The Diamond Pro

Q&A: $4000 Max Budget for Woman with Large Fingers

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.

Would appreciate your thoughts on getting a surprise engagement ring for Valentine’s Day. My max is $4,000 and my girlfriend has big hands–8 1/2 ring size. She likes round stones. Should I look for a setting with stones rather than a solitare. I was impressed with James Allan site–What do you think about their setting 11103W? Is it a substantial enough setting for her hand or would you recommend something else. Is there a particular stone you would recommend–While bigger would be better I don’t want anything with visible defects nor a stone that appears yellow in any light. If you could direct me to a particular stone or setting on James Allen or Blue Nile I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance

Thanks for writing. To be completely honest with you, my professional experience is really limited to the loose diamond trade. Questions such as yours about ring sizes and what looks good on different hand sizes are really more part of the retail jewelry business.

Having said that, though, I would think that logic would dictate that a wider band would be in order for a larger hand to make things look more proportional. If there are budget constraints, then perhaps it would be best to go with a solitaire setting that would gain width in exchange for giving up the side stones? From my readers, I think the most popular solitaire setting on JA is this one:

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/diamond-solitaire-ring.html?a_aid=dmnd1357

Don’t forget, you can use coupon code TAD0611 to get 10% off the setting, so this one would cost you about 470.

So that leaves just over 3500 for the stone. Here’s what i think would look great with that ring:

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-I1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1274570.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – this one is very iffy in the “eye clean” department. I think you should request from JA’s customer service to pull this stone to check if it’s eye clean or not. It’s a bit of a long shot, but if it is, this is an amazing find.

Let me know what they say. If this stone doesn’t work, then there’s a ton out there available. Basically, the option will be either to go with a J SI2 that’s just over a carat, or an H or I SI2 that’s in the 90s.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Thanks for getting back to me so promptly.  I called james allen and they said it was not eye clean.

I will go through their listings and come up with a few more to pass by you.

Thanks for your assistance.


I just noticed that your message was sent to the spam box. I’m lucky I caught it, as I only check it once in a blue moon.

Would you prefer to go for a 1ct+ stone in a J Color, or a 90 point stone in an H or I Color? I’ll be happy to send you some suggestions once you let me know in which direction you’re leaning.


I finally found the setting I like so now I know how much I can spend on the center stone since my budget is $4,000.

The setting I selectd is 1225W which has side stones F-G, VS1-VS-2 and sells for $1,420.  That leaves me with $2,600 or so for the center stone.  I think it is very important that the stone be eye clean.  Since the side stones in the setting are F-G VS-1 VS-2, is it important to match the center stone to those specifications?

Could you please send me aa few diamonds that you would suggest in my price range.


Actually, that gives you a bit more. You can use the coupon code TAD0611 to get 10% off the setting. So the cost of that setting will be about 1280. That leaves you with 2720 for the stone.

As far as matching side stones is concerned, you don’t need to worry about clarity, as that has nothing to do with matching. The only thing that you need to be concerned about is color. Since the side stones are baguettes and princess stones, though, you could definitely get away with an I color round center since rounds show much less color than the other shapes.

These stones will do you just right:

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1278951.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1272000.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-SI2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1269242.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

All 3 are “Excellent” cuts from GIA. All are eye clean. Out of the 3, I like the last one the best since the VS2s of the first ones don’t give you any visual benefit over the eye clean SI2 of the 3rd one, but the 3rd one is a G color which will be just slightly noticeably whiter than the I colors.

let me know what you think!


I went with the diamond you suggested–the third one, G color.

I really appreciate your help and can’t wait for the ring to arrive in time for Valentine’s Day.

I will let you know what I think when it gets here.

Thanks again for your suggestions.


That’s great!  I can’t wait to hear your report.

Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online. James Allen is currently running a great limited time 25% off sale on all settings! Click here to save big.
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 a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Blue Nile has generously offered our readers an exclusive one-time use coupon. (Click Here to get $100 off any purchase over $1000.)
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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