The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Choosing a Cushion Cut Diamond for a Side Stone Setting With Up to $5,000 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.

Hello, I am currently looking to replace my wife’s engagement ring for our 10 year anniversary next month.

Cushion cut is her favorite, so I’ve been looking at James Allen for a few weeks trying to decide on a diamond.  Would you mind looking at a few of my favorites and get your opinion, and please let me know if I’m misinformed on anything.

Just to let you know, I’m looking around 1.25 carat or larger for under $5,500, but I want the diamond to be at least 6mm by 6mm. Here are a couple of my favorites

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.21-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-3432505?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.25-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-sku-3647527?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.30-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-sku-3528282?a_aid=dmnd1357

At one point I considered this diamond:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.40-carat-e-color-si1-clarity-sku-4413749?a_aid=dmnd1357
But this doesn’t seem to have great light performance. (again, I could be wrong)

Here is the setting I will be using 14K WHITE GOLD 0.41CT COMMON PRONG ROUND SHAPED DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

I’m afraid that the stones you picked are not eye-clean. The E color diamond is too deep.

I found this diamond with the quality I’d recommend:

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.20-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-4371991?a_aid=dmnd1357

What do you think?

Hmm, I must say I am a little concerned about your claims that the diamonds I sent you are not eye clean, especially the VS1. How can a GIA certified VS1 diamond not be eye clean?

VVS+ grades are safe in terms of eye-cleanliness. But inclusions on VS and lower grades might be noticeable. It depends on the location, color, length, type of inclusion and other factors such as the size of a stone etc. Since the crystal on the VS1 stone is right on the table and it’s black, I’d personally wouldn’t go for this diamond.

This is my opinion. The final decision is, of course, up to you. If you want to risk it and go for one of the stones you picked, go for it. And if you like the way it looks and won’t see any inclusions, keep it.

Great. I appreciate the info, if you have any more recommendations please let me know. I’d like to order the ring in the next day or two. I’ve been more aware of what’s present in the table and I absolutely want an eye clean diamond.

Sure, I also found these two stones:

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.21-carat-h-color-vs2-clarity-sku-4404062?a_aid=dmnd1357

This one is slightly less expensive than the first diamond I sent. The main difference is in the cut. And this one is slightly smaller.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.22-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-sku-4404061?a_aid=dmnd1357

This cushion is more elongated. It depends on whether you prefer more square or more rectangular shapes.

Keep me posted, please.

No, I don’t think so. I personally wouldn’t go for this one.

Thanks, I appreciate the help!

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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:
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