name attached to a ring may be nice, and the blue box is special, once a ring is taken out of the blue box, no-one will know it is a Tiffany ring.
While it will be a beautiful diamond, A huge price premium is being charged for the brand name, the box and the buying experience.
Buying a 0.5 carat engagement ring from an online retailer
As with many things, online stores offer considerably more value when it comes to diamond rings.
At the time of writing, a ring that has been graded as having the same quality of diamond as the Tiffany & Co. ring is likely to cost somwhere between £2,700 – £2,850:
At £2,700, this ring is over £3,000 less expensive than the Tiffany ring, for a diamond of nearly exactly the same quality.
This £3,000 could undoubtedly be put towards your upcoming wedding or a fantastically memorable honeymoon, rather than just paying for a brand name.
But as well as offering incredible value, one of the best things about buying online is the ability to take your time to find the diamond that is just right for you.
Online retailers offer search tools that allow you to narrow the search to exactly what you’re looking for, without a salesman pushing you in a certain direction – so if you want to dial in our search to just a 0.5 carat, VVS2 clarity, F colour, excellent cut diamond, we can.
Online retailers also offer hundred of diamonds to choose from. For example, Taylor & Hart has 82 half carat, F colour, VVS2 clarity, excellent cut diamonds, which makes it easy to find the perfect stone.
The diamond search tools and huge selection available means that you can take your time to find the diamond that is right for you, without any pressure.
Plus, online retailers offer excellent service as they know their business is only as strong as their reputation online. For example, Taylor & Hart offer:
- Lifetime warrant on workmanship
- 90 day no questions asked returns
- Free resizing
- Diamond price matching, if you find a similar stone cheaper elsewhere
- Free Worldwide Shipping
To sum up our test of prices for a 0.5 carat ring across each of the three retailer types:
|Type of retailer||Example retailers||Price for half carat ring|
|High street||Mappin & Webb|
|Designer jeweller||Tiffany & Co.|
|Online jeweller||Taylor & Hart|
Compared to overpaying for low quality diamonds on the High St, paying more than twice as much for a brand name or only having a couple of diamonds to choose from at smaller diamond specialists, if you’re looking for a half carat diamond then buying from an online retailer just makes sense.
You’ll get a higher quality ring at a lower price.
Best places to buy a 0.5 carat diamond ring
I have a whole post on the best place to buy a diamond ring in the UK, but the key takeout is that I have two recommendations for you to check out, depending on what you are looking for:
Best for service, design and quality:
Taylor & Hart offer just about the service I have seen in any industry, bar none. With a fantastic selection of settings (as well as a specialism in creating custom ring designs), a huge selection of diamonds and excellent prices, they’re always my first recommendation to check out.
Plus, if you are looking for a completely custom ring design, they offer Ringspo readers 10% off any platinum setting – find out more here.
Best for setting selection:
Blue Nile are the largest online diamond specialists and have been established since 1999. Primarily a US-based company, their huge economies of scale means that they can offer more diamonds then anyone else, at lower prices.
Although they are a US company, Blue Nile has a distribution centre in Ireland, which means there are no expensive import fees. Definitely worth checking out if you want to get the most for your money without compromising quality.