Diamond Query: Best Cut Proportions for a 1.80-Carat Round Cut Under $15,000 – Local Jeweler vs. James Allen

| Anonymous Reader

Hello Sebastian, I’m getting so overwhelmed looking at diamonds from jewelers in brick and mortar to looking online. When I first started looking I didn’t have enough knowledge about diamonds but since then I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge.

The setting is already chosen so now I’m searching for a round brilliant cut diamond around 1.80. The cut is most important to me. I want that baby to dance! Next is color, I want to stay around the G/H grade. Next is clarity, I will go as low as SI1.

I thought I found the one, but I saw the chart you posted for “the measurements to stay within” for the best round brilliant diamond. It didn’t fit into that scale although it was ex ex ex cut.

I’ve also been doing that Holloway scale that rates your diamonds from 1a to 4b. The diamond I loved got a 2a but measurements were off. Then I found another that was a 1a and measurements were spot on but was out of budget.

My budget is around 15,000 just for the diamond. Can you help me?

Your Diamond Teacher |

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

I know how daunting the diamond shopping process can be. There are many factors to consider and so many diamonds to choose from and you want to be sure you are getting the best price. And a diamond that will sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!

And who knew there was so much to learn about diamonds, right?! I think your list of priorities is good; cut, color, clarity.

Can you please email the link to the diamond that you thought was the right one? I would like to see it. Noted your budget is around $15K and you are looking for a round brilliant cut diamond that is around 1.80ct.

What does the ring setting that you selected look like?

| Anonymous Reader

Thank you for responding! We are finally close to making our diamond choice! My setting is from the Gabriel Collection. I went to Osborne Jewelers here in our hometown. My husband is reluctant to order a diamond online. Here are two diamonds we have considered:

GIA 7262490109

GIA 2264004996

Please give me your thoughts on these. I did view diamonds on the James Allen site and got overwhelmed! Here are the ones from that site:


SKU 3501653 - 1.80 Carat H-SI1 Excellent Cut

SKU 3501653 – 1.80 Carat H-SI1 Excellent Cut


SKU 3396505 - 1.75 Carat H-VS2 Excellent Cut

SKU 3396505 – 1.75 Carat H-VS2 Excellent Cut


SKU 3353505 - 1.75 Carat H-SI1 True Hearts Ideal

SKU 3353505 – 1.75 Carat H-SI1 True Hearts Ideal

All three of these rated excellent for fire, symmetry and polish. I may get my husband to get on board with ordering online. I’ve just talked to people who said they would never order a diamond online. My setting is below. Looking forward to your opinion.

The issue I have had is I thought if I got a diamond that was ex ex ex cut, didn’t go lower than an SI1 and a G or H in color I would have a really great diamond!!! WRONG!!!

Just because its excellent in cut doesn’t mean it’s gonna be a “sparkle sparkle sparkle” diamond. I have been using the Super Excellent round cut diamond chart to stay within those parameters.

I’ve also been using the Holloway cut tool to see how the diamonds grade from 1A to 4B. And then another app that measures light absorption.

Anyway, it gets overwhelming trying to make the right choice. Picking out the setting was a breeze compared to choosing the center diamond. I had no idea!!! Looking forward to hearing from you!

Your Diamond Teacher |

The three diamonds you selected from JamesAllen.com are all an excellent choice. You have done a great job!

Regarding ordering a diamond from an online retailer…this is the only way I would purchase a diamond! An online retailer, such as James Allen, has a much larger inventory, they are more price competitive than brick and mortar retail shops, and JamesAllen.com has excellent customer service.

They have onsite GIA Gemologists, an extremely well trained/knowledgeable sales staff and a great return policy, if you are not happy. You have nothing to worry about.

As for all the different tools to evaluate whether a diamond will offer the best brilliance, fire, sparkle etc. Don’t overwhelm yourself with these tools, such as the Holloway Cut Advisory.

If you want to be super certain regarding the diamonds ultimate ability to reflect light, you can refer to the Idealscope image for the below diamond:


The Idealscope is the image that has different shades of red. For this True Hearts diamond SKU 3335305, the Idealscope shows what you want to see in a diamond’s ability to reflect light, which is a deep saturation of red throughout.

