The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for a Round Diamond for a White Gold Ring With a $3,000 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.

Hey Diamond Pros,

I’ve been doing my research and read numerous articles, and am closing in on buying an engagement ring. I’m looking at purchasing the diamond online from Blue Nile as they have a store very close to where I’m located if necessary.

The setting will be a solitaire 6 prong white gold ring. Diamond specs at the moment are .7 carats and up, I-J color, eye-clean (SI1-VS2???), ideal cut, with a budget of $3k on the diamond itself. Bigger the diamond the better. I don’t want to sacrafice quality for a larger diamond, but I also don’t want to spend additional money on features that will never be noticed. I am still opened minded regarding the specs, as I am merely an average consumer and not a diamond expert like yourself. I am having trouble narrowing down my selection as the finer details are a bit overwhelming.

Is this something you could help me out with?

If you want me to make some specific recommendations, can you please tell me what shape of diamond (round, princess cut, cushion, emerald, oval, radiant, asscher, marquise, heart or pear) you like the most? Then I’ll gladly send you some suggestions.

I am looking to purchase a round diamond; my apologies for leaving that out. I should also mention my main concern is having a quality diamond that is clean/clear to the average consumer, than size.

Thank you for the additional info. Generally speaking, the most important is the cut of the 4C’s ( A perfectly cut diamond will have great light refraction and therefore lots of brilliance ( For rounds, we like to keep the depth under 62.5% (62.8% max) and the table in the range of 53-59% to maximize the brilliance ( If you want to get a superbly cut diamond, I’d suggest looking at stones with the pavilion angle under 41°, depth under 62.5% and table in the range of 55-58%. Bear in mind these parameters don’t have to be that strict as some of them may balance and influence each other. There is no universal rule.

Clarity-wise, once the stone is eye-clean, it’s eye-clean, no matter if it’s an SI1 or VS1. The actual clarity grade isn’t important ( Simply said, it’s better to avoid diamonds with red flags such as big knots, cavities and etch channels as they might disrupt the integrity of the diamond. We also don’t recommend stones with thick feathers, big clouds, chips or stones that have clarity based on clouds. Ideally, the inclusions shouldn’t be on the table. On the other hand, 95% of all twinning wisps are not visible to the naked eye, so those are alright. Even an SI2 diamond can be perfectly eye-clean if the inclusions are strategically located.

We suggest sticking with J+ stones for white gold solitaire settings.

Here are my recommendations:
Blue Nile LD12375908

Blue Nile LD12453554

Blue Nile LD11982279

Thank you for all the information!!! That was incredibly useful. My research had pointed in the general direction, but you very clearly took it numerous steps further. I cannot express how thankful I am for that!

With that, I am most fond of the .9 carat diamond (Blue Nile LD11982279). I like that it is H diamond as well, as I like the option to potentially use this diamond for a setting other than solitaire sometime in the future. Before I pull the trigger on this diamond, are there any other diamonds around this price range and features that strike you as a quality diamond?

Here are some more options:
Blue Nile LD12294490

Blue Nile LD12584048

I believe I am down to three choices. My main concern between the three are eye cleanliness and overall quality. I don’t anticipate scrutinizing the stone extremely closely, but I also don’t want a flaw that is easily noticeable. Do you have a recommendation of the three choices below?

Blue Nile LD12372904
– no noticeable flaws that my untrained eye could find??
Blue Nile LD12118829
– small flaw on table. Possibly noticeable to naked eye???
Blue Nile LD11982279
– small feather that you noted. Possibly noticeable to naked eye???

I’m glad I could be helpful. I personally like this stone the most: Blue Nile LD12584048. It’s high in color and the inclusions shouldn’t be visible at all. It has a better cut than the 0.80ct I SI1 stone you liked Blue Nile LD12372904. The measurements are the same and the G colored stone is significantly cheaper. But all those diamonds are perfect choices. If you want to get the biggest stone, then the 0.90ct stone is definitely an option, as I said previously, it’s kind of a borderline of eye-cleanliness but the feather might be partly covered with a prong.

Please let me know how you decided.

I went with your advice and bought the better colored G diamond with a six prong solitaire setting. Blue Nile LD12584048. As an engineer, I’ve learned to trust the experts over the years, and you very clearly know a lot more than I ever will.

Thanks again for your help!!! It was greatly appreciated.

That’s great! I’m sure the diamond will look great.

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)
  • Best in class fulfillment

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
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

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