Question: Where can I find the nicest diamond engagement ring for $10,000?

It is easy to assume that spending $10,000 would mean that you’re guaranteed to get the best. This is not necessarily so. If a shopper focuses only on size they could neglect other very important attributes which actually make the diamond look sparkly. For example here is a 2 carat diamond: https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/K-I1-Good-Cut-Round-Diamond-1493524.asp which is pretty good, fits the budget, and isn’t poorly cut. The only problem is that there is an unsightly inclusion right under the middle of the table. This is going to be quite noticeable Also this diamond’s color is K, so it’s getting a bit on the pale yellowish side. Any round brilliant diamond whose color is past J will be one that looks kind of pale yellow. It is possible to choose to get a yellow gold ring for a more yellowish diamond’s setting and the idea is that the optical illusion of the yellowish color of the gold doesn’t make the yellow of the diamond quite as noticeable. This has only limited results. A colorless diamond will still look beautiful in a yellow gold ring, so this shows you that the setting’s color only influences how the eye perceives the color by providing a contrast.

All that to say that this 2 carat diamond would not be my first choice. Therefore the first thing to determine when we want the nicest diamond on a $10k budget is what we mean by “nicest.” As you can already tell “nicest” will mean different things to different people. I am going to go through the steps to get what I consider to be the nicest round brilliant diamond with a ring for ten thousand dollars (US$10,000). I find that most diamond experts recommend similar options to the ones I will delineate below.

With a budget of $10,000 your options open up quite nicely. First of all, you’ll be guaranteed to find a diamond over one carat, and that $10,000 will be enough to cover a platinum ring with sidestones as well.

Here is a fine choice: https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/platinum-graduated-pave-swirl-engagement-ring-17871p.html

$10000 diamond engagement ring with sidestones
Setting by James Allen (with sidestones). $8500 center diamond + $1500 setting = $10,000 engagement ring.

Platinum is the king of metals when it comes to diamond rings. It is stronger than gold so there’s less chance of any stones falling out.

In regards to the size of the diamond, the advantages of getting a diamond over one carat is that the diamond certificate (grading report) is more detailed. The grading report which GIA issues will include a diagram detailing exactly where any inclusions are found in the diamond.

Ok, so here’s how to go about finding the best and most beautiful diamond with this budget of $10,000.

The ring setting which I have chosen for this example is priced today at $1,590*, leaving over $8000 for the diamond itself.

*Precious metals prices change frequently.

At James Allen select the advanced options in the Diamond Search box.

For this example we will choose Round. We do this because then we will be shown diamonds which have a cut grade mentioned on the grading report. This makes it possible to just select the Ideal cut option without having to worry about having to enter in the depth and table percentage values.

James Allen offer their own estimation of cut grade and categorise their fancy shapes such as Princess, Emerald, Square, Heart, Marquise, Pear, Oval, and Cushion according to what they deem to be Ideal, Very Good, and Good. GIA, the grading lab, does not offer this information for fancy cuts therefore cut grade won’t be mentioned on the GIA grading reports for fancy cut diamonds.

Either way I recommend getting a diamond with a grading report from GIA or AGS.

 

10000-budget-diamond-for-ring
This search, today, gives us 8 diamonds to choose from at James Allen. Two or three look to be very likely candidates.

I have selected this diamond (see image below) from the ones that come up as a result of the above search which I think looks the nicest. This H color, VS1 clarity diamond has Ideal proportions, a diamond grading report from AGS and a 30 Day inspection period.

www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.33-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-2600733

Best round diamond under $5000 (includes ring)

This ring here: 0.72 ct. H – VS1 AGS Certified Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Solitaire Ring (White or Yellow Gold)
is today’s Catch of The Day. It is found at Amazon and the reason it presents excellent value is because the diamond itself is of very high quality. Having a certificate from AGS gives it a reliable and trustworthy set of papers that describe the diamond exactly. This is important because if you were to buy a diamond with a certificate from an unknown laboratory then the diamond’s description may be embellished making it appear to be better than it actually is. That would make it easier for the diamond seller to either charge more or make the diamond appear to be a bargain.

That’s why I always recommend buying cut diamonds that come with a certificate issued by AGS, GIA, or at least EGL. Each lab has its own may of measuring the diamond, with GIA having established a widely recognised lettering system for grading diamond. AGS has very stringent and uniform standards which make it equally desirable when buying diamonds. They have their own grading system, but they include the comparable GIA grade on their certificate.

Please note that while the term certificate is generally used in marketing material, the industry term for this document is Grading Report. The two terms may be used interchangeably.

