The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for GIA Certified Excellent Cut Round Diamond for Around $4000

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 Ira, Thank you for putting together a great site. I’m just starting to look for a diamond engagement ring and had a few general questions for you. As I narrow down some of my parameters, I’ll likely have more for your later. I appreciate your help! 1) Most of what I’ve read (especially about cut) has been about round diamonds. I am also considering an oval shape. Does the oval shape greatly affect the brilliance (sparkliness) of the diamond because of the new/different ratio between table and depth? Are the cuts graded the same way as a round diamond? 2) As I assume most people are, I’m unsure of how the 20x magnified picture compares to real life. For example, would the imperfection near the middle of this diamond be visible?

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Oval-Diamond-1110061.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 Thank you again for your help. I’ll probably be back to ask more!

Thanks for writing.  It’s 12:30am here (I’m in Israel).  We got back late from dinner out with friends.  I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know I’ll give you a proper response tomorrow morning my time.

…….

Here goes!

1) Grading cut on fancy shapes is far more complicated than rounds. Because of this, the labs don’t give cut grades to fancy shapes (with the exception being princess cuts – AGS gives a cut grade to PCs). Its not really that ovals are less brilliant than rounds, it’s more than their look is very different. Ovals and other fancies have what people call the “broken glass” look. Meaning, it’s just a big very sparkly mess when looking inside the diamond. Rounds, on the other hand, have a very symmetrical faceted look to them. There’s pattern and order in the look.

2) You’re right to be confused. It takes a lot of time and experience seeing many diamonds both through a loupe and with a naked eye to be able to tell what will be clean to the naked eye and what won’t be. Regarding the stone you referenced, it will definitely be clean to the naked eye. If you want to see sample inclusions that will be noticeable to the naked eye, see my article “diamond clarity chart” here: https://www.diamonds.pro/diamond-clarity-chart/

Stay in touch when you have more questions!

Thanks, Ira.  That really helps.  I’ll be in touch as I get closer to a decision.

…….

After some detective work, I’m closer to making a decision.  I am looking for a round diamond around 0.8-1.0 carat, excellent cut, in the G/H color range, and probably VS1/2.  I’m flexible with those parameters for the right stone.  Basically, I am looking for a nice diamond that isn’t too large, as my girlfriend is fairly active and not very “blingy”.  Ideally, I’d like the cost of the diamond to be around $4000 (US).

With that in mind, do you think a 0.8 or 0.9ish diamond would look okay in this setting?

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/ring/item_58-777.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

(I know your expertise is on the diamond side, but was curious about how it would look with those sidestones.)

Here are a few diamonds that I have found.  What do you think?

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1269456.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-861701.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 (this cut is only VG and it looks like there a few flaws in the picture)

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1112952.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 (also VG cut.  There is a dot a little below the center.  Is that a big deal?

Thank you again for having this site and service and for all of your help.  It is indispensable.

I dont know if you noticed it, but JA has this great feature where you can see real pics of actual rings they made with the various settings. Here’s the setting you chose with 0.95ct stone:

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/sold/settings-with-sidestones/1300/Engagement-Rings-Side-Stones.html

I think it looks quite nice!

See below for my take on each stone.

I think the first two are the best, and the 2nd one in my opinion stands out. It’s the largest between the two. And it’s only negligibly smaller than the full 90 pointers. The difference in size wont’ be noticeable to the naked eye.

Glad I could be of help! Please let me know what you go with when you’re ready to buy!

Best Wishes,

Ira

Mike Danilovich wrote:

Hi Ira,

After some detective work, I’m closer to making a decision. I am looking for a round diamond around 0.8-1.0 carat, excellent cut, in the G/H color range, and probably VS1/2. I’m flexible with those parameters for the right stone. Basically, I am looking for a nice diamond that isn’t too large, as my girlfriend is fairly active and not very “blingy”. Ideally, I’d like the cost of the diamond to be around $4000 (US).

With that in mind, do you think a 0.8 or 0.9ish diamond would look okay in this setting?

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/ring/item_58-777.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

(I know your expertise is on the diamond side, but was curious about how it would look with those sidestones.)

Here are a few diamonds that I have found. What do you think?

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1269456.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357Tiny speck on table, but not visible to the eye at all.

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-861701.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 (this cut is only VG and it looks like there a few flaws in the picture) – With such nice EX cuts available, I wouldn’t recommend going with a VG.

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1112952.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 (also VG cut. There is a dot a little below the center. Is that a big deal?) – Ditto. Also, I think that dot you’re talking about isn’t an inclusion, but rather a dark spot in the reflections.

Thanks for the quick response!  Based on your recommendation, I think I’ll go with the 1st one.

Just to confirm, if I get to the diamond on the James Allen site from the link on the URL I reference below, you will get credit on the sale, right?  I want to make sure you are rewarded for your help.

Thanks again for your quick assistance, Ira.

That’s right! Thanks for looking out for me!

Let me know how it goes.

……

I was just curious – did you make the purchase yet? I’ve been having some problems lately with JA’s sales tracking system, so I wasn’t sure if either you hadn’t made the purchase yet, or if the sale didn’t track properly.

If you did make the purchase, would you mind telling me your order number?

Actually, I think I was beat to it, as the diamond is no longer available.  That will teach me to think before making a big purchase!

So, back to the drawing board.  Here are some possibilities.  What do you recommend?

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1269089.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 (There are some white specks here and there.  Will these be noticeable?)

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1254290.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 (nothing too noticeable, but not a good picture…)

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1242617.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 (Will that dot in the middle be a problem?)

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1264194.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

Each of those stones is beautiful. It’s really up to you in terms of how much you want to spend. If you put those four on a table, they would be indistinguishable one from the other without any measuring tools. None of the specks you saw in the pics will be anything remotely close to eye visible.

Let me konw what you go with!

I ended up going with the 0.86 carat diamond.  Let me know if you need the order number for your records.  (Also, it will appear with the name ***** ******.  Top secret, you know)

I’ll touch base with you once I receive the ring.  In the meantime, thanks again for all of your help and information.

Thanks for the update! If you could send me your order # that would be fantastic!

……

Actually, I think the sale tracked correct! So no need to send the order#.  I was just curious, though – what setting did you decide to go with in the end?

Just in case, the order# is *****

I went with this setting:

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/ring/item_58-777.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

I was also considering a similar one:

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/ring/item_58-169.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

but it seemed too chunky. But what do I know?

I’m sure it’s going to be a stunning ring!  Please let me konw what you think when it arrives.

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