Searching For a 0.90 Carat Diamond, SI Clarity With A Budget Of Around $5,000

5000 dollar budget diamondHi Paul,

Thanks for the great site. I have read pretty much every page of your website and it has given me the confidence to buy a diamond online.

Now, I have a question on how to go about selecting a SI1 diamond with amazing sparkle. My budget is about $4800 without the setting. I want to stay at a G or better in color and I want the diamond to have an excellent cut.

What exactly should I look for in the blown up video and image? When I look at the following list of diamonds, they all are SI1s but look dramatically different in how their arrows appear. Should I request other images for them?

I really just care about it being eye clean.

Thanks so much!
Ashish Patel

Hi Ashish,

Thanks for your comments.

The arrows look dramatically different because of the photography used and angle the diamonds are shot at. You should use the images to determine eye cleanliness and help you select potential diamonds to call in for a further examination by James Allen. They provide this free service for 3 diamonds and I encourage you to do that.

Here are my comments for your chosen diamonds:

This is eye clean but already placed on hold by another person. However, I don’t like the VG/VG finish on the stone. The proportions on the stone aren’t great either. I will drop this diamond.

This diamond is eye clean. In real life, you won’t be able to see the inclusions with your naked eye. The proportions on this stone seem good and the price is OK.

This diamond has strong blue fluorescence in a colorless range diamond. I would be wary of any potential hazy issues it might bring about. That aside, this diamond has really steep pavilion angles and will show light leakage under the table. Skip this diamond.

I took the liberty to look through JamesAllen’s inventory for you and I even went slightly over your budget but didn’t see any diamond that really stands out.

So, here’s what I would recommend you to do. Use live chat or call in to James Allen to put the 2nd diamond on hold. I would request Idealscope images to be captured for the diamond. I would also get the gemologist to double check the eye cleanliness and physical brilliance of the stone.

There is another diamond I found which costs $3,994 from From the ASET and Idealscope images, this diamond will have amazing performance and sparkle.

Here’s another hearts and arrows stone you might want to consider. However, it is slightly over your budget and costs $5,490 via wire transfer. The great thing is that the leg work for checking optical performance has already been done and I can assure you that this diamond is one of the most well-cut you can find.

Hope this helps! If you have further questions, feel free to ask.


Thanks for the quick response. I like the idea of having all the leg work done for me. How much more am I paying for this premium?

Also, the difference between the 4k and 5.5k Brian Gavin diamonds is significant. Do you think it is worth the extra money just for the size since they should have the same sparkle?

Lastly, what is your opinion on the Whiteflash site? I read it is also run by Brian Gavin and they have a brand of diamonds called “A Cut Above”. Is this considered the same as the signature brand he has on the other site? Or is this just marketing?

Hi Ashish,

Hearts and arrows diamonds which are cut to a higher level of precision will cost around 10% more. The usual round ideal cut diamonds don’t display such a high level of craftsmanship where each individual facet is precisely placed in order to achieve a crisp hearts and arrows effect.

With regards to the size difference, I do understand there is quite a big jump in prices and this is due to how diamonds are priced in the market. With regards to size differences, I had written a previous article to help other readers with similar questions.

You can read it here:

I do hope this helps clear your doubts! Speaking from experience, women do like bigger diamonds. I would go for the 0.9 carat diamond if your budget allows you to extend slightly over 5k. Ultimately, you need to be comfortable with your purchase. If you choose to go for the 0.8 carat diamond, the upside is that it leaves you with more budget for your setting.

And lastly, with regards to the earlier question you asked: Whiteflash was started by Brian Gavin. He was the co-founder and a director at Whiteflash when they first launched. A few years back, he left Whiteflash and started his own company called In essence, the cut quality at both companies comparable as they adhere to similar standards.

Best regards,

Need help in finding the best diamond for your budget range? Feel free to contact me and let me know your requirements and budget. I can save you a lot of time by sieving through inventories of online diamonds and point you in the right direction.

Hey Paul,

Thanks again for the quick response. I am confident that the diamond you suggest is by far the best option. However, I am having a hard time justifying the large price tag difference. I read your article and it looks like the .8 vs .9 is sort of in the range where people may not see differences and I am not sure if the 1000 extra dollars is worth it.

With that being said, can you suggest a diamond that is smaller but will have similar or better sparkle. These are what I was able to find in the “Signature Cuts”.

