The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for a Round Diamond for a White Gold Petite Pave Setting Within a £4,000 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.

Hi – your website is fantastic. I have been helpfully guided by my girlfriend, who sent me screenshots of these rings some time ago:

I was wondering if you had any tips on similar ring designs from James Allen and Blue Nile (or whether there is anything specific I should know).

I will be buying in the UK.

Very grateful!

I found these two settings that I felt look similar to the ones you sent me. I would like to know your opinion:

Heirloom Petite Milgrain Engagement Ring
Monique Lhuillier Cherish Diamond Engagement Ring

Can you also give me your ballpark figure of what you’re planning to spend on the ring?

Your suggestions were quite good. The platinum setting is probably out of my price range (once the rock is included). The other selection looked great, but my partner’s ring size is H, and they didn’t have it in H.

However, it did lead me to some others that were quite nice:
Petite Milgrain Diamond Engagement Ring
Petite Milgrain Diamond Engagement Ring
Plain Shank Floating Halo Engagement Ring

The last one is a halo, which is slightly different. But I know that she likes halo. I think if I go that route then I want to keep it to a simple halo.

My ballpark figure is £3,000 to £4,000. £4,000 is probably my absolute top, so I was hoping to land somewhere in the middle.

I have started looking at the diamonds, and I have read up enough to know the basics of the 4C’s. But when it comes to choosing one from the many many options, I am a bit lost. They mostly look the same to me on the screen. Hopefully, you can help me out here?

I can definitely help you with the diamond options.

As for the settings, they all are beautiful as well. If you end up going with the halo one, you have to keep in mind that the diamond should be at least H in color. Otherwise, it would look yellowish compared to the smaller diamonds around it. That also means a more expensive or smaller diamond.

Blue Nile is a slightly better choice for you as they have an office in Dublin which would be easier for you to deal with any service needed. Plus, you would pay the import tax.

Here are two diamonds that I found for both types of settings.

1) for the pave style:
Blue Nile LD10039957

2) for the halo:
Blue Nile LD09855253

Both diamonds are beautifully cut, eye-clean and will look very bright and brilliant.

What do you think?

Few questions – what criteria did you apply to the diamond for the pave? What I mean is, how did you balance between carat, colour and clarity? Was there any reason you chose I and SI1 instead of, say, a smaller carat but higher colour or clarity? Could the halo diamond go into the pave setting?

I guess my main fear/concern buying online is the diamond having some imperfection or off-colour that I couldn’t see on the website. And I want it to be bright and sparkle!!

It was hard to compare the photos of each because the white background was slightly different shade in each.

We base our search parameters on our experience we have. I+ diamonds look fantastic and not at all yellow in solitaire and pave settings. You can, of course, put a higher color into them, but there is no benefit there. If you decide to use a halo setting, because the smaller diamonds in the halo are right next to the center stone, you should keep the color on or above H.

As for clarity, I search for SI2+ diamonds and sort them by price to find the best-priced eye-clean diamond.

I understand that it can be hard to imagine how the diamonds look in real life, but that’s why we are here, to help you make the right choice.

You have been terrific.

I have spent the day looking at settings again. I think I have settled on this one:
Petite Diamond Engagement Ring

I was also looking at James Allen’s website, which helpfully show settings with different carat diamonds. I felt like the difference between a 1 carat and 0.7/0.8 was quite noticeable in some settings – I felt that the diamond was hidden in the prongs for the lower carat.

If I go with the above setting, I have given myself some extra room in the diamond budget (with the setting at £540, the diamond can be between £3,000 and £3,500). I would like to avoid that “hidden in the prongs” appearance.

What are your thoughts? Is there going to be much difference between 0.9 and 1/1.05 (or even 1.10 if I went to the top of my budget) carat diamond? Watching Blue Nile’s 360 video (which says its a 1.04 carat), I feel that I wouldn’t want anything smaller than 1.04.

Sometimes even a 1.04ct can be smaller in actual measurements than a 0.95ct diamond. I wouldn’t focus on that much.

The largest diamond I found within your new budget was this 1.01ct:

Blue Nile LD00035775

It’s a beautiful stone as well and it is eye-clean. Anything bigger than that and you would pay much more. What do you think?

I did like the diamond…unfortunately I was delayed in purchasing while I checked with the best friend and now I have come back and that diamond has gone.

I would be grateful if you would be able to point me towards another diamond (or diamonds) that meets my budget/criteria. My biggest fear is not getting one that is brilliant and eye-clean (the pressure was accentuated the other night when my partner commented that “don’t ever buy my ring online”…!!!).

I did find another stone that is eye-clean and very brilliant:

Blue Nile LD09403975

I understand the concerns of your partner. But there really is no need to worry. I am here to help. Plus, they offer free returns. So there’s nothing to lose.

Thanks. I saw on your website that sometimes you have unique offer codes for Blue Nile and to ask you about them. Before I purchase, thought I would see if you had any?

Here is the single-code for $50 off: [contact us for your own unique coupon code]

I have had a go at trying to find an eye-clean similar diamond. I found this one:
Blue Nile LD02214013

But I noticed on the GIA report that it is dated in 2011. Is that normal? Would you consider that eye-clean? Is there anything wrong with it (proportions etc)?

I also found this one Blue Nile LD09724365, do you have any thoughts?

Are there any other eye-clean ones that you have seen?

It’s definitely normal that the report is a few years old. There is nothing wrong with it. However, the diamond isn’t a good choice. Never buy an SI diamond that has a “clarity grade based on clouds not shown.” This means there is a very large cloud that covers a large percentage of the diamond and saps the brilliance from it.

The second option has the same issue.

Here is another alternative:
Blue Nile LD10093033

Thanks. With that diamond, what are the white spots that I can see? There seem to be a number of them. Anything to be concerned about?

If you mean the little white spots, those are inclusions. But you will only see them under a magnifying glass, not with the naked eye.

I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help. Question was asked and answered over the weekend and she is very happy with the ring.

I’m so happy to hear that! Congratulations!

Did you end up with the last BN diamond we discussed?

Also, If it’s not too much to ask, do you think you can do us a quick favor and write us a small review on If you could, we would be extremely grateful. Here is the link:

I wish you and your partner a lifetime of happiness.

Yes, I went with that BN diamond 😊

I will definitely add a review, no problems. I have also been singing your praises to everyone I tell, haha.

Photo attached. Thanks again!!!!

Thank you so much for the photo. The ring looks gorgeous!
I hope your partner enjoys it..

Top Recommended Vendors
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.

Use Promo Code DMNPROSETTINGS15 at checkout and save 15% off your setting
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)
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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. James Allen is now offering an amazing 25% off site wide Summer Sale!
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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