Where Can I Buy The Best Round Diamond For $3000?

Today I am answering the following question: Where can I buy the best, (nicest, most fiery, most sparkle) round brilliant diamond for about $3000?

Your best value for a budget of three thousand dollars will very likely be amongst the .50 carat diamonds if you want a round brilliant that has close to ideal attributes.

Diamonds that are not the very top of the color range are much more affordable. It is very difficult (actually I will venture to say, impossible) for anyone to be able to tell the difference between a D and an E color diamond. Actually any color is hard to differentiate from the one adjacent to it because the change is so gradual and slight. By the time you reach J it starts looking a little bit more colored, though it’s still negligible. If you compare diamonds that are three grades apart you definitely notice the difference in color. Round brilliant diamonds do look their best within the D to J range, so the middle of that range represents the best sparkle per dollar value. I know that many people settle for J diamonds, but when you actually get to see higher color grades they are really quite stunning. I consider H to be the area where you have some of the best value for higher sparkle, provided you don’t ignore the most important factor, and that is the quality of the cut.

Therefore if we are going to stick to a budget of about $3000 for a loose cut diamond (whether for an engagement ring or any other ring) I would suggest this diamond here found at BrianGavinDiamonds.com

I sifted through much of Brian Gavin’s inventory of round brilliant diamonds and realized that to be able to get something within the price range I was looking for it would have to come from their Virtual Stock. This means that the diamond would be preordered for you from the factory and be guaranteed to have the attributes shown in the listing with.

Now this is something worth checking out:

0.507 Carat Round Diamond

Wire Price : $3,023
Price : $3,116
Factory ID BFG-23172
Cut Grade Ideal
Type Signature

Table %




Depth %




Crown %



Advance -Ideal

Crown Angle




Star %:



Pav Angle:



Internally Flawless

Pavillion %


5.15 x 5.19 x 3.19

Lower Girdle %

Lab Cut Grade




Light Performance






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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
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:


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 Diamond Ideal Cut 1.54 Carat H Color

1.54 Carat H-SI2 Ideal Cut Princess Diamond
Click image to view this diamond under magnification at James Allen

The time I have spent on diamond hunting today has paid off and I am pleased to present you with a fantastic diamond.

Princess cut diamonds are a popular choice for diamond rings. Not only do they look good in a solitaire setting, they are equally suited for rings with sidestones. (Both options are available at James Allen). Princess cut diamonds are what is termed a “Fancy Cut“, which includes all diamonds not cut into a round brilliant shape. I have noticed that when checking out trends within search terms that one of the most frequently performed searches on the internet by those looking for a diamond (usually for an engagement ring) is for “Princess Cut Diamond” or “Princess Diamond“. So I know that many of you reading this page will be delighted with this stone.

Several things about this diamond make it absolutely tops and I have highlighted those factors in the chart below.

Shape:  Princess
Carat Weight:  1.54
Cut:  Excellent
Color:  H
Clarity:  SI2
Certificate:  GIA
 Price: $8920
Depth:  69.6%
Table:  71.0%
Polish:  Excellent
Symmetry:  Excellent
Fluorescence:  None
Measurements:  6.58*6.54*4.55
Ratio:  1.01

I always recommend going for diamonds with an Excellent cut grade. I have noticed that many online diamond vendors sell heaps of J color diamonds. This is fine for round brilliant diamonds due to the way rounds are engineered, but fancy cut diamonds are at their best when they have a minimum color grade of  I. The one I am presenting here has even less color, being an H.

Buying a diamond online can be done for a number of reasons: More variety; Better prices; Better terms; No pressure. I still think it is hard to beat stepping into a good jeweler’s and seeing diamonds with your own eyes. I’ve just been looking at the difference between an H stone and a K stone, and the difference you get in terms of sparkle from the H stone is really noticeable. All that to say, after choosing to get a diamond with an excellent cut you’ll be very pleased with a diamond that has the least color possible. So this diamond I present to you today is a fantastic H on the color scale. Oh, and did  you notice its size? It is 1.54 carats!  It is going to be hard to find any diamond of this size with these specifications for less than $10,000. The trick I used, which has worked over and over again, was to select a diamond with a lower clarity grade and then examine the GIA grading report (also referred to as a diamond certificate) as well as the high resolution image provided by James Allen. Only after examining the grading report do we see that the SI2 grading is not that severe and does not impact much on the beauty of the diamond. Check it out yourself. https://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-SI2-Ideal-Cut-Princess-Diamond-1519156.asp

It is also a bonus that there are no issues with fluorescence, even though this is usually of very little concern anyway.

