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: 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:

$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.


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.

New Feature at James Allen: Fancy Color Diamonds

Great news for all you diamond connoisseurs! James Allen has now added fancy colors to their inventory. They even have pink diamonds. Not many, but enough to give you an idea of how much they are worth.

Fancy color diamonds are becoming increasingly popular, but remain extremely difficult to source but James Allen has recognised the popular demand and done the leg work for you in sourcing a huge variety. It’s huge because the worldwide supply of fancy color diamonds is relatively small, when compared to colorless diamonds.!/loose-diamonds/fancy-color!/loose-diamonds/fancy-color

Cheat codes: How to get a 1 carat diamond for less than $5000

If you’ve shopped around at the local jewelry stores you’ll know that it is virtually impossible to find a good looking 1 carat diamond for less than $5000. When you include $500 to $1200 for the gold or platinum ring you certainly can’t get a 1 carat diamond ring for $5000. This is why so many people are surprised that this is actually possible when they start looking online for their diamond.

Sometimes you can find a very good deal on a 1 carat diamond it is a fancy cut. This is any shape that is other than a round brilliant.

I found a pear shape diamond today which is very reasonably priced.

Here’s the real secret. I managed to narrow the search to include diamonds with an SI2 clarity grading. I don’t dare do this on any other site because no other site lets us see all the diamonds at such high resolution. Many diamond vendors do post a link to the diamond grading report, which I would have to look at if I couldn’t see an image of the diamond.

If choosing a diamond with an SI1 clarity grade, or lower, we must look closely at the diamond to see if the diamond has any inclusion which hampers its ability to sparkle. JamesAllen has such clear photos of the diamonds they make available through their website that we know exactly what we are getting.

Here is our Catch of the Day:

It is a 1.01 ct Pear cut diamond.

You may be aware that another kind of fancy cut, the Marquise cut diamonds, require a very specific length to breadth ratio for there not to be a bow-tie effect. That’s where the light does not reflect through facets in the middle of the Marquise and cause the middle to show a bow-tie shaped dark patch.

Pear cut diamonds do not suffer from this problem. As a matter of fact there is no preferred ratio for pear cut diamonds. It is a matter of personal preference.

The ratio of this particular diamond actually contains a very eye pleasing ratio.

With a length of 8.18mm, this is exactly 69% longer than the width of 5.65mm.

1.01 Carat G-SI2 Ideal Cut Pear Diamond

When setting the parameters to find a diamond like this I made sure the diamond search would only list diamonds with an Ideal/Excellent cut. GIA reports do not include the cut grade for fancy cuts, however they are still sorted according to cut quality by JamesAllen, fortunately for us.

Shape: 	Pear Carat Weight: 	1.01 Cut: 	Excellent Color: 	G Clarity: 	SI2 Certificate: 	GIA Depth: 	63.0% Table: 	53.0% Polish: 	Very Good Symmetry: 	Very Good Girdle: 		 Culet: 	None Fluorescence: 	None Measurements: 	8.18x5.65x3.56 Ratio: 	1.45

Since $3770 is quite a low price for a 1.01 carat diamond I looked very closely at the grading report.

The majority of the inclusions are on the pavilion side of the diamond (the bottom). This is a good thing as this means they can hardly be seen. One long inclusion, identified as a “feather” on the grading report shows through the top ever so slightly as I point out in this photo:

Feather can be barely seen here in this pear cut diamond

Remember this is a magnified view of the diamond. The entire diamond’s actual size is 8mm long. That feather is going to be nearly impossible to see, if not completely impossible to see in reality without a loupe.

Anyway, that’s my catch of the day for today. It has a lot of things going for it. The color is “G”, which is great, far enough removed from the minimum acceptable color for fancies, which would be an “I” color.

I’ve just been looking at diamonds, real diamonds, that is, not diamonds on the computer screen, and I can tell you that even though lots of people go for the lowest color grade they can get away with (J for round cut, and I for fancy cut) in order to get a bigger diamond, the higher color grades are just unbelievably beautiful. You’ll be very happy you got this “G” diamond.

This one is a great choice. It is going to look fantastic on some lucky girl’s finger. There’s only one of these, so if you think it’s the one, grab it.

Here it is: