Recommendation for Best James Allen Round Brilliant with $8,500 to $12,000 budget:
Reader Andrew wrote to us asking:
Please can you help me choose a nice diamond from James Allen’s website as I am struggling after seeing so many? I am buying a single diamond platinum engagement ring with a round diamond. I would also be shipping this to the UK. My price range just for the diamond is 8500 – 12000 dollars but I am ultimately looking for value and something that is clean to the eye and has a great sparkle. I was hoping to get around 1.4 – 1.5 carat and an excellent cut with good dimensions.
Thanks for the complement on the site!
It’s always great to have carte blanche when it comes to readers looking for recommendations. Based on your budget, we put together several recommendations both for the low end and the high end. Normally, I’d search against several other sites like Whiteflash, Blue Nile, Brian Gavin but in this case we limited our search to James Allen as I’m guessing you have a James Allen setting already in mind.
Here’s are my recommendations (in order):
Recommendation 1: $12138
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.65-carat-j-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-330048 (HCA 1.2)
Recommendation 2: $11259
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.62-carat-j-color-si1-clarity-sku-351597 (HCA 1.4)
Recommendation 3: $11468
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.55-carat-j-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-288663 (HCA 1.8)
Recommendation 4: $8750
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.33-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-314361 (HCA 0.8)
Recommendation 5: $9590
http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.34-carat-i-color-si1-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-87444 (HCA 1.4)
Here’s the images of the recommendation 1. Although it’s a little over your budget, it’s also a little larger than the size you were looking for. At a J color grade and SI1 clarity grade, it’s also a great value to price ratio (the sweet spot to maximize your diamond budget). From the diamond images on the James Allen product page, you can see that the stone is eye clean. I’ve highlighted the largest inclusion to prove that fact (1 to 2 o’clock position).
Recommendations 1 through 3 are on the higher end of your budget. You’ll notice that some of the recommendations have inclusions in them. I’ve selected these purposely as they can be hidden by a prong or are small enough to still be eye clean (this can be verified by the James Allen gemologist). Recommendation 2 has a great Ideal-Scope showing excellent symmetry and light return. In terms of inclusions, it has a prong-coverable inclusion at the 1 o’clock position. Other inclusions occur at 10 and 12. Recommendation 3 has a small inclusion dead center which is small enough to be eye clean (again, leverage the on-staff gemologist at James Allen to verify this).
Recommendations 4 and 5 are on the lower end of your budget. In terms of carat weight, you’re looking at about 1.30+ which when compared with a 1.60 carat weight stone, is almost indistinguishable from a face up point of view. While only an approximate 0.5 mm difference, there’s about a $2,000 to $3,000 savings. Both of the stones I have selected coincidentally have an inclusion at the 8 o’clock position which can be covered with a prong.
I hope the above recommendations help in your search! In terms of your original ask, since all the diamonds are of an Ideal Cut and score well on the Holloway Cut Advisor, you’re sure you get the great sparkling stone you’re looking for!