So you’re ready to propose -congrats! And you are looking to impress the lady with a whopping 1.5 carat diamond ring that will make her go “Wow!” and say yes. The only problem is, you are completely clueless when it comes to diamonds and don’t even know where to start looking.
With so much on the line, how do make sure you make the best purchasing decisions possible and at a price that your wallet will love?
Here at Beyond4cs.com, I’m going to show you how to utilize a simple scientific approach to buy diamonds and avoid the marketing BS that salespeople will tell you.
Before I reveal the tips for choosing a 1.5 ct diamond, I want to address one of the most common concern people have on their minds; pricing.
If you are wondering how much a 1.5 carat diamond engagement ring costs, the answer is – there are no definite answers. This is because pricing depends on a multitude of factors influenced by the 4Cs.
Let me illustrate this with real life examples below…
If you are feeling lavish and want to shop at the top end of the quality spectrum, D color/IF clarity diamonds will command a huge price premium because of their rarity. As you can see from the screenshot above, this particular diamond costs a whopping $41,090.
Unless you have an unlimited budget to work with or have symbolic reasons to get an internally flawless diamond, getting a D IF diamond is going to be overkill for most jewelry purposes.
For people who are budget conscious, the good news is that you can still buy a 1.5 ct diamond diamond without breaking the bank. All you need to do is to be smart and practical when it comes to balancing the 4Cs. Check out the diamond below…
At a price of $17,734 ($17,202 after wire discount), this diamond is much more affordable than the D color IF option. Besides that, this G color stone is well cut for light performance and will face up white.
Now, I want to highlight that color differences between a D and a G rating are very difficult for the untrained eye to pick up. Color nuances are even harder to detect once the diamonds are mounted into settings. On top of that, the VS2 clarity is practically indiscernible from an internally flawless diamond to the naked eye.
The point I want to get across here is that diamonds don’t require a D/IF rating to be beautiful. Don’t fall into this beginner’s trap because it is a completely false assumption. With that in mind, here are some of my personal tips to take note of when shopping for a 1.5 ct engagement ring…
Rule #1 – Never Buy an “Uncertified” Diamond or Rely on Inhouse Grading Reports
Have you ever heard a jeweler say something like this: “You are buying a diamond and not the grading report. Why do you care who graded the diamond? Why should you pay more for a GIA report when you can save money with diamonds that are graded by us?”.
If someone tells you that, you better RUN because these statements are all RED FLAGS that the jeweler is out to rip you off. While it’s true that you are buying the diamond and not a piece of paper, having a grading report from a reliable source like GIA or AGS ensures you are getting exactly what is being described.
I repeat again, DO NOT buy uncertified diamonds (or those with unreliable grading reports) and allow unethical jewelers to exploit your greed. You will only end up overpaying for a misrepresented diamond 100% of the time.
Rule #2 – CUT is KING
When buying a diamond ring, do you want it to look sparkly and full of life or do you want it to be lifeless and dull? The answer is pretty obvious if you ask me.
Now, you need to understand that color and clarity doesn’t impact the beauty of a diamond as much as CUT does. I know this may be contrary to what a sales person may tell you.
In fact, many jewelers will tell you that better color and better clarity will ensure a beautiful looking diamond. This is just a load of BS and plain misleading.
Many first time shoppers think that a diamond with the best color and perfect clarity rating is going to visually look the best. After all, it’s only logical that a more expensive diamond would be more beautiful right?
Even if a diamond has the best color/clarity combination but is cut to poor standards, the resultant diamond will look significantly worse than a well cut H color SI1 diamond.
Let me show you 2 examples to illustrate this.
Take a good look at the photographs above and you can probably tell which diamond is more appealing to look at. While the D IF diamond on the left may have the “best” color and clarity properties, the diamond suffers from poor cut proportions and is going to perform poorly when it comes to light return.
