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I am looking for a round diamond on a pretty small budget. I have $6,000 to spend on the diamond and another $800 for the setting. We already picked out a setting which will be a classic “Tiffany” setting in yellow gold. We have looked through so many stores and we (especially me) are totally confused as to what we should be look for. I would like the diamond to be as clean as possible but my Fiancé is also concerned that it shouldn’t look too small. After reading a number of pages on your site I think I was being misled by a number of them and have decided to try and buy online. I looked at both BlueNile and James Allen and have a couple of options I wanted to know if you can look at and give me your opinion on.
I really appreciate your time and the amazing articles you have on the site.
Thanks for the note and I am happy the site was able to help. As for the 4 you sent me.
In terms of size these are all pretty much identical. You won’t be able to see a difference between a 1.06 and a 1.01 or 1.02 anyway so you should think of all of these as a 1.00 carat diamond. You can play with the setting so that it appears larger, for example have the diamond mounted high in the prongs.
As for my preference:
My first pick is the I- SI1: http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Excellent-Cut-Round-Diamond-1440491.asp
This diamond is eye clean and also has the largest table which will give it a larger appearance. My 2nd choice is the J-SI1. Since you are going with a yellow gold setting you can afford to go down to the J color without worry.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Amazing site! I have learned more in the last hour reading your articles then I have by gong to 3 different stores.
I am looking to buy a diamond over 1 carat and under 10K. I was looking through some of the one syou have listed on the side of your site and came across this one, http://selectingadiamond.com/1-14-carat-ags-certified-h-vs2-ideal-cut-round-diamond-for-9750/ but had a couple of questions:
Even under the magnification I can’t find why this is a VS2 and not a higher clarity grade. Also, The picture looks a little fuzzy, I read on your diamond fluorescence page that if the diamond has some fluorescence it can make the diamond look hazy (or I think you call it milky) is that the problem with this diamond? The diamond certification is AGS and not GIA – is that a problem? All in all can you give me your opinion of that diamond?
Thanks so much and again- amazing site!
Thanks so much for writing in and I am happy that you enjoyed the site.
The diamond you sent me (here is a link direct to James Allen – http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1418797.asp is a beautiful stone. As for why the diamond looks “milky” in this case has nothing to do with the fluorescence, which in this case is “negligible”, but rather poor photography! I wouldn’t worry at all about the fluorescence – you really only need to start thinking about this when you see Medium to Strong blue listed. Finally, as to why this is a VS2 and not a higher clarity grade – I suspect it is because of the faint marks at the 4:00 and 5:30 marks near the table. The cert also claims a feather in the middle of the table but to be honest I just don’t see it (even under magnification). It could be because of the quality of the photo but being a VS2 – I don’t really care as this diamond will be eye clean! It’s a great buy.
It’s been a while since I added some new deals to my site but I just came across this 1.2 carat H color SI2 clarity diamond and love it. It’s a great example of the value that can be found in SI2’s. You can see the details of the diamond and a nice big close up on this page. I also like this like the fact this is an H color – keeping it priced below the G price hike. Read more on the advantages of H color and SI2 clarity on this page.
I will be buying a diamond in the next few weeks and I am comfortable with the choice of clarity that I want but I am really debating what color to go with.
I see on several of your pages that you claim that there is no difference between G diamond color and H diamond color. Given the price difference and the fact that these diamonds are certified by top labs like GIA how it can be that there is no difference. Are you saying that it’s all just marketing hype and that all diamonds are the same colors?
I went into a few local retailers and looked at the diamonds myself and in many cases I was able to see the difference between colors even in one color grade. Are you sure it’s OK to go with an H color diamond over a G? I don’t want to disappoint my fiancé.
Great questions and I appreciate your writing in so I can clear this up for you. First, you have to differentiate between what a diamond certificate ways and what is actually visible to the naked eye. Yes, there is technically a difference between a G color diamond and an H color diamond. When looking at the 2 diamonds together under ideal lighting conditions and when compared to a perfect set of reference diamonds you may – (but even here mostly likely won’t) see a slight difference between a G and H color diamond. However, under normal circumstances an untrained eye will NEVER be able to tell the difference between 1 color grade be it G to H or F to G – the difference and the amount of yellow that appears from this one step is so slight that even trained salesman will get tripped up – and again, this is under ideal circumstances. So while technically there is a difference it is one that the human eye is almost incapable of seeing – is this what you want to spend money on?
In addition, as I talk about on my diamond pricing page and diamond color page, there is an artificial bump in price between G color and H color diamonds. For some reason the Rapp list has determined that the color difference between a G and H is so great that it warrants a steep price increase (all other things equal) this is of course non-sense! So as for going with a G over H color there are 2 reasons not to: 1) You will never be able to see the added color 2) you are paying an extra premium for this jump.
