The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for an Eye-Clean 2.7-3.2 Ct. Round Diamond for a White Gold Setting with Sidestones

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 looking for a diamond for an engagement ring. My search criteria has been: 2.7-3.2 ct, G or better, Ex cut, VS2 or better, No fluorescence, GIA only. Looking for great value in this range. It seems to me there is better value in the market at SI1 as a compromise from these specs, but I only find about 1 in 10 that I look at acceptable. Can you help me find options? Thanks! 

I’d be happy to make some recommendations and guide you through the process. What type of setting are you considering? Yellow gold or white gold/platinum? Will it be a solitaire or does it have sidestones/pave? This may affect the colors that I recommend for the center diamond (as we explain in our post on color). 

Thanks for responding. The setting is this one, white gold with side diamonds:

http://www.peterstormjewelry.com/jewelry/platinum-engagement-ring-ws120d

Based on what I have seen live, G color is where I stop seeing yellow in a stone this size on this ring. This setting shows most all of the diamond. It needs to be excellent cut and symmetry, no cutlet, etc. To me, clarity is where there is so much variation and overlap of ratings. I have set my spec at VS2 or better since that is where I feel I can find an eye clean option without too much concern, especially if I’m shopping online. But I’m open to SI1 if it looks great.

Of course, I’m describing a relatively expensive diamond here. How do I think about the prices I see online? In stores, there is lots of room for negotiation but what about online? I’m really just looking for a great value somewhere between $40K and $60K.

Any help or direction you can provide would be appreciated! 

I’d strongly suggest using H+ as your baseline: https://www.diamonds.pro/education/color/

What you need is a good scattered inclusion on the edge that isn’t overly harsh or reflective. Check this diamond out (note: this is an alternative to the diamond we picked out originally as the company no longer exists):

https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD11043300

The cut is superb, and the fluorescence will lighten up the diamond a bit as well. I am fully confident the diamond will be bright enough. As for the inclusions, you can see some faint crystals on the table that would barely be visible at all. Another trick you can use for the crystals closer to the edge of the diamond is having the setter cover the inclusion with the prong. This will further block it out and it will surely be eye-clean.

Other options would be these:

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.82-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-378668?a_aid=dmnd1357
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/3.13-carat-g-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-365976?a_aid=dmnd1357

I think the first one is the way to go. Its the cheapest and largest (by far), and I am confident that you wouldn’t see any difference in quality.

What do you think? 

Thanks again. I like this one as an example of a good SI1 because it has faint lines rather than black flecks:

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/2.82-carat-f-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-378668?a_aid=dmnd1357

A larger version of this one would be perfect I feel.

The others have much more noticeable inclusions though they may very well be eye clean if set well. I’m still concerned about H color because everytime I have seen H on this ring it has been noticeable to me. Also, I don’t understand fluorescence well. I have heard at moderate level it will ‘dull’ the stone making it look milky in certain light. I have been setting my standard at ‘none’ but you can tell me how to think about that.

So what about listed price? If JA wants $40,890 and I offer them $39,800 is that a total non-starter or would they entertain that? Do you comment on price? 

1) I still think you should give the Blue Nile diamond a shot. Worst case, all you have to do is spend a hundred bucks or so on return shipping.

2) You can offer whatever you want to JA. Keep in mind though that they operate on razor thin margins. They are likely to say no. Whatever you decide, jump on it now as the height of the season is the next few days. You don’t want to miss out on the one you prefer. 

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