The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Experience Shopping for Diamond Studs Within a $8k-$10k 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.

Please assist with identifying an eye-clear pair of diamonds for stud earrings at either Blue Nile or James Allen.

Specs: 1 ct/ea = 2 total carat
Platinum 4-prong settings
Ideal cut
D-F color, G?
SI2 clarity

Budget = $8,000-$10,000 total.

Please also advise regarding approx. $1500 price difference between Blue Nile’s GIA vs. James Allen IGI certified diamonds with similar specs.

If I may, I’d recommend you adjust your parameters a bit. G+ is a lot more than what’s necessary to have beautiful earrings. You can easily go with an I color and get the same look to the naked eye. Clarity grade can be basically anything, but we try to avoid large black inclusions that would be very visible, especially on a ~1ct diamond. IGI lab is less consistent and they inflate the color/clarity grades by at least one (on average). We don’t recommend IGI diamonds.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.01-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6671478?a_aid=dmnd1357
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.00-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6625904?a_aid=dmnd1357

Blue Nile LD11725469
Blue Nile LD12030589

How do you feel about these pairs? They are well cut and match perfectly. They’ll be very brilliant as earrings.

Thank you for your insight for my earrings selection. Will you please elaborate on the color advise? Since the diamonds will be mounted in platinum, I’m afraid that the white tone of the platinum may allow a lower color diamond to show some yellow hue. Also, she is Asian so unsure how her skin tone will affect that. I want her to be dazzled by them on and off her ears.

Also, my wife has fairly small, attached earlobes so I am now considering earrings in the .8-.9 carat size (total 1.6-1.8) since the cost seems to decrease significantly at those sizes relative to 1 ct./ea….$3000/ea. vs. $5000/ea.

Will you please help me identify non-eye obvious inclusions at the .8-.9ct, ideal cut, G+, SI1? I saw many with those specs around $3000/ea. on Blue Nile but deciphering the inclusions is not obvious to me.

Based on our experiences, expertise and most importantly, the feedback from our readers (over the years, we’ve recommended thousands of diamonds for earrings and got plenty of feedback), I color is our usual recommendation for earrings – it looks absolutely colorless even in platinum, regardless of the wearer’s skin tone.

This is the best priced recommendable pair I found in the G+ range:
Blue Nile LD11913791
Blue Nile LD12003665

They are a perfect fit.

Thank you for reassuring me about the color whiteness in the I range.

I now think that I’d like to consider a bit larger than the 0.8ct but with I color instead…will you please advise another set with a similar price point as the 0.8ct pair you last suggested?
0.90ct (total 1.8)
I color
eye-clean SI1/SI2
ideal cut
no fluorescence

One of the diamonds you noted was sold today so I’ll continue to review their listings up to the time of ordering and may run a few by you before submitting the order to ensure they’re eye-clean.

Is there a certain day of the week that either site updates their inventory or do they post new ones daily?

Send me an email by the time you’re ready to pull the trigger and I’ll find a new one(s). Good diamonds move pretty quickly. I don’t think there’s a specific day when they update their inventory, but every week there seem to be new additions there.

I have selected diamonds for the earrings, using one that you selected, the other was sold, and found another that was VS1 and looked real nice. Thanks again for all your help.

I’m glad you worked it out.

I hope you’ll love them when you receive them.

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

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