The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Choosing a Round Brilliant for a White Gold Solitaire With Around $7,500 Budget And Shipping to the UK

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.

I hope I can get some advice from you.

I am looking for an engagement ring and have been speaking to a diamond specialist. I’ve gone through the things to look for and settled on the criteria that the diamond should visibly look good. That means, having the cut as best as possible, symmetry and sparkle of the diamond as best as possible with no inclusions visible to the naked eye. The carat weight was also another important factor I wanted as close to 1ct as possible so between 0.9-0.99ct.

I have been offered a diamond from the specialist I’m speaking to and I wanted to get your opinion of it. She showed me 1cts and this one in particular is 0.9ct but stood out to me as being most visually bright/sparkly. I’d appreciate if you have any advice on it’s price as well. The quote I’ve been given includes the setting as well (at the moment I’ve chosen a white gold diamond shoulder setting) so I’m unsure how much of the price is on the diamond and how much the setting costs.

I have the GIA cert number: 7241034082 which hopefully gives you the details you need.

The price I’ve been quoted is £5,340 GBP which includes the setting as well.

I appreciate any advice you can give and your thoughts.

Thank you.

I’m not sure what expert you’re talking to, but that diamond is one of the worst cuts I’ve seen on rounds. In our experience, ideally, the depth should be close to 61% and shouldn’t exceed 62.6%. Not only will the diamond be less brilliant, it will look smaller:

The angles are off and I can’t imagine that one having a good light performance. And if it had the best brilliance you’ve seen so far, then you must have seen some really bad diamonds.

If you send me the style of the ring you’re looking for, I can take a look for a similar design and better diamond option for you.

That’s a shame that the diamond I have found is not up to scratch. Visually it looked good but maybe I haven’t seen what good actually is. I found out that the price of the diamond alone is £4,500 (GBP).

In terms of ring design – I’m not yet sure. I’d like to focus on getting the stone just right, then look at the setting. The ones I have been looking at so far are similar to this:

Looking at white gold and I may even go for plain. Not sure yet.

My budget is between £4,000-£5,500 (I’d like to leave about £800 for the setting but happy to go up to that upper limit if I need to). As mentioned my main criteria is having a diamond between 0.9-0.99 (doesn’t have to be 1ct) as I know this can make the price jump.

I’d like to ensure the cut and brilliance is as good as possible, so while this current diamond is listed as Very Good, maybe I need to look at higher graded ones. I’m happy to take your advice on this.

One thing for me is that I did see cheaper diamonds on Blue Nile that had similar specs to this one – but I’m hesitant to buy online without seeing the diamond.

Thank you for your help, I appreciate your advice.

We always recommend an excellent (GIA)/Ideal (AGS) cut only. For instance, about 95% of all GIA diamonds get an excellent (~80%) or very good cut rating, so a VG cut can be very poor. And the diamond you found previously is a perfect example.

Buying online is a good idea when you’re buying from a reputable company (like Blue Nile). We have had an excellent experience with them and can recommend them for sure.

I found this diamond:
Blue Nile LD08072733

As shown in the photo, it’s eye-clean, it’s also well cut and will look veyr bright and brilliant. It’s a much better option.

Thank you for your advice. I will look into this and let you know how I get on.

Great. Keep me posted.

Hope you are well.

I’ve recently been shown another diamond from another wholesaler and was keen to get your opinion on it.

It’s a 0.91ct that’s bigger than the 0.90ct I first showed you. However it’s an IGI certificate which I know is less reputable than GIA. The certificate number is 224668475. In terms of depth, it meets the requirements you said of it being around 61%. At first I thought it was too wide compared to the first 0.90ct I sent you.

On the report it shows a number of inclusions especially being SI2 but I’ve seen the diamond in person and looked at it with the magnifying glass (is that the right word for it?) and I couldn’t see anything with my untrained eye.

Please let me know your thoughts on this one. As always I appreciate your advice. Thanks again.

I believe you read our IGI article ( The diamond’s value varies a lot depending on the certificate. A GIA/AGS diamond has much higher resale value than an IGI one. When choosing between a GIA and IGI stone, GIA should be a clear choice.

Thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate your advice.

Yes, I read the article and was unsure because of the reputation of IGI. I’ve discarded the first GIA I was shown based on your comments that the cut was not right and on further research that confirmed the proportions were off.

This IGI one met those ideal requirements but I guess it’s difficult to say because the grading is inconsistent.

I’m still hesitant to buy from online vendors without seeing the diamond first. I shall continue my search. Thanks for your help.

Online buying is safe when you pick a trusted company with high-quality photos.

But I understand. Let me know if you find anything else.

Hope you’re well. I came across this diamond and wanted to get your thoughts. I’ve looked at the criterias you’ve mentioned in your articles and wanted to check I’m not missing something.

Blue Nile LD06867240

Thanks in advance

The cut looks nice, but I wouldn’t pay so much for a nearly 1ct diamond. The color is unnecessarily high.

