The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Experience Shopping for a 3 Ct. Oval Diamond on a $40k 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.

I am looking to upgrade to a 3-4 carat oval. Budget is around $40k. I will set it in white gold, not sure about a halo. Budget can be increased but would prefer not to.

I found these two diamonds to be beautiful options for your upgrade:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/3.08-carat-h-color-vs2-clarity-sku-3754785?a_aid=dmnd1357
Blue Nile LD09734401

Both are eye-clean, with a minimal bowtie and will look very bright and brilliant.

What do you think?

I’m hesitant to go to an H as I have seen a few and find them to be a little yellow, even when placed in a setting. I know on a side by side comparison you can see the difference between a G and H but not sure about the difference in a setting.

Even in a setting, the difference is negligible. Those you’ve seen, were they GIA certified?

I searched for higher colors as well, but couldn’t find many decent options.

Some were GIA and some EGL. If I increased my budget would I get a nicer stone that is visibly nicer to the naked eye or would I just be paying for a better quality diamond that doesn’t look nicer in a setting?

Be careful. EGL isn’t a reliable source. https://www.diamonds.pro/education/egl/

I searched several sites and this D VS2 diamond was the only one I found close to your budget:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/3.02-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-sku-2387180?a_aid=dmnd1357
I’ve seen many H color diamonds in halo settings and they looked amazing and you would never tell that they were H colors. I’ve even seen I colors and they looked good. If the diamond is properly cut, doesn’t have huge clouds or fluorescence that makes them hazy, there isn’t a problem. But it’s, of course, up to you which route you take.

Thanks. If I increase my budget are there better options? Is VS2 as high as I need to go for clarity?

How much do you want to increase your budget?

I could increase it 10 or 20k if it will make a noticeable difference.

Then you could get something like these two:
Blue Nile LD09727346
Blue Nile LD09660973

I don’t think they are worth the additional cost, but they are of the higher color that you want. And if it’s not a big deal for you to pay 15k more for it, they would be amazing choices.

Once set, will these look nicer than the first two you sent me? For an oval, how do you know what is a good cut?

If you compare the new diamonds to the H color ones side by side, they will look a bit whiter. However, that’s something you probably won’t be doing once it’s set in a ring. I, personally, wouldn’t pay for the higher color ones.

The depth should be below 74%. Ovals are more about the look, but you can’t ignore the specs completely. The most important things are to not having a too shallow or too deep diamond, avoid strong bowtie, fluorescence and it has to be eye-clean.

Thank you!

Top Recommended Vendors
Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing.

Use Promo Code DMNPROSETTINGS15 at checkout and save 15% off your setting
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

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:
  • 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

Still afraid of getting ripped off?

Before you buy a diamond, get personal buying advice from industry veterans. We'll help you get the best diamond for the money.

Ask your diamond purchase question here

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

DISCLAIMER: We don't use your email for marketing. Period.

Why we are doing this for free?

Click for Diamond Purchase Advice 100% Free

Ask your diamond purchase question here

We are a team of diamond experts who will teach you to identify scams and avoid spending money on features you can't see. Tell us as much information as possible to help us help you (ie, budget, preferences, etc)

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Cancel

DISCLAIMER: We don't use your email for marketing. Period.

Please enter your email address to receive your personal code:

Here is your coupon code: GFDSF3GF