The Diamond Pro

Q&A: Starts with $10,000 Budget 1.50 Carat Emerald Cut, Ends with $15,000 Budget 2.00 Carat Round Brilliant.

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 Ira, I’ve been trolling your site for *months* while I have tried to surreptitiously find out what style setting, cut of stone (and other attributes) my girlfriend of six years would like on an engagement ring. I think I’ve finally managed to narrow it down to an emerald cut diamond on a baguette-tapered platinum setting. I’m looking to get max bang for buck with the stone and have always been intrigued by your eye-clean SI’s and near colorless with a hint of fluorescence picks… …So can you help me find the best rock that’s eye-clean, sparkles in natural light, no visible inclusions and offers value? I feel terribly guilty asking someone on the Internet to help me find a stone… But I’ve read so many other email exchanges that today I finally bit the bullet 🙂 Looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks

Anyway – first of all, you should not feel guilty at all. Take a look at this and you’ll understand why:

Since we’re dealing with Emerald cuts, it’s very important that we be able to see what we’re dealing with as even a VS2 or even in extreme circumstances a VS1 can be visible to the naked eye. So since that’s the case, I only want to deal with James Allen. Unfortunately, their selection in Emerald cuts is pretty slim. They have a ton of goods listen under Emerald Cuts, but the vast majority of them are really Asscher cuts (square emerald cuts). A nice emerald cut should have a L/W ratio of between about 1.40 to 1.60. There were very few in your price range fitting that description. Here are two that I found:

Now, these definitely seem like good options, but I would have rather found you a G or H color stone that was larger. JA has a bunch of Hs, but they’re all squarish.

If you’d like, I’d be happy to take a look on the market here in Israel. I’m sure I could find something that’ll be a great value – better than what you’ll find online. The is particularly the case with Emeralds and other fancy shapes that are in less demand. Their prices are generally significantly better in Israel than they are in the States.

The bourse is open on Sundays here in Israel, so if you’re interested, try and let me know in the next 13 hours or so.


I went ahead anyway and looked for some emerald cuts on the market here. I found one stone that I think is an incredible value. It’s a 1.83ct G VS2. The total final cost to you would be $10,000.

The polish and symmetry on the stone are both “Excellent.”

There are two “issues” with the stone. One – the L/W ratio is about 1.2. Thats a bit low for an emerald cut. It’s kind of in between an asscher cut and an emerald cut. But some people like this look better than the more elongated emeralds. So take a look at the picture attached and see for yourself if you like it or not.

The other issue is that the stone has strong blue fluorescence. Normally, I recommend against buying SB flr blindly because sometimes, it can cause milkiness/cloudiness in the stone. But quite often (especially in colors G and lower), SB flr has no visual effect whatsoever. But since there’s no way to tell online, I tell people just not to bother with it. But in this case, I saw the stone myself, and without putting it on the fluorescent lamp, you would never know it was fluorescent. There are no negative visual effects from the SB flr at all.

So those to issues combine to make this stone a very attractive deal. You won’t find a stone this large with a price like this anywhere.

I look forward to hearing from you.


ARGH! Ira, sorry, your emails ended up in my Spam folder. I was about to shoot you another email through your site but thought I should double check in there first – and here were your replies.

Firstly, thank you *very* much for going out of your way to look for stones locally.

Secondly (!) we’ve had a bit of a chance of plan. After she tried on a couple of “larger” emerald cut stones that are quite deep and realized that was not her style…

…So she’s back to liking rounds – or something similar to the “Tiffany” lucida, which I am told would have as much fire as an AGS-0 stone.

If you could spare some time to advise for this kind of stone (budget 10k, preference for an all-round-star stone as opposed to huge with massive inclusions!), I would love to pick this up again. And I’ve now unmarked you as spam!!

(BTW – thanks for passing the affiliate link explanation on to me – I’m glad that you are compensated for your US referrals, also. Makes me feel less guilty, but still slightly guilty, for asking! If you think local diamonds are a better value – then I’m comfortable buying from you online!)

Thank again and have a great weekend.


Hi. I’m glad you found my messages withering away in the spam bin!

For a 10K budget for a round, you can get yourself a very nice 1.75ct stone. Here’s an example of a great stone you can get in your budget: – it’s large. It’s totally eye clean. It has a GIA excellent cut. It will be big, white, and super fiery. Just as much sparkle as the Lucida.

Since this size and budget is super-popular and the market is very crowded with little supply, there’s no real way I could save you money trying to broker the stone for you. So I think the best way to go is through James Allen.

Have a look at that stone I suggested. Let me know your thoughts. It’s a great stone, but if you don’t like it for whatever reason, it’s a great starting point.


Wow — that really is a beauty! Very interesting that even though it’s an SI2, the inclusions would be pretty well hidden away under the claws of most settings.

What sort of $ figure am I looking at for a 2 ctw round cut of similar quality do you think? Another 50%?

I will poke around ja some more tonight…


THat was a good guess. here’s a great 2ct option. Similar in quality:

That stone looks a bit… Scratched? Not sure if that’s the right word! The surface looks a bit fuzzy under the loupe. Would these imperfections be horribly visible in broad daylight?

If you think it’s good, I’ll hit go!


Hi. Those inclusions would be 100% clean to the naked eye. In fact, such spready inclusions are preferable because you can only see them with magnification. If an SI2 were concentrated in one area and a darker color, it would not be eye clean. For example, see this:

But it looks like it’s all theoretical anyway because the original stone was sold!

Here’s another great option. Spready eye clean inclusions. Great cut. GIA triple excellent. HUGE spread.


Thanks Ira! I’m about to add the stone to a setting (model number 11019P). Is there anything else that you would consider before you would pull the trigger?


I think you’re good to go!


Let’s do it! Thanks.


Don’t forget TAD0611 coupon!


No way dude, I’m all over that. Thanks for your help.

Just need to get the seal of approval from the person who’ll be wearing it. We’re pretty informal about all this, which makes it that much easier for me.


Q: Too long!!! Hmm – just doing a dry run and when I enter TAD0611 it tells me “The code you have entered is invalid. Please try again.”.



It works only on the setting. Did you have the setting in the cart when you entered it?


D’oh – I got it working – just had the stone in the cart, not the setting also.

Thanks again!

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