I1 Clarity Diamonds – Are They Any Good?

The I1 clarity grade is assigned by gemological laboratories (such as GIA and AGS) when the diamond has inclusions that can be seen easily at 10X magnification. This is true even for an unskilled lay-person who’s using the loupe for the first time.

Generally speaking, diamonds that fall within the Included ranges (I1 – I3) would have their brilliance and fire negatively impacted. This is due to the obstruction of light paths caused by inclusions within the stone.

Depending on the type, size and severity of the inclusions, they are usually visible to the unaided eye. In some cases, I1 diamonds may possess flaws that are detrimental to its durability and they might run a high risk of being chipped easily.

That said, included diamonds can be one of the best ways to get maximum bang for shoppers with a limited budget; provided you know exactly what you are doing. In this article, I’m going to show you what to look out for and how to buy I1 graded diamonds the right way.

While clarity is an attribute that may affect a diamond’s appearance, CUT is the more significant factor that decides how much a diamond sparkles and scintillates. Be sure to read this section of Beyond4cs.com to learn how to correctly select diamonds.

Let Me Give You An Idea of What to Expect in I1 Diamonds

what is an I1 diamond and a collage of included examples

Notice that every diamond is different and varies in appearance?

Tips to Choosing I1 Clarity Diamonds

Buying included diamonds is a tricky affair and visual assessment of the diamond is your number one priority. Generally speaking, my advice is to avoid stones in the I1 to I3 grades.

However, if you must insist on buying within these grades, look for stones where the inclusions are widely scattered or have a few mains ones that are prong-able (hidden under the prongs from visibility).

2.12 Carat G – I1 Ideal Cut Round Brilliant Diamond

inclusion plot for AGS I1 diamond

Inclusion plot of AGS 000 ideal cut round diamond

This diamond’s inclusions would be partially prongable and have inclusions hidden from view when it is mounted. In such scenarios, you might want to make use of bigger sized prongs to help you cover up the obvious included areas.

For example, you can hide more of the unsightly areas with the choice of a correct setting. Flat tab prongs that are slightly wider and flatter are well-suited for such applications.

example of flat tab prong

Example of a flat tab prong setting

Once this diamond is mounted and set, most people won’t be able to notice the inclusions since they are found in the crown area and would blend in nicely with the diamond’s body. Due to its I1 grading, this 2 carat baby only costs $18,000. That’s a far cry from the $40,000 you would expect to pay for a similar diamond in higher clarity grades.

If you did some research and had compared prices yourself, you’ll realize there’s no other way to get an ideally cut diamond of similar specifications at this kind of pricing.

Here another great example of an eye clean stone with a very small chip at the girdle. The chip is fairly noticeable near the center of the stone if you know where to look. Nonetheless, it isn’t obvious unless someone scrutinizes the diamond closely.

1.00 Carat I1 D Color Marquise Cut Diamond



While many people automatically shun away from a cavity inclusion, this I1 is something you can consider on a budget. The grade setting inclusion (faint cavity) of this diamond is found on the upper girdle facet. In this particular case, this diamond is eye clean because the inclusion’s color blends well into the body of the diamond.

1.02 Carat – Included – F Color- Excellent Cut Round Brilliant



Will this pose durability issues? I would say yes, it might.

However, all diamonds will run risks of chipping no matter what clarity grade it has. If you have a lack of care for your jewelry during wear, it doesn’t matter if you buy a flawless or included diamond, damage to the diamond will always be a likely possibility.

An IF graded diamond can chip just as easily as one with I1 rating if it is struck in the correct direction with an appropriate force. If you are a meticulous person, I don’t see any issue with getting an I1 or IF diamond for that matter.

James Allen is hands down the best vendor that enables you to cherry pick diamonds through the use of HD videos and their huge inventory size. If you want a good shot at finding a decent I1 diamond, look no further.

More Examples of Potentially Eyeclean Stones

Here’s an example of a diamond from James Allen that could be potentially eye clean. I say potentially because the diamond looks clean in the magnified picture. Also, it is a good sign that the GIA report for this diamond doesn’t report any additional comments.

The feather might be reflecting throughout the table (main facet on the face of the diamond) and might be visible at some angles of viewing. I know shoppers hate the idea of uncertainty when making a huge purchase and that’s why I recommend working with JamesAllen.com.

The great thing about James Allen is that you could request any of their diamonds to be eyeballed and reviewed by their graduate gemologist. By physically examining the stone, they can offer an insightful evaluation on the appearance of the stone you are interested in.

1.51 Carat G – I1 Heart Shaped Diamond

inclusion plot for heart shaped diamond

Potentially eye clean – This is a tough call and requires a physical inspection.

Common Mistakes That People Make When Buying Included Diamonds

Sometimes, when people come across an amazingly clean I1 diamond, they get all excited or even buy it based on just a picture. Here’s where you really need to be careful. Most of the time, diamonds graded I1 that have seemingly spotless inclusions plots turn out to be cloudy looking or have other undesirable appearances in real life.

This is often due to “other comments” mentioned in the grading report. You need to know there MUST be something that is causing the stone to be graded as such. You can’t game the system.

Check out this E Color 1.05 Carat I1 Diamond…

very neat and clean inclusion plot

Overly neat looking plots? Red flags must be raised. These are usually the worst kind of I1 diamonds…

There’s no way to confirm whether such diamonds are OK without physical examinations. Offhand, I would say that 99.99% of the above scenarios have HUGE underlying issues in them with cloudiness and haziness to some degree. Based on my experience, the cleaner the plot is for a low clarity diamond, the greater the risk.

Here’s a video that clearly shows a hazy looking diamond because of clarity issues.



Buying I1 diamonds are best done in person or if that’s not possible (e.g. buying online), it is advisable to get a reliable gemologist to eyeball the diamond on your behalf before you bite the bullet. Most decent online jewelers like James Allen or Brian Gavin can do this service for you at no charge.

However, if you happen to work with another vendor that doesn’t offer such services, make sure they have a generous return policy before you lay your cash down.

Why Do People Buy Included Diamonds?

Cost. Not everyone can afford the premiums of a flawless diamond. This is because most people place emphasis on carat weight and cut, compromising on clarity could make larger diamonds more affordable. When chosen correctly, an I1 diamond can offer very good value for money in terms of costs and looks.