Plus, the actual photo would be important to see to make sure the diamond is eye-clean.

If the setting style is still the same (side stones in white gold), you can go as low in color as “I”. Look at this diamond:
Blue Nile LD08682431

It’s eye-clean and much larger than the one you found. It will look very bright and brilliant.


Would you say the one I sent is not worth pursuing then?

The one you’ve sent does look good. Would the girdle being thick and symmetry being very good instead of excellent matter much?

This one is definitely appealing however I’m worried it’ll be too big once set in a ring for my girlfriends hand. She has petite fingers (ring size is K) and also I’m now going to go for a solitaire ring with no accompanying diamonds. I see what you mean about colour not needing to be so high as the other diamonds will increase that brightness however this will be by itself.

Would you recommend any others closer to 0.95ct – 0.99ct? As mentioned before my main criteria is the sparkle and brilliance.


I also found this one: Blue Nile LD08571135

What do you think? I feel like I can see some inclusions but I’m not sure.

The girdle isn’t an issue at all. As long as you avoid extremely thick/thin girdles, you’re fine.

Symmetry isn’t a big problem either:

As for the color, it doesn’t matter that it’s alone in the setting. The color can be lower anyways. There will be no additional stones in the setting that would make the color difference.

The last diamond you found isn’t eye-clean.

I’d go with something like this:
Blue Nile LD07977285


Now with the one you’ve suggested and this one that I’ve found on James Allen, which would be better?

I like the one you’ve sent.

Both look amazing.

If you care about the cut the most and you don’t mind spending around $7k before taxes (as I can see the one you selected from JA), Brian Gavin would be the best shot here. He is known as one of the world’s experts when it comes to perfectly cut diamonds. BGD’s Signature diamonds are truly fantastic. They are all incredibly brilliant.

Look at this diamond I found there:

The brilliance would be amazing and the price is comparable to the one on JA.

I appreciate your patience with me!

I was just about to write to you. As I’m buying from the UK, I looked more into James Allen and unfortunately I don’t think i’ll be able to purchase from there because the taxes alone is coming to £900! Similarly this Brian Gavin one looks perfect and yes my budget would cover this one too but then the shipping and taxes blow it out of the water. It’s shame because that’s the only thing stopping me from buying there. I even looked at getting a cheap flight over but it isn’t practical for me at the moment.

So I’ll keep with Blue Nile as they include the tax and have been told that there shouldn’t be any customs fees either, being that it gets processed via Dublin – please let me know if you’ve had a different experience in the past.

With that, I like the option you sent me, I understand what you mean about the colour rating even though it’s lower and also about the clarity, this is better than some I’ve found before. I spoke to a Blue Nile diamond expert over the phone and they also agreed it’s a good stone. They suggested two more which I’d be keen to get your opinion on before deciding:

1. Blue Nile LD07977285
The original one you suggested

2. Blue Nile LD08550413
I found this one interesting because the proportions met the “ideal” range of a perfect cut although they are marginally different from what you showed me. Also it’s a higher colour grade (I know it doesnt matter much). Although there is no photo, Blue Nile said they will get a photo from the supplier and send to me but the VS2 is helpful. Still an element of buying “blind” but the proportions are appealing.

3. Blue Nile LD08349779
Similar proportions to the one you suggested but this has medium blue fluorescence which is what you’ve advised on your articles previously so should in theory be more whiter? The original one you showed doesn’t have any fluorescence. Furthermore it’s a 1ct (I can see it’s only slightly bigger measurements wise). Seems eye-clean to me, but I can’t tell (I found James Allen’s pictures much better).

Blue Nile have put all three on hold for me, hence they show up as unavailable. In terms of budget, the latter options are more expensive however my budget does cater for this – that being said, because cut and quality is important, I don’t want to sacrifice too much just to get the price lower so I’m happy to pay the extra. Blue Nile said that all three are very similar and in real life situation they wouldn’t look much different from each other. What are your thoughts?

Again, I really appreciate the time you’ve put in to help me. Once I’ve decided which one to go for, please do send me the relevant links so that the purchase can be tracked back to you – I want you to get the credit! Also if there is a way to leave a review please send that over too.

Look forward to hearing from you. Have a good day!

That’s correct. You don’t pay any additional taxes with Blue Nile.

I agree with Blue Nile that those three won’t look much different in real life. That being said, I wouldn’t spend extra ~1k on basically the same size diamond. I’d still go with my original suggestion.


And the fact that the original one you suggested doesn’t have any fluorescence and is an “I” grade is still okay?

In terms of whiteness/brightness there also wouldn’t be much difference between the three?

Do you need to send me a link or something so that the order can be tracked back to you?

I color is absolutely perfect for a solitaire setting. There is no reason to go any higher and pay more. It would look white as much as the others when there are no smaller diamonds around it that would make the difference.

And the fluorescence isn’t a problem either.

Here are our links for the two other diamonds:
Blue Nile LD08550413
Blue Nile LD08349779

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