Diamond Query: White Gold Prongs, Medium Fluorescence, and the Best Cut Proportions for a 3-Carat I-Colored Round Diamond

| Anonymous Reader

Hi Sebastian! My bf and I are shopping online for a 2.7-3 carat round diamond, planning to set it in 18k yellow gold band with white gold prongs.

Our budget is $30-35k (all in). I’ve read your great blog and come to the criteria of VS2 or above clarity, and Colors H or I.. and of course Excellent Cut & Symmetry.

After looking in stores (Tiffany’s, Zales), getting quotes from recommended local Brokers in Dallas, and shopping online — we have narrowed our shopping to either James Allen or Blue Nile (with a preference towards James Allen).

I suppose my major question is right now: Will a “I” color look okay, or do I need to go to “H”? In looking at James Allen this seems to change my pricing above/within/below my budget quite a bit. Any recommended diamonds that you see on the site currently?

Also, should I stay completely away from Florescence? THANKS!

Your Diamond Teacher |

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

If you are setting the diamond into a yellow gold band and you want to consider an I color diamond, then I would recommend the prongs are yellow, as well.

If the prongs are yellow, then the diamond will appear whiter. If the prongs are white, then the “warmer” diamond will stand out more.

As for fluorescence, I wouldn’t say you need to stay away, unless bothers you. A diamond that has medium or strong fluorescence will glow blue under strong UV light.

Also, there is a very slight chance that medium or strong fluorescence can make a diamond appear hazy, however this is unlikely. The positive of fluorescence is that it can make an I or J color diamond appear whiter. And diamonds that have fluorescence are priced more competitively.

Have you looked at 2.70 to 3ct diamonds in person? Have you seen an H and I color graded diamond in person? I will await your reply!

| Anonymous Reader

Hi Sebastian,

Thanks for your prompt reply!  We have looked at 1.5-3.0 carat rings in person. We tried on a Color I and G, but not H. We looked at an Color “I” set in platinum and did not notice any warmth, but the overall diamond did not look as brilliant probably in part because it was only a SI2 and not eye clean.

On the Florescence — would I notice this when the sun shines directly on it? So maybe when driving, or when outside at the beach/pool I would see some more blue in the stone when the sun hits it? I have never seen/noticed this in diamonds so I want to make sure I understand how I would potentially see this when wearing the diamond. In my search to date, I’ve had only the “none” and “faint” search filters because I didnt fully understand it.

In terms of Certification — I think you mention on your site that you recommend only GIA and AGS? I have heard from some that I should stay away from IGI — do you agree? They seem to be slightly lower priced on James Allen.

Do you have guidelines you recommend I stick to on Table and Depth? I’ve been using Table 54-57% and Depth 61 62.5%. Do you think this needs to be adhered to strictly?  I noticed many 3 carats have a table of 58%. Is this acceptable?

This is the setting I plan to use (18k yellow gold band with white gold or platinum prongs). I could ask them if they can do the prongs in yellow gold too, but I do prefer the silver. If I did silver prongs, would you recommend going to a H color possibly?


What are your thoughts on these diamonds?
Color I:




Color H: (it looks like upgrading to an H would mean a 2.6-2.7 carat ring vs 2.9-3.0)



Note: I am also open to Blue Nile, but as you say on your site – I prefer the tools on James Allen. Thanks again!

One other quick note: I really liked the looks of this diamond, but it’s IGI certified. Do you think that is an issue? How do you think they stack up to the 3 GIA certified I colors?



Your Diamond Teacher |

Hi, please see my responses below regarding these diamonds and your questions.

Regarding the diamond grading institutions, AGS and GIA are the most credible and reputable. They have the strictest and highest grading standards. IGI is a respectable grading institution, however, there has been some research which has indicated that IGI has less strict grading guidelines. And, as you have already noticed, are priced less, as a result.

If the I color diamond you looked at didn’t seem as bright and sparkly, then it was because of the SI2 clarity grade. The inclusions in the diamond were impeding the diamonds ability to reflect light.

As for fluorescence, it will actually glow blue under strong UV light….which means on a very sunny day or if you put your hands in the nail dryer at the nail salon or go to a night club that has the “white lights”! It actually looks pretty cool, if you don’t mind the effect!

