The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for 1+Ct. Round Brilliant Diamond for $6-7K 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.

Hello Ira, Mike and the The Diamond Pro crew!

First off, I want to thank you guys for the wealth of resources that you’ve made available on this wonderful website. I am a woman who is lucky enough to be able to pick her own engagement ring, and am now tasked with the responsibility of picking ‘the one’. Although I have a woman’s perspective on the engagement experience, my favourite posts of yours are definitely the ones from guys who are struggling to make the big ring decision. It’s so amusing and sweet to read stories of men sweating bullets over a rock. I never thought that buying a ring would be such a stressful decision until I was faced with it myself.

So here’s my story, and forgive me in advance for the length of this message, but I want you to know how much I’ve learned from your site:

In August of this year, my boyfriend proposed with a promise ring and told me I could pick out the engagement ring myself. I was thrilled at this privilege, but know better now that he actually doesn’t want the responsibility of picking the wrong ring. Before he proposed, he told me he made the rounds at Tiffany and Birks (in Canada) and a slew of other brick and mortar stores, and was really put down by the ‘up-selling’ experience.

After getting engaged, I immediately went to Blue Nile and fell in love with a gorgeous antique setting (Blue Nile Hand Engraved Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring) and was ready to pick out the best diamond I could find for the cheapest price listed. I almost pulled the trigger, but the more I read online, the more scared I became of buying a diamond, sight unseen. I’ve come to realize, because of websites like yours, that a diamond ring is not a commodity, but an emotional retail experience.

I then turned to James Allen and found great diamonds, but could not see any setting that rivaled the antique milgrain design I found on Blue Nile. I was crushed to say the least. Seriously, James Allen, you need to up your game in the settings department. But to make a long story short(er), I spoke to several JA sales associates and they told me that they could put a milgrain edge on any setting I wanted for FREE!

So, here’s the nitty gritty:

Total engagement ring budget = $8,500 (setting + diamond + tax – I live in Canada)

My setting: 2.2 mm band, Pave Style with F/G side stones in White Gold ($1,040) or Platinum ($1,840)

Diamond budget = $6000 to $7000 (If the diamond is closer to 6K, I can afford to get the platinum setting. If the diamond is closer to 7K, I will order the white gold).

Realistic Diamond Expectations:

Cut: Excellent

Color: G/H (prefer G because of the side stones)

Carat: 1.0+

Clarity: I would love a VS2, but I think an eye-clean SI1 is in my price range and will still look beautiful. I saw some beautiful True Hearts I/VS2 diamonds in my price range, but I’m uncomfortable with the warmth next to the pave stones. They might have been sold already as well.

Below is a list of stones I narrowed down on James Allen. I plugged every one of the Depth and Table percentages into the JA diamond cut calculator and eliminated any diamond that did not have a predicted brilliance of ‘Ideal cut’.

I would really appreciate your expertise on helping me identify whether or not these stones are eye-clean and which ones you like the best, or if you have other ones you can suggest that is great too.

I also investigated Item #1521051 and #1494411, but I don’t think their cuts were as brilliant as the other six. Please let me know if I am totally off base with this.

If you’ve made it to the end of this email, thank you so much for your patience and perseverance! I would value any and all advice you can give me in helping me choose a diamond.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again.

Ps: I’m just wondering if and when you favour me with a reply, do you reply to me privately first or do you post the answer on your website immediately. I’m just worried that someone will buy up these diamonds from beneath me and I would really like the opportunity to put a few on hold and request ideal scope images from JA. Thanks!!!

I actually really like the first diamond you selected there. Its eye-clean and seems like a great cut.

Thanks for responding!

Unfortunately, 2 out of the six diamonds I linked to have already been sold, so in a panic, I spoke to James Allen on Monday and they advised me to put some diamonds on hold for the gemologist to inspect, and surprisingly they did not recommend the one you did below, the $7050 diamond, as in there was nothing wrong with it, but they felt that the other two were better value for lower price.

The one you like:

Instead, we put these two on hold and all the JA associates seem to be telling me that the first diamond down here is such a great steal, but you did not recommend it which has me worried that the inclusions are eye visible. Can you please, please, let me know what you think of the two below before I hear back from the gemologist??? I raised a concern that the first diamond seems to have been on the market for over a year (based on the GIA certificate) and I’m worried about that large crystal in the middle of the table and that every one else has passed over it …

Also, I really love the cut and clarity of the $7050 diamond, but will the medium blue fluorescence affect the brilliance and make it cloudy? It’s also the most expensive on my list of 6. Did you see any other diamonds on my list or on James Allen closer to $6000 or $6500 so I could afford a platinum setting instead of white gold?

They were absolutely right to recommend those diamonds to you. When I searched for diamonds, they weren’t there so the one I suggested was the best value remaining. The 1.01 is a much better choice.

Let me know how it looks when it arrives.

Thanks for getting back to me, Mike! I really appreciate it. I feel so relieved now that I have some good diamonds on hold. I was worried I put the wrong ones up for inspection.

I’m sorry to keep asking you questions, but you’ve been so helpful….

Can you please tell me why you like the 1521051 better than the 1519562? Is it the cut or inclusions that are better?

I like the inclusions better.

Thanks for the explanation, Mike.

I just wanted to let you know that I heard back from the JA gemologist today.

All of the James Allen associates told me the 1519562 diamond was superior, even in terms of inclusions, but the gemologist inspected the diamonds in person and agreed with your choice, 1521051. I guess I’m not surprised, but wanted to share the feedback.

I am also happy to give the positive feedback that the gemologist gave on these diamonds. When the gemologist pulled these diamonds, the first thing that she noticed was the 1.01 carat-G-SI1 (diamond 1521051) amazing light performance! She also said that this diamond will face up eye clean, after we cover a small inclusion up with a prong. The 1.00 carat-G-SI1 (diamond 1519562) also has excellent light performance however, there are some inclusions that an untrained, unaided eye will be able to pick up on. After hearing this feedback, I agree with the gemologist that your best option would be the 1.01 carat diamond due to it having amazing light performance and being eye clean.

Sounds great. Let me know how it looks when it arrives.

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