The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Searching for the Best Cushion Cut Diamond for $3000

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.

Greetings Ira, First, I must write that your site is a must-read for any diamond shopper! Having this wealth of information and your expertise all in one place is such a help – wish I had come across your site before I was already a month into my diamond search! I am looking for a cushion-cut stone, eye-clean, and had narrowed down my list between stones on James Allen and Blue Nile before I came across your site. I have a $3,000 budget for the stone. Below are links to a few of the stones on my short list:

Blue Nile LD01695503

Blue Nile LD01731890

Blue Nile LD01727659

My bride-to-be has mentioned to friends that she prefers a square-shape, so I’ve been limiting my search to stones with ratios of 1.00 – 1.05. Also, I was able to find out through a friend that she loves this setting from James Allen:

For her, fire and brilliance are more important than stone size, although I would like to find her a 3/4 stone or greater. Am I on the right track with the stones already on my list, or do you see a stone or two out there that might be a better fit for what I’m looking for? Thanks for all your help! We gentlemen certainly have a tall order when it comes to finding that one stone she’ll love – your site eliminates much of the confusion that comes with the search. Kudos to you!

Hi! Thanks for writing! First of all, I love the ring your GF wants. I think it’s really classy. Don’t forget to use the TAD0611 discount to get 10% off the setting. For an expensive ring like that, 10% is real money!

As for JA vs BN, I think in this case you need to stick with JA for two very important reasons. 1) Cut qualities on cushion cuts vary greatly. And it’s not something (like with rounds) that you can just judge by table and depth% alone. You need to see the stone. and 2) The ring you want is on JA, and it’s always the safest move to have the same person who’s selling you the diamond set it for you. If you buy the diamond from BN and have it set by someone else and the diamond chips at the jeweler, you’re responsible for the damage.

It happens to be that the 3 cushions you selected from JA look amazing. The only suggestion I thought to make was to try to find a larger stone like this:

But in the end, even though it’s heavier, it doesn’t have a larger face than the stones you selected. Out of the 3 you sent me from JA, I like this one the best:

The three stones will probably look identical, so why not just go with the cheapest one?

Let me know what you think of my suggestions!

Thanks so much for your prompt response and sound guidance. I’m grateful for your thoughts on choosing a diamond from JA as opposed to BN, as I’m getting the setting from JA. It was a source of anxiety for me when considering getting a stone from BN and having another party set it.

Thanks for sending me another stone for consideration. Having weighed your input, I think that I might as well save a few hundred dollars and go with a slightly lighter stone, especially if one would not look at the heavier stone and say, “Wow, that’s a much bigger diamond!”

However, I do have one more stone for you to look at, if you have time time. As I started looking at stones on JA exclusively, I came across this one:

There was something about this stone that actually made me say “Ooooohh” out loud. Now, I realize this stone may very well look no different than the one you identified as your favorite in my previous email, and it is a bit more expensive, but my initial reaction to it led me to think that it might be the stone I should get. But, I don’t want to be a sucker on account of my eyes playing tricks on me.

Do you see anything that should lead me to take pause? Also, if you concur, please send me a link to the stone above, as I want to be sure you receive commission – very well deserved!

Again, thanks so much for your time and expertise.

I’m glad you found my email helpful. Also, I’m very grateful for your concern about my commission.

As far as the two stones are concerned, I agree that there’s something about the 0.75ct stone that looks special. In the end, you’re buying the diamond because it’s something that’s beautiful to look at, so you might as well go with that stone. It’s very possible that they’d look identical to your naked eye, but if you bought the other one, you’d always wonder if you didn’t buy the best stone because you wanted to save $140. That extra $140 will set your mind at ease. And either way, both stones are under your budget.

As for the link, here you go:

Thanks again! I really appreciate it! And PLEASE let me know how it looks when it arrives!


Hey (NAME REMOVED). Did you get the ring yet? If so, I’d love to hear what you think!

As a matter of fact, the ring was delivered this morning. It’s GORGEOUS! I couldn’t be happier… and more importantly, I know Kelly will LOVE this ring! I’ll be sure to send you a couple of photos once I get the chance to take some.

Can’t thank you enough for your time and thoughtful input!

That’s wonderful news!! (Great timing!)

I wish you and your future fiance a long life together filled with endless blessings.

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. Use our exclusive Promo Code DMNPROSETTINGS15 at checkout and save 15% off your setting!
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.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • 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

Still afraid of getting ripped off?

Before you buy a diamond, get personal buying advice from industry veterans. We'll help you get the best diamond for the money.

Ask your diamond purchase question here

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

DISCLAIMER: We don't use your email for marketing. Period.

Why we are doing this for free?

Click for Diamond Purchase Advice 100% Free

Ask your diamond purchase question here

We are a team of diamond experts who will teach you to identify scams and avoid spending money on features you can't see. Tell us as much information as possible to help us help you (ie, budget, preferences, etc)

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


DISCLAIMER: We don't use your email for marketing. Period.

Please enter your email address to receive your personal code:

Here is your coupon code: GFDSF3GF