In regards to color, G is usually considered Good, as higher than that gets really expensive, and a round cut diamond lower than J start to look a little yellow.

This diamond has a clarity grade of VS1, which is extremely good, and any little crystals included in the diamond will be invisible to the eye. Only a trained professional will be able to detect any inclusions with high magnification implements. These little inclusions also show you that it is a real diamond, so this is really the ideal, as you have the best of both worlds. The diamond looks very sparkly, and a close examination will easily reveal it to be  natural diamond.

Jewelry Information
Brand, Seller, or Collection Name: Katarina (through Amazon)
Metal stamp 14k
Metal gold
Material Diamond gold
Gem Type: Diamond
Setting solitaire-setting
Total metal weight 2.3 Grams
Ring size 7
Sizing lower range 3
Sizing upper range 13
Resizable Yes
Number of stones 1
Stone Weight 0.72 carats
Diamond Information
Stone shape Round brilliant
Minimum color H
Minimum clarity VS1
Cut Very good cut
Depth percentage 60.80
Table percentage 59.00
Symmetry VERY GOOD
Minimum Total Carat Weight 0.72 carats

Most Beautiful Cushion Cut Diamond (1 carat)

Cushion cut diamonds are the diamond of choice for many savvy diamond buyers.

English: Nearly octahedral diamond crystal in ...

Due to the form of a diamond, cutting the diamond into a round shape results in some loss of mass. There are plenty of advantages to buying a round diamond, such as being able to buy a diamond that is of a lower color grade without noticing the difference. However not everyone wants to go for a lower color grade.

If you want a higher color grade then princess (which is essentially the square cut), asscher (also called emerald cut), or cushion cut would present a very attractive option. Less diamond has to be chipped away to make these shapes as they are much closer to the original shape of the diamond when it is initially mined. The image seen here is what a natural diamond looks like when unearthed. The most frequent process applied is to cut this rough diamond into two. Any final shape that is somewhat square will save more of the diamond from getting cut away. ‘This can often result in a lower cost per carat. The round brilliant shape has the best light performance, but there are a few diamond cutters who manage to make the other shapes also perform extremely well.

Cushion cut diamonds may be sought by people who think that the corners of the princess diamond may be vulnerable to chipping. It is only a very small risk, but some people want to play it safe and therefore choose a cushion cut diamond, or an emerald cut diamond. If you want an emerald/asscher diamond I wrote an article on what to look for in those types of cuts here.

Click image to be taken directly to this diamond at Brian Gavin Diamonds website
Click image to be taken directly to this cushion cut diamond at Brian Gavin Diamonds website

The Catch of The day is this very fine Cushion cut diamond which you can see performs beautifully.

This cushion cut diamond has been cut by Brian Gavin, one of the world’s finest diamond cutters, and one that never ceases to impress me due to his attention to detail.

The listing includes an ASET image which is even better than a mere photograph as it shows you not only the diamond’s symmetry, but its light performance.

 

Type Brian Gavin Select
Product ID: 104061059003
Shape: Cushion
Report: AGS
Carat: 1.041
Color: G
Clarity: VS1
Measurements: 6.06 x 0.00 x 4.07
Lab Cut Grade:
Light Performance:
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent

 

Table %: 58.6
Depth %: 67.4
Crown %: 15.7
Crown Angle: 36.9
Star %:
Pav Angle: 42.1
Pavillion %: 47.9
Lower Girdle %:
Culet: Pointed
Fluorescence: Negligible
Girdle Min-Max %:
Girdle: Thin To Slightly Thick Faceted

 

 

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Round Hearts and Arrows Diamond: 0.820 Carat G Color VS2 Clarity

Heart and arrows diamond at BrianGavindiamonds.com

Type Brian Gavin Signature
Product ID: AGS-104057253028
Shape: Round
Report: AGS
Carat: 0.820
Color: G
Clarity: VS2
Measurements: 5.99 x 6.04 x 3.71
Lab Cut Grade: Ideal
Light Performance: Ideal
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Table %: 56.4
Depth %: 61.8
Crown %: 15.4
Crown Angle: 35.2
Star %: 53.0
Pav Angle: 40.9
Pavillion %: 43.4
Lower Girdle %: 75.0
Culet: Pointed
Fluorescence: Negligible
Girdle Min-Max %: 1.0 – 3.6
Girdle: Thin To Medium Faceted

Can’t go past this diamond at BrianGavinDiamonds. It is truly a superior cut as not only has its cut been executed perfectly, it comes with an AGS certificate which confirms that its light performance/brilliance is rated right at the top.

