The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Looking for the Best Cushion Cut Diamond for $3000 to $4000. J Color in a Cushion Cut Good Enough?

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 am looking to find the best diamond in my price range (isn’t everyone? haha). I came across this website, which has been of great benefit to me, and was really hoping you could help me, as you have others. I have done some research and have found 4 I think are pretty good deals. I was hoping you could take a look and let me know what you think and maybe even suggest a better deal.

Here are the 4 diamonds I currently have on my list:

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1280322.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-VVS2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1136704.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/J-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1171216.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1195694.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

I am looking for a cushion shape in the $3000 to $4000 range. I am going to be putting it in a platinum ring with sidestones (at the bottom are a few rings i like). I would like at least 1 carat, with a color no less than J, and prefer the cushion l/w ratio to be close to 1. I like the square look better than the rectangle look.

Here are the rings I am looking at getting with the stone:

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/ring/item_412-1921.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/ring/item_58-2800.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/ring/item_412-1960.asp?a_aid=dmnd1375

I really appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks.

I’m very happy to help. My first comment, though, is that a J color cushion cut might not be a good match with a platinum setting. Cushions show color rather strongly, so a J color will start to have a noticeable tint. I would suggest you stick to H or I colors (even at the expense of getting a larger stone). Once I get your confirmation that this is OK, I’ll send you some suggestions.

 

This is the kind of information I was looking for, and is exactly why I asked for your help. I was unsure if J would be too low of a color with the cushion shape, and also with the diamonds that are in the band of the platinum ring averaging around G-H in color. I will take J diamonds out of my future searches, and will send you a few more links after my next search. Thanks.

 

My pleasure. I took a quick look for you. Here’s what I got:

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1197703.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – Slightly rectangular. Picture stinks, so its really hard to tell, but the odds of a VS2 being visible to the naked eye are VERY slim.

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VVS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1195563.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – more squarish

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1184584.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – slightly over budget, but a really great deal for a G color

 

Thanks for the suggestions, I took a look at those and found a few others. Sorry for sending you so many diamonds, just having trouble separating them and want to be sure when spending this much money. I put my opinion after each link, let me know where you disagree and agree with me. I really appreciate the help, it means a lot to have someone with your knowledge willing to help. (IRA – MY RESPONSES TO HIS COMMENTS ARE IN RED)

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1262808.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – Not quite sure why this one is only $2580. It is an I color, 1.11 carat, VS2, near square. Is there something I don’t know that should throw up a flag for this diamond? It’s cheap because it’s IGI certified.  Which means it’s probably equivalent to a GIA J SI1

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VVS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1195563.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – This is one of the ones you suggested. Looks to have pretty good stats in all categories, 1.07 carat. Don’t think I would like to go smaller than this diamond carat-wise. Great stone with a great cut

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1184584.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – One you mentioned, looks to be a pretty good diamond. Slightly smaller than the rest, but might be too good of a deal to pass up for a G color. As I think I mentioned to you earlier, color is very important with Cushion cuts.  So getting  a G color that’s only slightly smaller than the I colors might be the right choice.

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1197703.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – Another of the ones you mentioned. Looks to be good in all categories, 1.11 carat. Not quite as square as the rest, but a good diamond. Squarness is a matter of taste not an objective description of beauty.  So if you want square, then reject this one.

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1200833.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – Looks pretty good for an SI1, in my opinion. Did not look any worse than the other VS2’s I was looking at. Appears to be some spots on the edge of the table and a spot near the center of the diamond, not sure how they will look to the naked eye. Seems like a great price for an H color with what seems to be pretty good numbers in all other categories but clarity. Diamond would be eye clean for sure, but it’s got strong blue fluorescence which I’d recommend against unless you have the JA customer service pull the stone to check it for milkiness/cloudiness.  It’s cheap because of the flour.

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1281586.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – A little above my price range, but looks like it might be a pretty good deal for 1.20 carat. Looks pretty clear for a SI1. I believe the inclusions are in the center of the diamond, but how visible do you think those would be to the naked eye? They don’t appear to be that noticeable in the pictures. It doesn’t appear to any worse than some of the VS2’s I was looking at. beautiful stone.  definitely eye clean.

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1288598.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – 1.21 carat similar to the one above it, in price and size. Slightly more noticeable inclusions than the one above, I think. Also eye clean.  Has large open culet, so you need to decide whether that bothers you or not.

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1219738.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 –  I think this one sold already, or someone has it on hold. I liked this one’s size, price, color, clarity. A little upset it sold already. Yes, it’s been sold already.

 

See above for my comments (in bold red type).

 

Thanks again for the input. I think I have it down to 3 diamonds, maybe 4.

1195563- I like this diamond, 1.07 carat, I color, VVS1 clarity for a good price. Polish, symmetry, culet, and fluorescence all look. I don’t know really know what is good/bad for the girdle or how much of a difference the girdle makes. Overall I like this diamond.

