Help With Buying a 2.4-3.00 Ct Round Brilliant Diamond

From: Alex 
Via : Diamond Concierge Form
Type: Natural Diamond 
Cut: Round Brilliant 
Carat: from 2.36 ct to 2.97 ct 
Color Range: Colorless (D-E-F)
Clarity: VS1-VS2
Message: I'm looking for expert advice on selecting a diamond
to purchase online. I'm really just looking for someone to
help me narrow down options within my budget and to make sure 
I don't screw anything up. Details below, please feel free to
loop back with any questions or clarifications.Thanks! Alex

Shape: Round brilliant cut
Cut: Top level (Ideal/Excellent)
Carat: Between 2.4 and 3.0
Color: D, E or F
Clarity: FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1 (must be eye clean)
Certification: Must be GIA or AGS certified with report
Metal for band: Platinum (wont change color over time)
Prong: 6 (this will keep the diamond super secure)
Style: Hidden halo, pave 
Budget: $25-40K all-in


Note: some of the original correspondence has been edited for clarity and continuity

Hi Alex,

Thanks for your message.

When I read your message I thought it a great coincidence that I had just been working on writing a post about $30K+ diamonds.

I’ll go over the steps I took in identifying the diamond that would suit your requirements. This way I can share with my readers a little more detail as to what goes into the process and also give some idea as to what various things have to be kept in mind.

I checked all my usuals, James Allen, Blue Nile, Victor Canera, and Whiteflash, and it turned out that unfortunately that neither Victor Canera nor Whiteflash have anything that would fit the bill. VC hasn’t got any in that size and Whiteflash didn’t have anything from their in-house stock. The virtual selection does look promising, however without images of the actual diamonds it would require a little more time since we’d have to request images of the diamonds. Blue Nile had one that is worth looking at, but does not quite check all the boxes for me with a sizable inclusion below the table.

So I got a little concerned that finding a suitable diamond would prove a little more difficult than I had anticipated. But once I started looking through James Allen’s listings I immediately saw a beautiful diamond that checks all the boxes.

2.71 Carat round diamond F Color SI1 Clarity Excellent Cut

I sent a request to James Allen for the diamond certificate which they promptly emailed to me.

The image at James Allen indicates that it has excellent light performance and nice contrast too.

Upon examination of the certificate it all looks very good. SI1 diamonds that are eye clean are of course notoriously difficult to find so I thought I should check with a James Allen sales rep to see if this diamond actually would be classified as eye clean before making this my first choice recommendation. From the GIA report it looks like the inclusions in this diamond are mostly around the girdle. Many times inclusions like this are placed under prongs when set in order to hide them, however it may be better in this case to not place the prongs where the inclusions are as they are feathers and excessive impact should be avoided in those spots. How much impact am I talking about? The amount of force it would take to break an arm. So quite substantial. I am sure the setter will know what to do. The fact that the diamond has a slightly thick girdle is good as it means there is reduced vulnerability. Remember the diamond has withstood the immense pressures of cutting and polishing so its integrity has already withstood the harshest tests.

Apart from that the only other point to make about this diamond is that it is just a tiny bit deeper than I usually recommend at 62.8% rather than my usual max of 62.5%.

So I checked the AGS cut guidelines for 8 mm wide diamonds with a 57% table and the diamond falls on a 1, with 0 being the highest and best cut grade. And yet, as stated above, the image shows it to be a great choice as it appears to face up very bright. James Allen diamonds are all photographed in identical conditions so it’s easy to see if a diamond performs well. This one definitely performs well.

I was very excited that this might check all the boxes.

However once I got to chatting with the James Allen consultant they said it’s best not to consider this diamond to be eye clean.

Back to square one.

My initial search had set an upper limit of $35,000 in order to leave plenty in the budget for the setting.

I thought of redoing the search but upping the price range a little.

I was pleased to have then found a much better diamond, which I hadn’t seen the day before as it was just out of the price range I had set previously set.


In regards to the setting James Allen have a custom request department which would need to be consulted for a quote.

The closest they have in the catalog is this one, which you can use as a reference if desired.

Platinum Petite Pave Crown Diamond Engagement Ring

At this point it looked like everything was sorted.

Then this happened.

I quickly replied,

This is what I wrote in my next email since some of the diamonds in Alex’s list had fluorescence listed on their grading report:

Just a word about fluorescence:

Many diamonds with fluorescence look milky under UV light (which includes sunlight). Some fluorescent diamonds do not look milky under uv light, but there is some evidence which makes me think that these are often sold to specific diamond manufacturers like Brian Gavin that has a fluorescent line like the Brian Gavin Blue which is guaranteed to not have this problem. Unfortunately the only Brian Gavin Blue at the size you are looking for is this 2.623ct I VS1

With that in mind this would be a safer choice from the list you sent me, which incidentally also came up as the finalist in a shortlist I just made:

Yet upon consulting the AGS cut guidelines I have found that its measurements would place its cut quality at a “4”, with “0” being the best.

Another online diamond jeweler you might want to check out is called With Clarity. They have quite competitive pricing and excellent service.
They have this 2.5 F VS2 round brilliant. The AGS cut guidelines indicate its measurements would make it fall within the “1” cut grade, with “0” being the best. This is considerably better than the “4” the 2.4 F VVS2 gets.

Send in your question

If you are looking to buy any type of diamond jewelry online you are welcome to send in any questions you may have.

As an affiliate of the some of the world’s finest jewelers I am motivated to find the right purchase that is perfect just for you. Every person has specific needs and every jeweler has specific areas in which they excel.

Please use your preferred contact method.

Thomas J Stevens GIA DG CSG

If you contact me by email and do not receive a response within 48 hours possible reasons include: my response has ended up in your spam folder; your inbox is full; The best thing after a 48 hour delay is to try again, maybe using a different contact method.

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