Price:
$5,225

It definitely gets my No Regrets stamp of approval.

See it here

No Regrets stamp of approval for this round diamond

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The Most Beautiful Cushion Cut Diamond

 

http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/0.783-e-vs2-cushion-diamond-ags-104061059012

Brian Gavin Select  Cusion Cut Diamond 0.783 E color VS2 clarity
click image to go to this diamond at Brian Gavin Diamonds

This diamond was one of 32 diamonds added to the Brian Gavin inventory today.

After looking over each one’s images and grading report I felt that I should place this one here as our Catch of The Day. 

All of Brian Gavin Diamonds are in a class of their own, as everything coming from Brian Gavin Diamonds just stands out as being so perfect. When looking over all the new inventory I felt like they are all finalists in a beauty contest. However I consider this particular one to be outstanding and not only the top performer, but representing the best value.

I have highlighted the characteristics which make this diamond exceptional, and the ASET image also indicates that this diamond is truly magnificent.

With actual photos of the diamond in high resolution you get to see exactly what the diamond looks like.

Don’t expect to find high resolution photos of diamonds at every jewelry seller’s website. Of the hundreds of thousands of diamonds for sale, only a small percentage get photographed like this. The majority of the time buyers have to make do with stock photos, and one has to read through the diamond certificates to get an idea of how nice the diamonds are.

This 0.783 carat E color VS2 Select Cushion Cut Diamond can be seen in the image above. And the best aspects are its cut, which even though cushion cut diamonds do not get a mention of cut grade on the grading report, the ASET shows how much brilliance can be seen in this diamond, confirming that it is an Ideal cut. Also of note is the color (E, very rare!), and its VS2 clarity which would require 30x magnification to see any inclusions! All in all an ideal diamond for a lovely engagement ring.

Type Brian Gavin Select
Product ID: 104061059012
Diamond Shape: Cushion
Grading Report: AGS
Carat Weight: 0.783
Color: E
Clarity: VS2
Measurements: 5.52 mm x 5.50 mm x 3.69 mm
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Excellent

 

Table: 58.6 %
Depth: 67.1 %
Crown: 15.9 %
Crown Angle: 37.0 degrees
Pav Angle: 42.0
Pavillion: 48.0 %
Culet: Pointed
Fluorescence: Negligible
Girdle: Thin To Slightly Thick Faceted

See this diamond here: http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/0.783-e-vs2-cushion-diamond-ags-104061059012

 

 

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Round Brilliant Hearts and Arrows Diamond: Best Buy Under $3000

 

Catch of The Day: https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1500338.asp

0.73 Carat I Color-SI1 Clarity Hearts & Arrows Ideal Cut Round Diamond
0.73 Carat I Color-SI1 Clarity Hearts & Arrows Ideal Cut Round Diamond
Shape: Round
Carat Weight: 0.73
Cut: Hearts & Arrows Ideal
Color: I
Clarity: SI1
Certificate: AGS
Depth: 61.8%
Table: 57.6%
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Girdle:
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Negligible
Measurements: 5.75*5.78*3.56
Crown Angle: 35.5
Crown %:
Pavilion Angle: 40.8
Pavilion %:

This diamond is one that I deem to be the best buy under $3,000 and still have an incredibly beautiful diamond. There is a little trick I used to locate this diamond and this trick is only possible if you can view an actual photo of the diamond and not a stock photo. The trick is to compromise in one selected area which doesn’t detract too much from the beauty of the diamond. James Allen is very handy for this as this is really the only place that strives to put up photos of every single diamond in their inventory. I think they are up to 25,000 diamonds currently.

If you start looking at diamonds within the $2,000 to $3,500 range you’ll find that either they are very small or have an inferior cut grade, a lower color grade, or lower clarity grade. It’s up to you to choose which area a compromise is acceptable. You will find that jewelers and diamond experts agree that the greatest disappointments occur when a compromise is allowed in regards to the cut grade. Ideal or Excellent cut diamonds are the most likely to please you. James Allen’s TrueHearts TM are their signature Hearts and Arrows design and are all meant to be Ideal/Excellent cut. I hate to say this, because I am a huge fan of almost everything James Allen does, but I have noticed that there are some TrueHearts that look a little less than perfect. I am glad that it is possible to examine both the image of the diamond as well as the diamond’s grading report and this prevents disappointment. The diamond I selected to highlight today is a TrueHearts TM diamond. And it has perfect symmetry and shows superior light performance on its grading report, thanks to the AGS labs Platinum Light Performance Quality Document, which you can see below.

