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most bang for your buck color, clarity, cut combo ?

coolmanfever

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
6
Hello all,

I am shopping for engagement diamond right now. My budget for diamond itself would be around $7500. I want to give my girlfriend size somewhere between 1.2-1.5 Carat. I don't care about the specific quality of the diamond under microscopic analysis. I just want the diamond to look big and as much sparkly as possible to the naked eye. What is the most bang for your buck color, clarity, and cut combo without sacraficing look of the diamond to human eye so I can get her the biggest carat diamond within my budget? Thank you.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,637
I would say you want the best cut available. You have wiggle room with color and clarity. I think color is (G)-H-I and clarity can be down to SI1 or 2 as long as you can confirm that it is eye clean (when you look at it, you don't see anything. I would say start looking at H colored stones.
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
926
If you are talking about a round brilliant, cut quality has by far the most effect on appearance. If you are looking at other shapes, cut is a much more complicated issue.

In a well cut round brilliant, tint generally starts to be visible under normal conditions in the G-H range. So there's not usually a reason to go higher than G. Some people actually prefer to go lower, preferring a "warm" (HIJ) or even "candlelight" (KLM range) stone.

Clarity is very tricky. You are almost always safe at VS2 or higher. Bargain hunters with patience look for SI1 with "good" inclusions.

The one place never to compromise is certification. The market is full of bogus certificates which say "F" and are designed to trick you into thinking you are getting a bargain "G" when you're really buying an overpriced "I."

The team on Rocky Talky can find you a diamond with awesome bang for the buck.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,179
coolmanfever|1480310769|4103054 said:
Hello all,

I am shopping for engagement diamond right now. My budget for diamond itself would be around $7500. I want to give my girlfriend size somewhere between 1.2-1.5 Carat. I don't care about the specific quality of the diamond under microscopic analysis. I just want the diamond to look big and as much sparkly as possible to the naked eye. What is the most bang for your buck color, clarity, and cut combo without sacraficing look of the diamond to human eye so I can get her the biggest carat diamond within my budget? Thank you.

HI Coolman

Here's an alternative viewpoint:
I love "bang for the buck" stones myself when I'm buying for DW ( Darling Wife)
I'm lucky in that my DW is not "color sensitive"- for example, she loved a K color I gave her years ago.
If I'd had to have G color and VS she'd have gotten a 3ct - for the same price I got her a 6ct
No one can answer the question of how color sensitive your GF is.....except her.
The stone was also an SI2.
The "accepted" thought is that you can't buy a large stone if it's SI2, and you don;t want to see imperfections.
I have found many eye clean SI2 diamonds in larger sizes over the years. More of them weren't eye clean- but I advise skipping those.

IN terms of cut- yes of course you want a very well cut diamond.
BUT- there's plenty of stones graded VG cut by GIA that are indeed very well cut. In some cases the aspects that caused the downgrade to VG from EX cut grade are not visible to the naked eye.
VG's trade at lower prices on average comapred to EX cut grades.

If she's not that color sensitive, and you can find a nice SI2, you may be able to get a 1.50ct in budget

Good luck!
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
906
My priorities are, most to least important:
price
cut
size
color
eye-clean-ish clarity

I put clarity at the bottom and labeled it eye-clean-ish because there are many varieties of inclusions, and they can be located many different places in a diamond, and some of them may bother you and some of them might be seen under some conditions but are something you can live with. That's *if* the wearer is not the kind of person who can't tolerate any visible inclusions. I'm in the minority here who don't need a completely eye-clean stone. I yawn over yet another sob story of how a stone that wasn't mind-clean enough tormented the poor wearer until the wearer had to trade it in. Um, yeah, whatever. After the new wears off and I quit gazing at the diamond all the time, and everyone around me has had a good look at it, nobody sees the discrete inclusion. *Everyone* notices size, cut, and color, though. A sometimes-visible SI2 or I1 inclusion can literally get you twice the diamond you could afford in VS1 clarity. You pays your money and you takes your choice. :lol: But I no longer need a completely eye-clean diamond. Definitely the buying process for these stones takes much more effort and in the end definitely these diamonds "have to be seen," as RockDiamond says. But to me, the awesomeness of the SI2 and I1 diamonds I bought makes up for seeing a little discrete inclusion every now and then. No spectators even notice them until I point them out. And then they are usually in agreement that they could live with such insignificant imperfection to get that much diamond at an affordable price. As I've gotten older and smarter, I find that there are things that used to be high-priority, but they became unimportant or even frivolous or wasteful to me years later. Diamonds are a luxury item. I enjoy trying to find the bargains.
 

dollyanjuli

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
592
AdaBeta27|1480359922|4103146 said:
My priorities are, most to least important:
price
cut
size
color
eye-clean-ish clarity

