The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for 2 Carat Diamond for $17,000 Round Diamond. EGL vs. GIA. Los Angeles “True Wholesale.” Many More Relevant Topics Covered!

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.

Goal: Would love a 2.0ct or bigger for ~$17,000. But I also don’t want to sacrifice color and clarity. I’ve seen some big rings that just look dirty to me, not shiny and a bit hazy.

Budget: 17k – 20k (Lower than 17k is okay too)
Carat: 1.7 or bigger (prefer 2)
Color: G or better
Cut: Very Good or better
Clarity: VS2 or better (must not have imperfections to the naked eye)

Fluorescence: Faint (prefer none)
Table %: Close to 60%
Depth %: Close to 60%

My friend who works at a jewelry store said for the size I want, the table & depth % I mentioned would look best.

I apologize again for the delay in responding.

Before i begin sending you recommendations, I wanted to discuss with you your list of parameters. I think there’s some tweaking that can be done to be sure you get more for your money than you were originally planning.

Lets start with color. You specified G or better. If you study a rapaport price list (see my article “truth about diamond prices” if you’re unfamiliar with the term), you’d see that the largest jump in prices between any two colors is between H and G. There’s no real reason for it. It’s just one of the quirks of the diamond business. It’s not like the jump from H to G is any more noticeable than the jump from J to I, for example. Furthermore, the fact is that diamond color grades are so finely separated, that you would never ever be able to perceive the difference between any two stones with adjacent color grades when viewed face-up (ie, as the stone is set in a ring). So this brings me to the conclusion that if you were looking at G, you should really be looking at H – it will look the same, and cost a significant amount less.

Now regarding clarity – you wrote two contradictory things. First, you wrote VS2+, and then you wrote that it needs to be clean to the naked eye. This can be accomplished easily with an SI1, and with a little more difficulty it can be accomplished with an SI2 as well. My opinion re: clarity is that there’s no reason whatsoever to pay for an upgrade that you can’t appreciate. So if an SI2 is eye clean, and a VS2 is eye clean, they’re going to look identical to your eye – so why pay a LOT more for nothing in return?

Cut – No reason to compromise here. Stick with Excellent only. This is the most important factor in determining the stone’s beauty, so you should be most picky here.

Fluorescence – You shouldn’t be afraid of medium blue fluorescence – especially with an H color.

Table/Depth – don’t worry about these. You can trust GIA’s cut grade. You don’t need to delve into the specifics.

So let me know what you think of my suggestions. Lets come to a consensus, and I’ll start the search then.


Thanks for the detailed response. 🙂

I really do prefer G, I know there is a price break when you step down to H but I don’t want to unless necessary.

SI1 is acceptable as it is clean to the naked eye. I just prefer VS2 or better.

Cut – Excellent it is

Fluorescence – Since I want to stick to G or better does med. blue fluorescence still apply?

Let me know. I will also be visiting a wholesaler in Downtown LA on Thursday. He’s strictly a wholesaler and I’m only getting in because my co-worker is his cousin. Anything I should watch out for?


Here’s are some great options for you:

As for the wholesaler you’re meeting today, just make sure you only compare apples to apples in terms of certificates. Don’t buy an EGL stone no matter how much pressure they put on you.


Out of my budget range. 🙁

The first one is under 20!

Let me know how it goes today at the wholesaler.


Well that was definitely exciting.  Quoted me 1.91 ct E VS2 at $19,500.  Except it was EGL certified.  Why the recommendation not to buy EGL?



I just read that. 🙂


Another question. I’m looking through your blog posts and you post diamonds from jamesallen and sometimes say it’s flawless to the naked eye. Are you purely basing this on the specifications of the diamond or have you seen them?

Today I was looking at diamonds under a 10x loupe graded VS2 by EGL. Now looking at VS2 diamonds on James Allen, the James Allen diamonds look worse, more hazy and more inclusions. Am I missing something?


I base my eye-clean calls on their magnified pictures. I’ve looked at so many diamonds in my career both with a loupe and without, and so I have a feel for what will be eye clean and what won’t be.

As for your comparison between the EGL you saw and what you’re looking at on JA, I’m quite certain it’s due to you not really knowing what you’re looking at (sorry to be so blunt). At Leo Schachter where I worked for 7 years, we trained in the sorting room for about 8 months. It’s not something you pick up in a half an hour.

