The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for 0.70-0.90 Carat Round Brilliant. Best Deal for Under $5000. GF Doesn’t Want Larger Diamond.

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 am looking for an engagement ring and happened to come across your site. Here is what I’m looking for:

* Is your goal cheapest price for given parameters, or best diamond for fixed budget:

Well, I’m looking for the best diamond that I need without overpaying for things that are not needed.

* Shape:


* Desired Color Range:

F, G, H

* Desired Clarity:


* Budget:


* Anything else you might feel is relevant:

The above parameters are flexible.

After reading your homepage, it seems like a VS2 will be acceptable if the blemish is not visible. Basically, I’m somewhat fortunate as my girlfriend does not really want a big ring as she doesn’t want it to look too gaudy. She saw a friends ring which was 1.25 carats and thought it looked nice, BUT she said she could never wear a ring like that. (note, it wasn’t round so I don’t know if that made it look bigger than the carat weight) She has relatively small, petite fingers. At a store, she saw 0.5 and 0.75 carats and she said that would be enough (but she didn’t try it on, just looking through the case). However, financially, I can afford a bit more than that. So I’m thinking of about a 0.9 carat ring. The ‘guy’ side of me wants to go even bigger since I can afford it. I don’t want to regret buying a too small ring when I could afford a larger one. Yet, I want to respect her wishes. Anyway, I’m looking for any advice or maybe the best value diamond at around 0.9 carats or something else if you recommend a bigger ring.

Let me hit your issues one at a time.

Clarity – Did you see my article on clarity? You could easily go down to an SI2 and still have a completely naked eye-clean diamond. I’m happy to limit my search to VS2s only, but I just wanted to make sure you knew that it wasn’t necessary.

Size – Do you think your GF was telling you those things about the size of the diamond because she really doesn’t WANT a larger stone, or do you think she was just being modest and not wanting you to break the bank for her? If you really believe she doesn’t want a larger diamond, then clearly you probably shouldn’t get one. But if she’s just being modest, then definitely go for it and get the largest stone you can. But if you stick to the higher end of your range of color and clarity, you won’t be able to afford a larger diamond for $5000.

Anyway, take a look at my article on clarity, and think about the size question and let me know your thoughts. Once these issues are squared away, I’ll send you some suggestions.


Thanks for replying.

With you selecting the diamond, I would be willing to go down to a SI2 since you have experience looking at diamonds and determining what would by eye-clean or not. If I’m selecting on my own, I would probably stay with a VS2.

As for size, she went to a store and saw a 0.5, .75, and 1 carat and tried them on. She said she would choose the 0.75. So I am searching for a 0.75 to 0.9 diamond. Just a little bigger than what she wants, but still smaller than 1.0.

Also, the price is flexible, meaning if the diamond is $5000 and the total with the setting is $6000, it will be okay with me. But I’m guessing that since the diamond will be under a carat, the total price would be under 5000.

To let you know, her size would be 5.5 or 5.75 if available. Also, I am looking at a platinum or white gold solitaire setting. Something simple and classic.


I think you’re being very smart about your choices. I took a look for you and this is what I came up with: – GIA triple excellent. Looks eye clean. – GIA excellent cut. Eye clean. – Excellent cut. Beautiful stone. You can put a prong over that collection of inclusions on the edge.

There’s a huge jump in price between .80s and .90s without such a big jump in size. So I think it’s definitely smart to stay in the 80s.

As far as the setting goes, why not go for a classic tiffany style knife edge solitaire?

Let me know what you think!


Thanks for the options. Which of these two is the more beautiful diamond? And how can I guarantee that the setting will be placed over the inclusions on the second one?

Also, the typical guy in me still has the urge to go a little bigger. What do you think of these diamonds? I assume size-wise, visually, I’m not getting much for the extra money as its just carat weight, right?

I guess my budget was $5000 and this will be well below it, including the setting. I should be happy, and I am! But I’m just wondering if I should spend a little more to get a little better quality or go a little bigger? Or should I read your website again and be happy with the savings. Can you say with a degree of certainty that those SI2 are eye clean? I guess the SI2 part scares me as its not even a SI1.


Between those two I like the F color better. But they’re VERY close. Usually, JA’s jewelers will know on their own to prong the inclusions, but you can always make a special request as well.

As far as the other question goes – The difference between the two sizes is about 0.2. This is just at the threshold of what’s noticeable to the eye. So the difference will definitely be noticeable, it just won’t be obvious. You’d have to have both next to each other to notice. Meaning, I showed you the 0.80 and then took it away and showed you the 0.90, you would most likely think they’re the same size.

Of the two 90s you suggested, I like the G color better. The E color has a VG cut from GIA.

I’m very confident both SI2s are eye clean, but you could always ask the folks at JA to check it for you themselves. I’m just guessing based on a photo, but they can actually inspect it for you face to face.


