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).

H Color SI1 Diamonds

The combination of H color and SI1 clarity is a budget saving one – you get to save a fair amount of money by avoiding a much higher color diamond, and you save a heck of a lot by getting the "low" clarity of SI1.

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As with all SI clarity diamonds, the key to not blowing your budget saving attempt is to make sure the diamond appears clean to the naked eye (who cares what it looks like under magnification!). And the key way to achieve this is to either examine the diamond in person, or look at a high resolution photo of the diamond on a webpage.

H color is plenty good for yellow gold, and will be good enough for white gold or platinum, unless you're really fussy about getting a “pure white” diamond. It really depends on whether you are willing to pay a significant amount more to go up several color grades so you do have what is considered a "colorless" or "pure white" diamond.

SI1 clarity means you have to pay attention to how the diamond presents visually, but remember that people have been known to find eye-clean diamonds even down into the I1 clarity range – so it’s quite possible to find these bargains – it may just take a bit of perseverance. Having all of these diamonds here in one place should make it a little easier to find one that suits your needs.