James Allen give you a generous 60 days to inspect the merchandise, and they honour their word about “No questions asked” if there is a need to return it.

Princess diamonds between 1.50-10.00 carat, H color, SI2 clarity, Ideal cut, EX,ID polish, EX,ID symmetry

I give this diamond my No Regrets stamp of approval.

stamp of approval


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The One

Ok, enough beating around the bush. I know that the average person who goes into a jewelry shop wants a round brilliant 1 carat diamond. Then when the sales person sees the look on their face when they find out it’s $20,000 they are pointed toward the cluster rings.

Well, if you are shopping online you certainly won’t need to spend $20,000 for a 1 carat round brilliant.

Today we are going in search of a 1 carat diamond. And since it is a one carat diamond we are not going to go for any that are poorly cut, or have any visible inclusions.

So we have gone straight to the section at James Allen that lists the Hearts and Arrows diamonds called True Hearts. They are all better than Excellent cuts. With James Allen you get to see exactly what you are going to get since they have magnified images of the diamonds they offer for sale. The images are neutral so you don’t get blinded by the sparkle and can actually see how well the diamond is cut and whether or not there are any visible blemishes or unbecoming marks on the stone.

This one is simply WOW!

Shape:  Round
Carat Weight:  1.01
Cut:  Hearts & Arrows Ideal
Color:  H
Clarity:  VVS2
Certificate:  AGS
 Price: $9,620
Depth:  61.2%
Table:  55.6%
Polish:  Ideal
Symmetry:  Ideal
Culet:  None
Fluorescence:  Negligible
Measurements:  6.48*6.50*3.97
Crown Angle: 34.2
Crown %: 15.20
Pavilion Angle: 40.8
Pavilion %: 43.20

The whole idea behind Hearts and Arrows is that the edges of the cut lines align perfectly. So you are already looking at a superior cut when choosing a Hearts and Arrows. Cut is the first thing to concern ourselves with when choosing any diamond so we won’t take it for granted that this is perfect just because it’s a Hearts and Arrows. It’s still nice to look at the magnified image and admire the perfection or check for any signs that it might be below par. I did skip a couple of Hearts and Arrows diamonds that had one of the lines ever so slightly out of alignment. This one I deem to be absolutely tops. The Clarity grade of VVS2 combined with a near colorless H makes this diamond a high grade sparkler!

This gets our No Regrets Stamp of approval without the slightest hesitation.

stamp of approval

Could It Get Any Better? Here’ s A Magnificent Engagement Ring Diamond!

Today’s find is for those who want something that is really going to sparkle in an engagement ring.

For this we have to remember that the cut grade is a very important factor.

Also the closer to “D” the better. With “J” being about the limit where it’s just starting to look ever so slightly yellow or beige.

We found an H diamond which really stood out. The main thing was the perfection of the cut.

The cut grade on a GIA report will be either:

Very Good

On a report issued by AGS Labs it will be:

Very Good

Using the GIA Cut grade estimating tool we can compare a stone which has an AGS Labs report.

Today’s Catch of The Day was a diamond I selected because it is an outstandingly perfect cut. It comes with an AGS Labs report which describes the cut grade as Ideal.