Purpose: The type of jewelry that you are purchasing might not require a high clarity grade. For example, people who are considering earrings, pendants or even cocktail rings can get away with lower clarity diamonds because the viewing distance of such jewelry is often much further than viewing a ring!

Nobody is going to look too closely at them or examine them with a loupe in public. The more important factors that make these jewelry stand out are the cut and carat size.

Did You Know That Every Diamond Is Uniquely Different?

This is much akin to the unique fingerprints we see on our hands. Inclusions can actually help identify your diamond and they are a symbolism for Mother Nature’s creation. Interestingly, there are also included diamonds that collectors sought after due to their fascinating patterning or arrangement of inclusions.

Check out this awesome image of an I1 graded diamond…

collector's I1 diamond

Like the stars in a galaxy, the inclusions make this diamond a great collector’s choice!

If you have a limited budget to work with for your purchase, I1 diamonds are options to pursue. Given the fact that they had already been accurately graded as Included diamonds by GIA or AGS, finding one that is eye clean is difficult but not impossible.

When it comes to buying I1 diamonds, it is MANDATORY to see the diamonds under magnification. I recommend you to start your search here where you can make use of videos to cherry pick an eye-clean diamond from thousands of available options. If you need expert help or opinion in choosing one, bump me an email or leave a comment below.

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  1. C Miller-
    December 12, 2014 at 5:51 am

    My husband and I found a beautiful bridal set at Sam’s Club recently. We are ready to purchase but would love your expert opinion about the diamond before buying.

    The ring is a 3.45 CT TW H-I, I1 in 14 K white gold. Here is a link to the picture and description:


    Is an I1 clarity diamond good or bad? Is it worth buying? Your honest opinion would be very helpful to us as we are novices at ring buying.

    Thank you in advance!

    C Miller

  2. Paul Gian-
    December 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    The lab report for the item comes from IGI and it happens to be a lab I don’t recommend. However, the listing is weird. Which are the diamonds that are IGI graded? The princess cuts or the rounds?


    Anyway, since the ring is made up of melee diamonds, the diamonds probably won’t be graded and that’s fine. If this ring has a good return policy, then you can actually consider buying it and see it in person. Personally speaking, I won’t take the risk if there are no money back guarantees. In fact, I doubt the quality of the ring is any good based on my experience with such listings.

  3. Inez Knight-
    January 19, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I recently bought a g I1 diamond 1.83 kt but when I had it appraised it was an h I2 1.79 kt. Can I go back to the vendor and dispute this?

    thank you.

  4. Paul Gian-
    February 1, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Hi Inez,

    Where did you get it appraised and what kind of grading report/certification did the purchase come with? Was the appraisal performed on a mounted setting or a loose diamond? If the appraisal was done on a loose stone, it is definitely abnormal to have such a big variance in the carat weightage. However, if the stone was mounted, the carat weight is usually estimated based on what the appraiser can measure.

    In terms of clarity rating, a difference of one grade looks like an acceptable range to me. More importantly, were there any differences in the color rating?

    First of all, you want to look at your return/refund clauses that were stated during the transaction. Were there any written policies in black and white? Until you furnish more details, I can’t offer you constructive advice on the best course of action to take.


  5. Marian Edward-
    February 3, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I’m interested to buy this band but i’m worried that it may look cloudy. Can you help me? I know also that its price is too low which makes me doubt the quality.

  6. February 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    The ring you listed in the link has a carat total weight of 1.50 and it is made up of 5 diamonds. On average, each diamond would be around 0.30 carats. At this sizing, I would recommend having a grading report by GIA/AGS for the individual diamonds in order to protect your interest. Furthermore, the I1 clarity of the stones don’t jive well with me because it’s more likely going to be in the I2 or I3 clarity ranges by GIA standards.

    Anyway, the diamonds do not come with a grading report and I would personally avoid the purchase like a plague because you won’t know what you would actually receive. Please download my free ebook by subscribing to Beyond4c’s newsletter. Inside it, you’ll find out why these “deals” often end up in products of dismal quality.

  7. Jim Buza-
    February 6, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I am considering buying a preowned diamond ring. The center stone is a 1.07 k round golden yellow diamond I1 under $700.00. It also has other smaller diamonds of 0.75 K. Is this a good value? Can you help?

  8. Paul Gian-
    February 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

    First of all, there’s no such designation of a “golden yellow” color description in diamond grading. Secondly, make sure there’s a RELIABLE grading report from GIA or AGS. Any other reports/appraisals don’t count and will most likely misrepresent the diamond’s qualities.

    Read this url for more details: https://beyond4cs.com/grading/difference-between-gia-ags-egl-igi/

    From the sound of it, the deal looks shady. There’s no way any person in the right mind will sell the diamond ring for such prices if the stones were correctly graded as such. The borromline is, you probably aren’t getting a deal. Feel free to do your own comparisons against prices here: https://www.jamesallen.com/

  9. Kathleen-
    March 19, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Hi, my soon to be fiancé recently bought an engagement ring at Jared. When we went ring shopping I wasn’t prepared and didn’t fully understand the clarity grading. At the store, I fell in love with a 1.07 k oval diamond, color H, clarity I1. After the ring was purchased I looked up the clarity and was disappointed that it was so low on the scale. I can’t see the ring on person right now because he hasn’t proposed but I did see it in person in the store and I don’t remember seeing any faults (at least not to the naked eye). I do remember thinking it sparkled like crazy though. This seems very contradictory to what I’ve read about I1 diamonds though that usually visibly included which makes it sparkle less. He paid $4100 for the diamond and it was rated by GIS.

  10. Paul Gian-
    March 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Not all I1 inclusions are going to cloud up the diamond or affect the stone’s brilliance. A diamond could be graded by GIA as an I1 due to various reasons (or a combination) of durability, location, size, intensity, visibility factors with the inclusions.

    Cut is the major factor at work in terms of a diamond’s optical performance. That said, just because you haven’t seen the inclusions or imperfections doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Right now, there is one major problem I have with the diamond you purchased. It’s graded by GIS which is not a lab known for its reliability.

