Diamond Query: Eye-Cleanliness and Best Cut Proportions in James Allen and Blue Nile Oval Cut Diamonds

| Anonymous Reader

Hi Sebastian, I have read through a lot of your site and it is excellent. Unfortunately, I am a person that can never pull the trigger and need some reassurance.

My budget for the diamond alone is in the $2,500-$3,500 range. I am looking to get the most bang for my buck. She wants an oval diamond. I have been looking at the .9 carat range to avoid the 1 carat markup. I have been looking at H color as you suggested that for the oval shape.

The two main things I am concerned about are:

– The cut isn’t graded for oval diamonds so how do you determine the quality of cut? As you mention cut being the most important, I want the best for this.

– The clarity. I have been using your suggestion to try and find eye clean diamonds at the SI1 and SI2 levels though I am clueless.

Every diamond just looks shitty to me at those clarity levels. I realize that I am looking at it at x20 magnification and it really isn’t that bad but I can’t tell if it will look good in person or not.

I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me. I feel 100 times more confident buying a ring than I did before. However, not seeing the diamond in person makes me very nervous.

Your Diamond Teacher |

Thank you for your inquiry. I am happy to help.

I will help you feel more confident “pulling the trigger”!

Which online retailers are you using to shop for the oval diamond?

As for cut, fancy shaped diamonds, such as oval, are not graded for cut. When choosing an oval shaped diamond, you decide based on all the other variables. If, however, you want a guideline for proportions, please click the below link from my website.


As for clarity, once you start selecting diamonds, send the links to me and I will help you determine whether the SI1 or SI2 diamonds are eye-clean.

I hope this helps. And I look forward to working with you.

| Anonymous Reader

I read your oval diamond article, very nice.

I was looking at James Allen per your recommendation but also Blue Nile. It seems like your only knock on BN is the lack of 3D video but they do show video of all the oval diamonds though not as zoomed in.

Here are some James Allen diamonds:

James Allen Oval Cuts Comparison


Here are some Blue Nile diamonds:


It might be just me but the BN diamonds seem clearer and have less of a bow tie than the JA ones.

I’ve picked a lot of diamonds to look at, I feel guilty for bombarding you with so many. The ring setting/wedding band combo that I want is $400 cheaper on JA than BN so you could focus on those ones first to see if there is a good one.

Once again, thank you!

Your Diamond Teacher |

Thanks for your inquiry. I am happy to help. And I am glad to hear that the oval diamond article was helpful. Thank you.

Out of the JamesAllen.com diamonds you selected, I have narrowed it down to these three:




It is important that the diamond has at least Very Good – Excellent polish and symmetry. Also, it is better if the girdle isn’t too thick, since it is carat weight in an unnoticeable section of the diamond.

Also, these three diamonds have absolutely minimal bowtie. Are you leaning more towards one over another?

| Anonymous Reader

Well, the .92 carat one has clarity characteristics of feather, crystal, and cloud while the other two only have feather. I’m not sure how much difference that makes but I know it’s not good. That diamond also has a thicker girdle rating than the other two. I’m thinking we eliminate that one.

Of the other two, the cheaper one seems to have the larger more noticeable flaw. I’m guessing that might account for the price difference? In any case, I’m willing to spring the extra $150 if it will have a noticeable difference to fire/brilliance/scintillation to the naked eye. Otherwise, I guess I will just go with the cheaper one.

Any finals thoughts? Thank yah sir!

Your Diamond Teacher |

Hi, I think your thought process is good. All three diamonds are very similar. It would actually be difficult to tell them apart in person.

I would go with your gut instinct. I am confident you will be happy with your choice.

Out of the three, I would choose the below. The feather inclusion is the least noticeable.


I hope this helps!

| Anonymous Reader

Thanks, you’re the man. Really appreciate it.

Your Diamond Teacher |

Ha! Thanks!

Let me know what you think of the diamond when you receive it. I’d like to hear back.