Only a 10 days to find a Diamond

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May 27, 2003

After 30 years on this earth I found the love of my life. About a month ago I made up my mind that I was going to ask her to marry me. I know how I'm going to do it, I even know when I'm going go do it (A wonderful get-a-way for two), but know I need to find a diamond. I know nothing, I mean nothing about diamonds. I've been learning for about a month now and I'm still lost. I have a ring (picked it up when I was in the V.I) but now I need a stone. I know the four C's, but the other day when I went to buy one off the net my friend told me to make sure it has a good table... What is a table? Now I find out I'm have to get a good table, depth, length/width ratio, and let not forget sym, culet size, girdle and who knows what else.

I wish that I could get to the store and buy her a good one but I'm in the army and the net is my only way to but this. The next time I see the love of my life is when I'm going to pop the question, that's in ten days.

I'm a grown man and I feel like I'm about to break down know. So here's my question. For a Marquise shape 1ct. diamond, is there a cut, depth, table and so on that I should be looking for? I'm trying to stay in the 3,500-4,500 range. The mil doesn't pay that much.
thanks for all your help



Jan 22, 2003
Read the Pricescope tutorial first off. Then, with the caveat that with fancy shapes you can't rely on just the numbers, go here for the best cut chart.

Lastly, the way I like to shop for gems to is to find a dealer I trust, give them my budget and specs, and see what they can come up with for me. Check out the customer testimonials around here, pick a few jewelers that you think you can trust, and call or email them. Good luck!!!


Mar 21, 2003
As for table, that applies mainly to round diamonds. With a marquise, all bets are off. Most fancy shapes such as marquise will have what is known as a bowtie, which means a dark area in the middle resembling a bow tie. Some people think this is an undesireable thing, so you might try to get one without this effect. Then again, it is all a matter of taste.

In general, well cut rounds tend to be much more sparkly than any other shape.

I agree: browse through the forum a little bit and see what vendors are highly recommended, and then contact them and let them know what you are looking for, and they will suggest some stones for you.


Oct 30, 2002
Hi and congrats.

According to the AGA cut grading chart (, here are the specs to stay within for Marquis cut stones if you want something under 2B cut (1A and 1B are the top of the line, 2A and 2B are international fine trade cut which are still very excellent. 3+ is more your everyday finds and maul cut aka discount stones etc).

Table: 54-62% (can go up to 64% if you HAVE to--still within 2B cut)
Depth: 59-63% (can go between 58-65% if you have to again..2B cut)
Length to Width Ratio: 1.75-2.25 (very important for the fancy cuts..this gives you the 'look' you may desire..fatter marquis or slimmer sharper looking)
Polish/Symm: Good to Excellent (GD, VG, EX, ID)
Girdle: Med-Thick OR Thin-Med are both good. Anything such as Extremely Thin-Med or Slightly Thick-Thick should be avoided.

That are a few stones I pulled from Pricescope. You should have time to shop around a bit and order if you get the package expedited from the vendor once you make your choice. Since you have such a short timeline, I highly suggest that you feel comfortable with your choice so that you can move fwd.

Note: Seems like finding marquis with EX EX or ID ID Polish and Symm is not easy. So I pulled ones that fit the above characteristics and had VG VG or VG/G at least. Also girdles for fancies are hard to find in a desirable range--some of the ones below didn't have markings so be sure to ask, there were even some that looked good on other characteristics but have v.thin or slightly thick girdles. You may feel okay with this in a fancy cut as long as the other parameters are good.

Also not knowing what your color/clarity requirements are, I stayed in the safe range of E/F/G color (E& F for colorless, G for $ value and it's still colorless to naked eye) and VVS-VS clarity to be on the safe side (you will see nothing with your naked eye in these stones).

Plug any of the following stones into the Fancy Cut Grader at to see what Dave's charts have to say about it. You may need crown % to get the really accurate info, but if you dont have it, use what you do have.
1.02 F VS2 L/W Ratio: 1.80 $4504
(categorized by as Excellent cut FWIW)
1.01 G VS2 L/W Ratio: 1.87 $4302
1.01 E VS2 L/W Ratio: 1.79 $4600 (Pricescope special price..ask for it)
1.02 E VS2 L/W Ratio: 1.76 $3900
(categorized by as Excellent cut FWIW)

If you can stretch the budget for a slightly larger stone:
1.10 G VS1 L/W Ratio: 1.69 $4900
(categorized by as Very Good cut FWIW)

In case you want to maximize your budget and can't move on $$, here are some possible SI1 combos. Make sure they are eye-clean and you should be fine. Good way to up the carat weight and keep color low:
1.06 F SI1 L/W Ratio: 1.98 $3830 (Pscope price)
(EX polish and great girdle btw)
1.0 F SI1 L/W Ratio: 1.97 $4000
1.0 F SI1 L/W Ratio: 1.84 $3600
(categorized by as Very Best cut FWIW)

I also noted where the vendor sites tried to 'categorize' the stones into Very Best, Excellent, Good etc cuts..this MAY help as with fancy stones there are no tried and true rules as with round brilliants.

(Edited to add more stones and notes)

Good luck!!
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