The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for the Best 1 Carat Princess Cut for $4000 or Less

The following is a real email conversation between The Diamond Pro and a reader just like you who contacted us.
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Hi there first want to thank you for this amazing site and hope that you can help me find the best diamond for the money I am looking to spend. I need your help in suggesting which diamond is best for me. With the price range I am looking at I figure I am looking at a color of G-I a clarity of vs1-s1, with an ideal cut. Any suggestions as to which combination or diamond you found from james allen or blue nile that gives me the best bang for my buck thanks again

Thanks for the kind words about the site! Here’s what I found for you. I kept the table and depth range super tight to get only the top cuts.

Those all are eye clean, of course, and have killer makes. Perfect balance of spread and brilliance.

Let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for the quick response to be honest with you I don’t know really what I am looking for when I look at the photos of the diamonds you found my observation is as follows hope I am looking at them right.

the I-VS2 seems to sparkle the most the H-VS1 has the least amount of color and the H-VS2 is in between the two. But with that being said I don’t know which is better I have included some that I found and wonder what you think of them

I just can’t tell from the photo’s what is good and what is not, this is where I know you can help me. Is a diamond that looks a little cloudy but all white better then a very shiny diamond with some color? I am going crazy haha thanks for your help. For example of the ones i sent does the I-VS1 look better or H-VS1 or the E-VS2 vs. F-SI2. and then which one do you like the best? Then we will compare to what you found I believe that the I and the H I found are very similar to what you found. However, the F and E are definitely a different looking

Sorry to have confused you with so much information!

Regarding the pictures – I think there’re only really good for two things: 1) Deciding whether you personally like the look of a smaller table or not and 2) inspecting the clarity to make sure the inclusions aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Color isn’t really visible in these pictures. Also, you should judge the diamond based on the sharpness of the stone in the picture, since many diamonds are smudged (skin oils) which make them look hazy.

Here’s my take on the diamonds:

I’m not crazy about the 0.96pt stone because it’s noticeably smaller than the others (5.4mm vs 5.7)

Likewise the 1.03 H VS1

I don’t like the F SI2. If you move the loupe over the center-bottom of the stone, you’ll see the SI2 inclusion is quite large. Could be noticeable to the naked eye.

Of the three that are left, it’s a VERY close call, but I would go with the 1.06. It’s the most square of the remaining stones. That’s the only real distinguishing factor.

have a great weekend!

Just needed to ask you one more question in what you think I should do between the two diamonds I linked below.  After talking to the sales rep he said he couldn’t justify spending an extra $400 to go from an I-VS2 to H-VSI what do you think? Also I am going to be buying one of them tommorrow what are you promotional codes thanks

I think I agree with their assessment. I’d say go with the I. There wont be much (if any) visual difference between the two.

Use TAD0611 to get 10% off the setting.

Good luck! Let me know if everything goes OK with the ordering process.

I was just planning on ordering the diamond do you have any promotional codes for that?

Also I found these other two diamonds and was wondering what you think thanks again for everything.

Blue Nile LD01532347

Blue Nile LD01619402


Sorry. No code for the diamond itself 🙁

Here’s my opinion of the BN stones: 74% tables are not so nice.

Wow your fast hah appreciate all this help when you talk about spread what does that mean to me? Also what does table mean to me? And am I right in assuming depth percentage the lower I go within the ideal range the larger the diamond will look?

Spread is how large the diamond looks, basically Length x Width.

Table % is the area the table facet covers as a percentage of the diamond’s width.  The table facet is the big window on the top of the stone.  A large table doesn’t look nice.  It makes the diamond look flat.

Yes, the lower you go in depth, the larger the stone will look.  The I VS2 is a very rarely nice cut.  It’ll be hard to find one as nice.

Okay well I am going to decide on one of these three, (the two from blue nile, and the I-VS1 from James Allen) What is your opinion of these two and this should be my last question hah thanks again you have really educated me on this whole process

Blue Nile LD01532347

Remind me of the price on the JA stone? It’s blocked bcz it’s on hold.


There’s no comparison.  The JA stone is cheaper and bigger than both of them.

Top Recommended Vendors
Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Blue Nile is currently running a limited time sale offering 15% on settings site-wide. Click here to browse some great settings.
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.
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  • 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

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online.
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

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