All Diamonds selected are hand-picked by me, all excellent to Ideal Cuts and will be eye-clean. Please click on your diamond shape in the table of contents to be forwarded to the right section. 

Table of Contents

Round Cut Diamond

Round Diamond under 1 carat 

Cushion Cut Diamond

CUSHION Cut Diamond  1.00 – 1.49

Pear Cut Diamond

PEAR Cut Diamond  1.00 – 1.49


All Diamonds selected are hand-picked by me, all excellent to Ideal Cuts and will be eye-clean. Please click on your diamond shape in the table of contents to be forwarded to the right section. 

Table of Contents

Cushion Cut Diamond

CUSHION Cut Diamond  1.00 – 1.49

Pear Cut Diamond

PEAR Cut Diamond  1.00 – 1.49


All Diamonds selected are hand-picked by me, all excellent to Ideal Cuts and will be eye-clean. Please click on your diamond shape in the table of contents to be forwarded to the right section. 

Table of Contents

Round Cut Diamond

Round Diamond under 1 carat 

Round Diamond  1 carat – 1.49

Round Diamond  1.50 carat – 2.25

Princess Cut Diamond

Princess Cut Diamond  1.00 – 1.49

Princess Cut Diamond  1.50 – 2.25

Oval Cut Diamond

OVAL Cut Diamond  1.00 – 1.49

Cushion Cut Diamond

CUSHION Cut Diamond  1.00 – 1.49

Pear Cut Diamond

PEAR Cut Diamond  1.00 – 1.49

Oval Diamond Buying Guide

The Nitty Gritty

Oval-Cut Diamonds give a beautiful sparkle and style.  It’s recommended you choose an H color to be on the safe side and Si1 clarity.  Occasionally you can find an SI2 that looks great but it’s not too common.  The length to width ratio is equally important to ensure you have a classic oval shape.

One must evaluate an Oval diamond closely as it’s not as simple as a round.  GIA doesn’t classify cut grades for any shape other than round.  You will have to analyze the stone with other criteria.

Take a look and click on this link to view an oval diamond that has the same 4 C’s but has a drastic difference in cut and look.  Stone A    vs  Stone B   You can see the shape of the diamond is the most important feature, not the traditional 4C’s. 

Click The Photo To Inspect The Diamond

By clicking on the diamonds, you can see the price differences. This is a perfect example of how shape/cut is valued.  Another important diamond lesson is sometimes when a diamond is discounted heavily there is a reason.  ALways!  


Study your diamond closely or contact me to review your selection before purchase.

The Oval Cut Diamond Buying Guide 

As mentioned above, the shape is critical in buying your oval diamond.  Lets analyze the photo samples from above a little more closely.   A key factor in shape is the length to width ratio. 

Lenght To Width Ratio

Oval diamonds are considered ideal in the 1.35- 1.50 length to width ratio. Most sites do the calculation for you but it’s achieved by dividing the length of the diamond with the width.  View the photo sample below for a detailed break down of its l/w ratio.

oval diamond buying guide


As you can see, even though the carat weight is the same, you gain over 1 millimeter in size by having an ideal L/W ratio.  As an example, you would have to increase your carat size by over .60 to gain another 1 millimeter.  Don’t go to far above the 1.50 ratio or you will have a skinny looking stone that will affect the brilliance.  Also, avoid stones under the 1.35 L/W ration, it will look stubby. 

This comes down to personal preference if one prefers a rounder or longer look.  Here is a link to show you examples of finished rings. Use this to compare what a rounder or longer Oval Diamond looks like mounted. 



Oval Diamond engagement rings

Oval Diamond cut grade 

As I have stated in previous articles, the “Cut” is king and there is no exception here. Oval diamond presents a problem because GIA does not give it a cut grade.   Due to the oval shapes complicated structure, there is no ideal standard.  Too many variables are at play between various length, width and depth combinations, getting an ideal table and crown angle is difficult. 

With that said, there is no ideal combinations so you must take this advice as a general rule of thumb.  Below are guidelines to follow that leads you in the right direction. 

Oval Cut Diamond Cut Guidelines 

Table % 53-63 52 or 64-65 51 or 66-68
Depth % 58-62 56-58 or 62-66 53-56 or 66-71
Girdle Very Thin - Slightly Thick​ Very Thin - Slightly Thick​ Very Thin - Thick​
None Very Small Click Here to view Ideal Pear Small
Lenght To Width Ratio 1.35-1.50 1.30-1.35 or 1.50-1.55 1.25-1.30 or 1.55-1.60


Bowtie Effect 

A big tip in this Oval Diamond Buying Guide is understanding the bowtie effect.  All Ovals will have it with degrees of variance.  With a strong bowtie, You will see a dark effect sketching from the top to the bottom middle. It can be very visible or barely noticeable.  You want to avoid the strong effect as it will affect the brilliance of the diamond.   Feel free to reach out to me if you need any advice with a selection of yours.  

