The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Choosing a Fancy Yellow Cushion Cut Diamond for a Halo Setting With Around $4k 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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Dear Diamonds pro,

I am looking at buying an engagement ring and wanted your opinion on whether it is better to buy:
Online (eg. BlueNile)
vs Hatton Garden (I am based in London)
vs Dubai (I am due to go there in March anyway)

I read your article about Dubai and I can see you still suggest online however I keep hearing different opinions on how both Hatton Garden and Dubai especially are very convenient. My biggest fear in Dubai is getting ripped off and get maybe a lower quality stone. I heard of a shop called Cara.

Anyway, I am looking for either a round or cushion cut. Less than 1 carat (around 0.7). Reading of the advice on the 4 Cs I would say, Cut Signature Ideal, Colour H or G and Clarity SI1 or V2. Do you think this could work well? I don’t want to pay too much on eg. colour or clarity if the difference is not very noticeable when I read a better cut is more important.

To give you an idea something either like this:

Round cut:

or Cushion Cut

I would even be open to a yellow stone if not too expensive:

Thanks a lot in advance!

Yes, generally speaking, you can get better value online.

You can read what we say about Hatton Gardon here:

You’d pay extra for the diamond rings just being De Beers. Do I understand it correctly that you like solitaire style of setting with a round diamond and halo style with cushion?

We don’t know the company in Dubai. If you want to search for a diamond in a store, look for stones with either GIA or AGS cert (these are legitimate laboratories). Then you can send me the number and I can comment on the stone.

At the same time, I suggest purchasing from Blue Nile. They have offices in Dublin so everything will be easier for you in terms of shipping, returns and repairs. This way I’m also able to help you with the search. Generally speaking, buying a diamond in Dubai in person is riskier. Especially when you don’t have the diamond knowledge, the jewelers there can easily rip you off.

Thanks for your reply.

Yes that is correct, I would be looking at either a solitaire style of setting with a round diamond and a halo style with cushion. Would you be able to help with some recommendations on Blue Nile?


Thank you for the information.

Have a look at these diamonds:
Blue Nile LD08110894

I suggest an I color round shape into a solitaire style. There’s no need to pay extra for the color grade in the case.

Blue Nile LD07969447

Both stones are very well cut and going to look colorless. I’ve chosen an H color cushion cut for a halo setting.

Let me know what you think and which of the shapes is your favorite.

Also, Blue Nile loves our education and wanted to offer a coupon for our readers. Here is a unique coupon code for $50 off: [contact us for your own unique coupon code]

Hi, apologies for not replying earlier but I was traveling. It looks like those 2 diamonds are not available any longer.

I did look at them before going away on business trip and I had a couple of questions:

  • Cushion Cut: I see the diamond cut is very good. would it make much of a difference compared to an Ideal or Signature Ideal? Also the item suggested only had a sample photo and not an HD video which I read from one of your reviews that is the only way to check if a cushion cut is of good quality or not. Also on the GIA certificate there is no reference to the quality of cut. Why is that?
  • Would you suggest another provider like James Allen?
  • What is your opinion on a yellow diamond (same specification as the cushion cut in halo setting).

Thanks for your help!

GIA report grades cut of round shapes only. We have our own rules for searching for other shapes. We look for cushion cuts with depth up to 69% and table up to 70%. Retailers give their own cut grade of other shapes but we don’t really pay attention to it.

As for the clarity grade, since the diamond is VS1 and the only inclusion is a cloud, there’s no need to worry about eye-cleanliness. That’s why I chose this diamond without a real image. There are other shapes you need to see (oval, pear) but this cushion cut is perfect.

Which of the shapes do you prefer? Then I’ll be happy to send you another suggestion.

And if you wish for a yellow cushion shape stone, I’ll be happy to send you one.

Hi, cushion cut for a halo setting is my first choice right now. would love to see both clear and yellow stone if possible.


Thank you for the info. Here’s my suggestion of a yellow cushion cut stone:

Let me know what you think.

Hi, thanks for the suggestion. The diamond looks really nice and the price is really appealing. I could definitely consider something a bit bigger (between 0.75 and 1 carat) with the same price/quality ratio.

Is it worth going for a fancy vivid vs. fancy intense?

Also, do you have any suggestion for cushion cut in white diamond?

Thanks again for your help!


What do you think about these two?


I’m afraid that the I color stone is going to have warm tint. That’s why I’d stick with H+ if you decide for a colorless stone for a halo. Have a look at this diamond:

It’s slightly more rectangular but it has great overall specs.

The JA diamond looks like a great option as well. It’s no longer available, have you put it on hold?

The more intense color, the better. However, keep in mind that vivid diamonds will be significantly more expensive. This was the best valued diamond I found:

It’s not fancy vivid, it’s fancy deep, which means that it’s slightly darker. But vivid ones would be around 5/6k at least.


thanks again for your help! I really like the white diamond you suggested.

Yes, I had the yellow diamond put on hold for now. It is priced at $2,730. Do you think it is a good price? It is Fancy Intense, SI2 (not VS1 like yours), with faint fluorescence.

This is the only major defect I can see.


Ask JA directly about that feather. It’s possible that it’s an issue because it’s on the girdle. However, with fancy color diamonds, it’s more about the color than inclusions. Just make sure it won’t affect the integrity.

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