The Diamond Pro

Help Deciding Between Two Diamonds

The following is a real email conversation between The Diamond Pro and a reader just like you who contacted us. Personal information is always removed. Learn from these posts, or contact us yourself to get free personalized help.

Dear Ira:

I am searching for a new center stone for an heirloom setting with three small round stones on either side of the center.  A friend of a friend of the family has shown me two round stones.

The first weighs 1.02 carats and is GIA-certified triple excellent, H color, and SI2.  I can find the inclusion without a 10x viewer, but it is on a facet, and I am told it could be covered by a prong in the setting.  Price $5,100.

The second weighs 1.07 carats and is GIA-certified triple very good, I color, and VS1.  I cannot find the inclusions, even with a 10x viewer.  Price $5,500.

Do these stones seem fairly priced?  Should I clearly choose one of these stones over the other?  Should I keep searching for another stone?

You’re in an interesting situation.  I’m going to assume for purposes of this response that there’s no interpersonal issues at
hand with the friend of the family, and you can act 100% objectively.

Lets start with the first diamond.  Take a look at this comparative stone:

1.00 H SI2 Triple Excellent for $4230

There’s no difference between this diamond and yours except for .02 carat and almost $900.  I wouldn’t recommend this particular stone because the SI2 looks a little bit too stark, but there are tons of H SI2s available, and most will have softer, eye-clean inclusions.  It wouldn’t be hard to find the best one for you.

Concerning the 2nd diamond: it is, relatively speaking, a better price. Similar stones on James Allen can be had for about $4800, so here the discrepancy is only $700.

Here’s my opinion – Why limit yourself to two diamonds?  With your budget of about $5000, I could help you cherry pick the best diamond for your needs from an inventory in the tens of thousands.

I was curious to see what I could come up with for your budget between 5000 and 5500, and here’s something I found right away.

1.31 Carat I SI2 Naked Eye Clean Excellent

This diamond is priced at $5310, it’s eye clean, so visually it offers you everything the VS1 offers you.  It’s got an “excellent” cut grade from GIA (VG/VG Polish/Symmetry, which don’t matter anyway — see my Truth About Diamond Symmetry and Truth About Diamond Polish articles).  And most importantly, its significantly larger than the two 1 carat diamonds you were offered.  A typical excellent cut 1 carat stone will have a diameter of about 6.40mm.  This 1.31 carat stone is just under 7mm which is what average cut 1.50 carat stones measure.

If you can’t fit the larger diamond into the setting, we could change strategies and instead of finding the largest and best diamond for your budget, we could find the cheapest diamond within you required parameters.

Please let me know if you’d like some more help.  Thanks again for writing, and I wish you lots of luck and happiness.

Best Regards,

Ira

Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well. And for a limited time, take advantage of their 25% Off pre-Black Friday Sale!
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing.  
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment

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