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$2000 Budget


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Hello! I was searching in the forums and didn’t find any similar question, so I’m sorry if it has already been answered. I’ve seen a lot of comparisons here of really expensive stones, but I haven’t seen much regarding cheaper stones. I’m quite interested in knowing what you think should be more important to find with a budget of, for example, around US$2000.


I’m asking the question from the point of view of someone who doesn’t really care much if you can see any flaws with a 100x enhancement lens, but who likes the stone to look clear, white and beautiful to a naked eye, especially with a huge fire and brilliance, and preferably, a good sized stone (let’s say, about 0.75c).


What would you recommend? I mean, which would be the most important features? Would an H coloured work nice enough or should you go for a higher level? Or a lower? Would it be necessary to find a VS1 or would a lower rate do for the naked eye?


As well, if you’re not so interested in the quality but in the looks it has, would it be worth going for a bigger stone with an “enhanced†diamond rather than a smaller one “natural�


Thanks a lot mates, I really do appreciate your help






Edited by Camilo
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I’m not a huge fan of the whole clarity enhancement thing. The problem is not that it doesn’t sometimes work well but that the merchants selling them, especially Internet merchants, tend to seriously misrepresent what they’re selling. SI1-CE, which seems to be the stated grade for about 80% of them can mean an incredible variety of things to different graders. The other problem is that, for some reason, the people selling CE stones tend to overlook cutting. Customers want BIG and they want CHEAP, which is why they are buying CE in the first place and this can best be accomplished by pushing the limits of weight retention on the stones. Lumpy, spready, huge girdles, terrible symmetry, major leakage and other cutting problems are all common in the CE marketplace. At the same time, the customers who want the cheapest stone they can get tend to head towards the low info/low service type of sellers like what they find on ebay because it has an image of being less expensive. The sharks just love CE diamonds . It’s a pity really, there’s a place in the market for clarity enhancement and it’s not being well served at the moment. For most people, I recommend against them and for everyone I recommend against buying them sight unseen.


So how do you work on a budget?


First, define your objectives. The way to get the most bling for your buck is to spend more on the ring and less on the center stone. Gold is surprisingly inexpensive and $800 can get you a striking piece that $300 wouldn’t touch. I think it makes a much better effect than a bigger low quality stone in an inexpensive mounting.


Consider stones other than diamonds, either for the center stone, side stones or both. There are natural stones like sapphire that make superb engagement rings that are way less expensive than diamonds. There are also manmade alternatives that are very inexpensive and that can be replaced later after your budget improves.


Believe it or not, cut matters on inexpensive diamonds even more than it does on the big ones. The brightness of a well-cut stone tends to offset what may be seen as a smaller size, especially in a ring with some design to it.


Here’s a 0.50ct SI2/H/AGS that claims ideal cut for $1,235 and that looks promising. That leaves $765 to cover the mounting, the setting labor, appraisal, sales taxes and shipping. That’s plenty for a ring that rocks, especially if you don't go overboard on the additional diamonds.


Here’s a 0.55 SI2/I/AGS for $1118


If you're hot button is size and are willing to trade off optics to get it, here's a 1.00/J/I1/EGL for $1861 that may be what you need.


I found all three of these by searching in the ‘find online jeweler’ link at the top of the page and there's plenty more where those came from. Enter a few parameters, search the list and then tweak your parameters to something slightly different to see what changes.



Edited by denverappraiser
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