    Chances are, the diamond isn’t represented correctly in its qualities and it’s very likely to be a significantly lower color or clarity grade if it were sent to GIA. Read this article for details: https://beyond4cs.com/grading/difference-between-gia-ags-egl-igi/

  11. Debbie Phillips-
    April 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Hi, I recently went to Jared to trade in my wedding set that my husband had purchased there in 2002. The set I have now has a GIA report of a 1.04 Marquise Brilliant Cut, Measurements 8.67 x 4.92 x 3.98 Color D, Clarity SI(1) Polish & Symmetry Good/Good. The diamond I am considering also had a GIA report of a 1.57 Round Brilliant, Measurements 7.37 x 7.27 x 4.62, Color D, Clarity I(1), Cut Grade Excellent, Polish & Symmetry Very Good/Very Good. The cost before tax and other add on of me original set was $4,990 for the diamond, $1,199 for the semi mount and $479 for a diamond wedding band. The cost of the new set will be $9,550 for the diamond, and the wedding set I picked out is $4,599 (1.5 carat semi mount with diamond band). With my trade the final cost to me will be $8,405 before taxes and add ons. My question is I am conflicted on purchasing a diamond that is classified as a I(1). The sales rep let me look at it through a loop to let me see the hearts and arrows design in it but, I really didn’t pay attention to any inclusions or cloudy spots. I want to go back in and look at it again but, I need to know if this is a good deal and what questions to ask. I don’t want to compromise quality for size.

  12. Paul Gian-
    April 24, 2015 at 5:05 am

    For marquise shaped diamonds, you probably want to give this section a good read: https://beyond4cs.com/shapes/marquise/

    Personally, I place cut above everything else when selecting a diamond. You can also analyse how well the diamond returns light to a viewer’s eyes if you have access to an ASET scope. I had created a great reference chart here: https://beyond4cs.com/grading/aset-reference-charts/

    For I1 marquise shaped diamonds, I would also avoid detrimental inclusions near the tips of the diamond as it will make them susceptible to chipping.

    In terms of pricing, you can use the guidelines listed here to help you benchmark whether you are overpaying or getting a decent deal: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/

  13. Robert Padilla-
    May 9, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I will be proposing to my gf of 10 years. I wanted to know what you think of this ring:

    It is huge, and was wondering if it is worth the risk because it says i2-i3


  14. Paul Gian-
    May 10, 2015 at 4:48 am

    It’s a poor choice. The diamond isn’t certified and the ring is excessively expensive. NEVER buy an ungraded diamond because you won’t know exactly what you will be getting.

    You can check and compare prices of certified diamonds here: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/

  15. Joe-
    May 24, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Hi Paul, I’m considering this ring as an engagement ring. Please tell me if it’s a good price and whether the i1 clarity diamond is any good.


  16. Paul Gian-
    May 26, 2015 at 7:03 am

    I won’t recommend it. If I’m going to spend $5,000 on a purchase, it has to be a diamond that is graded by GIA or AGS. The AGL certification doesn’t cut it for being reliable and correctly representing the diamond’s quality.

  17. June 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm


    I was thinking of purchasing this 3 carat certified diamond solitare and proposing to my girlfriend….it says it’s H I1 I2 with independent gemological laboratories certification …. What are your thoughts???

  18. Paul Gian-
    June 10, 2015 at 7:09 am

    You can expect to get ripped off and overpay in value for such a “deal”. Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/

  19. Gary-
    July 19, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Expecting great jewelry to come out of Sam’s Club is very naive.
    That’s almost as bad as expecting to get a valuable prize in a crackerjack box lol. Don’t trust $9 per hour employees to have knowledge about quality jewelry.

  20. Bill-
    July 29, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I’m looking to purchase an 8.68 carat round diamond g-h that is an i1. I haven’t seen the diamond but will be shortly. The price tag is 70k. The jewelery store indicated that this diamond is pretty clean.

    I read the above posts, very helpful. Anything you would like me to consider before I purchase.


  21. Paul Gian-
    August 2, 2015 at 3:23 am

    You will expect to see visible inclusions in such a large carat sized stone with your naked eye. With such a big investment of your money, it is better for you to get detailed information about the diamond before making a purchase or laying down a deposit.

    Cut is of utmost importance and you want to make sure you follow each of the steps outlined in my guide:

  22. Jason-
    August 12, 2015 at 3:24 am

    Hey Paul, I’ve been lookin for a nice little ring for a while and due to my budget I can’t spend too much. I came across this I1 ring that was on sale. But before I bought it, I saw the clarity and I was like uhhhh should I get it?


    Thank you in advance for your help. I appreciate it. I’m dying here I need to get her a ring! Thank you.

  23. Paul Gian-
    August 12, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Jason, the diamond ring is a poor choice. Besides the low clarity rating, the most important thing is that it is “uncertified”. This means you can’t trust whatever the vendor claims the diamond to be. A J could well be an O or P color for that matter.

    Instead of wasting your money on a ring with visible inclusions and one that looks unsightly, I would rather you spend the money on alternative engagement rings like those with gemstones or a simple band for symbolic reasons.

  24. Jason-
    August 12, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Thank you man, I appreciate it a lot. Thank you. I will continue the search.

  25. Leigh Ann-
    September 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Paul, my boyfriend and I have been shopping for an Art Deco engagement ring and I happened upon this one:

    Their return policy seems generous, although we would specifically inquire about it prior to purchase. Is this worth looking into, or should we continue shopping? He really wants to carry this expense on his own, but I’m totally willing to help pay for the ring if we’d be better off with something of a higher grade.

  26. Paul Gian-
    September 7, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I cannot recommend EGL diamonds in good faith to my readers. If you are looking for OEC diamonds, this page will help you out: https://beyond4cs.com/shapes/round/old-european-cut/

  27. Hector Gonzalez-
    September 9, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Hello Paul, I’m looking into diamond rings… Looking into proposing.. I’m not familiar with diamonds and the website only states that the Diamond is I1 so I’m not sure about the rest, haven’t seen it in person either just shopping online for now. What do you think of the store in general and the ring? Worth it or not?


  28. Louis Glapion-
    September 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    I recently looked at a .66 tcw H-I SI- diamond studs in 14k w gold setting. When I asked about a GIA report, the salesperson said its cost was prohibitive for those particular diamonds. Was I right in walking away?