Below you will see a photo example of a bad and great bowtie.  

Oval Bowtie effect

Click on the buttons to show diamond bowtie examples


The color scale by GIA starts at the letter D to Z.  D represents colorless and Z means there is a very noticeable brown and yellow color.  Color originates from the bottom tip of the diamond typically making it harder from the top view to see color.  


It’s very difficult to see the difference between 2 neighboring color grades and generally recommend to stick to H color or better for Oval Diamonds.   This is a perfect balance between quality and price and ensures that you have a diamond that radiates white.  If you set your diamond in yellow or rose gold feel free to lower your diamond color to a J or K color to save money or increase carat size.  

As an example, look at this J color diamond on a yellow gold ring.  

If you want to ensure you have found the right diamond, reach out to me and I will be happy to help. 


There are many grades given to diamonds. Below is a chart outlines them

Diamond Clarity


Most diamonds sold fall under the I1 grade and vvs1.  I consider this the least important C.  A diamond that is flawless and a diamond that’s an eye clean SI1 is indistinguishable to the human eye. SO WHY pay such a high premium for a flawless. 


Here is an example of an incredible SI1 that is almost perfectly clean magnified online and will be eye-clean to the human eye.  IS it easy for you to see a flaw?

Is it worth spending an additional $2,400 by buying This VVS1 diamond?   I try my hardest to have my clients avoid overspending and using that money to upgrade carat size, color, or engagement ring.  That’s money better spent where your eye can actually see a difference. 


James Allen Review – Learn what to expect, how to navigate the site and save

Bottom line recommendation:  James Allen often provides the most value and options for my clients and is my first option when shopping for my clients. 

Why James Allen

James Allen is one of the companies that revolutionized online diamond buying.  They set the standard for photography and video allowing the consumer to truly see a diamond before they purchase.  They have the largest conflict-free inventory available.  I believe over 300,000 diamonds which improves your chance of finding the best diamond available.  They have amazing ring designs, money-back guarantees among many other factors below making them my favorite place to recommend my clients. 

When I worked in the diamond business after 2006, clients always came to me with options from James Allen and honestly, I could not compete.  Recently I decided to do a secret shopper video and order to show my readers what the experience is like.  I was blown away by the packaging, details and custumer service.  The return process was a no questions asked, easy as a push of a button breeze!  

Revolutionized Diamond Viewing

As noted, they were the first company to offer 360-degree high definition photographs to every diamond they offer.  Uncertainty was the biggest issue of buying diamonds online in the past. 

DIAMOND GRADING ONLINE NOT ANYMORE!  This gives the consumer the power to buy confidently. If you are looking for the best bang for your buck clarity grade, this is the ideal way to view and search. SI1\SI2 are the ideal value clarity grades.  Please note that these images are so crispy, they can intimidate you. As long as the inclusion isnt massive in size and directly on the center, they are relatively safe. 

BlueNile and other competitors have tried to compete with the diamond viewing technology but have fallen short.  This viewing technology is imperative for clarity and needed for fancy shapes as well as they are more difficult to grade. Fancy shapes are any shape other than round. EX. Princess cut, Emerald Cut, Radiant cut, etc. 

Diamond Inspiration Gallery

james allen reviewI love this section on their site. It allows my clients to view recently purchased rings which give them the ability to view carat size, shape, color and ring combinations.  Once again giving you comfort in knowing what you are buying is incredible.  It’s helpful that you can filter the shape, style of ring, carat size, budget, and metal type to truly narrow down your search.


Hearts & Arrows Collection

James Allen ReviewFor any of my readers looking for the best cut possible, James Allen has their Hearts and Arrows True Hearts Collection.  Just visually stunning, at 20x magnified, the lines are sharp and show perfection when it comes to symmetry. 

Seen from above, a Hearts and Arrows diamond shows an arrow pattern. When displayed on its pavilion side, the diamond presents the eye with 8 hearts with tiny ‘v’ shapes. Genuine Hearts and Arrows have these patterns visible at a single glance, indicating that the diamond has perfect optical symmetry.

These diamonds have a small premium on them but ensure the best possible cut. 

James Allen ReviewJames Allen true hearts Review



I know that most of my clients see price as the main reason to buy.  But these factors below should also play a role when comparing stones from different vendors.  James Allen offers: 

30 Day Hassle-Free Returns

I tested this myself and it couldn’t be truer or easier.  With a simple click of a button, your return is processed!  They even paid for the return shipping(USA only).  How awesome that there is zero risk.  This is helpful when buying a lower clarity or high fluorescence stone.  Great to know you can always buy and if unsatisfied it’s an easy upgrade or return away. 

