The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Choosing a Round Diamond for a Classic Solitaire Ring Within a $7k-$12.6k 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. I’m planning on buying a diamond and ring quite soon (within the next couple of days if possible). I have done a lot of research, but the more I research, the more complicated the selection process becomes and the more demanding I become. Stumbling upon your articles and videos, I found there are some aspects where I can lower the standards in order to reach a better piece overall, within budget and reason.

My girlfriend is relatively well informed about the 4 C’s and other characteristics (at least, more than any other girls we have talked to about diamonds and more than some of my male friends), so I do not want her to get deceived if she feels the diamond is not “such good quality” – as per general standards. On the other hand, she generally likes subtle jewelry and I think this is not the exception; yet, I do not want to buy ‘a perfect sesame seed’ and want something that looks good. Therefore, my idea is “as large as possible but sacrificing as little quality as possible”.

As a reference, we once went into Tiffany and she loved both a 1.55ct and 1.8ct round, typical Tiffany setting.

These are the details I am pretty sure I want fixed:
DIAMOND:
– Round cut
– At least 1.25ct (no upper limit), preferably over 1.5ct, yet a diamond that looks on the larger scale
– GIA certification and ideally with engraved GIA number

SETTING:
– 6-prong setting
– Platinum setting
– She likes a setting where most of the diamond can be seen or it seems like it floats and the sides/bottom can also be seen. Elevated but maybe not much, so that it does not get stuck with most clothing or daily activities.

These are some aspects where I think professional advice will be better than my preferences. Yet, I have thought of these:
– Setting: solitaire (no pave), pave with 5 pieces on each side, full-round pave
– Color: I do see differences from F to H to J. I don’t want it to look yellow or yellowish at all.
– Fluorescence: Preferably lower to none, unless you suggest differently

Finally but probably the most important aspect for you – Budget:
No lower than 7k and -ideally- no higher than 12.6k, including setting.

I hope we can figure out something perfect together!

I have decided that I want a setting as close as possible to the Tiffany signature setting (solitaire, 6-prong, set as low as possible, with the maximum visibility of the diamond).

The closest I have found to that is this setting from Blue Nile:
Petite Nouveau Six-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring

Thank you, that helped a lot.

For the center stone, I’d recommend an H color to make sure there won’t be any yellowness in it. This color grade looks absolutely colorless in most settings.

Here’s a couple of diamonds that I thought would be great choices for you:
Blue Nile LD12264297
Blue Nile LD12304755

These two are gorgeously cut and either of them will be very bright and brilliant.

I think I found the right settings in both BN and JA, so that will not be a problem and we can purchase with either company. These settings will be the “Tiffany” style in platinum 6-prong, so you know!

I went through lots of diamonds, both physically (for comparison) and online over the weekend and think I narrowed it down to 1, which I already placed on hold. Even with that, I’d love to have your opinion before purchasing it (which I’d love to do later today if it’s the right one).

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.33-carat-h-color-vvs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6856530?a_aid=dmnd1357

You seem to have the process down. The diamond is absolutely stunning. It has a gorgeous cut and will be extremely brilliant. You did a great job finding it!

Just to let you know that I purchased from JamesAllen already.

Thank you for your support!

That’s great news! Thank you for letting me know.

Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well.
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

Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
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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