Where Can I Find The Best Half Carat Diamond I Can Buy?

This morning I discovered this fantastic little beauty.

It’s just within the range of sizes I recommend for an engagement ring, but it will have a lot of sparkle and life.

50 point (half carat) H-VS1 Excellent Cut Round Diamond



Carat weight: 0.50

Certificate is from GIA

Color: H

Shape: Round

Clarity: VS1

Cut: Excellent

Depth %: 61.40

Girdle:Medium-Slightly Thick

Table %: 58.00

Culet: None


Crown ?: 34.50


Crown %: 14.50

Fluorescence: None

Pavilion ?: 40.80

L/W/D (mm): 5.12*5.10*3.14

Pavilion %: 43.00


According to Rapaport, the global authority on diamond prices, the majority of diamonds bought within the United States range between 0.50 carat to 0.99 carat, H+, SI goods. So this diamond would be just within that range, though better clarity.

Nicest, Finest, Most Gorgeous Diamond Ring In The World (Under Half A Million Dollars)

Ah, yes, the fine things in life. Diamonds being one of them. And what a fine thing we have for you today. If all you can do is drool over it, well that’s kind of fun too. I mean, anticipation is half the enjoyment.

Just the fact that there is this 9 carat diamond is so mind-blowingly incredible. Oops I let the cat out of the bag. Yes, I am reviewing a 9 carat diamond.

And it is made available to you by one of our favorite sites. I try not to play favorites, but at the moment I am just so excited about Gemvara. They make it so much fun to play with the settings on the rings and customizing this and that. This is what technology should be used for, and happily someone is using it for this: Gemvara. They have designed their website in such an interactive way that I think everyone else’s websites are falling by the wayside.

Hmmm. I hope I won’t make the others feel bad…I don’t feel good when I appear to be playing favorites.

It’s like a beauty contest. The finalists are all winners in my books.

But here we are, nevertheless with an outstanding performer. FUN!  It is fun to play with the choices.

When all is said and done it all comes down to choices. And Gemvara gives us a lot of choices. They definitely know about the modern mindset. We like choices. Although, fortunately, they haven’t made it as mind boggling as the 3 million choices BMW was giving its customers a few years ago. I don’t know if they still do that. Three million possible combinations. It could take a while to scroll through three million possible combinations.

Gemvara offers 8 different gemstones as side stones, and you can see the color of the side accent stones on the ring change right there in front of you on the screen. Am I too excited, about this? Maybe it’s because I can remember the days before computers when this kind of thing was impossible. It would have been quite an exercise to get pictographical representations of a diamond ring in 8 different styles. Not to mention showing it to hundreds of people simultaneously around the world!

Well, now that I got that off my chest here’s the ring.

9 carat diamond ring with accent pave stones
Click on the image to go directly to this ring at Gemvara

The diamond with ring and with accent stones is priced considerately below half a million. How very considerate of them.

But really, diamonds are rare. Clear ones are rarer, big ones are even rarer. I am not sure how many 9 carat diamonds there are in the world, but I can tell you that there will not be very many.

And this one is very very high on the color scale (it should be called the colorless scale). It is an E. Just one step removed from the almost unobtainable D. Certainly in this size, it would be. I did not find any D diamonds this size on three other jeweler sites.

So how big is a 9 carat diamond? It is 12mm in diameter when viewed in the setting, from above. That is what you call a big rock. Not for the faint hearted.

When choosing a color for the side stones, diamonds of course would be the first choice. But if you want a splash of color, maybe checking to see what the recipient’s favorite color is could give you a clue, or there are a number of gems that are considered birth stones, so if the recipient is born in the corresponding month, maybe that would be the gem to choose for the accent stone.

Ruby is July’s birthstone, and the 15th anniversary as well as the  40th anniversary gem.

Diamond is April’s birthstone and the 10th anniversary gem.

Emerald is May’s birthstone and the 20th and 35th anniversary gem.

Sapphire, available in blue, pink, yellow, and white, is September’s birthstone and the 5th and 45th anniversary gem.

The other thing which is an excellent improvement at Gemvara is that they have also started including the GIA grading report for their diamonds.

Aren’t they just doing everything right?

Here is the grading report for this 9.03 carat diamond:

Grading report for 9 carat E diamond


With Gemvara’s 101 day return policy, I think that there is plenty of time to inspect the merchandise after buying it without worrying about running out of time. Wouldn’t you agree?

This diamond is a cushion cut (that is the term used when referring to its shape), which is classified as a Fancy Cut. With a Polish grade of Excellent (that is referring to its exterior), and a symmetry grade of Very Good, you are going to have one beautiful stone here.