24/7 Customer support 

They are always there if you need a hand with product knowledge or technical issues. 

Free Shipping

You never have to worry as they offer shipping to the US and around the globe. Every shipment is insured giving the buyer peace of mind. 

My Personal Secret Shopper Experience

I created a video for my readers to see first hand the experience, hope you enjoy it.  



I have shopped many years using James Allen’s website and can say with certainty that its the most well rounded, value and selection site for online diamond shopping today.  I know this site is written with so much healful information.  But please reach out to me and I will help you navigate the site and help you narrow down a selection. 

How To Buy Diamonds | Diamond Buying Guide

How To Buy Diamonds |  A Diamond Buying Guide

Are you hesitant in your purchase?  Afraid of being misleading or ripped off? Contact us for help.

James Allen has launched a great 25% off sale on all engagement rings  Click Here to Browse Deals.

Blue Nile is one of our favorite vendors and they have generously offered our readers an exclusive one-time use coupon. (Click Here to get $50 off). 

Who This Article Is For

This article is made to help my readers gain clarity and confidence in their purchase. Whether its buying a loose diamond or a set engagement ring, you will learn how to choose with confidence.  Get ready to save money as well by avoiding unnecessary overspending. Buying a diamond can be tricky. And walking into a jewelry store with no education can be costly.  Follow along with my Diamond Buying Guide and learn How To Buy Diamonds with confidence.

1. Set a budget:

The first rule of this Diamond Buying Guide.  Let’s get rid of the old rule of 2 months of salary.  No rule applies to everyone and their situation.   This is a symbol of love and commitment not going above your means.  With that said, its important to know your significant other expectations. Do they prefer dainty like this classic .96 engagement ring solitaire ring?  Or do they like more flair and dazzle like this 1.54 carat on a stunning Cambridge Halo Platinum Ring?  But learning you can adjust your search with small changes.  As a start get a baseline.

My advice, compare pricing using these two top vendors to see what diamonds they offer and compare.

Click Here for the starting page for James Allen.

Click Here for the starting page of Blue Nile.

2. Pick a shape

The beginning of your search must be the diamond shape.  Each diamond shape has different search criteria such as clarity, symmetry and color that works best.   Each shape has a different cost so searching multiple shapes at the same time will leave you frustrated.  For example, Take a look at this 1 carat SI 1 clarity H color Princess cut diamond for $3,340 vs   this Round 1 carat SI1 clarity H color Diamond for $4,610.  Each shape has there pros and cons.

Round is the most popular and is labeled the Cut King.  If your significant other isn’t leaving hints of their favorite shape, take a look at their Pinterest or maybe ask a best friend to be sure you pick the diamond shape of their dreams.  Round is the most popular following Princess, Oval, and Emerald.

3. Learn the 4 C’s and Narrow your search:

Once you have chosen the shape, its time to understand how the 4 C’s  (Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut) interact with it.  The 4 C’s represent the most important definitive characteristics of a diamond.

I always recommend to start with your goal in carat weight. So when you go to search a site like James Allen, you can specifically only choose to see 1 carat diamonds.   See below a sample of what the search sliders look like.

How To Buy A Diamond | Diamond Buying Guide

click on the image above to go the their search page

Start at the goal carat weight.  You can then adjust the values to see where the prices is in conjunction with your budget. A quick tip.  Shopping for a .90 can yield a deep discount versus a 1 carat.  Typically, every .50 of a carat means a jump in price.  Some times you find a rare 1.85 at a great deal.


Next is Cut Grade.  If you are searching for a round diamond, I suggest you search for ideal cut.   A fancu shape(any other diamond other than round)  does not come with a cut grade from GIA.  Too many variables at play so the cut is left for the viewer to decide.   I have two articles that I will list showing how to find the right cut grade in both sites.  Follow those guides lines if you need a fancy cut.

James Allen Cut Guide –  Bluenile Cut Guide.

Color is the next choice to make.    You do not need to pick a D or E color.  The human eye can’t typically even see the difference between a D or an H-F color.  Depending the shape of stone you choose, a G-I color is the perfect range to shop for.  Round diamonds hide color very well and a H-I color works perfectly.


Clarity is your next option to choose.   The main criteria is to make sure the diamond is eye clean.  If I show you a Flawless diamond next to a SI1 that’s eye clean, is there a benefit to the flawless other than bragging rights?  Safe money and choose an eye clean SI1 if possible.  Diamonds like emeralds typically require a vs1.

