Question: Where can I find the nicest diamond engagement ring for $10,000?

In this article:

How to set parameters at JamesAllen to guarantee your finding a beautiful diamond.

But first: what not to do.

It is easy to assume that spending $10,000 would mean that you’re guaranteed to get the best diamond at the more than ideal engagement ring size of 1+ ct.

This is not necessarily so. If you focus only on size you could neglect other very important attributes which actually make the diamond look good.

For example here is a 1.56 Carat K-VS2 Very Good Cut Round Diamond.

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.56-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-very-good-cut-sku-579691

It fits the budget, and has been given a “very good” cut grade by GIA.

There are, however a number of problems with this stone.

Let’s take a close look at why it’s not a good deal.

First of all it is a shallow cut.

diagram profile of diamond
Any round cut diamond with a depth less than 61% is generally going to be a shallow cut diamond. Its face up appearance will be dull. Light leaks out the sides and bottom rather than being reflected back to the eye. Click to view larger size.

 

With a depth of 59.40% this diamond is simply not going to return light through the table as would be the case with an diamond that has a depth ratio of 61%. It may seem like nothing, but light travels in very specific and predictable ways. A small variation in angle and everything goes awry. Most excellent or ideal cut diamonds have a depth of between 61% and 62%. You won’t want to get anything that varies too far from these depth percentages. This applies only to round cut diamonds or oval cut diamonds.

The table of this diamond is also fairly small, sitting at 55.2%. To get a decent of light return you really want something with a table that is around 57%,  58% or at the most 59%.

Here is what the diamond in question looks like when viewed face up. It looks extremely dark as very little light is being returned through the table and crown.

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 have noticeable color with very few exceptions. Occasionally you’ll find a super ideal cut diamond that sparkles so brightly that the K color is masked by its sheer brilliance. But this is extremely rare and usually people opt for G or H if they want to make sure that no color is noticeable.

It is also possible to set the diamond in a yellow gold ring if the diamond color is J or K or even more. 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 always be a better choice whether set in a yellow gold ring or in a platinum or palladium setting.

The setting’s color influences how the eye perceives the color by providing some contrast.

k color diamond's color is obvious.
The diamond is far from colorless once seen from a different angle. Click for enlargement.

All that to say that the diamond in question https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.56-carat-k-color-vs2-clarity-very-good-cut-sku-579691

would not be my first choice. Yes it’s a decent size, but the drawbacks are far too many to make up for them.

Finding the Nicest Diamond

It’s probably not a bad idea for me to start out by defining what I mean by “nicest.”

“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 engagement ring for ten thousand dollars (US$10,000). I find that most diamond experts recommend similar options to the ones I will delineate below.

Round cut diamonds look best when they have less color and no visible inclusions. But they must be cut to excellent proportions or they will look dull as in the above example.

So you may think that if this stone costs so much that you don’t stand a chance of finding a real good looking stone. But if you tweak a few of the search parameters you can still find a fantastic stone.

The $10,000 Diamond Ring

Here we go.

Let’s narrow down the search to find you the best stone leaving a decent amount for the setting.

The setting

With a budget of $10,000 total for both the diamond and the setting you will have plenty of diamonds and settings to choose from. Most importantly you’ll be guaranteed to find a diamond over one carat, even if it’s not quite the 1.5 carats we had in the above example. And you will still have 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

$1500 setting for $10000 engagement ring.
Platinum Graduated Pave Swirl setting for engagement ring. Budget: $10,000 total.

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 $1,480*, leaving over $8500 for the diamond itself.

*Precious metals prices change frequently.

Settings are chosen according to personal tastes, so I won’t go into too much more detail on the setting.

The Diamond

What Parameters To Use

(Pssst: You can skip my instructions and have all these parameters entered in for you!

Click here to automatically enter in all these parameters at Jamesallen.com )

Here are the parameters I recommend to use when searching for round cut diamonds in order to get the most brilliance and largest size at the best value:

  • Shape: round
  • Color: I – H
  • Clarity: SI1 – VVS1
  • Cut: TrueHearts
  • Carat: 1.15 -1.xx
  • Price: xxx-$8500
  • Polish: Excellent
  • Symmetry: Excellent
  • Lab: ALL
  • Depth: 60.8%-62.8% (or leave unchecked)
  • Table: 56% – 60.1%
  • Fluorescence: none

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 categorize 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.

In the past GIA or AGS were the only labs I recommended. IGI is now producing far more consistent grading reports and therefore you’ll be fine getting a diamond with a grading report from any one of those laboratories.

Here is a sample search.