  29. Paul Gian-
    September 15, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Kay is a decent vendor with a wide range of selections (most of which I would personally never buy and products that are overly expensive). https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/kay-jewelers/

    I would personally never buy an I1 diamond in a physical store or an online source without knowing full details of where and how the inclusions look like in the stone.

  30. Paul Gian-
    September 15, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    It depends on how large the size of the individual diamonds are. For diamonds with carat sizes of less than 0.3, grading reports are economically unfeasible because the cost of getting a grading report is more expensive than the stone itself. If the pair of studs you are looking at are solitaire earrings, I think you made a wise decision.

  31. Peter-
    September 25, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I was curious what you thought of this ring?
    How do you think the imperfections in the various stones will come across in person. Is this a great ring or better to stay away?

    Many thanks.

  32. Paul Gian-
    September 26, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Based on the images, I don’t think clarity is an issue for the center stone. However, I can clearly see the inclusions on the leftmost and rightmost stone. Those 2 sidestones have black inclusions that stick out like a sore thumb. Besides clarity issues, I’m not liking the cut quality of those diamonds. Read this, it’ll help: https://beyond4cs.com/shapes/round/old-european-cut/

  33. William gundry-
    September 28, 2015 at 4:56 am

    I recently traded in a 2K SI 2 N color uncertified for a 1.75 K I 1 H color diamond with giving the jeweler $500 more on the deal. Was my deal ok?

  34. Paul Gian-
    September 28, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Your transaction is too vague and doesn’t have enough details for anyone to make a proper assessment. You want to start by reading this: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/

  35. Nandar-
    October 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Hello Paul, I am thinking to buy 2.5 CTTW Diamond Stud Earrings for my Mom. I have no knowledge about diamond so I really need your help. Here’s what I found:


    Thank you Paul!

  36. Stephen-
    October 31, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I bought a 1.02crt diamond of F color, excellent cut but is in I1. Is that valuable?

  37. Paul Gian-
    November 1, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Who graded the diamond? GIA or some other obscure lab? I1 diamonds aren’t “valuable”. There are simply too many of these diamonds around and I1 is really close to the bottom of the barrel in clarity ratings. Anyway, it’s a huge mistake to thing of diamonds as being valuable and for investment purposes to begin with.

  38. Annie-
    November 5, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Paul,
    We are on a limited budget and I saw this ring and fell in love with the design and the price . They seem to have good reviews on ring quality by others . I know the l1 scares me a but but do you think with a good cut and prong setting that this could look eye clean ?

  39. Paul Gian-
    November 6, 2015 at 7:32 am

    You are asking to to get ripped off with such deals. Download my ebook and read this as well: https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/

  40. Monty-
    November 11, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Do you this it is worth buying for the mentioned price?


  41. Paul Gian-
    November 11, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Nope. I don’t recommend buying diamonds that aren’t graded by GIA or AGS because you won’t know exactly what you are getting. Buy at you own risk. Enough said.

  42. Lisa-
    November 12, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Hi Paul,

    My dad is looking to get my mom a ring for Christmas. I found these two rings from a jeweler, one I1 clarity, G/H color and round cut, and the other S12, G/H color and round/brilliant cut.

    The jeweler appears to use an in-house gemologist. I have purchased an eternity band from them before, have worn it for two years–never taking it off–and have not had any issues.

    I’m leaning toward the S12 ring, which is lower in carat (and cost!) but appears to be better quality based on reading your site. I would love to hear your thoughts on these two rings.

    Also, I can tell you deeply care about your industry and readers by all the help you give people through your blog—it is much appreciated!


  43. Paul Gian-
    November 13, 2015 at 1:31 am

    The individual diamonds are pretty small to warrant separate grading reports for them. That’s the same case as with buying ring settings with melee diamonds. You’ll have to take the vendor’s word on what is being represented and how accurate they are in their “appraisal” and “in-house” grading. Unfortunately, I have no personal prior experience with this website to be able to gauge their standards.

    However, given the kind of pricing they list, you can bet that the diamonds aren’t going to be G/H or even I1. It’s going to be worse and it now becomes a question of how many grades off are the diamonds going to be from the stated specifications.

  44. Lisa-
    November 14, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Thank you, Paul! Appreciate your help.

  45. Nandar-
    November 14, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you very much Paul. Highly appreciate your help!

  46. Mimi-
    November 18, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Hi Paul!
    I have bought this diamond and I want to know about your comment. I have seen the diamond myself and I know it’s a bit cloudy ( not as sparkle as others ) what do you think and how much does it value? Thank you
    Gia: 2206842570
    F I1 2.01 3ex none

  47. Paul Gian-
    November 18, 2015 at 10:33 am

    If it’s cloudy to the naked eye, it’s not a diamond worth any money to purchase. Why waste your money on such a diamond if it can’t sparkle? My advice is to get a refund and start all over again.

  48. Mila-
    November 19, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Hi Paul wondering if you think this is a good purchase: https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/251058836/vintage-ladies-three-stone-diamond

    I love the vintage cut but now noticing clarity isn’t as good as it could be.

  49. Paul Gian-
    November 20, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Definitely not a good deal. There are too many red flags (question grading reports, poor clarity; the diamond looks worse than an I1 which goes back to to earlier point). If you are looking for vintage cut diamonds, you probably want to start here:


  50. Ray-
    November 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Dear Paul, can I ask for your expert opinion on this diamond? I initially purchased a K color 0.54ct SI2 3EX with Medium Fluorescence at this site. The inclusion was dead right at the center, but I was thinking since no one is probably going to look too closely right at it, it would be the best option for my limited budget.

    However, I was told later the vendor made a mistake and the diamond is no longer available. I looked for a another option and came across this: http://www.zoara.com/diamonds/p_round_excellent_cut_j_i1#p=6027070

    Problem is, there is this huge feather at the side of the table. Can you advise, based on the real photo they provided, if this diamond can be prongable?

  51. Paul Gian-
    November 29, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Likely to be prongable.

  52. joseph-
    November 29, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Tell me how can I find 1 carat or greater ring with high than I1 GIA certified around $3000 or less.. People have budget. Which world you are living in. You kept saying everyone got ripped off and can only trust AGS and GIA. In most place of euro IGI is as good as GIA.