1184584- This diamond is similar to the one above it but the color and girdle. 1.06 carat, G color, VS1 clarity. Not a big difference in the VVS1 VS1 clarity in my mind, don’t think I would be able to tell the difference between the two looking at them. Girdle on this one is very thin to extremely thick compared to medium on the one above, again I don’t know how much of a difference that makes. This one is a G color and you said that color is important for cushion cut. Do you think the color upgrade is worth the $800 difference in price? I like the idea of getting a G color diamond, based on what you have said, it sounds like it would be better for a cushion cut in a platinum setting. The carat is basically the same. So I guess it boils down to is going up to G from I worth $800, it seems like that is the only thing seperating the two?

1281586- While contemplating going above budget, this one is about the same price as the G color. It is 1.20 carat, I color, and SI1 clarity. As said in previous emails this SI1 appears to be clean to the eye and not much different from most of the VS2’s I was looking at. I don’t know if it is just the male in me that thinks if I am going up in price, why not go for the bigger diamond? The things hurting this diamond appear to be the clarity and the girdle, not sure if girdle is a deal breaker or of no consequence in the long run. I don’t mind going a little above my price range for either the G or this diamond. They both appear to be a good diamond at a good price.

I am also keeping 1197703 on my list in case these 3 are sold when I am ready to pull the trigger. It looks like a good diamond, I just like the other 3 better.

I really appreciate the help, hopefully when I am ready to purchase in the next few weeks these will still be available. If they aren’t available maybe I will be able to pick one out on my own with what I’ve learned and I won’t have to bother you again haha.

 

Very Good synopsis.  If you would ask me, I would say to go for the G.  It’s the one “upgrade” in this list that makes the most sense for a Cushion (between carat, clarity and color).

 

I have 3 or 4 diamonds on my watch list, hoping they aren’t sold when I decide to purchase. I recently found out there is a diamond available to me that has been in the family for nearly 200 years, so I am in the process of trying to find out more about it (size, shape, etc). If this doesn’t work out and I end up buying one, I will send you an email for one last opinion. Thanks again!

 

A 200 year old diamond! That’s fascinating and quite rare. When you get details, please send them along. I’m very interested to hear.

 

I am still waiting for my brother to get the family diamond checked out, but he said it is pretty small and is currently in a men’s ring. Since it is small enough to be in a men’s ring setting, I think it may be a little too small for me to use. So I am continuing to shop around online and will await information from my brother before deciding what to do. I am hoping to propose in a month or two, so I am trying to be ready once I hear from my brother. Below I have the diamonds I am looking at, and the ring I would like to put them in. Which one do you think is the best value? A few are a little above what I was looking at for budget, but they look to be a pretty good deal. Thanks for the help.

Ring- https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/ring/item_58-2800.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357beautiful setting.  Don’t forget to use the TAD0611 coupon code to get 10% off!

1272367- https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/D-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1272367.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – I can’t tell that is in an SI1 in the picture. Can’t find anything wrong with this one, other than it is slightly smaller than the others.  beautiful looking stone.  Cushion cuts show off color very strongly, so this might be a great option for you.

1219738- https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1219738.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 – This appears to be a good diamond at a very good price. it does look nice and the price is great.  Just keep in mind that the L/W ratio is not like the others.

1184584- https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1184584.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357

1184586- https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1184586.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357I don’t like the way the pic looks on this one.

1261563- https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1261563.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357Ditto on this one.

These 3 appear to be very similar.

1280693- https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-SI2-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1280693.asp?a_aid=dmnd1357 This is an SI2, but appears to be fairly clean looking. What do you think?There are faint inclusions on the table.  They will most likely be clean to the naked eye.

 

See comments above (in bold red type). I personally think the D SI1 is your best bet because as I mentioned below, cushion cuts show off a lot of color, so you’ll really benefit from buying a D color stone with the cushion cut.

…….

I just wanted to follow up with you. Did you make a decision yet? If so, I’d love to hear what you went with in the end!

 

I think I am going to get the D SI1, it looks like a great stone and within my original budget. Oh and while looking around, I found the exact diamond also on jared’s website for $2000 more than james allen. I will hopefully be purchasing in the next week, I will let you know what I end up getting. Thanks again for all the help and information. I really feel like I got a lot better diamond than I would have if I was searching on my own.

 

Great to hear! Let me know how it goes.

 

Just wanted to let you know that I ordered the ring today! I went with the D SI1 1.03 in the platinum ring. I used the coupon code you gave me for the setting, thanks! And that is also how JA knows you helped bring them business right? I can’t want to see the diamond and setting together. I will let you know what I think once I get it and will send you a picture of it. Thanks again for all the help! You definitely made this an easier search.

 

Thanks for the email! Congratulations! Please do let me know how it looks when it arrives. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Got the ring today and it looks amazing!! The diamond looks beautiful, I think I am going to be really happy I went with the D. Thanks again for all your help!!

 

That’s great news! Do you think you might be able to do me a small favor? Would you be able to leave me feedback on ivouch.com? My site’s still pretty new and these reviews really help me build credibility with new readers. If you have the time and would be so kind you can access it directly with this link:

(LINK REMOVED – You can view this ivouch review here)

Thanks again!

…….

I just saw the feedback you post. You really went above and beyond the call of duty. I really and truly appreciate it. May you and your fiance share a life full of blessing.

 

Not a problem, I meant every word. You were a big help, and I really appreciate it. I hope she loves it as much as I think she will, this next week and a half is going to go real slow. Thanks again!

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