Conducting the search while only including TrueHearts is my first choice, as it eliminates a huge number of underperforming diamonds that might have some good proportions but still have something about them which is not quite right.

You’ll find that tweaking the settings like as per the afore mentioned criteria makes it so much easier to find the better stones.

Click here to automatically enter in all these parameters at Jamesallen.com

Click to enter in these search parameters at JamesAllen.com
Click to enter in these search parameters at JamesAllen.com

This search turned up a couple of very nice stones for me and I know it will for you too.

25% off your setting with a TrueHearts purchase.
You actually save on the setting with your TrueHearts purchase. Click here to search for TrueHearts diamonds at jamesallen.com

Why TrueHeartsTM

The cut of a diamond not only refers to the diamond’s shape, it also refers to how effectively the diamond returns light back to the viewer’s eye. A well-cut diamond will appear very brilliant and fiery, while a poorly cut diamond can appear dark and lifeless as shown in the first example above. While the example used a K stone, you can see that its dullness is due to the poor cut regardless of its color or clarity.

But an interesting thing happens when you get a well cut diamond: Not only do well-cut diamonds appear more brilliant than their poorly cut counterparts they also tend to appear larger than other diamonds of the same carat weight. When compared to deeply cut diamonds this is not just an optical illusion. An ideal cut diamond has both increased brilliance and increased diameter relative to more deeply-cut diamonds. Make sense? Less of the diamond’s weight is hidden in its pavilion.

Ideal cut diamonds

An Ideal Cut Diamond is a round, brilliant, or princess cut diamond that is cut to ideal proportions and angles, and has excellent polish and symmetry ratings. An Ideal Cut Diamond is perfectly proportioned to refract light, producing that fire and brilliance up through to the table and crown. James Allen offers a nice selection of Ideal Cut Diamonds known as True HeartsTM

Hearts and Arrows True HeartsTM

Seen from above, a Hearts and Arrows diamond shows an arrow pattern. When displayed on its pavilion side, the diamond presents the eye with 8 hearts with tiny ‘v’ shapes. Genuine Hearts and Arrows have these patterns visible at a single glance, indicating that the diamond has perfect optical symmetry.

The Hearts and Arrows collection are the perfect symbol of true love – that’s why they named them TrueHeartsTM. Every diamond from the TrueHeartsTM collection is a lasting masterpiece, a  diamond that has been carefully crafted to get as close to perfection as possible.

Hearts and Arrows diamonds are sold under many names – Hearts on Fire and Leo Diamonds are two popular examples. James Allen takes pride in presenting some of the finest Hearts and Arrows diamonds money can buy – every single TrueHeartsTM diamond they sell is cut and polished at 100X magnification. Furthermore, the exclusive Diamond Display TechnologyTM lets you see any True HeartsTM diamond magnified in 360° so you can see exactly what you are getting.

Understanding Brilliance, Dispersion & Scintillation

A well-cut diamonds exhibit three different properties: brilliance, dispersion and scintillation. As light strikes a diamond’s surface, it will either reflect off the table of a polished stone or enter the diamond. The light that is reflected off the diamond is known as the diamond’s brilliance. As light travels through a stone, some of the light rays are separated into flashes of color. This is known as dispersion. The result of dispersion—the separation of white light into its spectral colors— is known as fire. Scintillation is flashes of color that are viewable as an observer moves a diamond back and forth.

25% off your setting with a TrueHearts purchase.
You actually save on the setting with your TrueHearts purchase. Click here to search for TrueHearts diamonds at jamesallen.com

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.

Best round diamond under $5000 (includes ring)

This ring here: 0.72 ct. H – VS1 AGS Certified Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Solitaire Ring (White or Yellow Gold)
is today’s Catch of The Day. It is found at Amazon and the reason it presents excellent value is because the diamond itself is of very high quality. Having a certificate from AGS gives it a reliable and trustworthy set of papers that describe the diamond exactly. This is important because if you were to buy a diamond with a certificate from an unknown laboratory then the diamond’s description may be embellished making it appear to be better than it actually is. That would make it easier for the diamond seller to either charge more or make the diamond appear to be a bargain.

That’s why I always recommend buying cut diamonds that come with a certificate issued by AGS, GIA, or at least EGL. Each lab has its own may of measuring the diamond, with GIA having established a widely recognised lettering system for grading diamond. AGS has very stringent and uniform standards which make it equally desirable when buying diamonds. They have their own grading system, but they include the comparable GIA grade on their certificate.

Please note that while the term certificate is generally used in marketing material, the industry term for this document is Grading Report. The two terms may be used interchangeably.

