The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Help Choosing a Round Diamond for a Halo With Up to $15,000 Budget

The following is a real email conversation between The Diamond Pro and a reader just like you who contacted us.
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Hi, I’m upgrading my diamond ring and looking for a diamond close to 2 carat. My budget is $10-12K. I like the round and cushion cut. I’ve selected a halo setting and would appreciate your help in selecting the diamond.

Thank you!

I looked around and these are the largest stones I can recommend:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.62-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2665104?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/cushion-cut/1.80-carat-h-color-vs2-clarity-sku-2776072?a_aid=dmnd1357

They are well cut, eye-clean and either of them will be very brilliant.

What do you think?

Thank you for your response. I think I am leaning toward the round. The round diamond you selected is nice but I would prefer a slightly larger stone. These are the settings I’m planning to purchase. I was told the diamonds in the setting are F, G color. The center diamond is 2 carat. I would like to stay as close to 2 carat as possible. I may be able to increase my budget slightly.

Can you take a look at these choices and let me know what you think?

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.01-carat-i-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2589845?a_aid=dmnd1357
I see a small white inclusion slightly above the center of the diamond. Would this be noticeable to the naked eye?

Also, would an I color look yellow in the setting I’ve selected? Should I look at H color?
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.90-carat-h-color-si2-clarity-very-good-cut-sku-2396112?a_aid=dmnd1357

Thank you.

It looks beautiful, but for that type of setting, for sure I wouldn’t go lower than an H. Lower colors might have a strong yellowish tinge compared to the smaller diamonds around the center stone.

That’s why I wouldn’t go with the SKU2589845. Additionally, the H-SI2 is not a good choice either. It’s cut way too deep and will lose a lot of its brilliance. For a round brilliant I wouldn’t settle for anything less than an EX (Ideal) cut as the cut is what makes the diamond brilliant and beautiful.

Also, the note “clarity grade is based on clouds not shown” in the certificate is an issue. That means that there’s a large cloud that saps the brilliance from the stone. You should never buy a diamond with this note.

Can you tell me how much higher you can go on your budget?

What do you think about the cushion or radiant cut in the setting I’ve selected. I’m asking because I don’t want to over extend my budget if I don’t have to. I know I’m going back and forth but would appreciate your opinion. I prefer the round but will consider the other cuts if I can save a little bit. My max budget for a round is 15000. Thank you!

The shape depends entirely on your taste and personal preferences. But I still wouldn’t go lower than an H in any case.

Rounds are the most brilliant of all diamond shapes. Have a look at this beauty:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.73-carat-h-color-vvs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2762935?a_aid=dmnd1357

The diamond you selected is beautiful!! I was hoping I could get closer to a 2 carat with the increased budget. Can you help me understand why you picked this one (aside from the clarity and color)? I notice that the girdle is on the thin side, should I be concerned about this? I’m worried it may be damaged easily.

Are there any other diamonds you can suggest?

Can give me your thoughts on these diamonds as well?
1) www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.71-carat-h-color-vvs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2258609?a_aid=dmnd1357

2) www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.72-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-3000108?a_aid=dmnd1357

3) www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.76-carat-h-color-vvs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2176181?a_aid=dmnd1357

Thank you for your assistance!

I’m glad you like it. I was searching for the largest and best cut eye-clean diamond that would fit your new budget. And that happened to be the best choice.

On to the diamonds you found:
1) it’s poorly cut and will be less brilliant.
2) normally, we don’t recommend 54% tables, but if you ok with it, go for it, that diamond is nice and there are no red flags in the cert.
3) I’m not a huge fan of its cut. The angles are off.

Top Recommended Vendors
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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:
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