I requested images from James Allen. However, they seem to be pretty busy at the moment and so, it may take a few days.

Thanks again for your help.

Hi Ashish,

In terms of sparkle and brilliance, all 5 diamonds you had chosen are at the zenith of well-cut stones. I would shortlist these 2 from your list.

If you are looking for a unique looking diamond with ideal light performance, you might want to consider the BGD “Blue” line. The blue fluorescence gives the diamonds a cool looking appearance, helps them look whiter and lowers the diamond’s pricing.

You can check out their review here:

Feel free to shoot away if you have more questions.

I am a bit confused. You mentioned that the florescence can cause the diamond to look cloudy. Is this still true?


Hi Ashish,

Yes. Fluorescence can make a diamond appear hazy but this is on a case by case basis. That is why you need a physical examination when buying such diamonds. In the case of Brian Gavin’s Blue, the diamond has already passed such tests because Brian Gavin hand picks the diamonds and has strict filtering standards in place.

Do you think the blue series that Brian Gavin will be cloud free?

Hi Ashish,

Just to clarify some points and the use of the term cloud. The stones might not be cloud (inclusion) free. In the industry, clouds are technically used to describe inclusions found in the diamond that take on the shape of a cloud. It is normal for diamonds in VS or SI clarities to have cloud inclusions and they don’t impact the beauty of the diamonds.

In the Blue line from Brian Gavin, the diamonds won’t have transparency/cloudy/hazy appearance issues. The 2 most important criteria they apply when filtering their “blue” signature diamonds is that the diamond must have an ideal cut and pass physical checks to ensure there are no negative impacts from fluorescence.


Hey Paul,

I did some thinking and also talked to a few of my friends and I decided to go with a larger diamond. This is a once in a lifetime purchase and I want it to be exactly what I want without any regrets. With that being said, it also got me thinking about the blue diamonds and I found this one:

My main concern about this one is that the color is an I.

This is the other one I am considering, but my main concern with this one is that it is a SI2.

Would it be guaranteed to be eye clean since it is a signature diamond?

Between the two, which would you suggest?

My other question is in regards to the setting. The settings on Brian Gavin’s page are too pricey for what I want. I want to spend a max of 1k. Do you suggest finding something online and shipping the diamond there, or should I look for something in a brick and mortar store? What would be the savings going online?


Hi Ashish,

Both are definitely eye clean. Based on your earlier preferences, I would advise you to avoid the I color if you have a sensitive eye for color. That diamond will have a slight nuance of yellow under certain lighting conditions.

I would recommend that you go for this instead. This near 0.90 carat diamond will face up white and offers good value for money because of its 4Cs properties.

zoomed in image of 0.90 carat round cut

ninty pointer diamond

With regards to your questions on the setting, I agree that Brian Gavin’s settings tend to cost more especially those with elaborate designs. However, they have an impeccable standard of craftsmanship in their settings. Also, Brian Gavin uses high quality melees which are much more superior than the generic melees other vendors use.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of having a diamond set by a different vendor because of the additional trouble and costs involved. Shipping the diamond with insurance to the ring setter would increase your overall costs by at least about a few hundred dollars.

In terms of ring settings, the difference in pricing between buying online and via physical stores are not significant. However, I would advise you to get the setting performed by who you buy the diamond from.

The next best alternative would be to set the diamond at a local brick and mortar store if you can find someone trustworthy to work with. Unless the setting design you are looking for can’t be made locally, the next best option would be to mail the diamond out.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Unsure of a diamond selection? Clueless about where to start? Get personalized advice from an expert to help you choose a diamond here.

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One Comment

  1. Lina-
    September 17, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Hi Paul,

    After I learn 4c’s from you and your recommend vendors online I was amazing buying diamond online it is much easy then go to brick and mortar store that they dint’ tell you and also there is no prove of paper (certificate). I bought my ring at Kevin Jewelers two years ago, cost me $5000 and there is no certificate, the only they gave to me is the appraisal certificate no detail. Before I only think E color is the best diamond but it is not true after I learned from you. I was searching on and bought loose diamond it is amazing stone i ever seen before. is the best of the best diamond than from brick and mortar, search and choose, chat with their staff feel so comfortable than you go to the store and sit in front of them bring one diamond at a time.Thanks again Paul for letting the world know how easier to buy diamond online.


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