Ring shopping - budget around $3k round halo w/pave 1ct+


Dec 25, 2015
I've been lurking and reading lots of posts here and I am amazed by the education and awesome community here! I have learned more in the past 7 hours than a lifetime. But then again, I've never been preparing to propose. I would love to do it sooner, but in case I have to up my price I can wait until mid to late summer 2015. So no rush.

What I am looking for: A great deal like most here. And I have time so I am not in a huge rush.

From what I've read here and elsewhere, these are my general parameters: around
Carat: .9-1.5ct round center stone (I know, this reflects my extended timeline) sparkle is very important here
Clarity: At least SI2 quality (was Vs1 and maaaybe SI1 before reading more here)
Cut: Very good - ideal (was good or better before reading more here)
Color: at least J (was H/G before reading more here)

I have been looking on, and perusing some of the threads related to the site here. Many of them were a little old, so I figured I would go ahead and see what you all thought. My gf is not really picky. She just wants to be proposed to. I could do it in the next couple of months right around $3k, and will probably be able to about double that amount later in the summer. That said, some of the rings I've seen on there closer to my current price range aren't too shabby all things included. I've read a lot about the EGL certs many of the sellers list and even the picture thieving, but I am wondering at least 2 things:

1. Are there some more recent experiences there?
2. What's the skinny on "clarity improved/enhanced?"
3. Some opinions of what I've seen so far:

Price: $3000
.71 center in halo setting w/pave tcw 1.23ct
Cut: EGL Ideal plus (Benari jewelers Hearts and Arrows cut)
Color: H
Clarity SI1

**EGL CERT** Said they bought it for $5800 originally.
Price $3800
.65ct center .9tcw
Cut: Ideal
Color: H
Clarity: VS2
GIA cert.
Price: $4250 (claims it retails over $17k)
1.2ct center .5ct in band
cut: very good
color: F
Clarity: SI1 (clarity improved)
(not a halo, but priced well enough and center stone is a decent size)
Not sure who certified this information, but it is my understanding will verify this information.

Price: $4450
1.09 ct center stone (claims it looks 1.5) looks great in pic
.7 ct setting/band
Cut: Very good
Color: E
Clarity: SI2
***EGL CERT***

Then there are several for about $6000-6500 with 1.2-1.5ct center stones. about another carat in the halo/pave, SI1 - VS2, D-F color.

Perhaps one of my main questions is also are those $6k+ rings that much of a deal that I should wait or aggressively pursue raising my budget? From looking at prices at different sites on the net, it almost seems like those have the largest bang for my buck. I suppose as I learn more I may add to this thread, but I am considering pulling the trigger on one of these or at least contacting the seller with questions. Figured you all could help this process be more informed. Thank you so much!

Also, I'm not lazy, so any other threads I may have missed would be greatly appreciated if posted. I'm in Detroit, Michigan if that helps any recommendations.


Jan 11, 2006
I will come back later this evening when I have more time, but the first things I will tell you for narrowing down your propects are:

1) GIA and AGS are the only reliable grading labs in the US, so don't look at anything else.

2) Limit your diamonds to GIA Excellent cut or AGS Ideal cut only. Cut is the most important factor in a diamond's beauty. GIA Ex cut is a broad category and we even narrow that down to the better cut stones.

3) Ignore appraisals on pre-loved rings as they are usually inflated and meaningless . We can look up price comps for any diamond. But remember, only GIA Ex or AGS Ideal.

4) NO clarity enhanced! Those can eventually have problems like the filler falling out. I'd buy a simulant before I'd waste money on a clarity enhanced diamond. They are not worth what you pay even second hand.

If your total budget is $3k including setting, you are definitely looking at lower than one carat for your diamond (a 1 ct J SI1 diamond alone will run in the $3500 range, but if you are putting the stone in a halo, I'd recommend I color). A good quality halo setting can cost at least $2k although we might be able to find one for a little less. I also recommend SI1 or higher for an engagement ring.


Jan 4, 2015
Seven hours on the site and you did not notice that cut is king lol

Only excellent excellent excellent all the way :wall:


Jan 11, 2006
diamondseeker2006|1451062215|3966135 said:
The only one you posted worth considering is this:

The center stone is .65 cts which is more in the range of where we'd need to be looking. But I need to look up pricing and the GIA report. Have family coming now, so I will be back tonight, hopefully!

Okay, I looked and that stone is okay, but they are basically asking retail price, so I see no point in considering that when we can help you find a better diamond and order the ring in the right size for her. Rings with diamonds on the shank are risky to size because it can loosen the diamonds.

I am going to list some diamonds and a setting for you.


Jul 23, 2012
Is it even worth looking ?

I mean, if I find something, would you be able to buy it now or are you waiting for closer to summer?

What's your max budget, as "about 3k" could mean a few things

How do you feel about this setting?

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