  53. Paul Gian-
    December 2, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Well, if that’s the world you live in, why not go to ebay and buy a 1 carat diamond for $1,000? There’s plenty of listings where sellers self grade their inventory. After all, why use GIA or even IGI? You should believe what the listings say. After all, they claim their grading standards are as good as GIA and IGI.

  54. December 4, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Hi, I was thinking of buying this 1 carat Marquise. It has a GSI report #42285100103 was wondering if your able to tell anything about it based on the report

  55. Paul Gian-
    December 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    GSI is not a lab I would recommend for reliable grading standards. You can expect the diamond to be graded to much lower grades if it were to be sent to GIA. This leaves the quality of the diamond to be a huge question mark. What are you exactly paying for? In all likeliness, you can expect to overpay for a diamond of this quality instead of simply buying a GIA graded diamond directly.

  56. Matt L-
    December 11, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Hey Paul,

    I am on a budget and would like to buy a round diamond around 0.90 ct from either JA, B2C or Blue Nile. L1 is fine by me, lighter colour the better. Is there any you have come across that could be prongable or easy on the eye?

    Thanks mate

  57. Linda-
    December 27, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I’m considering of buying these 2 carats earrings. They are certified D/VS2
    What do you think is it a good deal?


  58. William gundry-
    December 28, 2015 at 2:19 am

    I bought a princess cut 1.5 C, H/I color, I1/I2 clarity diamond with an IGL certificate for $2500 . Did I land it in the ballpark?

  59. Paul Gian-
    December 28, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Your stone is more likely to be industrial grade or at least an I2 or I3 by GIA standards.

  60. Paul Gian-
    December 28, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Read this carefully: https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/

    There’s NO deal here and let me be brutally honest with you; if you go shopping with the mindset of finding a great deal, the only deal that’s going to happen is for the vendor to take advantage of you.

    Here are the red flags with this eBay listing:
    1) NO reliable grading certificate from GIA or AGS.
    2) Clarity enhanced diamonds.
    3) You don’t know what you will be getting.

  61. Annie-
    January 4, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Happy new year!

    My fiance and I recently purchased a bridal ring set from Jared. The engagement ring originally had a 1/3 CT diamond and was round, so we switched it out for a Princess.

    When choosing the princess diamond, the seller immediately pulled out a .80CT diamond, Colorless(E), Clarity I1, Cut Grade Good, and a Polish/Symmetry rating of Very Good/Good, according to the GSI Report (which after reading all the comments I see you don’t like very much). The price of the diamond was $2,100.

    She didn’t really show us the actual diamond up close but told us that it made sense to skimp on clarity (something you can’t notice with the naked eye) for size.

    After the stone was replaced in the ring, my fiance took it home and was examining it. At which point he noticed two carbon marks -smack dab in the middle of the stone, which i understand is very common with the low clarity.

    Overall, we paid a little under 5,000 for the ring set (including insurance from Jared).

    I was wondering what your professional opinion is on the ring from the specs. We feel kind of mislead, since she told us the difference in clarity would not be noticeable.

  62. Paul Gian-
    January 4, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    You should download and read my ebook if you haven’t done so.

    Read this as well: https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/

    There’s a reason why I hate buying diamonds with NON reliable labs. It’s because you won’t know exactly what you are getting. If you can see 2 offensive inclusions in a small sized 0.80 carat diamond, it say alot about it’s real quality. It’s likely to be I2 or I3 by GIA standards. Likewise, you should expect the other qualities to be misrepresented as well.

  63. Annie-
    January 5, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks, Paul! We ended up returning it – I couldn’t see anything except the inclusions!

    You and your site are awesome :)

  64. Paul Gian-
    January 6, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Do you have images or photographs of the diamond? It would be really great if you can share it with us so that the rest of our readers can see how it looks like.

  65. Dina Latham-
    January 8, 2016 at 7:10 am

    My husband just bought me this ring . He paid around 7000$ for it . It sparkles like crazy n does have a shadow across the middle or the setting is cuasing that . It is a E colorless good / good . It’s 1 carat center with .59 around halo n band . diamond pear shaped brilliant cut clarity s12,it was graded before mounting .do you think it was a good purchase ? I personally love the ring n it’s sparkle . I don’t know how to send you a pic of it

  66. Paul Gian-
    January 8, 2016 at 8:15 am

    It’s really hard to say. We can’t make any basis for cut quality for fancy shaped diamonds based on whatever you typed above. You can upload the image to an image sharing site and post the link here.

  67. Lana h-
    January 20, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Paul. I was wondering if you can tell me just about how much my diamond ring is worth? I have a 2.00 carrot diamond ring set in 13 k yellow gold, however, my diamond has 4 spots of black carbon in the diamond. Was just wondering if it may be worth more than I paid.
    Thank you

  68. Paul Gian-
    January 21, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Do your own comparisons and research here: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/

  69. Tom-
    January 21, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Paul, many thanks for your interesting webpage!!
    A short question: I bought a 0.6c VS2 H diamond. Now at home I see with my naked eye an inclusion.
    Is such a diamond still VS2, or rather I2?
    Many thanks!

  70. Paul Gian-
    January 22, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Who graded the diamond? I am guessing it isn’t GIA or AGS.

  71. Tom-
    January 24, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Hi Paul, this is Tom again. Sorry for my late reply. I bought the diamond in a jewellers shop and the grading is just written on the receipt, so I assume there is no official GIA grading. They told me it’s an “antique” diamond, i.e. one they took from another ring and put it in the ringsize I wanted.

  72. Paul Gian-
    January 24, 2016 at 3:32 am

    I guessed you have your answers there. You were sold a misrepresented diamond and probably overpaid significantly for it.

  73. Tom-
    January 24, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Many thanks! So I’ll go back and have a nice discussion ;-). It’s only one single inclusion, but visible without problem. Incredible that I didn’t see it in the shop though…

  74. Rekha Bakshi-
    January 31, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I bought a 3.22 carat square Modified brilliant Cut I1, Color L, Cut, Polish, Symmetry – Very Good – Flurosence (None) Clarity Enhanced for $ 5,513.00 – Appraisal at $ 19,500.00. Please confirm if that conforms correctly. Submitted by AGL

    Rekha Bakshi

  75. Paul Gian-
    February 1, 2016 at 2:35 am

    There are too many red flags in this purchase that will make me run out of the door without second thoughts. The diamond is NOT graded by a reputable lab. You can be sure that the specifications are misrepresented and that they are actually worse than what is stated. Secondly, the diamond is clarity enhanced which is a can of worms to begin with.

