The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Choosing a Center Diamond for a Solitaire or Halo Setting Within a £3500 – £4500 Budget

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.

Hi,

Firstly, thank you for all of the great information on your site. I’m currently working my way through the online wormhole of information on diamonds, looking for the perfect diamond and ring to propose.

I’m looking to keep purchase price between £3500 and £4500, and have mainly been looking on BlueNile and James Allen to date. I would prefer to buy from BlueNile to avoid import tax in the UK.

I initially wanted to go around 1.2 Carats, however price wise I am finding better value at 0.9 and 0.96. The stones that are standing out the most to me are within VVS1 and 2, however, a lot of opinions I’ve read suggest you can get VS1 and even SI1 that look just as great to the naked eye, and just wanted to get an opinion on whether I am looking at the right stones.

Below are some I’ve picked out, I can see visible inclusions on those which are in the SI area, but wanted to gauge whether or not these would actually be visible to the naked eye or whether you had any better suggestions?

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.96-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-4288855?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.96-carat-g-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-4309410?a_aid=dmnd1357 – appears scratchy

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-3575581?a_aid=dmnd1357 – looks beautiful, but paying too much for the high spec?

Blue Nile LD10272788

Blue Nile LD09213444

Thank you very much for your time and advice.

sku-4288855 – this diamond is eye-clean, but I’m not a huge fan of its cut
sku-4309410 – this one is a no-go, it’s not eye-clean and the table % of 62 is too high.
sku-3575581 – this one is cut way too deep and will look smaller and less brilliant
LD10272788, LD09213444 – try keeping the table% below 59

I’m happy to suggest better alternatives, can you just tell me what style setting you’re using?

Haven’t decided on an exact setting yet, but looking at solitaire.

Thank you for the info. For a simple solitaire setting, you can go with an I color and it is going to look colorless:

I like these options for you:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-i-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-4500721?a_aid=dmnd1357
Blue Nile LD00018704

Will take a look over them! Still not 100% on a setting as yet. As I mentioned my partner has made comments about some solitaires and there prongs being overbearing, and that she likes more sparkle, but nothing garish, so I’m also considering a low key pave setting.

Would this make any impact on what colour you’d recommend, or impact any other factor?

The style doesn’t impact my recommendations in any way (only if you decided to go with a halo where the color grade would have to be a bit higher).

In one way I’ve been lucky with Royal Weddings, and upcoming friends weddings. My girlfriend has made a fair few comments on rings which should help me out! But it has changed the style I was initially looking at! I’m now swaying more towards a halo setting.

Thanks again for your help!

Thanks for the update! For that setting, we have to go one grade up, to an H.

Blue Nile LD10155358

Thanks for that, unfortunately, it seems to have sold!

Have been looking for similar, and also looking at slightly larger sizes, around 0.9 to compare prices. Some suggestions would be great.

Ordered, and will now be out of your hair! Thanks for all the help.

My pleasure.

Top Recommended Vendors
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.

Use Promo Code DMNPROSETTINGS15 at checkout and save 15% off your setting
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

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.
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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