Historically, diamond prices were volatile. This was never more apparent than during the 1979 commodity boom, during which the price of a 1.00ct, D Color, Flawless Clarity diamond rose to more than $36,000, (Over twice today’s price).
Eventually, a diamond price list (Rapaport Diamond Report) was developed, leading to the more stable diamond prices which we see today. Now, almost all polished diamond sales are based on this price list. Its creator, Martin Rapaport, and his company “Rapaport”, monitor diamond demand and supply trends in order to keep their prices current. Updated price lists are published on a weekly basis.
The Rapaport Price list comes in two different versions, one which applies to Round Brilliant Diamonds, Titled: “Rounds”, and another for Fancy Shapes, Titled: “Pears”, which represents every shape other than round, (Including; Princess, Pears, Oval, Cushion, Emerald, Heart, Marquise, Asscher, Radiant, etc…).
Both Price lists are broken down by carat weight, with each price grid matrix representing a different carat weight range.
Within the different price grid matrices, diamonds are broken down by Color and Clarity. The Columns represent the different Diamond Clarities, from Internally Flawless (IF) to Included (I1, I2, I3). Each row represents a different Diamond Color Grade, ranging from D-M.
The prices on the Rapaport list are Per Carat Prices which have been shortened to 1/100 of their actual US dollar value. In order to calculate the value of a diamond, a dealer must multiply the carat weight of their diamond by the value which corresponds to their diamond’s characteristics, (After multiplying that value by 100).
If you know your diamond’s shape, carat weight, color and clarity, locating the corresponding value on the price list is fairly simple.
There is a disclaimer at the bottom of each Rap list which states, “Prices in this report reflect our opinion of high cash asking prices. These prices are often discounted and may be substantially higher than actual transactions”. Rap prices reflect a high (retail level) value. Within the trade, diamonds rarely sell for the full list price. The industry term, “Off Rap”, followed by a percentage, is used to signify the percentage below the list value which the diamond is being sold for. Diamonds often go for 5%-50% “Off Rap”.
Qualified diamond buyers use the Rap list to determine their offer for your diamond. Round diamonds usually go for 30-50% off rap, depending on their exact characteristics. Fancy shape diamonds often go for 40-60% off rap. While these figures are by no means final, they should give you a reasonable starting point when attempting to determine the resale value of your diamond.
The Rapaport Price List can be purchased online at www.diamonds.net. However, it is usually only made available to those within the industry. As a member of the public, you may be able to locate a recent version posted online by a third party, or by requesting it from someone who is involved in the jewelry industry.