  76. Danyelle-
    February 12, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Can you look at the attached information and let me know if this is a good ring or not? This is the appraisal I received.

    This is to certify that D. Geller & Son is engaged in the selling and appraising of diamonds, watches, jewelry and gemstones. This appraisal is based upon current market conditions, using this firm’s 75 years experience as jewelry manufacturers, combined with generations of family involvement in the jewelry business.
    S715-00613 One- 14k white gold VERRAGIO engagement ring set on profile prong set with twenty-eight modern cut round diamonds and bezel set with six modern cut round diamonds and on shoulders prong set with ten modern cut round diamonds and set on side of center stone with two princess cut diamonds all with color (G) and clarity VS2. approx. tdw. 0.65 ct. and four prong set in center with one Princess cut diamond with color (I) and clarity I1. approx. tdw. 0.96 ct.

    Order Verragio 14K white gold INS-7067P size 7 to fit 5.20mm Princess cut diamond $4200

    .96CT PRINCESS CUT 1.00 $3,250.00 $2,350.00


  77. Paul Gian-
    February 12, 2016 at 4:57 am


    If the center stone isn’t graded by GIA or AGS, you can almost be sure you overpaid regardless of what the “appraisal” value is stated.

  78. February 16, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Hi Paul,
    We were in Jared’s yesterday and boy what a show… We saw a ring we liked about 3 1/2 carats.. Here’s the information on the ring Diamond Engagement Ring 3 1/2 ct tw Diamonds 14K White Gold Stock number: 022239103..
    At first, looking at the ring it was gorgeous, especially to the person that is not knowledgeable with cut, clarity and color.
    However, I noticed that the center stones were slightly yellow, so I just told them directly, this is not good. I do not like it. So then they brought the same exact ring from the back and then with this exact replica the stones were much brighter and clearer.

    So they wanted to steam clean them both. but I noticed that before they went to do this, the replica the exact same ring was smaller in width and in ring size girth. So I too mentioned that to them. When they returned minutes later with both rings after steam cleaning them, the replica came back terrible, the white gold on the ring turned gray/blackish it was terrible. The whole thing just turned me off completely.

    They then said don’t worry we’ll give you the nicer looking ring and just switch out the diamonds since yes they are yellowish in color and put the replica ones in it. The whole fiasco was just way to much for me.

    We thanked them and left.

    Paul, for $6999.00 then add on all the fees that accompany a full purchase. we would probably be looking at 8500 when we’re done.

    After reading your blog here and how you are so kind to offer your expertise, I too, wanted to share my experience with you and have you provide me with your feedback??

    Also, can you tell us, my boyfriend and I where would be the best place/jewelry to purchase our ring from. I want something big and pretty like this setting but We do not want Garbage. Thanks so much. I look forward to hearing from you.

  79. Paul Gian-
    February 17, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Seems like there’s some bad chemistry going on with the white gold ring when it was sent in for a cleaning. You might want to look around more before deciding on a jeweler. This recently published article might help: https://beyond4cs.com/best-online-diamond-retailers/

  80. sol-
    February 23, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Looking to buy 3 ct tennis bracelet both are i2-i3. One is color k-l and one is i-j-k-l. One is $1300 and one is $1600. Same jeweler.Jeweler has very good seller rating on amazon and many satisfied customers. Is this something to look at ?

  81. Paul Gian-
    February 23, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Nope. I2-I3 is almost as junk as it gets. These ungraded diamonds are just slightly better than the industrial used garbage diamonds.

  82. Maria-
    March 11, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    We purchased a 1 1/3 luxerman multi circle diamond ring from overstock .com its rating is f-g and vs1-2 the diamonds sparkle and shine but I did notice one of the small diamonds on the side have a yellow color its came with a appraisal from AGI accredited GEMOLOGICAL institute in New York we paid 1780 for it with this color and clarity should I have a yellow diamond that is visible when looking in natural light

  83. Paul Gian-
    March 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    The problem with buying diamonds graded by unreliable labs is that the stones will be misrepresented.


  84. Anna donowitz-
    March 22, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Can you tell me if this is worth the buy and if it’s even worth looking at? I know nothing about diamonds and I am very confused about the clarity!! Thanks so much! Anna

  85. Anna dinowitz-
    March 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    It’s H-i1 and its 5.01 carats. Natural round cut diamond..clarity VS SI color is G-H

  86. Anna dinowitz-
    March 22, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    It’s graded by AGI and GIA New York accredited gemological institute… http://trsy.co/13565992 Let me know here’s the link

  87. Paul Gian-
    March 23, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Avoid like the plague. Never buy a diamond that’s graded by an unreliable lab.

  88. Lindsay-
    April 1, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Paul, I am in love with this wedding ring that goes with halo engagement ring. I don’t necessarily know if I trust Kohl’s, but it is returnable and the price is right. Can you please assist?

  89. Paul Gian-
    April 4, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Link doesn’t work. If you are buying a diamond ring that’s ungraded by GIA or AGS from Kohl, you might want to think twice.

  90. Dan-
    April 27, 2016 at 6:46 am

    I purchased a 3.70ct ungraded Diamond and had it graded by GIA
    The results were Clarity I1 Color I all other ratings were Very Good. where can I find an approximate value? I am trying to decide if to keep or sell it.

  91. Paul Gian-
    April 27, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/

    And out of curiosity, how much did you pay for the stone?

  92. Dan-
    April 27, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Paid $9,500

  93. Adam-
    April 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Hi Paul, I been looking at rings for nearly 4 months and still cannot make a decision. Currently, I am looking at a 1.58 caret, I1, Ideal cut and H in color; price is at $9,200 out the door. Of course ring included. I was told Jared is pricey but this one looked like a good deal. I was thinking about buying a true hearts cut from James Allen at 1.03 cut, SVI 2, True Hearts cut, F in Color at $ 6,430, If you had to pick which one would you lean more towards? Thanks in advance.

