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Q&A: Looking for a Pear-Shaped Diamond for a Pave Setting Within a $20k Budget

By Mike Fried,


I am looking to purchase a pear shaped diamond engagement ring. I prefer the financing options on Blue Nile so have been searching on that site along with James Allen. However, I do not think I will be able to pay the full balance in 6 months as it is a significant purchase.

I am looking at 2.5 carat size, minimum F color, SI1 and above. What do you think? Also, can you help me select the best stone for my money?
Thank you!

I was looking on the website and saw a gorgeous pear shaped diamond from James Allen:

Unfortunately, a D-color diamond with strong fluorescence is a terrible value. It is practically guaranteed to have a hazy/dead look in most lighting. For DEFG diamonds you should get only none or faint fluorescence to avoid any potential haziness: https://www.diamonds.pro/education/fluorescence/

If you want to get the best value for your money, I’d go with an H+ in color and SI+ in clarity. There’s no need to pay a premium for higher color grades, it would look identical.

May I ask what your budget is for the diamond? I’m happy to find some nice options for you.

Thank you for your guidance on the color. Is an H diamond color advisable because the color difference is not detectable with the naked eye? Also I would appreciate your guidance on the inclusions. They look so obvious With the level of magnification provided but I’m not sure how this translates to the naked eye.

I absolutely love the pear shape and would like to maximize the size and brilliance of the solitaire stone. I also love the pave band to compliment this stone. I would like to have a ring 2.5 carat for under $20k. What do you recommend?

Yes, the H color ensures that the diamond would look colorless in any setting. Sometimes I recommend higher color grades, but only if there was nothing lower that would look good (the same applies to clarity grades – I always try to find an eye-clean SI diamond, but if there is none than VS or VVS is the best value in that particular range).

Regarding the inclusions, it depends on where those are and how big they are. 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 imperfections such as crystals and feathers often are noticeable while twinning wisps, needles and pinpoints 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.

Now, on to the diamonds. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any decent 2.5ct options. The largest diamonds I can recommend (that are well cut and eye-clean) are these three:
Blue Nile LD13298448

Thank you for your detailed reply and for sending those options. I do prefer the Blue Nile option because the financing option is good for me (and the stone is a bit larger!).

What would be the price of going to a 2.5 carat stone with similar characteristics? I noticed a few 2.5 carat pear shaped diamonds on the recently purchased page that were in the price range I was hoping for and was wondering why these are much less expensive.

The previously purchased section is not the best indicator of how much a 2.5ct ring should cots. Some people are so dead set on the carat weight that they ignore many red flags and choose an inferior diamond that might a) look yellow, b) have visible inclusions, c) have a prominent bow-tie, d) have high fluorescence, e) have other characteristics that are undesired on a diamond such as cavities, knots, big clouds, etc… all of which might negatively affect the diamond’s appearance or integrity. So yes, if you ignore all of this, you might be able to hit the 2.5ct mark, but you might also end up with an ugly dull diamond whose only good quality is its size.

The first decent 2.5ct diamond I found was this one:
Blue Nile LD13106243

Thanks again for clarifying. I would like to proceed with the Blue Nile diamond that you suggested. I was just wondering if you could do one additional check of their inventory to confirm that this is the best option for my price range.

I double-checked and the 2.20ct diamond is still the best option I can recommend. I couldn’t find any larger diamonds in that price range or any similar-sized options for less money. It’s a rare find.


You’re very welcome.

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
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  • 24/7 Customer Service
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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 have generously offered our readers an exclusive one-time use coupon. (Click Here to save $100 off $1000 purchase)

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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
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • 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
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