My advice for buying that perfect diamond...


Jun 19, 2011
Wow... so I've actually been reading in here a lot for the past several weeks, and haven't posted because I had nothing to ask that hadn't been brought up in a million other threads: "what do you think of this stone?" "should I go for clarity or cut?" "how big is XXX carats?" "what should I spend?" etc. etc. etc.

Needless to say, once I decided I was *going* to propose, the questions just kept rolling. Today I finally made my choice... and I wanted to post my advice to the countless others who come through here in the same position I've been in.... just this morning, I was inundated with copies of GIA certificates, tables of diamond specs, countless references telling me different ideal dimensions for table %, depth %, cutlet size, and so on. It was total information overload, and every time my (uber-helpful and super-knowledgeable) sales rep called me because she found a great diamond - i wanted something different because my focus for what I wanted was different than just 12 hours ago.

I was driving myself insane, and I think my poor sales rep as well. Frustrated with myself, here's what I did:

1) Disconnect from the internet -- you've done enough research already.
2) Hide anything you've printed out... individual specs will just cloud your judgement in #3
3) List what you want and where you'll compromise on the 4 c's... for me, I came up with:

Color: D, E and F -- but I would consider G for a Ideal/Super-Ideal cut and high clarity.
Clarity: VVS1 or IF -- but I would consider VVS2 for E/F color and Ideal/Super-Ideal cut
Cut: Ideal or Super-Ideal -- but I would consider Very Good for high clarity and/or colorless.
Carat: .75 to 1.00 -- this was driven more by budget than anything... going below 0.75 was not an option for me, 1.00 and up was out of reach financially (without taking out loans anyway, which I decided I wasn't willing to do for this purchase... we can upgrade later!)

(NOTE: For me, color and clarity were paramount, followed by cut, then size... within budget, I prioritized as shown above... maybe for you size is most important, and you're willing to compromise clarity and/or color to stay in budget? This is the absolute first thing you must know...)

Writing it all out objectively is what saved me. Not 20 minutes earlier, I was saying I wouldn't consider G, because I was thinking about a VVS2 stone; and that I wouldn't consider Very Good cut, because we were talking about a VVS2 (separate diamonds, separate questions).

With my objective list in hand -- I pulled out the list of diamonds I was interested in; and sure enough only one fit the criteria spelled out above... the very, very first one that caught my eye. I threw out all my other references, and placed the order for the ring immediately. I feel great about the decision, and know it's going to be absolutely perfect.

I hope this advice helps some other poor bastard going through the same hell trying to pick the perfect ring from a list of specs and pictures that -- at the end of the day -- shouldn't make a world of difference when you finally ask.

Good luck :)
-Java Man (name withheld incase my soon-to-be-fiance is trolling these forums too... even made up a new handle, haha).


May 19, 2011
I just went through the exact same situation. What it came down to (for me) was that The brand name on the certificate is overrated. It's all relative to what the diamond actually looks like. I used GIA as a basis for comparison and had the jeweler roll out EGL's to see which one matched up to the specs I wanted from GIA. Bottom line- all that matters is sparkle-size-and how clear it is. COngrats!


Jun 19, 2011
Thanks :) congrats to you too! For me, the names on the certificates were actually a big deal... I decided early in the process to go with a Canada diamond. Knowing the source and having a paper trail for the ethical origin of the diamond will be a significant part of the diamond's value, to my girlfriend.... That, combined with living in a *very* rural area with only major mall-chain jewelers available, sent my diamond search online.

I purchased from Brilliant Earth - Daniella, a gemologist there, was very patient and helpful, and acted as my "eyes" providing subjective feedback on my selections from their online catalog... While she seemed very knowledgeable and intelligent, and was clearly not pushing me towards more expensive options even though she knew they were within my budget - not being able to lay eyes on them myself, this was very much a by-the-numbers purchase. The GIA and NWT (Canadian government of the northwest territories) laser inscriptions and certificates are my guarantee that I'm getting the diamond I wanted :)

I certainly paid a premium for those names (something even daniella pointed out to me when showing very similar, less expensive options)... But in my situation, it was well worth it. (interestingly, I looked up GIA and learned if I went with a non-gia-certified stone, it would have cost only about $75 to have it certified and inscribed after the purchase!)


Jun 6, 2011
I believe that your post actually helps outline how you got to the end point, and congrats on your search.

But frankly, as an informed consumer, many of the things that you touched briefly on your post are actually covered in greater detail in a lot of the segments already.

I don't feel that trusting your instincts is a great way to buy something, when the rest of the industry prices in the certainty of value that a GIA cert confers.

Yes you can get a post purchase check for $75, but by then if the cert returns and it is materially different than what you thought you have bought, thanks to an expert opinion (which is admittedly not infallible, but more often than not is correct) from AGS/GIA, you are left with little recourse than to accept that you bought something under a false context.

If you are ok to purchase based on your eyesight alone and just be glad with the purchase without comparing against the broader market, or getting a great deal then more power to you. I think the forum will continue to advise people to seek certainty, and avoid cheerleading (except when you choose to share what you received as an e-ring) and ultimately that is good for the general public.

respectfully: my $0.02


Mar 29, 2011
Your advice, honestly, isn't that bad. A lot of us go overboard on researching to get the most for our money. But keep in mind, this place was made exactly for people like us. Of all the people that are buying diamonds for jewelry, a ridiculously small percentage of them even know pricescope exists. Out of curiosity, Is your advice based on your shopping experience for a round diamond? I recently turned down a GIA 1.75 IF D princess cut for under $20k because it didn't sparkle like I wanted. I think you'll be back here again doing the same thing again next time you want to make a big purchase. :bigsmile:
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