The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Help Finding Three Round Diamonds For a White Gold Three-Stone Ring 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.
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Hi,

I’ve found the “education” articles on your sight really helpful while looking for a diamond engagement ring and wanted to check a couple of things with you before I order.

Basically, I am looking for a 3-stone ring. I’m looking for 1x roughly 0.8-0.85ct for the centre and 2xroughly 0.65ct for the sides, both round shape.

Based on reading through your site I am looking at ideal cut, J color SI1 clarity for both of them and looking to buy online.

Do you think this is a good choice for the 0.8ct? www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.80-carat-j-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-8323718?a_aid=dmnd1357
Most of the inclusions seem to be towards the edge of the diamond and the price looks about right compared to your average price guide for a diamond with those properties.

For the smaller diamonds (0.6ct) I haven’t chosen yet but I’m assuming I can be a bit less careful with the inclusions due to the smaller size?

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.80-carat-j-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-8323718?a_aid=dmnd1357
I’m not a huge fan of this diamond. It has a cloud as the first clarity characteristic and since there’s no clarity plot, you don’t know how big the cloud is and where it is located. The diamond might end up losing a lot of its brilliance. Just by looking at it, it seems very cloudy even in the video.

Do you want me to recommend a better option?

As for the side stones, yes, you can be more lenient, but you always need to make sure they would look clean and have no troubling inclusions or clarity characteristics. I’m happy to recommend those as well if you want.

Thanks for the feedback on the diamond. Other than ones with a visible mark close to the centre of the diamond in the picture, I’m not sure what I’m looking at when it comes to clarity! It seems that quite a few <1ct don’t have clarity plots in their report too.

I have actually switched to looking on Blue Nile as they seem to have more options to choose your own side stones in a three stone setting.
So far I have decided on this setting (Three-Stone Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring) and am planning to go for 1×0.8ct in the centre and 2×0.4ct for the side stones.

Would you be able to recommend those diamonds with the same properties as before (ideal cut, colour J, SI1 clarity).

Eye-cleanliness is a bit tricky. The actual clarity grade is not so important. Clarity grade only tells you the size of the inclusion. That is one factor in determining eye-cleanliness. But harshness, location and reflection matter as well: https://www.diamonds.pro/diamond-clarity/. You can find an SI1 (even an SI2) diamond that’s eye-clean as well as a VS2/VS1 that’s not. It always depends on a particular diamond and its inclusions. Generally said, large and dark inclusions (such as crystals, large feathers) often are noticeable while twinning wisps are fine in most of the cases. Sometimes the diamonds look just perfect but the ‘clarity grade is based on clouds not shown’ note is an issue. That means that there’s a large cloud that saps the brilliance from the stone. You should also avoid cavities and knots as those might negatively affect the diamond’s integrity. You are right, diamonds under 1ct don’t have clarity plots. That’s why I also try avoiding SI diamonds with clouds as you never know how big the cloud is and where it’s located.

I found this lovely trio on Blue Nile:
Blue Nile LD13356947
Blue Nile LD13357405
Blue Nile LD11489679
They have a beautiful cut and no visible inclusions. They’ll make an amazing ring.

Just to let you know I ordered the 3-stone ring with the diamonds you recommended below yesterday. Thanks again for your help.

That’s wonderful news! I’m glad you liked my suggestions so much.

Top Recommended Vendors
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. Blue Nile is currently running a limited time sale offering 15% on settings site-wide. Click here to browse some great settings.
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
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  • 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

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:
  • 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

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