The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Help Finding a Round Diamond for a Thin Pave Setting With Around $12k 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’m currently in the process of buying an engagement ring. I listened to you on the podcast the Art of Charm! I wanted to reach out for you help in picking the right diamond while avoiding the shady jelewers.

Budget for the stone: $10-12k
1.8-2cts
Round diamond

I’d be happy to make some specific recommendations if you like. Have you decided what type of setting you want?

Yes I want a skinny pave band. No cathedral or anything crazy, just a simple 4 prong.

Thanks!

As far as a pave goes, I’d recommend an I-color diamond that is eye-clean. Something like this is going to look wonderful:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.70-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6508409?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.72-carat-i-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-5804174?a_aid=dmnd1357

Blue Nile LD12043384

These are the largest options I can recommend for up to ~12k. They are nicely cut, eye-clean and all of them will be very bright and brilliant. The diamond from Blue Nile doesn’t have a picture, but that’s not a problem as it’s a VS1 and has no imperfections marked in the clarity plot.

I like the diamonds you sent! I was wondering what you review of this diamond would be compared to the first 3 you sent:
www.jamesallen.com/mobile/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.90-carat-j-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6759977?a_aid=dmnd1357

The color grade J is too low for a pave setting. The smaller diamonds in the band would make a color difference. Also, avoid diamonds with cavities.

Ok then that one is definitely out!

I love the first three diamonds that you sent me earlier, I know the most important aspects are cut and size. If I up my budget to $12.5k-13k how much bigger could we go up in ct size?

If you don’t mind going slightly over 13k, you could reach the 1.80ct mark:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.80-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6675771?a_aid=dmnd1357
This one is absolutely stunning.

That is stunning! This will be extremely sparkly correct?

What would your grad for these two below, how would you grade them compared to the one you just sent?

Blue Nile LD12013813
Blue Nile LD11713712

Yes, it will 🙂

Blue Nile LD12013813
This one is not eye-clean and is cut a bit too deep, I would rule it out.

Blue Nile LD11713712
Its cert says “clarity grade based on clouds not shown.” This means there is a very large cloud that covers a large percentage of the diamond and saps the brilliance from it. You should never buy a diamond with this note.

Ok just want to make sure one last time, the 1.80 diamond you sent ($13k) is eye clean and will not look yellow in a pave band?
It will look bigger also because of how excellent it’s cut?

I purchased it! It will be very sparkly correct?

I always recommend the best cut diamond that’s currently available. The one you got was an excellent option.

Do you think you could let me know how you like it when you receive it? I’d love to know how it looks in person.

It arrived today and it’s absolutely stunning!!!

I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback.

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. And for a limited time, take advantage of their 25% Off pre-Black Friday Sale!
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
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  • 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
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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

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