The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Choosing a 2.70 Ct. Lab Grown Diamond for a White Gold or Platinum Solitaire Setting With a $13,000 Budget

The following is a real email conversation between The Diamond Pro and a reader just like you who contacted us.
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Hi there,

I’m an American who’s living and working in Europe and I’m trying to buy an engagement ring for my girlfriend. Most of the bigger online retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile look to be based in the US and while they all do international shipping to Europe, I’m trying to avoid 20%+ import duties if at all possible.

Do you recommend an online diamond retailer in Europe?

If you are located in Europe, your best bet is to find something on Blue Nile (https://www.diamonds.pro/reviews/blue-nile/) as they have an office in Dublin, therefore you can save the import fee. Also, it’s easier in terms of service. They have the best track record with our European based readers. We have reviewed some UK based stores, you can have a look at them here: https://www.diamonds.pro/reviews/. As for taxes, you would need to contact them directly, they will help you calculate the final price.

If you want me to make some specific recommendations, can you please tell me what setting style (solitaire/pave/side stones/halo) and metal (white gold/rose gold/yellow gold/platinum) you’re planning to go with? Different colors suit different setting styles better (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/color/). Do you have a ballpark budget for the center stone in mind? What shape do you prefer? This info will help me set the right search parameters. Then I’ll gladly send you some suggestions and tell you some info on what to look for.

She wants a solitaire, round cut diamond on a white gold or platinum band. Sizewise, I’m looking for something in the 2-3 carat range. I’ve been doing some research and I think I would prefer a lab-grown diamond, from both an ethical standpoint and because of cost – it seems like you get more bang for your buck. Does Blue Nile sell lab-grown diamonds?

Unfortunately, Blue Nile doesn’t sell loose lab-created diamonds. The best option for lab-created diamonds is James Allen. As for taxes, you need to contact JA directly or use their duty and tax calculator (scroll down on the JA’s page to find it).

Here are some nice options:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.70-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-10737870?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.71-carat-e-color-vvs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-10770524?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.50-carat-e-color-vs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-10533968?a_aid=dmnd1357

I ended up choosing the first option in your list, the 2.70 carat diamond. I appreciate your help with the process.

The 2.70ct diamond was an excellent choice! I’m glad you liked it so much.

Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James AllenJames 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 25% off Mothers Day Sale on Engagement Rings and other Jewlery gifts.
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
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Blue Nile Blue NileBlue 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 have generously offered our readers an exclusive one-time use coupon. (Click Here to save $100 off orders of $1000 or more)
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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