I put clarity at the bottom and labeled it eye-clean-ish because there are many varieties of inclusions, and they can be located many different places in a diamond, and some of them may bother you and some of them might be seen under some conditions but are something you can live with. That's *if* the wearer is not the kind of person who can't tolerate any visible inclusions. I'm in the minority here who don't need a completely eye-clean stone. I yawn over yet another sob story of how a stone that wasn't mind-clean enough tormented the poor wearer until the wearer had to trade it in. Um, yeah, whatever. After the new wears off and I quit gazing at the diamond all the time, and everyone around me has had a good look at it, nobody sees the discrete inclusion. *Everyone* notices size, cut, and color, though. A sometimes-visible SI2 or I1 inclusion can literally get you twice the diamond you could afford in VS1 clarity. You pays your money and you takes your choice. :lol: But I no longer need a completely eye-clean diamond. Definitely the buying process for these stones takes much more effort and in the end definitely these diamonds "have to be seen," as RockDiamond says. But to me, the awesomeness of the SI2 and I1 diamonds I bought makes up for seeing a little discrete inclusion every now and then. No spectators even notice them until I point them out. And then they are usually in agreement that they could live with such insignificant imperfection to get that much diamond at an affordable price. As I've gotten older and smarter, I find that there are things that used to be high-priority, but they became unimportant or even frivolous or wasteful to me years later. Diamonds are a luxury item. I enjoy trying to find the bargains.
I actually have a 100% eye clean SI2 stone (Twinning wisps)- if you look at one of my older posts i have a macro image that shows how clean an SI2 can be. That said, for some people mind clean really is an issue, just like a j color looks "yellow"- but they can't tell the difference between A triple excellent with an HCA under 2 and a "Good" cut that is D color and VVS clarity. Culturally I can tell you that many, many people need it to be WHITE and NO inclusions, but could give a rats wazoo about it being the most ideal cut. This is a very personal thing.

Only you can know what is important to your intended. Not to you- to her.

Going back to your "bang for buck", A very well cut I color SI1 clarity is probably as low as most would go to be safe and get you that larger size. If you KNOW she is not super color sensitive you can go to J, and you KNOW she is ok with some visible inclusions you can go to SI2- but there are many that are wary of that (to each their own). Here are some of those "lower" options:

This stone would be my pick if you are ok with a J color, had a great cut and clarity. And James Allen has 25% off on setting right now WHOO HOO!

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.60-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2163884

Better color, more inclusions but they are fairly off to the edges

https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.41-carat-i-color-si2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-2217766
 

Diamond_Hawk

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
1,221
coolmanfever|1480310769|4103054 said:
Hello all,

I just want the diamond to look big and as much sparkly as possible to the naked eye. What is the most bang for your buck color, clarity, and cut combo without sacraficing look of the diamond to human eye


There are many ways to get the most bang for your buck and you sure have come to the right place for that :)

Most of the members have responded with the assumption that you are looking for a MRB (Modern Round Brilliant) - do clarify if that is not what you are looking for. A well-cut MRB will give "as much sparkly to the naked eye" as possible. But always consider what diamond shape your girlfriend would prefer.

As far as this goes:

so I can get her the biggest carat diamond within my budget? Thank you.
you may find that carat is NOT the most important factor when considering diamond size (or apparent size) once you have read through all of the posts here.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,177
The correct answer also depends on size, cut shape, your vision and color sensitivity and likely lighting you will look at the diamond in most of the time.

What works as a minimum clarity for 1/2 ct round does not work for 1ct emerald cut.
What works as a minimum color for 1/2 ct round does not work for 1ct oval cut.
etc

_38638.jpg
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
906
Something to keep in mind about clarity and "eye-clean": As the diamonds increase in size, the size of inclusions that can be called VS or SI1 also increases. That's why it becomes more difficult to find something 100% eyeclean in a larger diamond, when you are working with a tight budget. If you don't need the clarity for purity or symbolic reasons, then maybe not 100% eyeclean under all possible conditions would work for you.

Also, regarding eyeclean SI2 stones, you'll almost never find a great eyeclean SI2 diamond off what's known as "the virtual list." The best SI2s and I1s are going to be immediately cherrypicked by vendors and will be offered as in-house diamonds. There might be exceptions, but they are going to be rare. If you go back through the SMTB Eye Candy e-ring thread from the early days of PS, you'll find many eyeclean SI2s from the good old days. But grading standards have changed over the past decade or 15 years and those stones are most likely being graded SI1 now instead of SI2.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,637
^^^^ true and setting it in an east west setting is on trend now.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,544
RB?...IMO, A well cut G/H VS2-SI1 combo... :appl:
 
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