In regards to color, G is usually considered Good, as higher than that gets really expensive, and a round cut diamond lower than J start to look a little yellow.

This diamond has a clarity grade of VS1, which is extremely good, and any little crystals included in the diamond will be invisible to the eye. Only a trained professional will be able to detect any inclusions with high magnification implements. These little inclusions also show you that it is a real diamond, so this is really the ideal, as you have the best of both worlds. The diamond looks very sparkly, and a close examination will easily reveal it to be  natural diamond.

Jewelry Information
Brand, Seller, or Collection Name: Katarina (through Amazon)
Metal stamp 14k
Metal gold
Material Diamond gold
Gem Type: Diamond
Setting solitaire-setting
Total metal weight 2.3 Grams
Ring size 7
Sizing lower range 3
Sizing upper range 13
Resizable Yes
Number of stones 1
Stone Weight 0.72 carats
Diamond Information
Stone shape Round brilliant
Minimum color H
Minimum clarity VS1
Cut Very good cut
Depth percentage 60.80
Table percentage 59.00
Symmetry VERY GOOD
Minimum Total Carat Weight 0.72 carats

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
PRE-ORDER FROM THE FACTORY*
Factory ID BFG-23172
Cut Grade Ideal
Type Signature

Table %

55.9

ID

BFG-23172

Depth %

61.6

Shape

Round

Crown %

15.3

Report

Advance -Ideal

Crown Angle

34.7

Carat

0.507

Star %:

Color

H

Pav Angle:

40.8

Clarity

Internally Flawless

Pavillion %

Measurements

5.15 x 5.19 x 3.19

Lower Girdle %

Lab Cut Grade

Ideal

Culet

Pointed

Light Performance

Fluorescence

Negligible

Polish

Ideal

Girdle

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Signature Cut Diamonds from DiamondWave: Crisscut

Digging deeper into DiamondWave’s website I discovered that they have the beautiful Crisscut diamond rings designed by Christopher Slovenski.

You may have seen Crisscut diamonds advertized in glossy magazines such as In Style Weddings, Town and Country, Elegant Bride, The Ritz Carlton, and The Robb Report. (read more about the Chrisscut here: www.christopherdesigns.com)

Of course after having seen the advertisement in any of the aforementioned magazines you still have to seek out which local jewelers have the Crisscut diamond, as the ads don’t list the scores of jewelers across the USA that stock Crisscut diamonds.

If you want to buy Crisscut diamonds online you can get them from DiamondWave. Pamela, at DiamondWave is one of the most professional and helpful diamond experts you could hope to deal with. So you are in good hands when getting her help in finding the perfect diamond.

Anyone who wants to know where to find the Crisscut signature diamonds will be very pleased with our Catch of The Day:

Crisscut diamond rings: signature diamonds
Click image to go to directly to Crisscut diamond rings at DiamondWave’s website

 

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Round Hearts and Arrows Diamond: 0.820 Carat G Color VS2 Clarity

Heart and arrows diamond at BrianGavindiamonds.com

Type Brian Gavin Signature
Product ID: AGS-104057253028
Shape: Round
Report: AGS
Carat: 0.820
Color: G
Clarity: VS2
Measurements: 5.99 x 6.04 x 3.71
Lab Cut Grade: Ideal
Light Performance: Ideal
Polish: Ideal
Symmetry: Ideal
Table %: 56.4
Depth %: 61.8
Crown %: 15.4
Crown Angle: 35.2
Star %: 53.0
Pav Angle: 40.9
Pavillion %: 43.4
Lower Girdle %: 75.0
Culet: Pointed
Fluorescence: Negligible
Girdle Min-Max %: 1.0 – 3.6
Girdle: Thin To Medium Faceted

Can’t go past this diamond at BrianGavinDiamonds. It is truly a superior cut as not only has its cut been executed perfectly, it comes with an AGS certificate which confirms that its light performance/brilliance is rated right at the top.

Price:
$5,225

It definitely gets my No Regrets stamp of approval.

See it here

No Regrets stamp of approval for this round diamond

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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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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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How to pick the best diamond on a $5000 budget

In this article I am going to show you how to choose the nicest possible diamond on a budget of $5000.

We’ll use DiamondWave for this example. DiamondWave own every single diamond they present on their website, so you are guaranteed you will actually get the diamond you choose. The majority of the diamonds they have are round brilliant, which are the most sought after type of diamonds for engagement rings. Their diamonds are all high quality, so there’s hardly any chance you can go wrong, so this is a good place to start for a first time buyer.

