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Ideal or not? help plz

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May 11, 2003
I am in a search for a good diamond. Have been checking some diamonds at stores and see that an Ideal cut diamond has the best glimmer. I am curious with a budget of around $4000, can I go with a not so Ideal diamond and still get a good bang for the buck with a Very Good cut diamond. Also clarity and color what is the lowest I can go with and not see anything with the naked eye. I am putting this diamond on an 18k gold ring so I dont think I need to go with colorless or anything like that. Advice from experience people out there is greatly appreciated. Thanks

Richard Sherwood

Sep 25, 2002
I would set the bar at I color, SI1 clarity and 2B cut. With a $4000 budget, you'd probably be able to get a 1 carat I/SI1, or mid 0.90's G/SI1 or H/VS2.

Great size and look for the money.

(Barry will tell you not to rule out SI2's, and if it's one of his SI2's you'd probably be fine. Then you could increase the size up to about a 1.25 if you went with an I/SI2. Make sure it's clean to the eye.)

This is figuring on internet pricing, by the way.


Jan 29, 2003
On 5/14/2003 7:41:54 PM Vietcu wrote:

can I go with a not so Ideal diamond and still get a good bang for the buck with a Very Good cut diamond
The answer to your question Vietcu is YES it is possible to buy a non-ideal cut diamond and end up with a diamond that rivals the visual performance of an ideal cut diamond. That is after all, one of the reasons that Garry Holloway created his Cut Advisor for which there is a link at the top of this page, it is quite useful for sorting out high performing non-ideals from diamonds that lack brilliance and dispersion. However, you will probably find that it is easier to find ideal cut diamonds that perform well than it is to find non-ideals that do simply because those of us who specialize in the sale of ideal cut diamonds tend to provide the proportions information necessary to make the determination than those that sell the non-ideals... This is primarily because most people who purchase non-ideal cut diamonds have not begun to demand this information from the people selling them...

As far as SI-2 clarity diamonds go, we sell a few of them each year but we find very few that meet our selection criteria... Those that are "eye clean" usually contain major feathers along the girdle edge which we feel may present a durability risk to the stone and those that aren't eye clean usually don't sell because our clients seem to prefer diamonds that are "eye clean"... It's an interesting quandry... Once and awhile we do get lucky however, we recently sourced a one carat, I color, SI-2 clarity stone for a very good friend of ours who was primarily interested in a large piece of "eye candy" to fill a hole in a ring and the stone ended up being right around $4,500.00 and was "eye clean"... It just had a whole lot of diamond crystals scattered about within it and thankfully they were light in color...


Mar 21, 2001
The better the Cut of the diamond, the more
brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation coming out of the stone and the more likely to "mask" inclusions
(even black carbon spots directly under the table)
and have the diamond face-up eye-clean.

With your budget, you can easily go with an
I/SI-2 and get a larger diamond. The fact is that
with a beautifully-cut stone, you can even find an
eye-clean I-1. Get as much information from your vendor.

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