I hope these answers help ease your mind and help with your decision. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

| Anonymous Reader

Thank you for replying. So out of the three which would you choose? I did find one more from James Allen but it’s an I grade and I think VS1. I didn’t want to go lower than H but it looked nice with a big price cut! Did you look at the ones I was looking at here from our local jeweler?

I will send you the GIA number for the I to get your opinion. Again, thanks for your reply. We’re getting close to making a decision but now I’m obsessed with the hunt!

Once you get into a certain parameter of what you’re looking for they start looking close. Looking forward to your reply again!

Your Diamond Teacher |

Please see my comments regarding the two diamonds from your local jeweler based on my review of the GIA grading report:

GIA 7262490109 – 1.90ct, G, SI-1: if we are to get really nit-picky, the table size is a bit large, the crown angle is a bit shallow and the pavilion angle is a bit steep.

GIA 2264004996 – 2.05ct, H, SI-1: again, if we are to get really nit-picky, the pavilion angle is a bit steep. The crown angle is perfect. And the table size is in the preferred range.

I just want to reiterate, these slight variations in the diamonds proportions are so subtle to the untrained, naked eye. Regarding the JamesAllen.com diamonds below, you may want to double check, but I think that SKUS 339650535016533353505 may not be available any longer on their site….unless, did you put them all on hold?

If I were to select the diamond based only on the proportions, I would select SKU 3353505. I hope this helps!

| Anonymous Reader

Here is the I VS2 SKU 3267932 it’s $12,080, $3000 under budget:


About the 3353505, it’s AGS and SI1 not as clean as the other SI1. And the other is VS2 so I know it will be. I’ve been told if you have to choose between GIA and AGS to go with GIA cause their grading is stricter. What are your thoughts?

Your Diamond Teacher |

The diamond SKU 3267932 is another great diamond. This diamond has medium fluorescence…are you okay with that?

Regarding the diamond grading institutions, GIA and AGS have the same grading standards. AGS was actually born from GIA. They were founded by the same group of jewelry professionals.

| Anonymous Reader

From what I’ve read about fluorescence, it can make your diamond look a shade whiter especially could be beneficial in an I grade. I read it can make a diamond look cloudy in the D E F range but hopefully would enhance an I?

How do you feel about fluorescence? Can you take another look at SKU 3353505, it’s a true hearts. You said you loved the cut but the inclusions look bad to me. I’m afraid it won’t be eye clean.

Your Diamond Teacher |

You are correct, fluorescence can make an I color diamond appear whiter. I have no issue with fluorescence. I would not hesitate buying a diamond with fluorescence.

Regarding the below diamond SKU 3353505 from JamesAllen.com, rest assured this diamond will be eye-clean.


In your separate email, you referenced an I color diamond and asked how it will compare against G color diamonds in the halo setting. You have nothing to worry about. One color grade will not make a difference, especially against the small melee diamonds in the halo.

| Anonymous Reader

My jeweler may have found a “winner”. We are getting the setting from them so they really want our business so I can say they did my whole to ring. The diamonds they were bringing in were nice but out of budget so I dropped the Carat from 1.9/2.05 to 1.70 to meet the budget.

That’s when I started looking at James Allen because I was getting frustrated. Please let me know your thoughts on this diamond. We’re viewing today so your immediate response would be appreciated! GIA 5256243174. Thank you so much for all your advice.

Your Diamond Teacher |

GIA 5256243174 is an excellent diamond! Your jeweler did a great job. Congratulations!

| Anonymous Reader

Yes, they did. It’s 15,500 plus tax. It’s $2000 more than SKU 3396505 which is 14,100 no tax from James Allen.


I have narrowed it down to these two. Do you think it’s worth $2000 more? My husband was reluctant to order a diamond from them, but now that he sees how much we can save he’s on board. I don’t know what to do! Help!

Your Diamond Teacher |

My opinion is, it is not worth $2K more, however, it is best to do what makes you and your husband feel the most comfortable.

| Anonymous Reader

I don’t either. I think we’re gonna order the diamond from JA! Thank you for all your advice, tips and opinions!