If you are under budget, congrats! Feel free to go for a heavier carat weight.  If its over budget, keep adjusting the parameters of clarity and color to see how close your budget is reached. Hopefully, you have found this Diamond Buying Guide helpful thus far. Reach out and email me if you need help navigating these sites.   To go deeper in this How To Buy Diamonds Guide,  Click on this article to learn more about the 4 C’s.

Once you have found some options, go even deeper and check there length to width ratios, fluorescence, table percentages etc.   Feel free to reach out to me, A GIA trained Diamond Expert to help How To Buy Diamonds.

4. Choosing your engagement ring:

What I love about the different engagement ring options is it can help with the visual tremendously.  Lets say you were shy with reaching a certain carat goal.  A ring choice like a Halo, Vintage style, or 3 Stone ring will give it the extra size to appear much larger. So a .80 carat diamond on a beautiful Halo diamond engagement ring setting can be a stunner.

Again personal engagement ring preference of your significant other is important.  If you are unable to find any information, you can always go by whats popular.  Click on this link or banner to see an article from Blue Nile on their Top 20 Engagement Ring Styles.  This will give you a understanding on what engagement rings are popular.   You can also go to recently purchased rings from clients, filter the shape, price and style to see what others are doing and get inspired.  Click here to see some recent clients rings.

Here is a video I made showing how to navigate online search bars and help you narrow down your search.

Diamond Shapes


First task to complete in this journey is finding out what Diamond Shapes you are going to buy.  If your lucky enough to know; that is one less thing to be stressed about.  If you are unsure then hopefully this guide can shed some light on your concerns.  Read on to learn what attributes to look for.  If you need any advice click on this link to contact me.




    Considered KING when it comes to brilliance.  Original round brilliant-cut was developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The modern round brilliant consists of 58 facets.  The  Round Diamond is King in terms of popularity of Diamond Shapes. Known to be the diamond with the most brilliance,fire and sparkle, its no wonder why its loved.  Its classical and timeless. The diamonds CUT grade impacts this diamond shape the most. In addition, its know to be pricer than other cuts due to 50% of the rough  being utilized to create it.  But, Its also a diamond shape that hides clarity imperfections and lower color best.  Of all Diamond Shapes, Round is the most popular.

BUYING TIP– Look for a length to width ratio of 1.00-1.03.  Remember rounds hide imperfections and lower colors best. Buying the Diamond Shape round with a grade of very good is still a beautiful diamond. Excellent is of course ideal and sometimes doesn’t have such a high premium.  Cut is king so if your gonna stretch a budget, cut is the thing to do it for.

Premium Selections?

Each site has a premium round.  I would say with proper homework you can find a beautiful round diamond outside of these prime selections.  Consider these no guesswork, hand picked selection for ideal cuts.

James Allen sells  the Ultimate in Diamond Brilliance, look for a Hearts and Arrows True Hearts Diamond.  Seen from above, a Hearts and Arrows diamond shows an arrow pattern. When displayed on its pavilion side, the diamond presents the eye with 8 hearts with tiny ‘v’ shapes. Genuine Hearts and Arrows have these patterns visible at a single glance, indicating that the diamond has perfect optical symmetry.

What I love about James Allen is they provides actual photographs of all the True Hearts Diamonds.  You know when you go this route, you are getting the top of cut, symmetry and polish for a reasonable premium.

Diamond Shapes True Hearts Diamond

Blue Nile has there Astor line.   Here is a link for a filtered Astor Round Diamond.  This is Blue Nile’ s hand picked selection with triple excellent diamonds scoring excellent in Cut, Symmetry and Polish.  On their website it reads, “Exceptionally rare, only 1 in every 1,000 diamonds possess the potential to achieve Astor by Blue Nile™ status. They are curated and analyzed by two independent industry experts to unlock ultimate brilliance.”. Sounds like a steal if the price is right.

I tell my clients, it doesn’t hurt to compare your findings against a top teir selection. Sometimes the premium is slight which if its in the case inside of budget, a perfect cut is the most valuable aspect of the diamond.  This is not the only way to find a beautiful diamond, it just takes the guess work out.


Diamond Shapes

The princess cut is the second most popular cut shape for diamonds.  The princess cut is a relatively new diamond cut, having been created in the 1960s.   It is cheaper to buy than the round as the rough is utilized more. Compared to other diamonds in the same shape, Princess cut diamond give out more brilliance and sparkle than the others.  Beware when purchasing.  BUYING TIP.  GIA CERTIFICATE DOES NOT grade CUT for the princess.  Its very important to use a company like James Allen  or Blue Nile that has detailed images of the diamond. A diamond with a good shape and sparkle will stand out.  The only certificate that grades CUT in fancy shapes like the princess is AGS .  Of all Diamond Shapes, Princess is the second popular.