Screen Shot of This Ideal Cut Diamond's Proportions
Proportions of today’s featured diamond

To see if this would also be graded as Excellent by GIA I looked up GIA’s online grading tool. The GIA terms and conditions do not allow me to place a screen shot of the GIA Cut Grade Estimating Tool nor of the results I got but you can see their tool here and try it for yourself: http://www.gia.edu/diamondcut/charts/57_table.html

Entering in all of the proportions as reported on the AGS Labs Grading report shows me that it is indeed an incredibly perfect stone and would undoubtedly be given the highest cut grade of Excellent by GIA. Why is this important? Well, GIA spent 15 years studying how a diamond’s brilliance is perceived. Yes, perceived. Because in the end the most important thing is how it looks. Over 70,000 observations were made on more than 2,300 diamonds using observers from all sectors of the jewelry industry. This included diamond cutters, dealers, retailers, as well as potential customers. GIA researchers knew that diamonds can be cut in such a way so that their weight would end up as being over one carat, yet it could include compromises which make the light reflect down rather than at the beholder’s eye. This would obviously not serve the customer well.
GIA researchers determined that if a diamond didn’t look brilliant, the customer would be getting an inferior product. This is why the GIA cut grading system is something which is a good idea to pay attention to. It is about how nice the diamond looks.

This doesn’t mean that reports from other labs can’t do the same job. AGS Labs actually has a very ingenious way of describing information about the stone’s brilliance: An AGS Labs Computer Generated Light Performance Map.

0.91 Carat H-VS1 Ideal Cut Round Diamond

There are a couple things which I am very excited about in regards to this stone in particular. Stones under 1 carat have a significantly lower price per unit of weight than stones over one carat. However this benefit is counter balanced by having a Grading Report is less detailed. GIA does not issue a Grading Report for stones under 1 ct, but rather a simpler report called a Diamond Dossier. This simplified document does not include a diagram of where the inclusions are on the diamond.  Usually this compromise is accepted since the price difference can be anywhere from $1800 to $3000.

However, and here’s the good part, this stone has an AGS Labs report which has got all the information needed, and more. It has a diagram plotting the (very small) inclusion. But what I particularly like is that AGS Labs reports now have a bonus section too: The AGS Labs Computer Generated Light Performance Map. That’s the red, green and blue disk on the report. I know that it probably looks like what you’d see when looking through a kaleidoscope, but let me tell you that this diamond has got the goods! It certainly does.

Now, about the size. This one measures 6.15 mm across. The size difference between this 0.91 ct diamond and a 1 ct diamond which is also cut to Ideal standard is 0.35mm. Yes, one third of a millimeter. I am pretty sure no one can tell the difference. Even someone who has been handling diamonds for years! It really is virtually impossible to tell the difference. So why does everyone want a 1 ct diamond? It’s just a nice round number. Obviously plenty of people think it’s absolutely worth it to spend an extra $2000 for one third of a millimeter on a diamond. But once you know these little tips and tricks it might seem more worth it to get one just below 1 ct.


Shape:  Round
Carat weight:  0.91
Cut:  Ideal
Color:  H
Clarity:  VS1
Certificate:  AGS
 Price: $6090
Depth:  62.4%
Table:  56.5%
Polish:  Ideal
Symmetry:  Ideal
Girdle:  Thin to slightly thick
Culet:  Pointed
Fluorescence:  Negligible
Measurements:  6.15*6.19*3.85
Crown Angle: 35.4
Crown %:
Pavilion Angle: 40.7
Pavilion %:


Best Princess Cut Under $6,000

Today we are looking at Princess cut diamonds.

These are hugely popular and sought after. It’s important to realise that the way light is dispersed through princess cut diamonds makes it necessary to look for a stone with a higher color than “J”.

We thought we’d try a little trick and go for one with  a clarity rating of SI2. The trick is to make sure that the diamond still looks good. This of course is only possible through a place like James Allen since they have high magnification of the actual diamond that you are going to buy.

We can see that the inclusions don’t ruin the look of the diamond, and make this a very good deal for a diamond way over 1 carat.


Princess cut from James Allen

Shape: Princess

Carat weight: 1.22

Cut: Excellent

Color: H

Clarity: SI2

Certificate: GIA

Depth: 74.0%

Table: 72.0%

Polish: Excellent

Symmetry: Very Good


Culet: None

Fluorescence: None

Measurements in millimeters: 5.74*5.63*4.17

Ratio: 1.02