As for why you were able to see the difference when you went to the local jeweler I suspect you were not looking at 2 diamonds graded by the same lab. For example if you were looking at an H color EGL diamond and a G color GIA diamond you were actually looking at diamonds that were 2-3 grades apart and not 1 grade apart. To understand why please read my EGL vs. GIA page here.
I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions I can help you out with.
I am looking for a 1 carat or larger G color Princess cut diamond for $6000-$6500 budget. What clarity and cut grades should I be looking at? Why are cut grades for Princess diamonds not listed on the certs? Can I trust the cut that James Allen lists with the diamond?
I have some good news for you. Given the size and color\clarity grade you are looking for I think your budget is too high! You should be able to find a beautiful diamond in the $5000-$5500 range. As for clarity I would stick with a VS2 if possible. In many cases you can even drop to an SI1 with a Princess cut and still find a clean diamond and a great value- as a rule of thumb I start out looking for VS2. I do think you can afford to go down in color to H (and even I ) without sacrificing and having the diamond look yellow.
As for Princess cut not being on the certification- no fancy shaped diamonds have Cut listed on the cert. There is a broad leeway given to the retailer in terms of specifying the cut grade and you do need to be careful. One thing to look at (at least in Princess) is that the ratio of the length to width be as close to 1 as possible. The closer to one you are the more perfect square the diamond is. I would not recommending going with anything over a 1.05 ratio.
Some other things to look for in a Princess are:
– A depth of 65% to 75%
– Table below 75%
– Polish and Symmetry at least Good
Given all this I would recommend this 1.00 G-VS2 diamond on James Allen. It comes in at jut over $5000 so leaves you lots of room for a really nice setting.
I am often asked my opinion of different diamond and jewelry sites, everything from James Allen to BlueNile and Whiteflash to ice.com. In an effort to better answer your questions I decided to start a new section called Site Review. In each site review I will give you the advantages and disadvantages of the site (as I see them). There are so many sites out there today and I won’t be able to cover them all but I will do my best.
Your site is really a wealth of information – thanks so much for organizing and putting this up.
My girlfriend and I are getting engaged soon and have been talking about diamonds. She is convinced that since she is getting a white gold setting we need to look at F or G color diamonds but after reading your site it looks like we can go for an H color. Does the color of the setting really make a big difference? If we do go with white gold can I still get an H color and be safe? The diamonds we are looking at are between 1.15 and 1.25 carat and generally in the VS2 clarity range.
Thanks for writing in and I am thrilled that you and your girlfriend found the site useful. You should definitely be looking at H color diamonds- with a white gold setting I would probably not recommend going to a J color but I have no problem recommending H color.
I noticed that you mention color, clarity and carat size – but you left to the most important of the 4Cs! Remember always look at the cut of the diamond as well as the other 4Cs. You didn’t mention a budget range you were looking at but here is a diamond that is a 1.2 carat H-VS2 that looks great. If it’s not within your range let me know and I will help you find one that meets your budget.
I am interested in buying diamond stud earings for my wife. I have
been told that for earings, better to get bigger size than quality of
diamond. Do you agree with that? Also – What cut, clarity, etc. should
I be interested in AND what size should I expect to be able to find
for my budget? I am willing to increase my budget number a bit if it
proves to provide a fairly substantial upgrade in size. Thanks for
I agree that for diamond stud earrings you should focus less on quality. For the size you are looking at (based on budget) you don’t need to look at anything over an H-SI1. What is important is the quality of the matching- how close the 2 diamonds look alike.
Based on the budget you provided you are looking at about a 3/4 carat total weight for the pair of earrings.
Take a look at this pair and let me know what you think:
Well I guess if you are here already you don’t need to watch this but I am still happy this is done. Feel free to grab it and share with friends!
Hello, thank you for your site giving information on diamonds. I am looking for a nice emerald cut diamond stone size about 1 carat more or less depending on what is out there. I fell in love with a Golconda stone that was featured on Antiques Roadshow and wanted to find a nice emerald cut stone that is nice.
What would you recommend ?
I am a big fan of the Roadshow!
When it comes to Emerald cuts (and other stepped cuts) you need to pick a slightly higher color and clarity then with other shapes as they tend to show inclusions and retain color more. For these I generally recommend as a bottom line a G-VS2.
Here are beautiful stones within your 1 carat range that I really like.
This is a 1.01 carat G-VS1 for $4890
and another which is a 1.00 carat G-VS2 for $4650
I happen to think that the cut on the G-VS1 is a better cut and would recommend that even though it is slightly more expensive. I like to see a depth of under 68%.