  94. Paul Gian-
    April 28, 2016 at 4:00 am

    That’s a diamond with extremely poor cut and it isn’t eyeclean. Avoid.

  95. Dan-
    May 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Hi Paul,
    Looks like you have been giving some great advise. Can you take a look at this GIA cert and give me your thoughts? 1195453336 It looks to be eyeclean but I am very new to diamonds. It comes from a very reputable small local jeweler. If you like it, what would you expect to pay? Thanks!

  96. Dave-
    May 10, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Paul, I have a diamond from my grandfather’s wedding ring that I wanted to use in my girlfriend’s engagement ring. It has not been taken out of my ring yet, so I have been given an approximate carat weight of .55 to .65 and have been told by several jewelers that it is an H all the way to K color and a range of I2 to SI1 for clarity.

    Why am I getting such disparate gradings, and who should I believe?

    The guy that gave me the best grade was the one I spent 2 hours with designing the ring and looking at diamonds… then I took my ring out to ask him to clean it and his immediate response was “I’m not selling you a diamond, we’re using this one” and he ended up quoting me 2/3 of what I had given as my budget…

  97. Paul Gian-
    May 11, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Any reputable jeweler can take the diamond out of the mounting and send it to GIA for a proper grading. It’s not hard and can be done for a small fee. That’s the most authoritative way to get accurate answers.

  98. billy-
    May 28, 2016 at 6:47 am
  99. Paul Gian-
    May 29, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Cutwise, it is an average. The F i1 diamond isn’t eyeclean though.

  100. billy-
    May 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    being long weekend i still have to make changes to order..would you recommend i avoid and pick new stone. that stone is quite significant saving just around 3.1k

  101. Paul Gian-
    May 30, 2016 at 5:29 am

    It really depends on your priorities. Obviously, the included clarity sets the price at a much lower point and enables you to get larger sized diamonds. If clarity isn’t an issue to you, the savings you get from this stone is huge compared to buying another stone in the VS2 clarity range. At the end of the day, the decision still lies in your hand. If you do decide to return the stone and need help in selecting another one, feel free to bump me an email and I’ll try my best to help you out.

  102. Billy-
    May 30, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for advice I will wait for ring to arrive to see if it is good, if it looks bad I will get another stone. Also I like the fact I can do trade up in future at JA

  103. billy-
    May 31, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Few of my backups incase that 1.2 carat F looks bad…

    Does E I1 below look eye clean? inclusions on edges appears to be prongeable to me


    This one is D I1


    This is J SI1 but does not appear to have yellow color maybe because of strong blue flour.?


  104. Paul Gian-
    June 1, 2016 at 2:04 am

    You are just jumping the gun ahead of time. Relax, wait for the diamond to arrive, take a look at it. If it doesn’t work out, contact me via email and I’ll help you out.

  105. Geordi-
    June 2, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Hi I’m looking at this center stone diamond… but concerned as it is an I2 but it’s also an E your input would be much appreciated…Thnks — Also looking at this one… okay if it has a slight yellow to it as I have a pave set band and I would like for a yellowish look to the center stone… It going to be my right hand ring for my 10th wedding anniversary… dupuis.ca/upcoming-sales-results/?lot=315&auctionid=78

  106. Geordi-
    June 2, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Sorry the other message aboveI gave you the same listing twice is this is the I2 that I was interested in… Thnks

  107. Paul Gian-
    June 3, 2016 at 1:50 am

    It’s a rip off. Avoid.

  108. Andrew-
    June 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Hello Paul, and thank you for your insight. I would like to purchase an anniversary band for my wife. The ring I am looking at was made outside of the USA. It has 39 princess cut diamonds (pave) totaling approximately 1.5 carats. H color, I1-I2 clarity. Normally, with a single stone, I would run the other way, but given the size of each stone, is this a “safe” bet? Thanks for your response!

  109. Paul Gian-
    June 3, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    When it comes to melees, the diamonds do not require grading reports because they are too small to make proper grading viable. I would however, stick with VS clarity and above when buying pave rings. Eyeballing the finished item in person would definitely help as well.

  110. naj-
    June 19, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Hello Paul!

    I came across your site trying to figure out what to look out for while buying a black diamond wedding ring , and I was hoping you could help. I’d ideally like of two of the following options:
    1) a braided setting with small diamonds with a mix of white and black intertwining
    2) a main black diamond set with smaller white diamonds to enhance it.

    The ratings of the black diamonds have me in a tizz. Also I’m concerned about the ethical sourcing of these diamonds, and if you any pointers in that regard I will be really grateful.

    I am looking for a dark vs light colour contrast and also have considered sapphires or rubies in place of the black diamond. May I know your thoughts on using these gems? My budget is around 2000 USD

    Thanks for your time!

  111. Kara Horowitz-
    June 22, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Hi Paul!
    My boyfriend and I have been ring shopping and we came across this ring that we both fell in love with. We would like some input because we are both clueless when it comes to diamonds.


    Thank you!

  112. Paul Gian-
    June 22, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/

    You are paying over $5k for diamonds with garbage quality. I2 is at the bottom of the barrel if you don’t know yet.

  113. Tommy-
    June 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Hello. I’m looking at a 3.25 ct, L color, I1, Elongated cushion cut (which looks a little “Spread” to me). I can see no inclusions with the naked eye. The faint yellow is only evident when holding a more colorless diamond beside it. I’ve looked around to try and determine what this stone is worth. but can’t find anything to compare it to. Can you tell me what you think it should be? Many Many Thanks

  114. Paul Gian-
    June 28, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Nope, I can’t. There’s really nothing much I can tell you without tangible details when there are too many unknowns. For starts, who graded the diamond, how well cut was it, etc…

  115. Matt-
    September 10, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Like everyone else, I’m on a tight budget. My girlfriend isn’t really into jewelry and doesn’t care if I get a real or fake diamond for her engagement ring. I want to get a diamond if possible though, and I’ve been looking to see if there’s a decent one I can afford before going to non-diamond options. I’ve done a bit of research, and I understand many of the trade-offs in looking for a more inexpensive option.

