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

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

 

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/0.50-carat-h-color-vs1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-174040

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

Polish:Excellent

Crown ?: 34.50

Symmetry:Excellent

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.

1.00 Carat F VVS2 Oval Cut Diamond for under $6500

I have a beautiful diamond for you today. It is 1 carat, and you can see by the image that it is very well cut.

Carat weight:1.00

Certificate:GIA

Color:F

Shape:Oval

Clarity:VVS2

L/W/D (mm): 7.19 mm x 5.77 mm x 3.73 mm

Check it out here:

www.jamesallen.com/#!/loose-diamonds/oval-cut/1.00-carat-f-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-119309

This diamond will give the impression of being quite large for a 1 carat diamond since on side is 7.19 mm. A 1 carat round diamond will have a maximum of 6.5 mm in width. See this example.

James Allen have recently added a very cool feature and it is just the thing an online shopper would dream to find, particularly when looking for diamonds: a 360° view of the diamond you want to buy. Their previous method of viewing a diamond through a virtual loupe was cool, but this one is going to knock your socks off. The view of the diamond rotates  360° allowing you to see it from all angles. This is really going to blow the competition out of the water as no one else (that I know of) is displaying their diamonds this way.

This gives us as shoppers much more confidence when buying a diamond. Some of the fancy cuts are known to present certain problems and you really want to be able to get a good look at them if you are after something else than the standard round of princess cut diamond. I hardly need to point out the perfection of this diamond by going through the diamond’s grading report. In this case it is a Diamond Dossier so it is less detailed than a full grading report, but that also means it is $100 to $150 cheaper than a diamond with a full grading report. What it does tell us is that the stone has no fluorescence, which is good. See my article about diamond fluorescence for more information about this phenomenon.

oval cut diamond
Click image to go to this diamond at JamesAllen.com

 

 

No Regrets stamp of approval for this round diamond

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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Finding The Best 2 Carat Round Brilliant Diamond. Budget=$25000

If you want to spend a larger sum on a larger diamond you’ll want to feel some assurance that it is going to be worth the price you have paid for it. The reasons for spending big will of course vary, however I am going to assume here that a budget of $25,000 is accompanied with a desire for not only a large but an exceedingly beautiful diamond.

Is is possible to spend $25,000 and end up with a dull stone?

To be quite frank it’s not that easy to find a dull diamond at that price as long as you stick to our recommended list of jewelers. They know that it is not worth stocking dull and inferior diamonds. It just creates extra hassle with having to deal with unsatisfied customers.

They haven’t built up their reputations as high quality reliable business by taking shortcuts.

So it is comforting to know that we are only going to be tweaking things a little to make sure we have the best performing diamond, truly deserving of its price tag.

If the budget is $25,000 and the aim is to find a 2 carat diamond, we can make sure to eliminate any under-performers by trying to find diamonds with a grading report (diamond certificate) issued by AGS Laboratories.

Why? Because there is a very useful feature included on a certain type of AGS grading report which the lab has been issuing in the past few years. It is the Platinum Light Performance Diamond Quality Document.

Not the kind of document name you can turn into an easily pronounceable acronym, but nonetheless a very useful document.

I like what AGS says on their website:

<< Begin Quotes >>

There are several patented technologies encompassing the system with enough technobabble to satisfy the nerdiest among us.

However, the IDEAS behind the system are based on good old common sense.

The complex pattern of light and dark in the diamond is really a fun house view of the surrounding world.

<< End Quotes >>

Read the rest here: http://www.agslab.com/light-performance-cut-grade.php

If you’re like most people and don’t feel like studying table percentage values just to choose a diamond don’t feel overwhelmed. As stated above, most 2 carat diamonds with a value of $25,000 are top performers and there won’t be that many to choose from. The easiest way to perform this search is to set your search values to include diamonds over 2 carats, and close to $25,000. You’ll see that most diamond jewelers only have diamonds that are Excellent/Ideal cuts or Very Good cuts. Once you have narrowed down your search to a couple of diamonds, check to see if it is an AGS grading report and have a look at the grading report. Some places even let you select only those diamonds that have an AGS grading report ( James Allen for example). The majority of Brian Gavin Diamonds are graded by AGS.

choosing-a-2-carat-diamond-for-25000-dollars-three-ags-certificates
Click image to enlarge

 

The search parameters I used to locate the above diamonds can be used at

 

 

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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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Where Can I Find A Jeweler Who Sells Heart Shaped Diamonds?

Heart Diamonds at Brick and Mortar Jewelers

Very few brick-and-mortar jewelers have more than one or two heart diamonds in stock. Many do not stock any heart diamonds at all. The few who do are rarely able to offer much of a selection. However do not let this deter you if you know a jeweler that has been recommended to you. Any jeweler will be able to order a heart diamond in for you. A good jeweler will get to know your requirements as well as limitations and help you find exactly what you need. If you haven’t already received recommendations to local jewelers from friends or people you know then you could use FindMyJewelerTM .  This is a list compiled after DiamondHelpers conducted secret shopper tests to find which jewelers in the USA are helpful, have  friendly customer service, a no-pressure approach, honesty, good selection, quality inventory, and product knowledge, with competitive prices.  . The requirements were quite stringent and only the very finest businesses ended up passing the tests. This is a very good service and very useful if you prefer walking into a jewelry store and dealing with your jeweler face to face. I highly recommend checking it out. Read more about FindMyJeweler

Heart Diamonds at Online Jewelers

If you prefer to buy online, or are not in the USA and therefore the above mentioned list is of no use to you then here is a list of jewelers who not only sell heart diamonds, but they passed our test and were found to be offering excellent service and generous return policies among other outstanding features.

Jewelers offering a large selection of heart diamonds:

Jewelers with a modest selection of heart diamonds in stock:

 

 

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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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