My one piece of advice would be to have a browse, look at the ring on their site and the different options for the ring, then pick up the telephone, and call Gemvara and find out if the inclusions are visible to the naked eye.

I am 97.9% certain that the inclusions are not visible to the unaided eye.

Top Sparkle Factor in 1.12 Carat Round Ideal Cut F Color VVS1 Clarity

blue nile diamond 1.12 carat F

Here’s the real deal: a 1.12 carat diamond. Click on the image above to go directly to this diamond at Blue Nile.

If you are going buy a diamond it is going to be hard to go past this one for sheer sparkle factor.

Carat weight: 1.12
Cut: Ideal (this is going to make it sparkle!)
Color: F (that’s going to make it SHINE!)
Clarity: VVS1  (this will guarantee it will not be prevented from sparkling!)

Depth %: 62.0%
Table %: 58%
Polish: Excellent
Symmetry: Very Good
Girdle: Medium to Slightly Thick
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Faint (nothing to worry about)
Measurements: 6.67 x 6.65 x 4.13 mm

The Grading report indicates that the inclusions are infinitesimally small. Absolutely eye-clean, meaning they are invisible to the unaided eye, and even someone looking through a jeweler’s loupe would have to be a trained expert to notice them.

The GIA cut grading is a very authoritative indicator of how sparkly the diamond is. So if a GIA grading report says Cut: Ideal, you know you are on to something special. When this is combined with a diamond that is very close to D you are guaranteed an incredible beauty. This stone being only two steps removed from being classified as a D makes it just incredibly sparkly.

This diamond gets our No Regrets stamp of approval. Most definitely.

stamp of approval

Biggest Possible Diamond + Engagement Ring Under $10,000

Today’s challenge, which I set for myself, was to find the biggest possible diamond for an engagement ring , and keep the total budget to under $10,000.

I allowed myself to compromise on a few of my rules. I’d allow for color and cut quality to not be the top priority, and focus only on size.

It just is a fact that no matter how much I harp on about cut quality and clarity being the most important factors in getting a beautiful stone some people just want a big diamond. And I really shouldn’t judge them, if that is their priority.

I had to reject a number of candidates as I still think of the cut quality being important even though I tried hard to not think that way. It’s still in the forefront of my mind when appraising a diamond, and determining if it is going to give the buyer complete satisfaction and no regrets.

I had to think long and hard about  giving this one my No Regrets stamp of approval. And I almost did. What made me hesitate is an inclusion which is noticable at close range. There is a crystal in the middle of the table (center of the top of the diamond) which is of sufficient size to be visible to the naked eye, though one would still have to look quite close to really notice it. I’ll say that this  is still better than a lot of diamonds I have seen in display windows that sell at a higher price with even more inclusions, which made me feel like taking out a steel brush and giving it a little scrub.

But let’s look on the bright side: inclusions are really a badge of authenticity, as they show us that it is a natural diamond.

So I’ll just reiterate that this diamond is selected as our Catch of The Day for being the biggest diamond under $10,000, and it is still a very decent diamond. The cut is really quite nice. It has perfect proportions with a depth of 61.9% being extremely close to the ideal 60%, and a table of 60% which is exactly the ideal. It will definitely look fantastic. In light of the compromises we are making in order to get a bigger diamond this one is a very good choice. This one is 8mm across!

Look I don’t think you can do better than this for a 2 carat diamond, it’s $8700, especially for anyone who feels that size is all that matters.  If that is the case I present to you our massive Catch Of the Day:

2.01 Carat K-I1 Good Cut Round Diamond


Shape:  Round
Carat weight:  2.01
Cut:  Good
Color:  K
Clarity:  I1
Certificate:  GIA
 Price: $8700
Depth:  61.9%
Table:  60.0%
Polish:  Very Good
Symmetry:  Very Good
Fluorescence:  None
Measurements:  7.98mm*8.00mm*4.95mm

Bargain 0.70 ct Round Brilliant I Color SI1

Today’s search for the catch of the day went very fast. This diamond was one of the first I looked at and it looked very promising.

But I thought it too easy and kept searching. Well I am back to the one I started with. Here is what I was trying to accomplish. I figured I would look through the stones that have an SI1 clarity grade and see which ones look the best.

Here is one which I think fits this very well. It is from James Allen, who gives us the ability to view the diamonds they list at 18x magnification. This is the only reason we can go around looking at stones with an SI1 clarity grade. Otherwise the risk of ending up with a diamond which is not eye-clean would be rather high. All the diamond vendors I recommend do offer you the option of being able to return the stone if it doesn’t meet expectations.  With stones purchased from James Allen you get the the longest return period of anyone on my list of recommended places to buy diamonds. It’s a very generous 60 days.

Since we can actually get to view specific diamonds on their site, not just sample images, we can do a bit of bargain hunting.