    I want to make a custom ring, and I found this diamond online which keeps catching my attention. I assume the price is lower than many other diamonds of this category because of the I1 rating with what looks like the majority of the flaws in the center of the stone.

    Since I can’t see this in person, and the seller doesn’t offer refunds, how big do you think the risk would be to purchase this stone? I can always look to change out stones later if necessary when my budget isn’t so tight, but I also don’t want the engagement ring to have an obvious eyesore that significantly detracts from the rest of the ring.

    Let me know if possible, any advice would be greatly appreciated.




  116. Paul Gian-
    September 10, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    That’s a horribly cut diamond. WHY would you even think about buying such a diamond from a vendor with lousy policies? Even if you decide to buy a diamond with garbage quality, there are better places to do that safely WITH proper return policies.

    Start here: https://www.jamesallen.com

  117. Michael-
    September 26, 2016 at 3:04 am


    I’m wondering your thoughts on this ring:


    I know that you generally say to stay away from I1 diamonds that aren’t GIA graded but with Amazon’s return policy, would it be worth purchasing this and having it appraised myself? (and returning if it’s not acceptable)

    My fiancee and I both don’t mind minor inclusions (like you said, cut matters more for sparkle), but I’m concerned about chipping and durability down the road.



  118. Paul Gian-
    September 26, 2016 at 3:26 am

    You would get what you pay for. For rings with such designs (using melees instead of a larger center stone), you will hardly find anyone who will sell it with a proper lab report from GIA or AGS. The price is “cheap” but I would keep expectations to a minimum.

  119. Michael-
    September 26, 2016 at 3:51 am


    Thanks for the quick reply!

    She definitely loves the design and we aren’t really looking at this as an investment for resale (or we’d be more keen on a seller like JA with a full GIA report).

    It seems like both of your suggestions for places to buy (https://beyond4cs.com/best-place-to-buy-engagement-ring/) quickly jump out of our price range for all but the smallest of rings. We’re really just looking for a ring that will look nice with the naked eye for the rest of our lives and not break the bank today. Do you have any articles or suggestions on places to look for pre-made sets under $1500 if we’re willing to trade a bit of quality for size and price?

    Thanks again for your help! I’ve really enjoyed learning about diamonds from your website the last few days (especially if I ever do decide to start buying diamonds as a financial investment)!


  120. Paul Gian-
    September 26, 2016 at 5:48 am

    Yep. The main bulk of the ring’s cost lies in the center diamond. The bigger it gets, the higher priced the item becomes. In this case, the ring you are looking at is filled with melees (small diamonds are dirt cheap for a lack of a better word) and the design is pretty unique. In your case, buying from Amazon could work out because any other place would be selling similar items at similar prices. Let me know how things go.

  121. Saurabh-
    October 8, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks much for all the information. Really helpful.
    My colleague is planning to sell her necklace which I am thinking to buy:

    She is willing to reduce the price to $1400. Do you think its a fair deal, what do you suggest as an appropriate offer (given that I am not purchasing from a store)


  122. Paul Gian-
    October 9, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Without seeing or examining the necklace in person, there’s no way I can put a value on the necklace. In general, I would not pay more than 50% for a used piece of jewelry.

  123. Saurabh-
    October 9, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks much Paul. I would be seeing the necklace this week, based on my research and your advice i think I can start negotiating at 50%.

  124. Staron-
    October 25, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I’m looking into upgrading my wife’s engagement stone. I have a reputable dealer I trust, and he offered me 4 stones in the price range I specified (all are GIA cert). There is a large variance in C’s and I would like your opinion on which stone might be the best value without actually having seen any of them, just based on the GIA reports.

    2.40CT. J VS-2 $16,320.00

    2.52CT. H SI-1 $23,940.00

    3.30CT. I I-1 $18,810.00

    2.72CT J VS-1 $23,392.00

  125. Paul Gian-
    October 26, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/truth-about-gia-triple-excellent-diamonds/ There’s so much garbage out there even with 3XXX diamonds that I will never consider making a purchase without tangible data on the diamonds.

  126. Christian Sanchez-
    November 11, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Hello I have been considering in buying this for my girlfriend, I was about to purchase when a co-worker of mine said that i should be weary of Zales. What do you think my current budget is $1,500.

  127. Paul Gian-
    November 12, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Your co-worker is right. There are better options out there: https://beyond4cs.com/best-place-to-buy-engagement-ring/

  128. Gregory-
    December 20, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Paul:

    I recently purchased my wife two round diamonds weighing a total of 1.80 carats, total of I color and I1 clarity. I was on a budget and ended up paying $5500.00. The jeweler explained to me that the cut to these diamonds was the important factor despite the I color and I1 clarity. The appraisal describes them as, “Two round brilliant cut diamonds, weighing 1.80 cts., total of I color and I1 clarity. The diamonds are beautifully cut and matched. The diamonds are set in a classic three-prong “Martini” settings, showcasing most brilliance. Additionally, metal on the sides is scalloped, allowing light to come through from all directions. 18kt. white gold settings. How do you think I did?

  129. Paul Gian-
    December 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    It’s hard to say. Who graded the diamonds? If it isn’t GIA/AGS, you definitely overpaid. Even if it is graded by a reliable lab, there are still so many factors that influence pricing.

  130. sheri-
    January 26, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Hi Paul!!

    Love the blog, was wondering if I could get your input on this I1 clarity diamond from James Allen.


    All the dimensions meet your criteria (Pavilion angle is just outside what you look for). HCA, however, was a little high, 2.6. All categories came in at “Very Good”.

    It does have strong fluorescence, I didn’t detect milkiness from the 360 view tho.


  131. Paul Gian-
    January 26, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    The crown angles are a little steep and it’s one of the reasons why the HCA tool penalized the stone. Overall, the diamond’s cut is not the best but still decent. Clarity wise, this diamond is 100% not eyeclean. In terms of fluorescence, I didn’t pick up any cloudiness in the stone but it is best to have JA eyeball it in an examination to confirm it.

  132. Tom Fisher-
    February 4, 2017 at 7:31 am


    I need you here. Say you’re looking for a 1.25-1.75 ct diamond for engagement ring. You are willing to sacrifice some clarity, possibly down to the S1 range. