The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Need Help Picking Round Diamond for $4K 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’ve been looking over your site for the past few days, and wanted to thank you; it’s an excellent resource.

I’m looking for a diamond, round cut, that will be set in a platinum solitaire setting. My budget for the stone is up to about $3.5k – $4k, and I’m pretty much looking to get the best stone in that budget. So far, I’ve been looking at stones in the G-I color range, VS2/SI1/SI2 and Ideal cuts.

I was looking at some stones on James Allen, and I found the stones below, and was wondering if you could offer some guidance on how you feel they would look set, or if you could offer any better alternatives.

Also, if I did order from James Allen, do you think it’s worthwhile to have them put the stone in a setting, or do you think I’d be better off having it set locally in Chicago?

Thanks in advance

Thanks for writing and thanks for the kind words about the site!

I think this one is your best bet out of the bunch:

Here’s my comments on the others: – probably not eye clean -very nice as well, but like the price better on the one above – Not sure it’s eye clean.

As for the setting, if you find a setting you like on JA, then definitely buy from them. Otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with buying a setting locally. YOu might receive some resistance from some jewelers, but someone will definitely agree to do it for you.

Thanks for the fast reply. I’ll most likely pick a setting from JA.

Do you think either of the two diamonds below would be a better option? Picking diamonds is definitely a little nerve wracking.

Thanks for all the help!
Sorry for the back-to-back emails. I also came across this stone:

The inclusion looks like it’s at about the 6-o’clock position, which I imagine could be covered by a prong (I’m thinking about this setting:

Let me know your thoughts on what you feel the best choice would be.

Thank again

The first one below was in your initial list and I already commented on it. The 2nd one has a big bunch of something in the lower left corner of the table that looks like it might be eye visible.

And the I SI1 from your other email has a strong black inclusion dead center that will definitely be visible. So I stick with my original call.

Thank you very much. I’m going to call James Allen and place the first one (1355089) on hold as soon as they open; I’m hoping to order the ring today or tomorrow. I’ll be sure to send you a picture.

One final round of stones – I upped the price range a little bit (up to 4450 or so)… Do you believe any of these stones might look better, or be a better value? All but one are in the J-color category, and all are just over 1 carat. Do you think that will make a large difference in appearance; color vs. size, etc (the other stone is an I)?

I know as you said on your page that you do get a referral commission for these. Is there anything I need to do to make sure that you are credited properly? Additionally, other than writing a glowing review on ivouch, is there anything else I can do to compensate you for your time? Having someone who is uninterested in moving a particular piece of inventory, and simply willing to offer advice is a wonderful assistance, and makes this process far less difficult and stressful. ** This one I think is the least likely…

Once again, thank you for all the help, it is greatly appreciated.

You know, for the life of me, I can’t understand why that I SI2 only received a “Very Good” cut grade. I think there might have been some kind of mistake, or it missed the “Excellent” grade because of some kind of technicality. I actually think that this is your best bet. Seems to me like a bargain since it’s priced as a VG, but it’s really an EX.

As for making sure the tracking works, that’s very kind! Just make sure you order from the same computer that you’ve been clicking on my links with and it should all be automatic. Also, don’t forget to apply the TADJ10 coupon code if you order the stone with a ring – it’ll give you 10% off the setting. That will act as a fail-safe measure in the event that the tracking doesn’t work. It would also be helpful for me if you could let me know the order number once you’ve placed the order.

Thanks so much!

Which stone? I’m not seeing the VG in the list. I have two on hold right now, 1355089 and 1339479. Was it one of them?


I just ordered that stone with this setting:

I’ll send you a picture of the ring once it arrives.

Thanks again for all the help Ira!

Great! It all tracked smoothly! Thanks!


I got the ring, and everything turned out great. Thanks again for all the help.

Great news!


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