To locate a diamond which would at least be of average size for an engagement ring  (between 0.5 carat and 1 carat) I decided to make the compromise in the clarity grade. This means that I allowed SI1 diamonds to show in the search results. I had a closer look at any diamond that stood out to me from the thumbnail images that showed up. Examining the diamond using James Allen’s Virtual Loupe TM helped me decide whether there were any inclusions which would be visible without magnification. The term is “eye-clean”, and that’s often the aim when looking for a diamond that is going to be pleasing to the eye. The AGS lab document confirmed that the light shines through the diamond without obstructions and this is why I can recommend this diamond as extremely good value, with hardly any compromise, and certainly no compromise that hampers the stone’s beauty.

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Can I Find A Diamond Engagement Ring For Less Than $3000?

Today’s challenge was:

Can I find a diamond engagement ring for less than $3000?

I wanted to find a good quality diamond without going for inferior and poorly cut diamonds. It had to be a nice “sparkler“.

For this I applied a wider filter which involved looking through diamonds with a slightly higher coloring, like a K.

It is advisable to have K diamonds placed in a yellow gold setting. More about this below.

 

Shape: Round
Carat Weight: 0.76
Cut: Hearts & Arrows Ideal
Color: K
Clarity: VS2
Certificate: AGS
(with Computer Generated Light Performance Map!)

Depth: 61.9%
Table: 58.2%
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Negligible
Measurements: 5.82 mm x 5.85 mm x 3.61 mm
Crown Angle: 35.6
Crown %:
Pavilion Angle: 40.7
Pavilion %:

This particular Heart and Arrows Ideal cut diamond would be ideal for anyone who would prefer a yellow gold ring setting. This is because the color of this diamond has been grade by AGS laboratory as being a 3.5 which in the more familiar GIA color grade is “K”.  Yes, it is a little farther down on the color scale. Which is why it is often suggested that diamonds of this color be set in yellow gold. The yellow color of the gold creates a contrast and makes the slight coloring of this diamond less noticeable. With such perfect symmetry and polish the diamond will have a very high “sparkle” (technically called fire and brilliance), also reducing the notice-ability of the slight coloring. The VS2 grade makes this diamond almost completely perfect in regards to inclusions. As you can see from the image no inclusions are visible. And the grading report (certificate) indicates where the inclusions are to be found, so you know where to look for them. You still can’t see them even if you are looking for them.

This diamond is a good size for an engagement ring. Anything over half a carat will do, though most people try to get as close to 1 carat as possible.

 

Looking at the Computer Generated Light Performance Map not only tells us that this diamond has the highest grade of light performance, but also confirms the incredible symmetry.

At $2,550.00 I can guarantee that this diamond is going to be very well liked once you have it in your hands.

You may click here if you would like to buy it: https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/K-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1495907.asp

Here’s what it would look like in a yellow gold ring setting.

The engagement ring in the video is made of 18 karat gold. This is quite pure gold, with 18 parts out of 24 being pure gold, and the rest other metals/alloys. Since pure gold is quite soft it might be prudent to get 14 karat gold which is not as soft as 18 k gold and will do a better job of holding the diamond in place.

Here is a link to a 14 karat gold setting: https://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire/14k-yellow-gold-2mm-knife-edge-solitaire-engagement-ring-(six-prong)-17927y14.html

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3.48 Carat I Color SI1 Clarity Ideal Cut Cushion Diamond

 

I found this diamond listed at JamesAllen’s website today and I had to include it as the Catch Of The Day. 

First of all this is a very good example of why it’s a good idea to buy diamonds online. I know for a fact that even a “wholesale” street price for this diamond would be $34,900.00. However the prices are so much more reasonable at JamesAllen that it is listed there for only $29,680.00!

And it is worth every penny.

3.48 Cts I Color-SI1 Ideal Cut Cushion Diamond

Shape: Cushion
Carat Weight: 3.48
Cut: Ideal
Color: I
Clarity: SI1
Certificate: AGS
Depth: 67.1%
Table: 60.8%
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Very Good
Girdle:
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Medium blue
Measurements: 9.32 mm x 8.09 mm x 5.41 mm
Ratio: 1.15

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Cushion-Diamond-1520079.asp

You can see from the high resolution image that there is no bow-tie effect (or only very faint). The “bow-tie” effect is where there is a bow-tie shape shadow caused by the way light interacts (or doesn’t interact) within the diamond. It is quite rare to have one that is so well cut and has such very good symmetry. It certainly is a beauty to behold.

The inclusions do not appear noticeable at all, so it is surprising that this diamond has a clarity grade of SI1. All the better because this brings the price down considerably, and it is still very beautiful.