Trust me on this, the sole motivation for a diamond dealer to sell a diamond as an EGL vs as a GIA is because they can sell it for more money. If they were to be sold for the same price, they would prefer to sell it as a GIA since they’re more liquid than EGLs.


Btw, your stone is probably equivalent to this one (except for being slightly larger):

A GIA G SI1 would probably get E VS2 from EGL.

Search Results for the Stone in Question

Also, just so you know how badly they’re reaming you, take a look at the attached screenshot.

That’s a list of search results from rapnet which is the largest online true wholesale diamond trading site. I searched for 1.91 only E VS2 EGL and got this one result. The owner of this stone “TRS” is in LA, so I know it’s the same stone you saw. It may or may not be the actual guy who showed it to you. It probably isn’t. He probably got it from the owner at the price you see in the screenshot. So this “true wholesaler” is trying to make a 52% profit margin. Dealers in LA are sharks, and when they see an unsuspecting newbie walk in like yourself, they smell blood and go in for the kill.

WIth my brokering service, I could get you the same stone for 14,065.


Please continue being blunt. 🙂

So here are my questions to you then.

(1) What’s the biggest stone that looks really good for $17,000?

(2) If I went through your brokering service, can you get me something better than James Allen? I’d be more than happy to pay you the 10% commission.

(3) How do I make sure you won’t rip me off? Can you give me the details on a typical transaction process? (My turn to be blunt).


Before I even bother with the other stuff, let me ask you a more fundamental question. We started this off with my explanations of why I thought you were not planing to spend your money in the most efficient way. But you didn’t seem too keen on going with what I was suggesting.

Basically, what I’m getting at is this – you could nab a 2.5ct diamond for your budget if you wanted, but you’d have to go down to a J color. Have you ever seen an ideal cut J color in person? If not, I would really suggest you go to a store somewhere and have a look. I think you might surprised.

Likewise, you could land a 2ct G SI2 for under $17. Color is a little easier to understand for me because there really is a difference (albeit very slight) between G and J, but between an eye clean SI2 and an eye clean VS2, there is absolutely no visual difference.

Take a look at this example:

Honestly, I think this stone is your best bet. Probably better than anything I could broker for you as well.


I wasn’t keen on what you were suggesting simply because I didn’t understand how you derived at them. Now that I do, I’m a lot more trusting. I have seen a J color and I can tell that it’s not as white as G or H without comparing them side by side. I’ll add this diamond to my list and let you know. Should I mention your name when I buy it or something else?


If you buy from this computer you’re on now, then you shouldn’t have to do anything. If you’re going to make the purchase from another computer, then please just click on that link I sent you in the email on that computer as well.

If you buy it with a setting, you can use the TAD0611 coupon which will give you 10% off the setting. That’ll act as a fail-safe measure if the cookies don’t track. Thanks!


Have JA’s customer support pull both stones and compare them face to face and give you their opinion.  Based on the pics, I like the SI2 better, but nothing beats a face to face encounter.


Hi Ira,

Here’s what they said to me:

Dear Michael,

When our diamond department reviewed the other diamonds, they noted a variety of factors which caused them to be discarded in favor of diamond:

Specifically, diamond:

has twinning wisps and surface graining that have a negative impact on this diamond’s light performance (such as haziness) and its eye cleanliness; and diamonds:

all have proportions and angles that cause darkness and diminished performance.


was the shining star of this lot, with an excellent cut and fantastic proportions.

I hope this information was helpful to you. As I mentioned before, we will be able to continue holding this diamond for 24 hours.

What do you think?


I say go with their opinion. Nothing compares to seeing the two stones up close and personal.

Good luck!


Well Ira thanks for all your help. I pulled the trigger today on the following:

Item # 981003
Round 2.07 carat G color SI1 clarity diamond
Price: $19,540

Item # 1019p
Platinum 2.5mm Integrated Cathedral Solitaire Ring
Size: 4.5
Price: $1,275

Subtotal: $20,815
Sales Tax: $0.00
Discount (TAD0611): $127
Shipping: $0

Total Amount Due: $20,688.00

When my other friends bite the bullet I’ll make sure to refer you. 🙂


Great!  Please let me know what you think when it arrives!


Ring arrived.  It’s pretty darn sexy.  Thanks for all your help.  Now the hard part — figuring out how to pop the question.


Great news! I love getting these emails 🙂

Congrats, and good luck with the popping of the question!

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