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

1.00 Carat I-SI1 Ideal Cut Round Diamond $4900!

Check out this beauty!

Even though it is Slightly Included, you can observe that it is eye clean in the  high resolution image. Click on the image and you’ll see the diamond in complete 360° at a magnification of 40.

That’s even higher than a jeweler would get through a standard jeweler’s loupe!

1 carat diamond

Carat weight:1.00

Certificate:GIA

Color:I

Shape: Round

Clarity: SI1

Cut: Ideal
Depth %:60.60

Girdle: Medium-Slightly Thick

Table %:59.00 Culet:NN

Polish:Excellent

Crown ?: –

Symmetry:Excellent

Crown %:0.00

Fluorescence:None

Pavilion ?:- L/W/D (mm): 6.46 x 6.44 x 3.91

Pavilion %: 0.00

Ideal Cut, Fancy Yellow Color, VS2 Clarity, and certified by EGL

Diamonds-USA has been providing high quality diamonds at bargain prices online since 1997. As stated on Diamonds-USA’s site: “there is not a single diamond that enters or leaves the business without David’s experienced eye checking for quality and value for money. This remains David’s personal commitment to every customer.” If you want expert advice and detailed information about your purchase you’ll do well speaking to the experts at Diamonds-USA. There is no middle man, therefore no drop shipping. They are the source, the diamond cutters and the jewelry manufacturers.

I have been scouring Diamonds-USA’s inventory locating those diamonds with actual photos, as it’s just so much easier to make a determination about the diamond with an actual photo.

 

0.5 carat, Round Diamond, Ideal Cut, Fancy Yellow Color, VS2 Clarity, Certified by EGL. Ideal for "petite" engagement ring
This half carat diamond would be perfect for a “petite” engagement ring.

Today I am highlighting this Fancy Yellow diamond. (With actual photo!) The color of the diamond itself has been enhanced, (not the image). Diamonds-USA tell me that the image does not do it justice, as it is a very beautiful diamond.

Diamonds-USA’s fancy color enhanced diamonds are the closest you can get to natural colored diamonds, but they’re only a fraction of the price.  Natural fancy color diamonds are extremely rare and therefore finding a cheap fancy yellow is going to prove impossible. If you went through a pile of 1 million diamonds there would only be 10 naturally occurring fancy yellow diamonds. Diamonds that show some color but are not attractive enough to be used as Fancies can be enhanced. Electron accelerators are used to adjust the color and have no harmful effect, leaving no radiation. These diamonds can be used in jewelry immediately.

The diamond’s size is on the lower end of the range of what you’d want for an engagement ring, so it is ideal for anyone with smaller hands, or prefers a unique, yet understated diamond. Half a carat round is approximately 1 mm smaller than a 1 carat round would be. This diamond measures 5 mm across its diameter.

It is an Ideal cut diamond. The cut grade (how well a diamond is cut to proportions that make it sparkle) is the most important factor in determining if a diamond will be a genuine sparkler.

Diamonds-USA offer a huge variety of ring styles, even vintage styles, which have been quite popular of late. They also offer palladium which is a much stronger metal than gold, yet is similar in price to 14K gold.

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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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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
Girdle: 
Culet: 
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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