Thanks in advance to all the kind & knowledgeable people who help me out! First of all, I''ve been looking at purchasing online a loose round diamond to have set as an engagement ring. Unfortunately, money (or relative lack thereof LOL) has been a major factor in my search and will most likely remain one in my ultimate decision. The upper range of my budget for the purchase is not much more (and preferably less) than $1,300. From my research, it seems like the overall nicest (size & quality) diamond for that price range is something like a 0.4 carat, F color, VVS2 clarity, ideal cut. Two websites that I''ve looked at and found diamonds much like what I''ve wanted, and that seem to be among the best to deal with from various reviews I''ve seen online, are BlueNile and GoodOldGold. At any rate, I still have a few questions. First, the Special Person''s expressed criteria for an engagement ring have been that she "doesn''t want a diamond chip, but it doesn''t have to be a huge rock, but wants it to be very nice&sparkly". Second, my personality is one that appreciates real beauty and craftmanship, true excellence rather than its mere appearance--I don''t think bigger is better. So, for my money''s worth, I''ve been looking at standard ideal-type cuts, but I''ve also been made aware that the ideal standard doesn''t always yield either the largest-looking of the high-quality cut round diamonds or the ones with the most "sparkle". Both those are desirable qualities in the diamond I would purchase. So, I''ve also been looking at the H&A cut, as well as diamonds that have proportions within the ideal range but with relatively large tables and correspondingly smaller depths and evaluating them with the HCA. It seems that for round diamonds in the size/quality range mentioned above, GoodOldGold has the best prices for AGS "0" H&A , and BlueNile is the best on GIA Ideal. My first question is, for the Little Lady’s criteria, which would be most likely to be the best? My second question is, should I be less demanding about the clarity and color? (I’ve seen some people who seem to know what they are talking about saying that to the naked eye outside of testing-lab conditions, near-colorless grades often look as white as the D-F range, and there is often little difference between VVS2 and VS1 since the type and size and position of the inclusions mean as much as the number of them.) I know that with my budget I won’t be able to get her anything like a carat of very good quality, so I’ve been looking for the best quality near a half carat; I’d rather give her a valuable stone and not just a flashy one. Any constructive comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!