As a leading independent engagement ring manufacturing jeweller, we frequently get asked a number of  questions, the most common being an what a diamond actually costs.

Whilst this seems like a simple question, the answer is far from simple. In fact, there is no answer to the question. Instead, the answer is in fact more questions. What size diamond are you looking at? What shape  are you looking for? What kind of gemstone quality do you have in mind?

Asking what the price of a diamond is is a bit like asking how long a piece of string is. It all depends on where you cut it. Literally.

Diamond prices vary wildly according to the 4C’s (cut, colour, clarity and carat), but factors such as diamond fluorescence, market supply and demand and global economics all play a role in the final price. It’s also worth considering that there are currently many alternative types of diamonds available at the moment, including salt & pepper diamonds, black diamonds, cognac diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds. These alternative diamonds are all cheaper than “traditional” white diamonds.

how much is a diamond in south africa

Salt & Pepper diamonds are an affordable alternative to traditional white diamonds.

Please bear in mind that retail jewellery stores traditionally charge much higher prices for diamonds than independent jewellers such as Katannuta Diamonds. Retail jewellery stores must cover exorbitant rent in retail malls, staff and insurance costs as well as many other hidden expenses that end up being built into your price tag. Katannuta Diamonds eliminates the need for you to pay retail prices, instead giving you the lowest possible price on diamonds by keeping our prices as low as possible.

One of the big challenges in South Africa is that all diamond prices are fixed in US dollars, with the ZA Rand price fluctuating depending on our exchange rate. As of writing this post (early March 2020), the Rand is performing weakly against the dollar, and the rate is the worst it has been for a while. The Rand prices listed below are calculated using the current rate of R15.50, but prices will vary according to the exchange rate.

We’re going to quote on some of the most common “traditional white” diamond size enquiries, with a variety of colours, clarities and shapes.

How much is a 1 carat diamond?

  • A round brilliant cut, 1.00ct G colour, SI1 clarity, excellent cut GIA-certified diamond will cost approximately $6850 including VAT (~ R106,183).
  • A princess cut, 1.01ct H colour, SI1 clarity, GIA-certified diamond will cost approximately $4584 including VAT (~ R71,049).
  • A round brilliant cut, 1.01ct E colour, VS1 clarity, excellent cut GIA-certified diamond will cost approximately $9030 including VAT (~ R139,976).
how much is a 1ct diamond?

A 1 carat cushion cut diamond (pictured) will be cheaper than a 1 carat round diamond of the same colour and clarity.

Savings hint:A 0.90ct G SI1 round brilliant diamond will cost approximately $5237 (~ R81,175). That’s nearly a R25,000 saving for a 0.3mm diameter size difference across the top of the diamond!


How much is a 0.75ct (three quarter) diamond?

  • A round brilliant cut, 0.74ct H colour, VS1 clarity, very good cut GIA-certified stone will cost approximately $3014 including VAT (~ R46,720)
  • A cushion cut, 0.74ct H colour, VS2 clarity GIA-certified stone will cost approximately $2397 including VAT (~ R37,164)
  • A princess cut, 0.75ct M colour, SI1 clarity GIA-certified diamond will cost approximately $1000 including VAT (~ R15,500)
How much is a diamond in South Africa?

M-coloured diamonds, like the one pictured here can provide a budget-friendly option for clients who want to maximise on size. This M-colour showed a lovely warm tone that our client fell in love with.

How much is a 0.50 carat (half carat) diamond?

  • A round brilliant cut, 0.50ct, I colour, SI1 clarity, very good cut GIA-certified stone will cost approximately $1285 including VAT (~ R19,925)
  • A princess cut, 0.53ct, I colour, SI1 clarity, GIA-certified diamond will cost approximately $972 including VAT (~ R15,067)
  • A round brilliant cut, 0.50ct, E colour, VS2 clarity, excellent cut GIA-certified stone will cost approximately $1805 including VAT(~ R27,978)

Savings hint:A 0.48ct I VS1 round brilliant cut diamond will cost approximately $1005 (~ R15,579). That’s a R4300 saving for a better quality diamond that’s identical in diameter to a 0.50ct stone!


From the figures above, you can see that diamond prices vary wildly across shapes, colours, carat weights and clarities. Fancy shapes (for example princess cuts, ovals, cushions etc) are always cheaper than round cut diamonds and going with a fancy cut diamond shape is a great way to maximise your budget.

Another significant way to get better value for money when buying diamonds is to buy a stone size that’s just under a critical weight. This way, the price is significantly less, but the diameter size difference is small to negligible. Look at the Savings Hints listed above for the 1 carat and 0.50 carat sizes to see what savings are possible.

If all the letters and numbers associated with colour and clarity are confusing, look at our handy 4C’s diamond guide which will help you understand the abbreviations. The lower the alphabet letter associated with a diamond, the more tinted (i.e. less white) the gem will be, and the cheaper it will be; as an example, an “F” colour diamond is whiter than an “I” colour diamond and will thus be more expensive.

Generally, the G, H & I colours and VS (very slightly included) to SI (slightly included) are considered commercial diamonds (readily available in retail stores). Better colour and clarity diamonds are not generally stocked in retail stores and are best sourced through independent jewellers like ourselves.

We hope that this information helps, to some degree at least, answer the tricky price question. The ZAR exchange rate is constantly changing and polished diamond prices are monitored according to a weekly pricelist. Katannuta Diamonds has access to thousands of loose, certified diamonds in South Africa and offers competitive pricing on diamonds. Contact us today to let us know what diamonds you are looking for.