Q&A: Looking for Best Princess Cut Possible for $7000

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.

I’m looking to buy an engagement ring online and am strongly considering purchasing through either James Allen or Blue Nile (leaning towards JA because of the pictures). I’ve really appreciated reading the advice on your website and was wondering whether you had time to give me some advice (I will make sure to use your referral code if I buy through JA).

I want to buy a princess diamond and my parameters are: square, at least 1.2-1.3 carats (but larger would be great), as good a cut as possible (have been looking mostly at Ideals/Very Good), VS2 or better for clarity, and a color (G or H?) that will look colorless to the untrained eye, but in a platinum setting (thinking about the 2.5mm comfort fit solitaire ring).

Ideally, I’d like to spend less than $7,000-$7,500 on the stone itself (or even less if possible), but can probably be flexible and of course would like to buy something nice. Please let me know if you see anything good.

So far I have liked these diamonds:

(1) 1.23 ct. G https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1278650.asp

(2) 1.52 ct. H https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS2-Premium-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1314101.asp (though am worried about color and cloud in the middle)

Thank you for your time!

Thanks for writing! I think this might be your best bet:

THe cut is fantastic. H color will look totally white to your eye and it’s 100% eye clean. And best of all, because of the superior cut, it looks just about as big as the 1.52ct stone you linked to. Check out their respective dimensions.

That does look pretty good, thanks! Do I need to be worried about the extra facet mentioned on the GIA certificate, the surface graining (also on certificate), and the girdle (is thin-to-thick & faceted a problem)? I hadn’t looked at this one as closely before because I was worried that a 1.04 ratio wouldn’t look square enough, but perhaps that is not a problem.

If I decide to spend more, what do you think of this? https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS2-Premium-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1346397.asp (or is the downgrade in cut very significant?)

An extra facet is definitely nothing to worry about. Thin to thick is perfectly fine as well. As far as squareness goes, GIA defines anything 1.05 L/W and down as square, so I think you can rely on that.

That stone you linked to is OK, but it’s an awfully large jump in price, so I’m just not sure it’s worth it.

Here’s what JA had to say below when I asked them to compare my original 1.23 ct. to the 1.24 that you recommended.

Both diamonds are eye-clean. The first one, 1278650 is nearly square. It has 4 chevrons, so 48 facets. Ideal table and depth. The second, 1260647 is has a length to width of 1.05, so not perfectly square like the first, but close. It has 3 chevrons, so 36 facets, plus one extra, or 37. Assume the extra one was required due to the shape of the rough that the diamond was cut from. I would not think this is an issue. The grading report identified surface graining. This could be noticable in a one carat, princess cut diamond especially if it is on the table. Just like wood has grain, so does a diamond. If seen, this is not desirable.
Site unseen, I would lean toward the first diamond. The squareness, the 4 chevrons versus 3, plus the surface graining issue in #2. The number of facets (chevrons in the case of a princess), influence the performance of the stone. A princess usually has 2, 3, 4, or even 5 chevrons. Some people like the bolder look of less chevrons. It is a matter of taste. Based on my own preference, I prefer the 4 chevron appearance as I think it is more traditional for a princess.

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like they actually took a look at them. I’m leaning towards the 1.23 because of the risk with the surface grain issue and don’t mind spending an extra $800 to not worry about it (and I guess I am getting a slightly better color and a squarer stone, though it probably doesn’t matter much). Hopefully the 1.23 does not look too small (she has a 8-8.5 finger size) and I hope the cut is good (parts of the picture look a little dark).

Will likely decide and place an order tomorrow – thanks for your help so far, I really appreciate it.

I agree. Go with the one they suggested. The cut on that stone is fantastic – you have nothing to worry about.

I just noticed it’s not available – was that you who purchased it?

I did purchase that one before New Year’s, but unfortunately they came back to tell me that it was chipped and they were not able to sell it to me. So I ended up ordering this one:


at their recommendation. It was a little bit cheaper than this one:


and hopefully will be good.

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. For a limited time, take advantage of their Summer Shine 25% off promotion!
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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