Just to get an idea of how rare a diamond like this is, if you were to go through a pile of 5 million diamonds, you might only find one this big, not to mention one that is this perfectly cut. As you can see the task of cutting it was given to a very good cutter as the job has been done in a most excellent manner.

Truly one of a kind.

Here is how it would look in a setting:

The ring setting in the video can be found here: https://www.jamesallen.com/designer-jewelry/meno-collection-by-danhov/ring/item_412-4013.asp

 

I give this diamond my No Regrets stamp of approval.

No Regrets stamp of approval for this princess diamond

 

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Ideal Cut Diamond: Round, 1.05 Ct

Excellent Loose Diamond Perfect for Engagement Ring.

1.05 Carat H-SI2 Ideal Cut Round Diamond
Item: Loose diamond
Shape: RoundCarat Weight: 1.05
Cut: Ideal
Color: H
Clarity: SI2
Certificate: AGS
Depth: 62.2%
Table: 54.6%
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Girdle:
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Negligible
Measurements: 6.47 mm x 6.52 mm  x 4.04 mm
Crown Angle: 34.7
Crown %: 15.60
Pavilion Angle: 40.8
Pavilion %: 43.10

 

 

This diamond has beautiful symmetry. Looking at this diamond’s certificate we can see that it has received the highest grade in Light Performance, Polish, and Symmetry from AGS Laboratories. This is one of the top diamond labs, and if they say it is a good diamond, then it is a good diamond. The image we see above is a highly magnified image, which allows us to see a few tiny inclusions which make this diamond unique. As these inclusions are so small they do not hinder the overall beauty of the diamond and are not noticeable to the unaided eye. The actual size is on average 6.5 mm across, so if you were to shrink the above image so that the diamond has a 6.5 mm diameter you’ll have an idea of how tiny those inclusions are.

This Ideal Cut Loose Diamond can be added to a ring. Since it is over 1 carat it will be perfect for an engagement ring. It is available at James Allen:

https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-SI2-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1436415.asp

When you get to see loose diamonds, and can compare various colors, you can definitely see the attraction of getting a diamond with a color grading of H. They are very beautiful, and this diamond is no exception, even with the minor traces of inclusions. The inclusions in this diamond are added crystals, and are not impurities. Many jewelers see inclusions like this as mere fingerprints, unique birthmarks, and small ones like this one has, do not detract from the beauty as they are not visible to the unaided eye. What we like to call “eye-clean”.

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Princess Cut Diamond: A Real Treasure! 1.057 carat F VS1 Brian Gavin Signature

Princess cut diamonds have been growing in popularity and I can see a few reasons why.

I have just been holding two 1 carat diamonds and examining them side by side. One is a round brilliant cut and the other is a princess cut. Even though they are both 1 carat, I find that the princess cut diamond just looks a little bigger. I was discussing this with another jeweler and she was saying that it was because of the particular setting, but I wasn’t entirely in agreement with her on this. The settings were both prong settings and not that different from each other. I suppose this can be debated forever since I was only talking about the appearance of which one “looked” bigger.

The reason I think princess cut diamonds are getting so popular is related to their price per carat, their nice name, and their sparkle.

They do really sparkle.

Princess cut diamonds have more facets than round brilliants. The standard round brilliant cut has 58 facets and the princess cut has 76 facets. What do more facets mean? Well, more facets mean that when it’s in the light, the light gets divided up more ways and as a result you’ll have more fire and brilliance. With a greater amount of reflectors you get a greater number of points from which light bounces, refracts, and disperses. The end result is that the princess diamond really does seem to be made out of a magical substance, stardust, and pure light beams.

Today I have found a magnificent princess cut diamond for you that is going to knock your socks off!

This is it:

http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/1.057-f-vs1-princess-diamond-ags-104047876017

 

princess cut diamond 1.057 carat F color VS1 clarity

And not only do we get an image of the actual diamond, we also get an AGS Laboratories report: http://www.agslab.com/pdf_sync_reports/104047876017-PLDQR.PDF

Having an AGS lab report is a huge bonus because this means we have a Computer Generated Light Performance Map, only available on AGS Lab’s grading reports. If you don’t know how to read those, well, the simplest rule of thumb is this: the more brightness on the Computer Generated Light Performance Map the better, along with a distinct area, but not overwhelming, area of contrast.

Princess Cut Diamond with actual photo
This listing has the actual photo of the diamond. Not a stock photo. Examine it up close with the online magnifier.

This diamond gets my No Regrets Stamp of Approval.

No Regrets stamp of approval for this princess diamond

 

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