Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

The One to Two Carat Range

Those of you with a large budget to buy a diamond engagement ring who can't quite stretch for a two carat diamond may wish to look in the size range between one and two carats where bargains can be found. Prices of course start to rise quite quickly as the diamond size increases in this range, so you may wish to resist getting too close to 2 carat diamond, especially if you're searching in this carat range specifically because you did not want to buy a two carat diamond.

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