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I am looking to propose soon, and in my research for the perfect diamond, I stumbled across this site. I have learned a ton thanks to everyone's expertise, but in learning a lot, I have come to the realization that I don't have a great eye for diamonds that will perform better than others. I would like to purchase an oval diamond for my significant other as I feel it is a shape that she will truly love, but in my research, it seems that one can't go by a set of measurements or statistics to determine how well an oval diamond will perform, rather, it needs to pass the eye test, which admittedly is not something I am very good at. That being said, some of the requirement I have been working with include:

1) $15K max budget on the stone
2) 1.0 - 1.5 Carats
3) D - F Color
4) Eye Clean

Below are a few diamonds I found which seem good to me , but I really don't trust my own judgement. Any thoughts on these stones or suggestions on others that anyone from this forum have stumbled across that meet the criteria above would be incredibly helpful.





Thanks in advance for your help!

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Good morning.

I think you won't find that to be a difficult set of specs and price point but I'm curious how you came about them.  If 'eye clean' is your clarity spec, why are you looking at VVS?  That's adding a good 50% to your budget for an attribute that you apparently don't value. To a lesser degree, the same applies to color.  The difference between D and F is more than a thousand dollars in this size and clarity range.  All 3 you chose are D.  May I ask why?


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Thanks for your response DenverAppraiser.  I ended up at those specs starting with my price point and beginning a search.  From the diamonds that came up, it it seems as though the stats that I provided were pretty consistent (for example, BlueNile came up with >50 stones when inputting those parameters as well as adding filters for Cut, Symmetry, L/W, Depth% and Table %).

The three diamonds that I listed were the three that stood out to me as potentially the top performers (I could be completely off, however).  I filtered through a lot of F and E Colored stones as well as VS2 and VS1 stones, but these seemed to me to have the best faceting and light return of what I found.

I am curious to get your thoughts on the diamonds above.  Am I way off in my ability to spot a good diamond or are these examples of good stones?




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I don't think they are bad, but I think the point Neil is making is valid: here is a list of over 2,500 diamonds that all fit your top-line requirements (colour, clarity, weight, price):


they go in price from just below $3k to your stated budget of $15k, and (with all due respect) I don't think you have gone through 2,500 diamonds to find those 3... not to mention the fact that those 3 are rather different from each other (other than the colour). FWIW, my favourite based on the videos is the 1.52 - but it's also $5k more than the other two, AND it is not necessarily the best cut oval I have ever seen (although personal taste plays a very important role here).

Again with all due respect, but I think you are putting rather a few carts before the horse; start by finding a vendor or two you want to deal with, then ask them to help find the right stone. That's what they are there for, especially for a not-so-standard cut like an oval.

Edited by davidelevi
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Thanks for your response.  I apologize if I am putting my cart before the horse.  This is a new process for  me and it is a bit overwhelming, so I would prefer to get advice from people here who are much more knowledgeable than I on this subject.  If the advice is to work with a vendor to have them help me find the right stone, then I will respect that and go down that path and I appreciate the feedback.


Please see my notes below:


Cut / Symmetry:

Both Excellent as I have read that these are particularly important traits for oval diamonds.  I opened it up to Very Good and the diamonds listed above still rose to the top (at least in my eyes)


1.35 - 1.50 which is personal preference


58% - 62% - A quick internet search on ideal oval dimensions returns these numbers a few times


53% - 63% - A quick internet search on ideal oval dimensions returns these numbers a few times



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Cut:  There are no cut grading standards for oval.  Do you mean Polish?  This is tricky because the classic Internet advice is that cut is king. I agree, but again, there is no cut standard and it is not a synonym for polish.  I disagree that compromising to VG on this is trouble but it doesn't save much money either so unless you find the selections tight, there's not really a problem.  You'll throw out some good stones, but if you've got 2800 to work from, you are going to have to get arbitrary anyway. 

L/W.  I agree.  It's purely a matter of taste.  I would add that there is a shape element.  Almost a rectangle, an egg, and almost a marquise are all ovals, but they have very different characters. This is an area where the photos can be very helpful. 

Ideal:  See above.  There is not an agreed-upon standard for ideal ovals.  It's not even especially close.  GIA doesn't use the term at all. There's nothing wrong with either of those ranges, but it's not a valid standard and I wouldn't summarily use them as exclusion criteria.  

Girdle: You didn't mention it but this is usually on the list.  Very thick girdles make stones face-up small for their weight, other things being equal. Very thin girdles can be fragile.

Fluorescence. As with the above, this isn't on your list, but it has a big effect on price in the high color ranges.  The easiest is to just go with 'none', which is fine, but if you're searching through hundreds of choices based on price, you'll find the cheapest will all be fluorescent.  

Size: There's a big price bump at 1.50.  Assuming that you don't have an emotional reason for it, there's very little reason for 1.5x sizes.  On the other hand, your budget could push you to 1.70 or 1.80 fairly well if you want.  

I agree with Davide that the right dealer makes this whole process a LOT easier.  The GIA report does not contain enough information to reasonably shop based on that alone.  A photo helps but not enough.  You want a dealer who has the stone in-hand and is prepared to talk to you about it. 

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5 hours ago, NeedsHelp_72 said:

I apologize if I am putting my cart before the horse.

Absolutely no need to apologize - I am well known for having the diplomatic skills of a bull in a china shop, so I'm the one that has to offer apologies; you came here asking for help, not criticism.

However, as Neil has explained at length above, with ovals you definitely need more information than is available on a GIA report, and the easiest source where this can come from is a dealer. Ideally someone ready to show multiple diamonds together - through video and photos if in person is not a realistic option - and talking you through pros and cons of each. Yes, they'll be selling, but equally they will want a happy and satisfied customer - and an inquisitive customer asking polite questions should not be a challenge but a delight.

Just out of curiosity: how did you land on D-F for colour? If you have done so after extensive viewing of diamonds and concluding that it was the only colour range that you (your to-be-fiancée) liked, then I have nothing to add. If you have done so because they are called "colourless" and you fear that G or H (or I) will look tinted, I would invite you to go to a decent jeweller (a branch of Tiffany will do) and look at the different colours before you decide. While you are there, you may also look at clarity and ask to demonstrate different cut proportions (though Tiffany isn't particularly good for either of the latter: they tend to sell stones cut in a very consistent way, and I don't think they stock anything below VS2).

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Also no need for you to apologize, I am well aware of my ignorance in these matters and simply responding to my inquiry requires your time and attention so I am very grateful.  

My next step will be to speak with a dealer to determine some of my options.  I am a little worried about trying to be sold to without being incredibly well informed, but I am happy to keep an open mind and try to go down this path based on yours and Denver's recommendations.  

As for why I ended up on D-F Color, it is more of a personal preference.  I have actually looked at a lot of stones and while I will be the first to admit that I don't have a great eye for picking up differences in faceting and light return, I am pretty sensitive to color gradients, and G is when I am able to start noticing a bit of a change. There are a lot of factors that go into how a diamond shows so I am sure there are some G diamonds that I wouldn't mind, but if I had a choice I would want to go with F and up. 

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