Thanks for all your help! Of these two, which is the more beautiful diamond? Could you judge it two ways.

1) Disregard the price difference. Simply which is the more beautiful to look at.

2) Include the $900 price difference.

Of course, at any time in this process, if you notice another diamond that I should consider, please let me know. But as of now, I guess these are my two choices.

Also, would you recommend the 2mm or 2.5mm knife edge for this size diamond? She has somewhat petite fingers (5.5 -5.75 size).

And does the ‘comfort fit’ feel that much more comfortable than a regular ring? The knife edge that you suggested also caught my eye before you suggested it. The other setting that caught my eye is the comfort fit for….well… comfort.


I guess one more question. How do these two diamonds compare with what was shown on your website blog?

Price-wise, it is still in budget and around the price of the 0.9 carat SI2 diamond? Is this a superior diamond compared to my other two choices and worth the price?


Disregarding price, they are just about equal. The 0.90 is a tiny bit bigger, but the 0.82 is a tiny bit whiter. I think they cancel each other out.

Including the price, clearly the 0.82 is a much better value.

I wish I could give you a better answer about the ring. I think for this kind of question, you should maybe contact JA’s customer support. My professional experience is really limited to loose diamonds. I’m not so familiar with the intricacies of jewelry.

All I’d say is that the knife edge style is extremely popular, so I can’t imagine it being uncomfortable.

As far as ring width is concerned, I have a feeling the 2mm band is really thin – a little too thin looking. I think the 2.5 would still look great on a petite woman. Don’t forget to use the TAD0611 discount code, btw. It’ll give you 10% off the setting.

Yes, this diamond is definitely superior. Whether or not it’s worth the extra money, that’s another question. The H&A ideal cut means it will sparkle more than the other stones. But whether that extra boost in sparkle is worth the premium is a subjective call. To those who are really sensitive to these things and demand the best, then it’s an easy decision. To others who can barely tell two different diamonds apart, it’s a waste of money.

Sorry I couldn’t make things clearer!


Thanks for all your help!

I am definitely leaning towards the 0.82 diamond.

As you hinted, it’s a waste of money for those who can barely tell the difference, like me and I assume my girlfriend. I keep telling myself to don’t be too frugal since I am VERY frugal by nature. It’s a good point as it has put me in a position to somewhat easily afford this diamond. And I don’t want to be frugal about this once in a lifetime thing, so I still have a little urge to go bigger or higher quality than needed. My $5000 budget was slightly on the frugal side of the range.

But I think I just need to tell myself that this 0.82 diamond is big enough and beautiful enough and not worry about that 1.0 carat threshold or be brainwashed about 2 month salary myth.

Thank you for all your help. If another diamond comes up that you think will appeal to me, let me know. I will give this a few days to think about it so I am completely satisfied with my decision. Or you can give me more encouragement about this 0.82 diamond based on all your experience.


I completely understand all of your feelings back and forth. It’s the beginning of a life together with the one you love, and the last thing you want to do is start it off on the wrong foot. You wouldn’t even want to give the impression that you’re sacrificing her special gift at all in order to save a few hundred dollars.

But on the other hand, those few hundred dollars aren’t really buying you all that much (at least tangibly). From the sound of what you’ve told me about your GF, it sounds like she’d want you to buy the 0.82 and save the rest.

Here’s an idea – if you want to make the smart value decision on the diamond, but still want to feel like you’re spending good money on your future fiance, maybe buy her another gift with the money you’ll save? You could get her a nice pair of studs if she doesn’t have one already.

Stay in touch and let me know when you’re ready to buy. Then I’ll look again at that time to see if anything better popped up.


I guess I learned a bit about the diamond market, that you have to act fast. That 0.82 diamond is now not available. So what do you think of this diamond?

Is the depth a little to deep? Or any other diamonds out there that catch your eye? Is there a certain day of the week or month that these retailers get new inventory?


That stone’s not too deep. That’s a killer stone. Grab that one.

As for your other quesiton, no – it’s pretty much random. There’s no standard re-stocking day in the business.


Thanks for your opinion. I went ahead and called James Allen to put it on hold. I’m at work now (yeah…I know I’m a bad worker) so I can’t actually piece together the order until later tonight. I will have to put in my order by phone and I confirmed that I can still use your coupon, so I hope you still get your commission.

One question though. Any reason why that ring is a SI2? It looks pretty clean to me. It looks like one scratch. But is that one scratch visible? Ii it clean to the eye? Is it something that James Allen can verify for me before I buy it? Or is it cloudy? It just seems like that should be rated higher than a SI2. (haha…look at me, one week of doing this and I already think I can grade stones!)


The inclusion plot says that it’s a feather, which are often clear in color. So it’s most likely that the feather is translucent and on the side (possibly under the girdle) – so that would explain why you don’t see it in the picture. That’s a very desirable SI2.

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