The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Help Choosing a Princess Cut Diamond With a $25,000 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.

Hi there.

First just want to say your site rocks (all puns intended:)). The quality of the information and clear detailed explanation is fantastic! I am planning to purchase an engagement for my girlfriend and your site has convinced me that on-line is the way I will go.

I was wondering if I could ask for your help in selecting an amazing diamond?

I am planning to set it in a 14ct white gold solitaire or knife edge solitaire ring. I am hoping to get a princess cut roughly between 2.5ct and a bit over 3ct. I am hoping to get the best value for my money and stay under approx $25K for the diamond if at all possible.

Thanks in advance for your help.

For princess cuts, it’s better to keep the depth in the range of 69-74% and the table between 69-74% (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/princess-cut/). Clarity-wise, we search for eye-clean SI1+ princess cut diamonds. It’s better to avoid diamonds with red flags such as big knots, cavities and etch channels as they might disrupt the integrity of the diamond. We also don’t recommend stones with thick feathers, big clouds, chips or stones that have clarity based on clouds. Ideally, the inclusions shouldn’t be on the table. On the other hand, 95% of all twinning wisps are not visible to the naked eye, so those are alright.

Princess cut diamonds are more prone to chipping because of the sharp corners (therefore, it’s very important to stay away from any inclusions in those areas). Also, the crown shouldn’t be flat. Ideally, it’s better to avoid extremely thick and extremely thin girdles (if possible). Other thickness is okay and won’t have a significant impact on brilliance. A girdle is an issue that has little to no impact on the visual appearance of a diamond. Also, you don’t have to worry about the polish and symmetry. You most likely won’t be able to distinguish the difference between good and excellent (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/symmetry/ and https://www.diamonds.pro/education/polish/).

Here is what I found:

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/3.01-carat-i-color-vs1-clarity-sku-7721671?a_aid=dmnd1357
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/3.14-carat-i-color-vs2-clarity-sku-7693148?a_aid=dmnd1357 (This one is a bit borderline of eye-cleanliness)
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/2.92-carat-i-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-6492762?a_aid=dmnd1357
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/2.79-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-8090239?a_aid=dmnd1357
They’re well-cut, eye-clean and brilliant. I always suggest checking the measurements when comparing two or more diamonds.

Thank you so much for your email and your guidance. This really enhanced my knowledge and tied together the information I had been learning from studying your site.

I have put a 48hr hold on the following two diamonds:

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/2.92-carat-i-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-6492762?a_aid=dmnd1357
This one is really stunning. It has some very very minor specs in it but nothing dark.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/3.01-carat-i-color-vs1-clarity-sku-7721671?a_aid=dmnd1357
This one is also really stunning. It has some very very minor specs and one that is a little more noticeable when I do the zoom view and it looks sort of like its on the edge of table but it’s really hard to tell may just be reflection and again none of the specs are dark.

The question I have is this:

Both diamonds appear in non-zoom view to be rather stunning, I think I might be happy with either. However the 3.01ct is actually 3ct (doesn’t mean that much to me vs being 2.92ct), is a little less expensive (again not that big of a sway for me), but it is a VS1 and has what in zoom looks to be a slightly larger (still small relatively small – and not dark) spec.
My gut is telling me therefore to go with the 2.92ct because it is a VVS2 and any specs it has are very very small.

I guess the question is how much stock should I put in the 2.92ct being VVS2 vs. the 3.01 being VS1- should I anticipate that the eye would be able to distinguish a slight brilliance difference between a VVS2 and VS1 and is there anything in the difference in width and table % between the two which should sway me in one direction or the other?

I would be greatly indebted for your views on this?

I’m glad you liked my recommendations. Both those diamonds are perfectly cut, therefore, they will perform lots of brilliance. As for the eye-cleanliness, they are both eye-clean, you wouldn’t be able to see any inclusions in person (bear in mind those videos are extremely magnified, try to zoom out to 10x and you won’t be able to spot any inclusion). The 2.92ct stone is a bit bigger in measurements (if you are considering the 3ct stone because it’s bigger, it’s not). I personally like the 2.92ct stone a bit more, also the table is smaller, it should refract the light a bit more. But both are wonderful choices. I think you wouldn’t be disappointed with either of them. Do you remember how much is the price difference?

That’s helpful. It’s approx $2k difference.

I see. Well, now it’s up to you whether you want to pay 2k more for that stone. From my point of view, both are perfect and I don’t think you would be able to see any significant difference between them in person.

Perfect. Thanks so much. I am going to purchase the 2.92. It’s a fantastic diamond and I would have been fumbling around to find it without your help! Truly the searches I did on JA for diamonds of similar spec did not produce ones nearly as nice as this one and in fact did not even include this one and a few others you suggested.

These are beautiful and the 2.92 seems like an amazing diamond and value. Thank again!!!

That’s great news! I’m so happy to hear you found our conversation useful.

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