Where can I buy the best diamond close to 1 carat for under $5000?

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.

diamond search $5000 close to 1 caratOf 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:

0.90-Carat Round Diamond

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.

This all makes searching for diamonds much easier at VictorCanera.com than at many other websites as you aren’t faced with any dud diamonds.

Today’s search at VictorCanera.com turns up a beautiful diamond that is within the goal of being under $5000.

0.892 ct H – SI1 Canera Ideal Hearts Diamond

0.892 ct H - SI1 Canera Ideal Hearts Diamond under $5000
0.892 ct H – SI1 Canera Ideal Hearts Diamond 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.

How to pick the best diamond on a $5000 budget

In this article I am going to show you how to choose the nicest possible diamond on a budget of $5000.

We’ll use DiamondWave for this example. DiamondWave own every single diamond they present on their website, so you are guaranteed you will actually get the diamond you choose. The majority of the diamonds they have are round brilliant, which are the most sought after type of diamonds for engagement rings. Their diamonds are all high quality, so there’s hardly any chance you can go wrong, so this is a good place to start for a first time buyer.

As we have set a budget of $5000 for this exercise ,  we’ll be using part of it for the loose diamond, and part of it for the ring setting.

The $5000 will have to cover:

1. The metal band

2. The gem (or gems)

If I first choose the metal for the ring then I’ll know how much I can budget for the diamond and any extra gems.

What’s best? Gold, Platinum, or Palladium?

I recommend  going with palladium.

Palladium offers all the benefits of the king of metals, platinum, but without the hefty price tag. As it is considerably easier on the wallet (comparable in price to 14K gold)  it leaves more for us to budget on the diamond. Very pure gold (24K to 18K) is generally not used in diamond jewelry. Pure gold is quite soft. Gold has to be mixed with other metals to make it durable enough to carry diamonds. And many people prefer the white look of platinum for diamond rings. There is also a type of metal that is marketed as “White gold”. This is yellow gold that has been dipped in rhodium to make its surface white. It’s like gold plating in reverse which is not the most sensible of options.

All that to say, palladium is a good choice. It’s a choice you won’t regret as it is an excellent metal for holding diamonds securely in place, and it is hypo-allergenic so anyone with sensitive skin won’t get a rash from it. Some people are allergic to some yellow gold alloys.

Read more about choosing metals at DiamondWave.

choosing a diamond ring setting
I’ll choose a solitaire ring setting. This displays the diamond nicely.

In this example I will be choosing a ring which is not the very cheapest, so I know it’s got some substance: A nice durable palladium ring. As you can see DiamondWave’s prices are also good in the ring department.

choose the ring size
Here I choose the ring size and whether there will be 4 prongs or 6 prongs to hold the diamond in place. I choose 4 prongs  since this is the right amount for holding the type of diamond I will be choosing whether Round Brilliant, Princess, Emerald Cut, or Asscher.

 

I then click Add This Setting To Ring. I am then presented with the Diamond Search page.

Searching for a Princess cut diamond.

 

I have $4,450 budgeted for the diamond after setting $550 aside for the setting.

I then slide the sliders to narrow my search according to my preferences. The most important one is Cut. I won’t even consider anything that has a cut less than Excellent. Diamond grading certificates only give a cut grade for round brilliant diamonds.  DiamondWave has confirmed that all their diamonds are a very good grade, or better. This makes searching for a good diamond at DiamondWave easy, since fancy cuts (like Princess, Asscher, Oval, and such) do not get their cut grade mentioned on the GIA certificate.

In order for the search parameters to show which Princess (or other fancy cut) diamonds are available I have to expand the parameters a little to include Very Good Cut.

Since DiamondWave have a 45 day return policy, there is plenty of time to inspect the merchandise and get a different stone if needed. But sticking to higher quality ones will minimize any chance of that happening.

Choosing the preferences for a princess cut diamond
Cut grade is very important. But color should not be neglected. Princess diamonds should be “I” color or lighter. If you can’t look at the diamond it’s a much safer bet to choose one with a clarity rating of VVS2 or higher.

The first two on this list make excellent candidates for an engagement ring. The first one is 4.8 mm across, and the second one 5.1mm across. I looked at their grading reports to get this information.

If you decide you want more choice you can always look at the round diamonds.

As DiamondWave have many more round brilliant diamonds in stock I performed a slightly different search. I decided to narrow it down by adjusting the carat weight slider; as well as the polish and symmetry sliders.

choosing preferences for a round brilliant diamond
Symmetry is quite important, so I’ve slid the slider way up to show only Excellent Symmetry. In order to show only sized that would look good in an engagement ring I have slid the Carat Weight to 0.65.

The search with the options you see in the image above gave me the choice of 11 round diamonds. There were also the two princess cut diamonds from the previous search to consider. All of them fall within the budget I set at the beginning of this exercise, and any one of those will be beautiful.

If you look at the prices displayed, you will see that all of them fall within the allocated amount, and if desired the largest one can be selected which is a 0.77 carat diamond, I color, for $3,604. Alternately the diamond with the highest color grade can be selected: 0.74 carat, G color, for $4,226. The size of the two will be indistinguishable. Even though the color difference will only be slight, G color diamonds are real nice, and might be the one you find more alluring.

Another nice thing about dealing with DiamondWave is that you can call them up and ask them to have a look at the diamond you are interested in. They’ll be able to give you a first hand account of what it looks like, which can be extremely helpful. I highly recommend this.

Start your own search now: http://www.diamondwave.com/-strse-Build-Your-Own-Ring-cln-Diamond-Solitaire-Rings

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1.04 carats, Round Diamond, with Ideal Cut, I Color, VVS2 Clarity, and certified by EGL

Here is a super diamond. Its ideal cut and VVS2 clarity makes it our

Catch of the day!

1.04 carats, Round Diamond, with Ideal Cut, I Color, VVS2 Clarity, and certified by EGL

Diamond ID: 7395
Shape: Round
Color: I
Clarity: VVS2
Cut: Ideal Cut
Weight: 1.04 ct
Symmetry: Excellent
Measurements: 6.44-6.47*4.00 mm
Depth: 62%
Table Diameter: 57%
Crown Height: 15%
Pavilion Depth: 43%
Issuer: EGL
Description: “EXCELLENT IDEAL CUT” – The quality of the cut of this diamond achieves Excellence in symmetry and proportions, thus obtatining the optimal dispersion of light and brilliance.

EGL certificate

Diamonds-USA does not have photos to match the exact diamond listed so we base our judgement on the description on the certificate.

The description on the certificate includes the description “Excellent Ideal Cut” and this would indicate that the diamond is much, much nicer than the sample picture.

The certificate describes the diamond’s cut as having 8 hearts and 8 arrows.

As EGL has a different set of masterstones than GIA has which are used to compare diamonds to when they are grading diamonds, EGL-graded diamonds with a color grade of “I” could sometimes be seen as a “J” grade if they were to be graded by GIA. Having said that this is still a fantastic deal as it is over 1 ct and VVS2 with an Ideal Cut! An absolute steal at $4,992!