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).

F Color SI1 Diamonds

F color and SI1 clarity – a pairing of the best budget clarity rating and the first grade in the truly colorless range of diamonds. This is a common option for people seeking a value for money diamond that also has aspects of high quality in it – which they get from the color rating.

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Cut is important to get as good as possible when buying a diamond in this range, as the F color will be somewhat a moot point if the cut is poor.

As with all SI1 diamonds, the key to getting a good deal is to examine the diamond carefully, either in person, or as is the case with online diamonds, by looking at a high zoom photo of the diamond. Look carefully for any major inclusions or defects that are present in the photo and that are likely to be visible to the naked eye i.e. you’re looking for an “eye-clean” F color SI1 diamond.

Unless you’re obsessed with getting an even higher rated color, there’s no need to step any higher than F color. If you’re buying a yellow ring to set this diamond in, in fact there’s no real need to even go this high, except for boasting rights. In white or platinum jewellery, you could probably get away with a G or H color as well, but it is nice to have a genuinely “colorless” diamond.

Some choices for diamonds in the F color, SI1 range are shown below. Make sure you carefully eyeball the photos to check whether the level of inclusions is satisfactory for you. Remember you can always ask a staff member from the corresponding diamond company to examine the diamond themselves and tell you whether it appears eye-clean.