Here are things to look for:

  1. For Table Percentage, stay under 75%.  Avoid princess cuts whose table percentage is higher than 85% or lower than 55%.
  2. A Depth between 65% and 75% for the best balance of brilliance to size.
  3. Length to width ratio of 1.0-1.05.
  4. Longer Rectangular Princess will be cheaper, and may look better to you(subjective)
  5. Hide lower clarity and color well.

Premium Selection

AGS  certification is the only trusted cut grade for Princess.  Click HERE, I  have created a custom search link in James Allen for Princess Cuts with only AGS certification.  Here you can insure you have a great cut certified.  You can also ways play with search criteria from these sites under certification. Its not the only way to find a great cut.  Images help the buyer see the diamond sparkle.  You can always contact us by clicking here for search advice.

Brian Gavin has a selection of their personal collection they have cut themselves for Princess, all coming with AGS certification as Excellent cuts.  I would say this selection is Brian Gavin’s biggest strength. Click HERE to find them.


Oval-Cut Diamonds give a beautiful sparkle and style.  It’s recommended you choose an H color to be on the safe side and Si1 clarity.  Occasionally you can find an SI2 that looks great but it’s not too common.  The length to width ratio is equally important to ensure you have a classic oval shape.

One must evaluate an Oval diamond closely as it’s not as simple as a round.  GIA doesn’t classify cut grades for any shape other than round.  You will have to analyze the stone with other criteria.

Take a look and click on this link to view an oval diamond that has the same 4 C’s but has a drastic difference in cut and look.  Stone A    vs  Stone B   You can see the shape of the diamond is the most important feature, not the traditional 4C’s.




Growing in popularity, the cushion cut is know as the romantic stone.  Known for its sparkle in a candle lit setting.  Once referred to as old mine cut.  It  combines a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow (hence the name).  Traditional cushion cut diamond shapes return light in a chunkier pattern than modern cuts.  I would say that the cushion looks amazing in a vintage style ring.  If vintage is your thing, cushion is a winner.   They are not available in abundance, so online is the way to go.

Cushion cut in an ideal shape are bottom heavy.  When searching, find a Cushions with a depth under 70% and a table under 70%.  Any depth over 70 runs the risk of extreme bottom heaviness.  Causing the diamond to go lifeless and appear smaller from the top view.  This is not to have you shy away from this purchase but thats just the nature of the shape.


  GIA CERTIFICATE DOES NOT grade CUT for CUSHION DIAMONDS  Its very important to use a company like James Allen  or Blue Nile that has detailed images of the diamond.

Here are things to look for:

  1. Cushion Cut Diamonds are usually square but can be rectangular as well.
  2. This Diamond was made for a vintage style setting and compliments the look.
  3.  Keep your length to width ratio of 1 – 1.06.  If the stone is the long side, 1.15-1.30.
  4.  You always want to see an image of what you are buying because proportions play a big role here.
  5. Know that it will not look larger than a round.  An Ideal Cushion is likely a bit middle & bottom heavy. This will cause it to appear smaller from top view.
  6. Cushion Cuts have a larger table-So don’t go lower than SI1.  Imperfections are more visible. Color also shows strongly. H color or better.
  7. Don’t expect a super shiny brilliant diamond.  Cushion Cuts are not know for this.

Premium Selection

Since GIA doesn’t give Cushion Cuts cut grades, I highly recommend to click this link to Brian Gavin’s Cushion cut hearts and arrows line. Hearts and arrow Cushion cut Its all AGS certified as excellent cut. Brian Gavin is a master diamond cutter that has created Excellent cut grades for Cushion, Princess and Emerald.

James Allen also allows you to search for AGS certified only stones.  Here is a custom search link only showing AGS certified stones.  Again, this isn’t the only way as you can inspect cut with your eye or reach out to me here.  This way only takes the guess work out.


The Pear Diamond is so unique, often referred to as the tear drop shape.  Probably not the most popular but stands out.   Its probably one of my personal favorites.   Its different, has a beautiful sparkle and gives a large appearance.   The pear is a combination of a round and a marquise shape, with a tapered point on one end.  Another big plus is it hides imperfections well like the round.  Color has to be H color or better.

Color starts from the tip of the diamond which is front and center to the eye. See example  of a J color. 

Length to with Ratio is a Huge factor in this shape.    Usually between a 1.50- 1.70 is considered ideal.  This is also Subjective.  To short and you have a stubby diamond. Too long and it looks like a skinny tooth.  See below.

Diamond Shape Pear

As you can see, its vital to see a picture or detailed 360 image like James Allen or Blue Nile has when buying this shape.