What I mean by this is that we look for stones which have more inclusions according the grading report, but when looking at their magnified image we see that the inclusions are not obvious. You see, just because a diamond is graded SI1 doesn’t mean that the inclusions are all at the top of the stone where they would be visible. James Allen welcomes people calling them up and asking their expert staff to actually look at the diamond as well. They will be able to tell you if the diamond’s inclusions are visible to the naked eye. They are experts and will have seen so many diamonds that thy will know instantly if it is a good buy or not.

I definitely recommend this as a great idea, especially when bargain hunting like this and trying to find a diamond with a clarity of SI1 or SI2.

0.70 Carat I-SI1 Very Good Cut Round Diamond


I tell you what. After looking at the diamonds being sold at local mall jewelers for $9,500 with huge visible inclusions that make you want to scrub them with steel wool, this diamond at $2620 just seems like an incredible bargain with a tiny inclusion which would just barely be visible.

A Fantastic 1.02 ct Marquise Diamond

Any shape that is not a “round brilliant” falls into the category of “Fancy Cut”.

Today we are exploring our options when it comes to buying a marquise diamond.

These stones are often chosen to be worn by women with long slender fingers. The Marquise is one that is more likely to be chosen by someone who has actually tried one on and felt that it suits them.

The nice thing is that it is 10 mm across, whereas a round diamond of the same weight (1 ct) is only 6.5 mm across. This shape looks pretty and feminine with a decent visibility factor.

Light, when reflected and dispersed in a diamond behaves in a predictable manner. So we know what proportions give us a beautiful stone. The hypnotic qualities of a diamond have to be seen in real life to be truly appreciated. Buying online does not give us this opportunity so we turn to the mathematics of diamond proportions to select the finest stone. I suspect that people shopping online will take much more time when choosing a diamond.

This marquise diamond has been selected by me to be our Catch Of The Day, as it has all the qualities required to receive our “No Regrets” stamp of approval.

We chose it because it is sufficiently high on the scale in regards to color (colorlessness actually), being a G will help it to shine B-E-A-U-tifully. The cut is Very Good, always important, and the table is 61% which is a very good thing. Faint fluorescence is nothing to worry about. There is a tiny, tiny chance (2 in 100,000) that the fluorescence may reduce the diamond’s brilliance a little. Blue Nile offer a generous 30 day return policy, so do look closely at the diamond when you get it, before the 30 days expire. But really it is highly unlikely you’ll want to return this diamond. This one’s a keeper.


Price: $5,668
Carat weight: 1.02
Cut: Very Good
Color: H
Clarity: VVS1
Depth %: 59.0%
Table %: 61%
Polish: Very Good
Symmetry: Very Good
Girdle: Thin to Very Thick
Culet: None
Fluorescence: Faint
Measurements: 10.76 x 5.24 x 3.09 mm
Length/width ratio: 2.05

stamp of approval

Attention! Price drop at DiamondWave!

bargain loose diamond at DiamondWaveThe diamond business is getting more and more competitive. Which is great for us consumers! We get to pick and choose, and are offered all sorts of bargains.

Today I got an email from DiamondWave.  They have dropped the prices of loose diamonds, so I suggest heading over to check out what they have on offer.

As I generally recommend using the savings we get by buying diamonds online to get a better quality stone, I looked through the diamonds listed at DiamondWave to see what I could come up with.

I was very surprised to see one lonely little diamond just waiting to be snatched up. It stood out because it is internally flawless. Once you’ve looked around a little you’ll know that the chance to buy an internally flawless diamond does not come up every day. At least not at this excellent price.

The size is just a little over the minimum threshold I recommend, weighing in at 0.61 ct.

I particularly liked this stone as it not only has an Excellent Cut (always the first thing on the list), but both its polish and symmetry are graded as being Excellent. That is a very very nice combination.

Definitely gets our “No Regrets” stamp of approval.

DiamondWave have also just gone up a notch in our books as they have both improved the searchability of diamonds on their site and added Grading Reports for viewing. Remember they have one of the most generous return policies, a whopping 45 days!

stamp of approval

Beautiful And Rare Natural Fancy Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring

2-3/4ct tw Radiant Cut Natural Fancy Yellow & Round Diamonds Fashion Engagement Ring Micro Pave’ 18k Gold 2.01ct Natural Fancy Light Yellow SI1 GIA Certified Center Stone – 5

Today’s Catch of The Day is an incredibly beautiful ring which features not only a yellow diamond, but a micro pave totalling 144 diamonds!

On sale for 78% off!

List Price: $73,500.00
Price: $36,750.00
Sale: $16,537.50
You Save: $56,962.50 (78%)

The great thing is that this ring is available in several sizes.

