The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Choosing a Princess Cut Diamond for a Channel Setting with Around $1,400 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.

Good morning,

I found a channel setting on Blue Nile and it states the side diamonds are an (I) color. You stated it’s best to have the side diamonds match the center diamond in color but I’m not sure if that is only if side channels are higher color grade. If the side diamonds are an (I) should I stick with an (I) for the center stone or should I go for an (E) or (F) to make the center stone stand out? I don’t want the side diamonds to look dull though.

I know the cut is more important so I’m not going below a very good cut. The side diamonds are 1/2 ct. Im looking for a center stone somewhere between .55 ct and .61 ct Do you think that is enough of a center stone? Would you even notice a difference between a .55 and .61? Thank you so much.

I’m going to attach the links for diamonds I mentioned in the email and I’ve considered.
Blue Nile LD13109834

Blue Nile LD13181431

Blue Nile LD13258021

Blue Nile LD13025221

For a channel setting with I colored side stones, I-color center stone is perfectly fine. You can go higher, but it would look identical. I’d search in the I-H color range to get the best value for your money.

As for the size of the center stone, there is no rule. Different people prefer different sizes and there’s no rule of thumb on what size is the right one. I’m sorry I have no better answer.

On to the diamonds you sent me:

Blue Nile LD13109834
This one is no longer available so I can’t check out the GIA report which is essential. But I can see that the diamond has medium fluorescence which is not ideal on G and higher colors as it might give them a hazy/milky look. It’s better to stick with none or faint.

Blue Nile LD13181431
This one has a rather large crystal in the middle of the table. I can’t confirm the diamond will be eye-clean. Also, it has a cloud in the clarity notes which might be an issue. Diamonds under 1ct don’t have a clarity plot so we don’t know the size or location of the cloud and how much it would affect the diamond’s brilliance.

Blue Nile LD13258021
Medium yellow fluorescence is an absolute no go.

Blue Nile LD13025221
The same issue here, strong fluorescence should be avoided at all times.

Here’s what I’d go with instead:
Blue Nile LD13280496

It’s beautifully cut and has no red flags in the certificate.

I decided to go with the smaller channel setting (1/4 ct) because I read that will make the center stone look larger and it won’t blend into the side stones. That gives me a little more wiggle room with the center diamond. I would like to get a mix of the best quality along with the highest carat that would look best with that setting. I’m thinking to keep the stone under $1,300-1,400.

Ok, thanks for the update.

Here’s a couple of larger options:
Blue Nile LD13366684

Blue Nile LD13151051 (in this case, the E-color diamond was the best one I found in that carat- and price-range)

You can also use this coupon code for $50 off: [contact us for your own unique coupon code]

Thank you so much. In your opinion, out of the 3 you sent me what do you think would look best with the channel setting? It doesn’t necessarily have to be the biggest, I’d just like for it all to flow nice and have the center stone pop some.

All three diamonds I sent over are excellent options. They would be equally brilliant and eye-clean. They only differ in size and of course, price, so it’s up to you what size/price combo you’re most comfortable with.

I think I really like this one. Blue Nile LD13151051

That one is a great option with a gorgeous cut. Go for it!

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