As long as you are looking at Excellent cut diamonds, you don’t really need to over concern yourself with the specifics on the proportions and angles….the GIA Gemologists did all the guessing and hardwork for you! They determined based on the diamonds measurements that it deserves an Excellent cut!

How come you want white prongs on the yellow gold band? I’d say that the white prongs are only important if you are setting a D, E, F or G color diamond.

When selecting a diamond, if all the criteria is basically the same, meaning they are all eye-clean, VS2 or higher, they are all H-I in color, and Excellent round cut diamonds, then I would choose based on price and which one you like the best.

You will not see the difference between diamonds which vary slightly in their table, depth, crown and pavilion unless you have a trained eye and look at them under a microscope. If, however, you need to make a decision based more on numbers and information….you can use this guideline….please see attached link:


I hope this helps!

| Anonymous Reader

Hi Sebastian,

Thanks. Out of the options I sent, do any 1-2 look better to you, or are there any that you would throw out? Thanks!

Your Diamond Teacher |

Any of these diamonds would make a great selection, but since we need to narrow it down. Here is what I say…out of the “I” color diamonds I would choose, the below sku, if you don’t object to fluorescence.


Out of the “H” color diamonds, I would choose the below sku:


Please let me know if you have additional questions!

| Anonymous Reader

Thanks! I like that top stone! Should I object to the med blue fluorescence?

It looks like it is not making this particular stone oily or anything right? I’ve heard some people say it can make an I color look slightly whiter when not in the sun, do you agree?

Do you think I would actually see the blue come out that often when outside or driving? Sadly I don’t spend a ton of time in the sun, but wonder if it’s something I would see often. I don’t suppose it bothers me much, from what I know and have read on your site.

One other question: are you concerned with the cut of this stone at all? Also. some people seem to be very concerned with the Hearts & Arrows pattern..( i see this one doesn’t have much of it).. should I be worried that this wont sparkle as much becuase it doesnt have that?

Thanks so much!  (We are potentially purchasing this sunday online:)

Your Diamond Teacher |

Medium blue fluorescence can make an I or J color diamond appear whiter under UV light, this is true. You can’t tell in a video whether the fluorescence is making the stone hazy/oily.

The odds are that the fluorescence is having zero negative impact on the diamond.


You would only see the blue glow under strong UV light. The hearts and arrows is something you can only see in an Idealscope/ASET image. It is not visible when viewing an actual

As far as the cut, a team of highly trained GIA Gemologists, using specific calculations and strict evaluation criteria determined that this diamond has the proportions and angles to be deemed an excellent cut. The guess work has been done for us. There is nothing to question.

The diamond will have all the sparkle, brilliance and fire you want a diamond to have.

You can purchase this diamond with confidence!

| Anonymous Reader

Hi Sebastian,

Which diamond do you prefer from these? We are buying this Monday and are still on the fence with these! I’ve been looking at the proportions specifically to see which is closest to the super Ideal cut. Thanks! (One of these are the ones you originally selected and I still really like that one!)



I should add — the first one is not sold, I have it on hold.

Your Diamond Teacher |

Hi, if you are focused on the angles/ proportions as part of your selection process, then I would choose the below diamond. The pavilion and crown angle are important for light reflection…and this diamond has excellent angles.




| Anonymous Reader

Thank you! Yes, I think that the proportions are slightly better on this diamond (4350800) than on option #1 (43291222).

But, the trade off is on clarity — Stone #1 (4329122) has nearly no imperfections and is VS1, while #2 (4350800) has quite a bit more — although James Allen says that it’s eye clean and it is VS2 so hopefully is. Do you think that you’d still go with #2 though given ÷Cut?

Your Diamond Teacher |

Diamond sku 4350800 is the way to go! I’d love to hear back after you receive the diamond to hear how much you love it! You can purchase it with total confidence.


| Anonymous Reader

Thanks. We placed the order today! I will definitely let you know!!!

Your Diamond Teacher |


| Anonymous Reader

Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that my boyfriend proposed over the weekend with the diamond/ring you helped me select. It’s beautiful and has all the qualities we hoped it would. I really appreciate you helping give us both the confidence to buy it unseen!

Happy to pass this info along to JA of helpful!

Your Diamond Teacher |

Congratulations! That is wonderful to hear! And thank you so much for letting me know. It was absolutely my pleasure. My very best to the both of you!