With a steep depth of 64.9% and a pavilion angle of 41.8°, this diamond faces up with a measly dimension of 7.15*7.25*4.67 mm. Would you want to pay a huge price premium only to receive a diamond that looks smaller in size and doesn’t sparkle as well?
On the other hand, the I VS2 diamond on the right is priced at a significantly lower cost and faces up larger at 7.40*7.42*4.57 mm. The diamond’s superior cut quality will result in better sparkle and make it a thousand times more appealing to look at.
Rule #3 – Online Retailers Will Offer Better Prices, Selections And Quality
Yep. I said that and you read that right.
Going online is the smartest thing to do if you want to get the best diamond quality and get the most value out of your money.
I know there will always be naysayers who would disagree and say it’s crazy to make such a huge purchase online. But, you know what? E-commerce isn’t the way it used to be and technology has completely changed the game when it comes to buying diamonds.
Going online enables you to scrutinize diamond details with magnified videos and access huge inventories. These are stuff that you will never be able to do easily in a local jewelry store.
Don’t believe me?
I challenge you to visit your local jeweler and make a request to see all their available 1.5 carat diamonds in store. Let me know in the comments below if you have any success with finding a diamond with the exact requirements you are looking for (i.e. E/SI1 GIA XXX and etc).
I am going to bet you will have a hard time doing so. More importantly, the odds of the store having a well cut diamond available are heavily stacked against you.
There are many reasons why I advocate going online instead of shopping at a physical store. However, the 2 most important factors that matters most are better diamond selections and the amount of tangible information available on the diamond.
The first point about having access to better diamond selections is pretty straightforward.
Now, I don’t know about you. But when I go shopping, I like the idea of having more options to select from instead of being forced to make a purchase decision based on limited choices.
Given that the majority (more than 90%) of the diamonds in the market aren’t well cut, the odds of finding a well cut diamond from already limited options is extremely unlikely.
Online vendors are able to list a huge inventory of diamonds and this will allow you to cherry pick the best diamond based on your specifications.
With any given specifications (e.g. 1.5 carat G VS2 round brilliant), you can easily find tens to hundreds of possible options to make a selection from. Compare that to a pathetic one or two diamonds (if you are lucky) available in the local store, that’s a really huge difference.
The second point may sound a little counter-intuitive especially to first time shoppers. Most newbies will quickly say: “How is it possible that you can get more information about a diamond on the Internet instead of seeing it physically in a store?”
Well, let me pose the question back to you. How do you know whether a diamond is well cut for light performance (sparkle) and what are the things you need to look out for when assessing a diamond? You won’t be getting those information easily because most jewelers are actually clueless about cut quality!
Video technology has enabled interaction with diamonds under magnification anddetail scrutiny!
By using tangible data (indicated by yellow arrow), it eliminates any guesswork when you are shopping for a diamond. As a reference, you can refer to the following charts on ASET, Idealscope and optical symmetry (h&a) to perform your own analysis.
Before I end this write up, I want to show you some beautiful ring designs that will complement a 1.5 carat diamond nicely. Hopefully, this will offer some inspiration and alleviate frustrations for people who need help finding their dream ring.
18k White Gold Legato Micro Pave Ring – WhiteFlash.com
This ring setting from White Flash is a stunning work of art that incorporates their “Legato” head. What I love about the setting is that they use the best melees and spare no expense when it comes to craftsmanship quality.
Three-Stone Pavé Gallery Diamond Engagement Ring – BlueNile.com
Made of platinum, this 3-stone engagement ring is very elegant looking and offers the symbolism of past, present and future with your loved one. The pavé-set melees on its side profile add a touch of surprise and sparkle.
14K White Gold Halo Engagement Ring- JamesAllen.com
I picked out this James Allen setting because of its gorgeous appearance and good value for money.
The thing I love about halo rings is that they give more bang for your buck. In essence, the placement of melee diamonds around the center stone helps create an illusion of a larger looking diamond.
If you have questions or run into problems in picking out a diamond, feel free to reach out to me via email. I’ll do my best to help you out and offer my objective advice.