The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for a Round Diamond for Pendant With a $2k – $3k 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,

I’m looking to purchase a diamond pendant/solitaire necklace set in 18k yellow gold.

My budget is from $2000-$3000 including the setting. Hoping to purchase something between 0.70ct – 0.90 ct (round brilliant) and am just not sure what will give me the best value for the money.

I was looking through some loose diamonds at Blue Nile and am a bit overwhelmed with the choices, though the advice on this site has been helpful.

Hoping to get some personalized input! Thanks in advance.

Here’s my recommendation for diamonds that will look amazing in yellow gold:
Blue Nile LD12236739
Blue Nile LD12247088

They are fantastically cut and either of them will be very brilliant.

Thank you! Do you have any 0.90 carat diamonds to recommend from Blue Nile?

I do, but the price will end up being higher:
Blue Nile LD11850010

This VVS2 diamond happened to be a better value than some SIs and VSs in the same range. It’s nicely cut, but if you look a the real measurements, you can see that the difference in size between this one and my previous 0.80ct recommendation is negligible, yet the difference in price is almost $1000. That said, I don’t think it makes sense to pay so much more for additional ~0.20mm, but it’s up to you.

That makes sense, thank you! I saw this one on James Allen (I put it on hold to get your opinion):
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-j-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6913725?a_aid=dmnd1357

Also, is there any reason why this 0.8 carat would be better or worse than the one you recommended? Blue Nile LD11862499

Just curious! I notice that the top dimensions are marginally smaller.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-j-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6913725?a_aid=dmnd1357
This one is eye-clean, but looks very cloudy. You can ask for the certificate to be sure, but I’ve seen thousands of diamonds like this and I’m positive the clouds are a problem on this one. I would skip it.

I searched for a better 0.90ct alternative from JA and the first eye-clean diamond I found was this one:
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.90-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-6841407?a_aid=dmnd1357
But again, you need to request the certificate, all the important information is listed there.

Blue Nile LD11862499
I don’t think I understand what dimensions you mean here. The measurements in the description below the video? Looking at them, those two 0.80cts are basically the same size. The issue with the one you found is the depth %. It’s too high and will make the diamond look smaller and less brilliant than my original recommendation.

Thanks so much for your help. I ended up going into a rabbit-hole of diamond research after this, and that all makes a lot of sense. I finally purchased this diamond: Blue Nile LD12071920

I quite liked the first 0.8 carat diamond you sent, but after researching proportions I became knit picky and was really happy with the measurements for the one I purchased – for peace of mind if nothing else. Let me know if you have any reservations about this one!

That’s great news! I’m glad you got exactly what you wanted and the diamond you ended up with is gorgeous!

Top Recommended Vendors
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. And for a limited time, take advantage of their 25% Off pre-Black Friday 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

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

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