WARNING- Look out for Bow Tie Effect.  Its usually going to be slightly evident but you don’t want a strong characteristic of the bowtie.  See images below to learn why they call it the bowtie effect.

Pear Diamond Shape

BUYING TIP: While the length to width ratio of classic pear shaped Diamond Shapes is 1.40-1.70, personal preference will again dictate choice.

things to look for:

  1. H color or better, as stated earlier color shows strong from the tip.  Feel free to go to SI1-SI2 for the best value.  Try to not get any imperfections on the table of the diamond.
  2. Depth Percentage should be under 66%
  3. Table also under 66%
  4. GIA CERTIFICATE DOES NOT grade CUT for Pear Shapes.  Use a company like James Allen  or Blue Nile that has detailed images of the diamond.


The unique look of The Emerald Diamond is created by the step like cuts.  Its table is wide open and the diamond has a mirror effect rather than a shimmering diamond characteristic.  This diamond may not have a lot of sparkle, but its classy and elegant.

Length to Width is a huge buying feature to look out for.  a 1.50 is considered ideal length to width ratio, however the 1.30 l/w is starting to get popular.  This goes down to personal preference. Take a look at the samples below for length to width ratios and howe they change the appearance of the diamond.

emerald diamond shape

As you can see, its vital to see a picture or detailed 360 image like James Allen or Blue Nile  when buying this shape.


  1. Because of how clear the diamond is, you can see imperfections much easier.  Take a look at this sample round diamond with  a SI2 rating and then the Emerald with a VS2 rating.  Lesson hear you want to stick to vs2 and above.  Remember placement of imperfection is everything. 


Brian Gavin has a Specialty Line Of Emerald Cuts with Excellent Cuts.  Worth investigating for a premium cut.  Emerald is not known necessarily known for there brilliant shine, but a perfect Diamond Shapes helps bring out the most from it.

Diamond Shapes all have there pros and cons.  Follow the following link to go deeper than Diamond Shapes and learn about the 4 C’s.

Diamond Fluorescence


What is Diamond Fluorescence?

Diamond Fluorescence  is a great tool to lower your diamonds price.    The technical explanation is the effect that Ultraviolet rays(UV) have on the diamond. In a simple and fun explanation, your diamond can turn into a glow stick(kidding but not really). A Diamond with strong Fluorescence, under a UV light, can have a strong blue color. In the real world, unless you are in a club under black light, It wont be glowing blue. In the day time or regular lighting you wont have a glowing diamond. With medium to very strong fluorescence grades, A trained eye may see a little hint of blue. However, if your diamond is lower in color it cancels out the yellow.

Its very common to find fluorescence in diamonds. Approximately 25% – 35%  show a degree of fluorescence. However, only 10% of diamonds with grades of medium, strong or very strong fluorescence  may affect appearance.

Here is a sample photo from GIA . It shows a necklace made of diamonds that are strong in fluorescence. One half is viewed with normal lighting. The other half with fluorescent lighting.

How does fluorescence effect the diamond

GIA studies show that for the overwhelming majority of diamonds, the strength of fluorescence has no noticeable effect. In conclusion to a GIA Fluorescence Study,  the average person could not tell the difference between a diamond with fluorescence and a diamond without. So whats the big fuss about!?  There is a very low percent of diamonds that have a hazy look to them due to strong Fluorescence.  To be exact, less than 0.2% of fluorescent diamonds submitted to GIA exhibit this effect.

Because of the possible(extremely rare) haze effect. The industry has labeled fluorescence a negative feature that gets a discounted price.  You can expect a 2% to 16% savings.

I SEE DIAMOND FLUORESCENCE IN A POSITIVE LIGHT! If you recall, yellow is the most common color found in diamonds.  And BLUE is a complimentary color.  Diamond Fluorescence can give your yellow color diamond a white appearance.  Hence giving you incredible value if purchasing a K-J color Stone.

Design Your Own


I see nothing wrong with fluorescence. If you are buying a lower color diamond, I recommend a medium to strong fluorescence. If you want to splurge with a high color, understand that the blue may stand out. You don’t want to buy a D-F color diamond with strong fluorescence. Anything under H is a go!  The lower the color grade the stronger the florescence can be to help cancel out the yellow.  I have had clients think it looks beautiful and prefer it.  It goes down to preference. Remember read my diamond color article to learn each  diamond shape has an ideal color scale.  In a interesting twist, Brian Gavin made a specialty line called Blue.  Its beautifully cut, strong blue diamonds.  Click image below to learn more.  Interesting way to save and have a unique diamond.
Brian Gavin's Barbara Pendant Featuring

Is an Engagement Ring over 1 Carat neccesary?

