The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Blue Nile Setting Becomes Custom James Allen Setting for Brilliant Round Stone

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.

We are starting to look for an engagement ring and ran across your site. What great information you have available! Here is the ring that we’re pretty sure we are leaning towards purchasing.

Blue Nile Floating Diamond Engagement Ring

Any comments or concerns you have about the ring would be greatly appreciated. We didn’t know if these stones were significant enough in size that we have to worry about color matching to the center stone. Also was wondering how much we should be worried if the side diamonds are eye clean. I had a diamond previously that did have black inclusions (2 fairly small but visible) and it was always disappointing. Even though otherwise it was a beautiful diamond, those black dots always bothered me.

As for the center stone the most important thing to us is that it’s brilliant, white and sparkly. We are looking for a round cut, eye clean and somewhere between 1-1.35 ct. We don’t want to have to pay for something unnecessary, but would like a big wow factor. We realize that there is a lot left open on options for size, but we’re more concerned with the other factors that fit within these size parameters.

Also, I know you often suggest diamonds from James Allen just because you can actually see what you are buying before you buy it. If that is the case would we be able to take the setting purchased from Blue Nile and separate center stone to a local jeweler to be set or do you have another suggestion?

Thanks for your site and all your help! It’s much appreciated.

That is a beautiful ring indeed! Lets move forward like this – your best bet in this situation would be to have JA match the setting from BN for you. I’ve helped many people in the past accomplish this and they’ve always left very satisfied.

Btw, these side stones aren’t small at all (as far as sidestones go), so you do need to be concerned about color. If JA can make the ring with G/Hs, then it should be perfectly fine to stay in the H/I range for the center stone.

I’m CCing to this email Mr. Jim Schultz from JA who will hopefully respond to us both positively or negatively re: their ability to match this setting for you. Keep in mind also that when JA matches a ring, it is not simply pressed out of a mold, but is rather hand made and considered to be of higher quality.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

Response from James Allen:

Thank you for the email. We can reproduce the setting in the link below for $3,000. Production time is approximately two weeks. As a custom design, however, the ring would be subject to a 15% restocking fee if returned.

I want to quickly also point out that we offer a similar setting that is substantially less expensive and also has a matching wedding band. Our item number is 11009p and a link to the design can be found here:

To give you some sense of how this diamond looks with a 1.00ct center diamond, you can view this photograph from our Recently Sold Collection:

The 11009p features slightly smaller side diamonds that the other design, but they are still large enough to make a really “pop” next to the center diamond. By reducing the size of those side diamonds by just a few tenth of a millimeters, you can still get a fantastic look, but free up almost $1,300 that can then be applied towards the center diamond.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the suggestion of having JA custom match the setting. We looked at the setting Jim suggested from JA and have one concern when compared to the one we had picked out from BN. The setting from BN (to us) looks like the first diamond off the center stone on either side is farther to the side, allowing it to be seen better. It seems to us that the first stone on either side of the center stone on JA setting is 1/2 hidden by the center stone. We had actually seen that one and ruled it out previously because of that. Do you think that is a non issue or valid concern? We have discussed possibly going with the JA setting and if we are not satified with the look of it we could return it and have them custom match the other setting at that point. Do you know, if we went ahead with having them custom make the ring would we be able to pick out the side stones or would they just do that as they do with their settings? Thanks for all of your help with this!

Also, we see the clarity rating of the diamonds in the JA is slightly less… any way we could make sure they would be eyeclean?
After doing a little more talking and window shopping at local jewelry stores this weekend we’ve decided we are going to have James Allen match the setting from BN. We are also looking for a center stone between 1.25-1.5. We did some searching through JA site and picked out a few that we thought might be possibilities but wanted your opinion on which are the best/cleanest and best value. Also, if you have any other suggestions, we’d love to look at them!
We haven’t asked Jim yet if the quote he gave for matching the setting was with diamonds in the G/H range or the F that BN had on their site. We’re going to have it made with G/H diamonds though.

Hope you had a great weekend.

I think that’s a great choice! I don’t know if the price of the ring will be any cheaper for G/H color side stones, but I’m sure they can definitely accommodate that request!

Can I assume that 12,000 is your max budget? I think the stones you picked, for the most part, are really nice. My only suggestion would be to allow some lower clarity stones in the mix. I can help you find ones that will be clean to the naked eye. For example:

Let me know what you think of those!

Wow! There sure is a lot to get excited about when looking at diamonds. The 3 you sent us were beautiful. Yes, max budget for the diamond is 12,000. Of course if we can get a great looking diamond for less that’s even better. After we sent off that email last night we did find one more that was a lower clarity and wanted to have you look to see if it would be eye clean.

I guess the question now is where do we go from here. Which of the ones we sent you would you stay away from? Any suggestions as to how to make a decision from the choices we have or should we do more searching for a lower clarity diamond? You have been so extremely helpful in this process!

All that’s really left to do is make a decision! You can definitely save a lot of money going with a 1.2ct stone like the one you linked to (which is really nice btw). But going up to a 1.50ct stone will definitely be a noticeable jump in size. It’s about 0.5mm which is very easily noticeable.

Maybe pick your favorite 3 and have JA do a side by side comparison for you?

Wanted to let you know we made a decision. We split the difference on the diamond size. We purchased the 1.36 diamond you had offered as a suggestion.

The customs setting has been ordered and will take a couple of weeks for production. Thanks for all your help, we’ll let you know what we think when we receive the ring!

Great! I can’t wait to hear your reaction!!

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