The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for an Oval-Shaped Diamond for a White Gold Solitaire Setting Within a $13k 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 found your post “Q&A: Looking for an Oval-Shaped Diamond Within a $15k-$17k Budget” to be extremely helpful, so thank you for that.

I am looking for a 1.5ish carat oval diamond under $13k USD.

I’ve done my research, however, when it comes to oval diamonds I’ve found several characteristics outside of the 4C’s to be really important, so I would like to show you my options to see what your opinion is.

Blue Nile LD12300816
I really like this one, I know the florescence is not ideal, so I went over the GIA study and regarding this characteristic and found it to be of little importance.

Blue Nile LD12549855
This one is close to my upper bound limit, and I’m not sure I’m getting the best value.

Blue Nile LD12515034
This one is the best value I found, I’m not sure how the girdle might affect this cut’s beauty

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.54-carat-e-color-vs2-clarity-sku-7177794?a_aid=dmnd1357
I really like this one, however it has the strongest bow tie effect of them all.

Blue Nile LD11735213
This one is one of may favorites, however I’m a little worried about the color G on this size of diamond. Additionally the depth and table percentages might make it look bigger, which is a plus.

I would really appreciate your comments on my findings.

Do you have any recommendations, or might have another option worth considering?

There are two main rules when choosing an oval:
1) The depth shouldn’t exceed 74%.
2) The bowtie should be as minimal as possible.

Picking out a beautiful oval cut is a bit of an art. A smaller table may refract light a bit better, but the difference won’t be noticeable. Unless the depth doesn’t exceed 74%, it’s alright. Ideally, it’s better to avoid extremely thick and extremely thin girdles (if possible). Other thickness is okay and won’t have a significant impact on brilliance. A girdle is an issue that has little to no impact on the visual appearance of a diamond.

Oval cut diamonds don’t have their own official cut scale given by GIA. Some companies use their own internal grades, but we don’t put any stock in those. We just use our own guidelines and strict parameters to find the best stones possible. Therefore, I wouldn’t pay attention to the cut grades you see at all.

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 (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/clarity/). 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 recommend H+ colored diamonds for ovals.

Here are my comments:
Blue Nile LD12300816 – I wouldn’t recommend this stone because of the medium fluorescence. Bear in mind that the strong fluorescence (on D-I diamonds) / medium fluorescence (on D-G color) may cause a hazy/milky look in daylight (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/fluorescence/). Moreover, the bowtie isn’t nice.
Blue Nile LD12549855 – This stone has a bit of a bowtie, but very little. It’s a great diamond.
Blue Nile LD12515034 – Again the bowtie.
www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.54-carat-e-color-vs2-clarity-sku-7177794?a_aid=dmnd1357 – This diamond looks good.
Blue Nile LD11735213 – This one is nice, but I’m afraid the bowtie might be a bit visible.

Have a look at these alternatives:
Blue Nile LD12045584

Blue Nile LD12281962

Blue Nile LD12413051

First of all, thank you for the elaborate email, I can see you really care about helping me out.

Regarding your comments:

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.54-carat-e-color-vs2-clarity-sku-7177794?a_aid=dmnd1357 – This diamond looks good.
I see a pretty notorious bow tie, is this due to the high quality x20 zoom?

Regarding the alternatives:
Blue Nile LD12045584
I like it a lot, I am just concerned about the length to width ratio, I don’t want it to be mistaken for a poorly shaped round diamond. I’ve seen the recommended L/W ratio to be in a rage between 1.35 – 1.5.

Blue Nile LD12281962
Also, really like it, but same concern regarding the L/W ratio but in the opposite side of the range spectrum.

Blue Nile LD12413051
This one I like the most, would a G color apear somewhat yellow to the naked eye? When compared to higher color rated stones?

I kind of know the theory behind the diamond’s characteristics and value, but I lack real life experience, I’ve seen too few diamonds to tell the differences by naked eye.
So I would really appreciate it if you can help me out picking the best value diamond you think I can get within my budget.

As I said before, it’s not that easy to pick a nice oval. That’s why it’s great that both those companies have a 30 days return policy so that you can check the stone in person and decide whether you like it and whether it meets your expectations. The L:W ratio is a matter of personal taste, there is no universal rule (but it’s true that it should be more than 1.30). But if you like higher L:W ratio, it’s perfectly fine.

G color is already in the colorless range, even H color looks colorless to the majority of people.

Thank you for the help.

To finish off, I’m looking to mount it on the Petite Solitaire Engagement Ring, I have a couple of questions.

Is it ok to buy it from Blue Nile as well?

Will the “Blue Nile” engraving be on the ring?
What are your comments regarding platinum vs white gold?

It’s okay to purchase from Blue Nile, it’s a reputable company.

As for the metal, it’s up to you if you choose platinum or white gold. You’ll need to maintain both metals. As our article says (https://www.diamonds.pro/education/platinum-vs-gold/), the WG has to be dipped every few years and the platinum needs to be polished as well because it scratches. So ultimately, platinum costs you more in the beginning and doesn’t end up saving you any money in the long run. But there is one advantage of platinum – it’s hypoallergenic. As for the engraving, I suggest asking them directly (for example via live chat). I think there is a BN stamp inside the ring.

Thank you for the thorough help, I expect to purchase the diamond (Blue Nile LD12413051) tomorrow, I’ve already put in on hold.

I just wanted to thank you for the help, I really appreciate it.

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