Q&A: Looking for a Round Diamond for a Solitaire Setting With a $1,250 Total Budget

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Hi, I’m looking to buy a diamond engagement ring. I see you folks recommend Blue Nile, are there any other good online retailers you could recommend for UK buyers for comparison?

I probably only have up to around £1,250 for diamond and ring, the best deal I could find to balance price, size and quality seemed to be around .47 carat, very good quality and compromising on colour and clarity – about £770 for the diamond. Is there anything else I should be thinking of? Any help would be much appreciated – thank you in advance.

Your best bet is to find something on Blue Nile. They have the best track record with our UK based readers. We have secret shopped 77diamonds, but weren’t impressed with them: https://www.diamonds.pro/reviews/77-diamonds/

I’m happy to recommend some diamonds to you. Can you tell me what exactly you are looking for in terms of shape and style setting?

I’ve had look on your website which is very helpful. In terms of what I’m looking for, it’s a diamond for an engagement ring. I think my preference would be a round diamond and a solitaire ring, for quite a small finger!

I’m ultimately constrained by budget, I can probably go to about £850 for the diamond.

Of course, I’d like it to be as big as possible, but it sounds like size should come lower down the pecking order than cut, then clarity and finally colour – the latter getting further leeway depending on setting colour.

It looks as though I can get something around .46 to .49 carat, and up to around 4.9mm diameter which seems a nice size.

There seems to be much more choice and options under £700 if I drop down to J colour and SI1 clarity, though I’d probably pay more like my maximum if it would make the stone that much better looking to the naked eye – there are two options on Blue Nile at around my max, but .46, ideal, I, VS2.

Would these be noticeably more impressive than something £100 cheaper at the same size but I and SI1?

Thank you for the additional info. For a simple solitaire setting, J/SI+ is perfectly fine. The difference between a J and an I is not noticeable in a solitaire.

I like these options for you:
Blue Nile LD10694503

Blue Nile LD10507600

They are beautifully cut, eye-clean and either of them will be very brilliant. I didn’t find any eye-clean SI options in that range.

What do you think?

Thanks for taking a look, the second one at .49 looks great, much clearer than the one I’d found.

Do you think it gets much better at this price, given the different variables?

For your info, I have gone ahead and ordered the £800 diamond along with a ring, so it has a home.

Thank you again for your help, I very much appreciate it.

You got yourself a beautiful diamond. I don’t think it would go any better than that, the 0.5ct range is very wide and there are a lot of diamonds that are just getting more and more expensive without actually increasing their carat weight or significantly increasing quality.

I’m glad that the sparkly little guy has a home now 🙂 Let me know how you like it when it arrives.

Top Recommended Vendors
Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
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

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well.
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
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

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