When speaking of “best” we have to consider that there can be subtle differences in taste, however it is generally agreed that the diamond should not look dull and lifeless. Therefore a diamond that can be deemed to provide the best value while displaying fine features will always be one that has the highest quality cut, highest grade of polish, have the highest grades in terms of proportion and will have optimum ratios. It will also have as few inclusions/clouds/feathering as possible so as not to detract from its beauty.
Having said that, choosing a diamond within budget will, with few exceptions, involve some form of compromise. It is generally a matter of finding those compromises which are acceptable.
(if the specific diamonds I showcase in this post are no longer available by the time you read this post, hopefully the information here will help you to find your own ideal diamond within your budget)
So here goes.
To stay under $5000 I began my search among the diamonds that are just under 1 carat. The price per carat does jump once the diamond reaches 1 carat, as is the case at several weight points. This means that the best bargains are to be found just below the whole, quarter, half, or three quarter carat markers.
First stop will be BlueNile.com
Setting the search parameters to include all diamonds that are $4900-$5000 will give us way too many hits. So I have narrowed the search by including only those diamonds that have been give an Ideal Cut grade or better, and an H to G color grade. The clarity grade I have chosen is VVS1 to VVS2. I’ve left the carat search field as is so we can see everything that this search gives us.
Of the 21 diamonds this search turns up there are two for which BlueNile offers us 360 degree views. Taking a closer look at those two diamonds GIA reports I can see that one of them lists Pinpoint, Needle, Cloud amongst its clarity characteristics.
Therefore I will eliminate that diamond from my shortlist.
The one which will make it onto my shortlist is this one:
Stock number LD08079367 Price per carat $5,466 Carat weight 0.90 Shape Round CutIdeal Color H Clarity VVS1 Length/width ratio 1.01 Depth % 62.6% Table % 57.0% Polish Excellent Symmetry Very Good Girdle Medium to Slightly Thick Culet None Fluorescence None Measurements 6.17 x 6.09 x 3.83 mm
We can see here that the price per carat is over $5000 and it would be unrealistic at this point in time to expect to get a 1 carat diamond without compromising in other areas such as quality of cut, clarity, color, which quite frankly are usually a lot more disappointing than a very small compromise in size.
Looking at this diamond’s GIA report we can see that there is a mention of “feather”. This is pretty common and sometimes the feather is a very minor internal flaw. But without a more detailed report we can’t actually see how much feathering there is in this diamond. A less detailed report like this does cost less than a full work up, but the compromise in this case results in some unknowns.
Apart from that minor concern, everything else looks great. No fluorescence to worry about, Symmetry is “very good”, which means it could be better, but the 360 degree view shows us that it’s very close to being “excellent”.
The next place we will look is at VictorCanera.com
VictorCanera stands out among the diamond jewelers I list here on MyTop10DiamondWebsites.com because Victor Canera is one of the jewelers that doesn’t actually stock any diamonds that one would regret buying. All the stock listed on their site is owned by Victor Canera. To see more about the difference between owned stock and virtual stock please see this post here.This allows Victor Canera to only select diamonds that are up to their standards.
Essentially it boils down to Victor Canera establishing a business that is not a sales machine but whose aim is to create beautiful things that people will truly love to own.
Today’s search at VictorCanera.com turns up a beautiful diamond that is within the goal of being under $5000.
The diamond has had its lab report issued by AGS which is preferred by diamond cutters who have their own signature cut. Victor Canera explains why:
“AGS’ ground-breaking research in Cut and Light Performance has immensely contributed to the understanding of diamonds. AGS is considered the authority in the Cut analysis of diamonds.” – Victor Canera
Comparing this Victor Canera Ideal Hearts Diamond to the diamond listed at Blue Nile above we can see that this one’s symmetry is much better in terms of length to width ratio. The Victor Canera diamond is has almost identical length and width with a tiny tiny difference of .02 mm, whereas the one listed at Blue Nile has a difference between length and with of a gaping .08 mm. The near perfect symmetry of Victor Canera’s diamond plays an important role in this diamond receiving such a high rating from AGS on its Platinum Light Performance Diamond Quality Report.
What makes this diamond the winner is that it is a Canera Ideal Hearts.
As I mentioned above the high quality of Victor Canera diamonds begins with the selection of the world’s best rough diamonds. The diamond in the rough, is passed on to master diamond cutters who represent centuries of amassed knowledge of diamond cutting. The experience and skill of the polisher is further enhanced with the use of the world’s most modern diamond polishing technologies. After the rough diamond is polished, the stone is further inspected and only stones exhibiting ideal optical symmetry through hearts and arrows patterns continue to the next stage. And of course to make sure that only the best of the best are included in Victor Canera inventory the verification of Canera Ideal Hearts, Hearts and Arrows Diamonds is done through AGS Laboratories. The AGS labs are known as being one of the most rigorous laboratories in the world. Affirming its precision, Canera Ideal Hearts diamonds always achieve the distinction of receiving AGS Laboratory’s highest scores of 0 or Ideal, for Cut, Polish, Symmetry and Light Performance otherwise known as AGS 000.
Hopefully this write up will help you find your ideal diamond. Also you will be glad to know that you can call Victor Canera and arrange a free consultation. (Let him know Thomas J Stevens from mytop10diamondwebsites.com referred you, if you can.)
Alternately please send me your question through the contact form.
Your question will be used as a starting point for another blog post (though I’ll email the recommendation to you first so you can have a chance to reserve the diamond I recommend).
Happy diamond hunting.