The right answer depends on you, the buyer, expectations and what your comfortable with.  Thank DeBeer’s and there marketing ploy in the 1930’s for the 1 carat diamond ring and beyond. Linking diamonds with emotion and here we are today in a world full of expectations.   Knowing your significant others expectations is a good start. Their personality can give you subtle clues.  Is your significant other a simple, free spirited hippy who loves walks on the beach and staying in.  Or rather ambitious globe trotter with a thirst for luxury items.   Know their expectations to avoid an negative vibes.

The average size hovers around a 1 carat engagement ring.  CreditDonkey conducted an independent survey across several major cities in the U.S..  The results we found were:

  • Los Angeles: 0.83 carat
  • New York City: 1.45 carat
  • Chicago: 1.29 carat
  • Dallas: 1.04 carat
  • Miami: 1.08 carat

More important is getting something you can afford.  This is suppose to be a symbol of love so don’t go in over your head.  Which leads me to the next topic.  How to buy smart and maximize your purchase.  Here are some great tips to get you to a 1 carat engagement ring and beyond.

Getting the best value

The 4 C’s describe the buying criteria for buying Diamonds.  Cut is of highest priority as it is the aspect that impacts the beauty of the diamond the strongest. A well cut .90 carat will look like the same size as a decent cut 1 carat.  See sample image below. 1 carat diamond ring

These two Princess cut Diamonds  are the same carat weight. Can you see a visible difference in size? Its clear the diamond on the left is bigger. Their measurements on left are 5.65 x 5.61  vs the right 5.32 x 5.14.


Choose A Lower Clarity!  Si1 is the perfect grade to choose from.  You can occasionally find a great choice in SI2.  Below is an example of how you can filter different attributes like clarity and color.

buying 1 carat engagement ring

click on image to view James Allen Search Methods

buying a 1 carat engagement ring

I suggest you leave in the slider SI2-SI1 and VS2.  The reason for leaving VS2 is there are sometimes deals happening and you may find a great find with a higher clarity.  For a more expensive debate on Clarity Click Here on My Diamond Clarity Article. 

Sites like James Allen has HD 360 viewing of every diamond on their site.   You can see diamonds zoomed in by 20x-40x.  This will give you confidence in your purchase.


As you can see some Inclusions(diamond flaws) are white and are deeper or off centered causing them to not be as noticeable.  Further proving the point that not all SI1 Diamond grades are the same.  This is again why I only recommend vendors such as James Allen, Blue Nile & Brian Gavin that have proven track records of thousands of happy clients and real images and video of their diamonds in regular lighting magnified so you can judge and evaluate more accurately.

Save Money Buying Your Engagement Ring

click on the image above to visit James Allen and learn more.

Reason why its so important to be able to clearly see a diamond.



The more closely a diamond approaches colorless, the more they are valued.  As a tip found in my diamond color guide,  you will see the sweet spot for value is in between H-J color.  In terms of hierarchy in the 4 C’s of Diamonds, I consider it 3rd in importance. See below for a sample chart.

Diamond Color Chart

A Diamond color under M is not recommended.    In the illustration below you will see samples of color. HOWEVER, when the diamond is facing up that color is harder to see.  Consequently, this is why I love that H-J color.  Again see my Color guide for tips best colors depending on what diamond shape you are buying.   See this example of a J Color Diamond mounted below.  Learn how Diamond Florescence can improve your J color diamond.

DO YOU SEE A LOT OF COLOR? 4 C's of Diamonds

example of a J Color Diamond mounted

4 C's of Diamonds

color chart showing color illustrations

Most noteworthy, remember Color starts from the tip of the stone towards the face.  Different shapes can effect diamond color.  A round diamond hides color very well. In contrast when buying a Pear shape or Emerald, you must choose a higher color. See images below for example. For recommendations per shape regarding color, visit my Color page for deeper info.

4 C's of Diamonds


4 C's of Diamonds

Diamond Carat is considered 4th in importance in the 4 C’s of Diamonds.  Costumers usually default to this because size is easily visible to the human eye.  While color and clarity is hard to see. Its the obvious aspect that adds expense as there really isn’t a way around it.  Size cost money. A 0.95 carat  vs a 1 carat diamond has a large price jump. Each fraction can make a large difference in cost.  There is no shame if your budget doesn’t allow for a good quality 1 carat diamond ring.  A beautifully cut .90 or .74 can look beautiful and almost the same size as a 1 carat engagement ring.  Not to mention you have options in engagement rings like halo and double halos that add to the rings presence.

Click on the image below to view samples of created rings purchased by real people to get an idea of what it can look like.

