The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Help Finding a Round Diamond for Around $10,000 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,

I am looking for help selecting a diamond for an engagement ring. I have visited the James Allen site but would like guidance on whether a diamond will be eye clean or not. My budget is $10,000 and I am hoping to find a round diamond in the 1.50 ct range. Let me know if you can assist in this search process.

Thank you.

Before I start searching, can you please tell me what setting style (solitaire/pave/side stones/halo) and metal (white gold/platinum/yellow gold/rose gold) you’re planning to go with? Different settings suit different colors better (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/color/). This info will help me set the right search parameters. Then I’ll gladly send you some suggestions.

Thank you for the quick response. I am looking for a round cut diamond in a solitaire setting. For the metal, I was planning on using platinum but am open to other suggestions as well. Let me know if you need additional information to proceed.

What do you think of these two diamonds?

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.53-carat-g-color-vvs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-4563718?a_aid=dmnd1357

Blue Nile LD11326830

It’s the cut what makes the diamond’s “sparkle” or, as we call it, brilliant. The cut is the most important of the 4C’s (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/4cs-diamonds/). Around 95% of all GIA diamonds get an “Excellent” cut (~80%) or a Very Good cut, so a Very Good cut is usually very poorly cut. That’s why I would suggest sticking with an excellent cut. Also, we like to keep the depth under 62.6% and the table in the range of 53-59% to maximize the brilliance (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/round-cut/).

For platinum/white gold solitaire settings, we usually recommend going with J+ colored diamonds (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/color/). Clarity-wise, once the stone is eye-clean, it’s eye-clean, no matter if it’s an SI2 or VS1. The actual clarity grade isn’t important (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/clarity/). VVS clarity grades are unnecessarily high for rounds.

Regarding the diamonds you found, I wouldn’t recommend going with the first one from James Allen. The strong fluorescence is an issue. The strong fluorescence (on D-I diamonds) / medium fluorescence (on D-G color) may cause a hazy/milky look in daylight (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/fluorescence/). The second diamond is fine, it has great specs.

Have a look at these beautiful alternatives:
Blue Nile LD11439059

Blue Nile LD11401646

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.61-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6114934?a_aid=dmnd1357

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.51-carat-h-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-5331383?a_aid=dmnd1357
They’re well-cut, eye-clean and brilliant.

I am likely going to decide between the following two:

Blue Nile LD11401646

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.61-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6114934?a_aid=dmnd1357

Would you recommend one over the other and why? Is there any difference in how these diamonds are sourced? There’s no information on either site regarding the origin of each stone.

Both diamonds are perfect choices and have great specs. If it was up to me, I’d choose the JA stone as it is significantly cheaper.

All of the diamonds in the US market are conflict-free. 99% of the diamonds come from 25 companies that do the mining/cutting. The other 1% of diamonds in the US are cut by smaller companies that typically buy their rough diamonds from those same 25 companies. All of their diamond sources are 100% legitimate.

Thank you, I’ll place the order tonight!

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. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. For a limited time, take advantage of their huge 25% OFF holiday 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
  • 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 a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. (Pick Up a Blue Nile Coupon Here for $50 off)
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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