The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Help Choosing a Good-Looking I1 Diamond With a $3,500 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 was hoping you guys could give me your opinions on a few of the diamonds I have been looking at.

The diamond will be going in a yellow gold pave setting. If all of these diamonds would be unsatisfactory in your opinion, then I would appreciate your suggestions.

Budget for the diamond is around $3,500. Thanks.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.01-carat-i-color-i1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6283229?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.00-carat-i-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6586457?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.00-carat-i-color-i1-clarity-very-good-cut-sku-6677177?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-h-color-i1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6831037?a_aid=dmnd1357

Thanks again for reviewing these.

Unfortunately, the certificates for those diamonds are not available at the moment and I’d need to see them as well. I1/SI2 clarity grades could be an issue as well as the Very good cut grade. If you can request the certs and forward them to me, that would help a ton.

I have requested the certificates and will be forwarding them to you. If these diamonds are all unsatisfactory I would appreciate your expert opinion on a better diamond.

I got two certificates. Surprisingly, the diamonds are not that bad for I1s:

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.00-carat-i-color-i1-clarity-very-good-cut-sku-6677177?a_aid=dmnd1357
Theoretically, you could have the two biggest inclusions covered with prongs and hope that the black crystal will not reflect throughout the diamond. The cut is not superb, but not the worst either.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-h-color-i1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6831037?a_aid=dmnd1357
This diamond is better cut, but has more inclusions closer to the table.

Thank you for reviewing those diamonds and giving me your opinion. I thought they looked decent also to be I1. I know it is next to impossible to find eye clean I1s but I am always looking to get the best deal that I can. I am sorry you did not receive the other certificates. I forwarded them again.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.01-carat-i-color-i1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6283229?a_aid=dmnd1357
I wouldn’t recommend this one as it’s cut too deep and will look smaller and less brilliant.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.00-carat-i-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6586457?a_aid=dmnd1357
This one is a no go. Cavities collect dirt and then appear black and ugly and can reflect throughout the diamond. I try avoiding them as much as I can, especially on SI diamonds.

Looks like the first two I1s I commented on in one of my previous emails are the best choices so far (assuming that size is your priority).

Thanks so much for your expert advice throughout all of this. You have been really helpful. If I went down to around a .85 or .9 of a carat could you recommend me a better diamond than the ones I have provided that’s still around $3500?

Thank you for your suggestions. I think the .85 looks pretty good.

Last question. Since I am going with a yellow gold pave setting do you think I could get away with K color looking colorless? Would going up to an 18k make a noticeable difference over a 14k setting? I know the 18k is going to have a more yellow richer color.

I’m glad you like it.

I wouldn’t recommend going lower in color. The smaller diamonds in the band are usually F/G and would make a color difference. If it was a plain yellow gold setting, that would be a different situation, but the melee diamonds need to be taken into consideration as well.

That’s really helpful, thank you so much!

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