Below are pages from James Allen & Blue Nile that shows you real rings created by recent customers.  This can help you get an idea of what your ring can look like.






you can filter 1 carat diamond ring and different shapes and sizes

“A 1 carat diamond ring may be the average, but it’s not the rule”

5 Reasons Buying A Diamond Engagement Ring Online Is Better

5 Reasons Why Buying Diamond Engagement Ring Online Is Better  + The Nitty-Gritty:  Walking into a jewelry store feels a little like walking into a car dealer.  A salesperson is there to up sell you and push you to a stone not because its the perfect match for your needs. But rather because its one of the few they have that match your price point. Retail stores spend easily over 10k to 30,000 in special lighting to make a Diamond Engagement Ring dazzle.  You may be looking at a flawed diamond but the lighting enhances the sparkle masking imperfections.  The Bottom line- Yes you can find a beautiful diamond in a retail store BUT! It will be 20-45%  higher price point with a risk of buying a diamond improperly certified(paying more for an inferior diamond grade). Jared and many mall jewelry stores are notorious for this.  Read Below for the 5 Reasons Why Buying A Diamond Engagement Ring Online Is Better Than Retail.

1. Massive amounts of inventory

Imagine you walk into a store.  Say you want a princess shape and a budget of 5,000.   They may have 2-3 stones that match your price point.  Now you are forced to evaluate 2-3 stones that may not even have the right combination of attributes that you want.  Maybe of the two options they have, one stone is bottom heavy and the other has a long length to width ratio. The last stone is great but way over budget.  You are forced to choose between two undesirables and going above your means.  Online, we can find hundreds.  We have the power to critically filter the most important attributes and get the best quality diamond at the best price.   Sites like James Allen & Blue Nile  claim access to 150,000 diamonds.

2. Better Pricing

It makes sense that buying a Diamond Engagement Ring Online is cheaper.  An Online Business has no expensive retail store front needed.  No sales teams, commissions, security, or heavy insurance needed.  Those savings get passed on to you.  Online Vendors like James Allen & Blue

Nile make small percentages and rely on more transactions versus bigger profit margins to keep the retail doors open.  If you have unlimited budget and it doesn’t bother you to pay more for the same product then retail stores are for you.  If you are more price conscience and prefer more budget to be spent on a better diamond then online is the best option.

3. You can’t TOUCH  –  BUT You Can SEE BETTER Online!

Let me explain. As stated in The Nitty Gritty, when you walk into a retail store, they will present a diamond under enhanced lighting.  They proceed by placing it on a table in front of you to evaluate.  As you try to see it with your naked eye, its so small its hard to evaluate. Especially when its sparkling under enhanced lighting.  There can be a big black spec in the middle but every time you turn the diamond light hits your eye and its not noticeable.

Buying A Diamond Engagement Ring Online

They then hand you a loupe.  A loupe is a small finger 10 times magnification tool. This is when you can get a better look if you are able to use the Loupe tool correctly.  Even worse if the store gives you a mounted diamond.   It’s Even harder to evaluate with the prongs hiding additional imperfections

You have to hold the diamond with tweezers in one hand and hold it up to your face with the loupe on the other hand. Sure it works, but its cumbersome.

HERE IS THE DIFFERENCE– Vendors like James Allen , Blue Nile and Brian Gavin  have 15x-20x zoomed images and video of the diamond. They light the diamond in standard lighting to grade subjectively.  Huge advantage for buying your Diamond Engagement Ring Online.

Buying Diamond Engagement Ring Online

This is HUGE.  This is how you can search on James Allen.   This is what I consider a strong benefit Buying A Diamond Engagement Ring Online. I may not be able to touch, but I can purchase with more confidence because I can see clearly with out pressure and choose whats right for me.  Not based on enhanced lighting and a salesman pushing me. Which leads me to 4.

4. No Pressure, Buy On Your Time At Your Pace

Search for diamonds on your lunch break, at home or whenever convenient. Instead of driving to three stores which can take hours. Just visit another website and compare your findings with a clear mind. Nobody likes a salesman pushing you towards a certain purchase. People may not realize this but certain stones that have a better profit margin will be pushed to clients by sales reps.   The sales reps advice may sound sincere but clients don’t realize the hidden agenda.

5. Save On Sales Tax

To top it off you get to save a additional 7% off of tax. Online does not tax your sale. Big win for online.


Buying Diamond Engagement Ring Online For The Win!

CONCLUSION:  Buying A Diamond Engagement Ring Online Wins in my book.  If you are hesitant.  Feel free to go to a retail store to get pricing.  Write down the diamonds attributes and compare.  Trust me, you wont be disappointed with the online savings.

Here is a video I made showing how to navigate online search bars and help you narrow down your search.

Scroll to Top