As we have set a budget of $5000 for this exercise ,  we’ll be using part of it for the loose diamond, and part of it for the ring setting.

The $5000 will have to cover:

1. The metal band

2. The gem (or gems)

If I first choose the metal for the ring then I’ll know how much I can budget for the diamond and any extra gems.

What’s best? Gold, Platinum, or Palladium?

I recommend  going with palladium.

Palladium offers all the benefits of the king of metals, platinum, but without the hefty price tag. As it is considerably easier on the wallet (comparable in price to 14K gold)  it leaves more for us to budget on the diamond. Very pure gold (24K to 18K) is generally not used in diamond jewelry. Pure gold is quite soft. Gold has to be mixed with other metals to make it durable enough to carry diamonds. And many people prefer the white look of platinum for diamond rings. There is also a type of metal that is marketed as “White gold”. This is yellow gold that has been dipped in rhodium to make its surface white. It’s like gold plating in reverse which is not the most sensible of options.

All that to say, palladium is a good choice. It’s a choice you won’t regret as it is an excellent metal for holding diamonds securely in place, and it is hypo-allergenic so anyone with sensitive skin won’t get a rash from it. Some people are allergic to some yellow gold alloys.

Read more about choosing metals at DiamondWave.

choosing a diamond ring setting
I’ll choose a solitaire ring setting. This displays the diamond nicely.

In this example I will be choosing a ring which is not the very cheapest, so I know it’s got some substance: A nice durable palladium ring. As you can see DiamondWave’s prices are also good in the ring department.

choose the ring size
Here I choose the ring size and whether there will be 4 prongs or 6 prongs to hold the diamond in place. I choose 4 prongs  since this is the right amount for holding the type of diamond I will be choosing whether Round Brilliant, Princess, Emerald Cut, or Asscher.

 

I then click Add This Setting To Ring. I am then presented with the Diamond Search page.

Searching for a Princess cut diamond.

 

I have $4,450 budgeted for the diamond after setting $550 aside for the setting.

I then slide the sliders to narrow my search according to my preferences. The most important one is Cut. I won’t even consider anything that has a cut less than Excellent. Diamond grading certificates only give a cut grade for round brilliant diamonds.  DiamondWave has confirmed that all their diamonds are a very good grade, or better. This makes searching for a good diamond at DiamondWave easy, since fancy cuts (like Princess, Asscher, Oval, and such) do not get their cut grade mentioned on the GIA certificate.

In order for the search parameters to show which Princess (or other fancy cut) diamonds are available I have to expand the parameters a little to include Very Good Cut.

Since DiamondWave have a 45 day return policy, there is plenty of time to inspect the merchandise and get a different stone if needed. But sticking to higher quality ones will minimize any chance of that happening.

Choosing the preferences for a princess cut diamond
Cut grade is very important. But color should not be neglected. Princess diamonds should be “I” color or lighter. If you can’t look at the diamond it’s a much safer bet to choose one with a clarity rating of VVS2 or higher.

The first two on this list make excellent candidates for an engagement ring. The first one is 4.8 mm across, and the second one 5.1mm across. I looked at their grading reports to get this information.

If you decide you want more choice you can always look at the round diamonds.

As DiamondWave have many more round brilliant diamonds in stock I performed a slightly different search. I decided to narrow it down by adjusting the carat weight slider; as well as the polish and symmetry sliders.

choosing preferences for a round brilliant diamond
Symmetry is quite important, so I’ve slid the slider way up to show only Excellent Symmetry. In order to show only sized that would look good in an engagement ring I have slid the Carat Weight to 0.65.

The search with the options you see in the image above gave me the choice of 11 round diamonds. There were also the two princess cut diamonds from the previous search to consider. All of them fall within the budget I set at the beginning of this exercise, and any one of those will be beautiful.

If you look at the prices displayed, you will see that all of them fall within the allocated amount, and if desired the largest one can be selected which is a 0.77 carat diamond, I color, for $3,604. Alternately the diamond with the highest color grade can be selected: 0.74 carat, G color, for $4,226. The size of the two will be indistinguishable. Even though the color difference will only be slight, G color diamonds are real nice, and might be the one you find more alluring.

Another nice thing about dealing with DiamondWave is that you can call them up and ask them to have a look at the diamond you are interested in. They’ll be able to give you a first hand account of what it looks like, which can be extremely helpful. I highly recommend this.

Start your own search now: http://www.diamondwave.com/-strse-Build-Your-Own-Ring-cln-Diamond-Solitaire-Rings

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