The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for Oval Diamond for ~$10K 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.

I am looking for a diamond for my girlfriend. Preferably oval or round since she has to wear latex gloves for work and square shapes are more likely to tear. Leaning to oval due to more stone for the price.

I would like to spend 8300 to 9500 for the stone and prefer size and light to purity. So, like you often say on your website, more size and bang for the buck. But not noticeably flawed. Size range 1.4 to 2 carats.

I am 51, widower, she is 48, divorced for 29 years. In case that helps.

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Mike Fried, Ira’s partner. You can read about me on my profile page.

I’d be happy to make some recommendations and guide you through the process. What type of setting are you considering? Yellow gold or white gold/platinum? Will it be a solitaire or does it have sidestones/pave? This may affect the colors that I recommend for the center diamond (as we explain in our post on color).

Let me know and I’d be happy to send you some suggestions.

My idea was to give her the stone in a simple and inexpensive white gold or platinum setting and then she can remake the ring with her jeweler or whomever I buy the diamond from. So I am really getting her a diamond but letting her do the ring herself. She has some other stones from the past so I am guessing she would use them in the setting. I think she has a couple smaller emerald cut diamonds, maybe some pave. It is possible that she might want to flank it with sapphires too(blue.)

Thanks for the input. The 1.61 is just out of my budget range.

A couple of questions:

-The 1.31 for $9308 looks like it is not only bigger, but cleaner, correct?

-The clarity on both of these is very good, is the trade-off of clarity vs a larger stone what you are recommending, and why?

-If I go for an inexpensive setting in white gold or platinum for the oval, what settings do you recommend?

-In your opinion, is there any wiggle room in the diamond pricing or cost of setting?

-Lastly, why do some diamonds (like the 1.61) have old GIAs? Have they been floating around looking for a buyer or did someone store them for investment?

1) It is bigger, but not really cleaner. Once it’s eye-clean it’s eye-clean.

2) I searched for eye-clean SIs as well but didn’t find any. With Oval cuts you MUST see a photo.

3) That is a choice in style, not a professional choice.

4) No. The reputable online companies work on a strict cost plus basis that allows them to offer the best consistent value (we explain how they work here).

5) There is no such think as a new or used diamond (they appreciate, as opposed to depreciate, in value). Many people in the last few years had to sell their diamonds back (because of the financial crisis). So those retailers/wholesalers have the diamonds back. They may update the cert, or they may not.

Thanks for the answers. I had not thought about people trading back their diamonds when things get tough. There is a lot of David Yurman on ebay for the same reason I think.

Let me know if/when you need any more help.

I have placed the 1.31 carat diamond on hold with James Allen while I get ring size. I did it all through Chat with them. Worked fine. I will let you know how things go.

Sounds great. Please let me know how it looks when it arrives.

Will Do.


So far so good. The diamond arrived and looks nice (what do I know). The packaging is very nice and high quality. I have an appointment with an independent gemologist appraiser this Tuesday just to see that I got what I paid for.

Sounds great. Make sure to tell the person you can’t return them and you just want an appraisal value. Some appraisers have habit of trashing the diamonds they see to try and flip you into one of their own diamonds (or a store they have a relationship with). Its unfortunate that people there are people like that, but that is the world we live in.

She only appraises and didn’t seem to have an axe to grind. I basically told her I don’t want a valuation, just confirmation that it matches the GIA cert. What I paid etc is my business.

I will let you know what she says. I appreciate the advice.

Sounds good. I didn’t mean all people, just there are many in the industry like that so I need to say that.

Best of luck mate!

Everything went well. The stone you helped select was very nice, and when I took it to the appraiser she agreed. She showed me how to read the GIA cert and valued it for about 1 to 2k more than I paid.

Thanks for your help.

Thanks for writing and letting us know. I’m delighted that you were pleased with our help. Do you think you can do us a quick favor and write us a small review on If you could, we would be extremely grateful. Here is the link:


We wish you and your partner a life of happiness and fulfillment.


They were very nice to deal with on the phone. I think there are just two people X and Y. I spoke to both of them, first X on Chat to reserve the diamond, then Y the next day to buy it. I like that it does not seem to be a big organization, and that they are not on commission.

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