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).

G Color SI1 Diamonds

Smack bang in the middle of the color range, and with an SI1 clarity is where good color bargain diamonds can be found. G color gives you the color quality – you’re many grades above the bottom near-colorless range, and knocking at the door of the pure white, colorless range of diamonds (some even include G in the colorless range).

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The SI1 (and to some degree SI2) range is where the bargains are to be found, assuming you can find a diamond photo that looks good to your eye – so not really big visible inclusions. You’ll pay quite a lot less than for a “safe” VS1 or VS2 clarity diamond (or higher).

Things to consider – get the best cut quality possible. The list of diamonds I’ve found here has a range of cut qualities, but it is really the most important factor in general when choosing a diamond, except in some circumstances.

Secondly – take a look at some of the “rejects” in this list – I have included some of the diamonds with unacceptable inclusions so you have any idea of what is good and what is not.