The return policy is said to be the standard Amazon return policy, so call the seller to clarify. The seller’s telephone number is listed here: Contact information and Return Policy


What!? A 1.01 ct Marquise for less than $4000? (Much Less!)

We recommend the Brian Gavin Select 1.010 D SI1 Select Marquise

Here’s a stone that stood out to me as presenting terrific value.

A great choice for those who are looking for something different, something elegant: a marquise cut diamond.

This falls under the category of “fancy cut”. Any shape (correctly called “cut”) that is different from a round brilliant is called a fancy cut. The design of round brilliants makes them disperse light in the best possible way. This superior “light performance” makes it possible to buy a round brilliant which is a little lower on the color scale. As “D” diamonds, which are completely colorless, are so rare, it’s is often more affordable to choose a stone which is lower on the scale. “J” is about the lowest most diamond experts recommend if you want the diamond to look at its best. And of course it is still of the highest priority to make sure the cut of the diamond is “excellent”, “ideal”, or at least “very good”. But the cut is the most important factor.

When choosing a diamond that is a fancy cut it is recommended to choose a stone that is a little higher than “J” as the “light performance” simply can not be as effective as a round brilliant.

The reason we give this marquise cut our stamp of approval is because its color is “D”, the highest grade on the color chart; the cut is excellent; it is a Brian Gavin Select, one of Brian Gavin’s signature cuts.

The specifications tell us that the Fluorescence is medium blue. If you are worried that this might cause it to look “milky” in certain light, don’t. As it is only one in 50,000 fluorescent diamonds that will have this problem and Brian Gavin checks every diamond specifically for this and will not even buy it from the wholesaler if it does. The specifications also tell us that this diamond is Slightly Included 1. This is not a concern as Brian Gavin is extremely choosy when he buys his diamonds wholesale. He only works with diamonds whose inclusions are located in such away so they do not impact on his final product.

The attitude toward inclusions is changing now that inclusions are seen as a sign of authenticity. This proves that the diamond is not manufactured artificially in a lab. As long as they are small, they serve more like fingerprints than as imperfections. Still any diamond from Brian Gavin’s signature line is going to knock your socks off.

stamp of approval

You are going to be very pleased with this one. http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/1.010-d-si1-marquise-diamond-gia-35344172

Type Brian Gavin Select
Product ID: 35344172
Shape: Marquise
Report: GIA
Carat: 1.010
Color: D
Clarity: SI1
Measurements: 10.34 x 5.68 x 2.68
Lab Cut Grade: Excellent
Light Performance:
Polish: Good
Symmetry: Good
Table %: 61.0
Depth %: 47.2
Crown %:
Crown Angle:
Star %:
Pav Angle:
Pavillion %:
Lower Girdle %:
Culet: Slightly Large
Fluorescence: Medium Blue
Girdle Min-Max %:
Girdle: Slightly Thick-Thick
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Heart Diamond Craze

I was glad to hear from some of my regular readers that they are looking for hearts, and I was asked to post another one I would recommend which might suit those with a different  budget.

So here is a wonderful wonderful heart diamond that suits a lower budget beautifully. We adjusted the color grading and looked for a stone rated “J”. Remember as shown in the video comparing the color of diamonds J is about the lowest we go if we want a clear and colorless diamond, as its coloring is still very faint.

The thing about heart cut diamonds is that when the cut is graded as “excellent cut” it is done so because it shows the most sparkle (brilliance and fire are the terms used). However in order to accomplish this the cutter has to sometimes make the lower sides of the heart curve enough so that the angle at which the light bounces carries the light back to the viewer’s eye. Sometimes the result is that it can tend to look less like the traditional “cute” heart shape. The one above falls within my idea of an ideal heart shape. And therefore gets named as our

Catch of The Day



I consider it to be more of a “cute” heart shape than some more expensive heart stones even though these more expensive ones get graded as an excellent cut.


Here is an example, though it is still a fantastic piece, I am not too enamoured with the resultant heart shape.

You can see that this diamond below has been graded as an excellent cut, and yet that heart shape looks a little squashed.

This is of course due to the challenging task of creating a heart shape and getting the light to play and disperse in such a way to create the maximum “sparkle”. Also the stone below is the very rare and coveted “D” color. Imagine being responsible for making a heart shape out of such a rare item. I would not like that job. Get it wrong and the stone becomes worth $2000 less.

So this should give us a little more understanding as to why the stone below is the shape it is. Still recognisable as a heart, and absolutely stunning, as it will have incredible brilliance/fire/sparkle, with so many fine characteristics. But the difference in size compared to the above “Catch of The Day” is negligible. But the price is $4560 greater than the one we are recommending above.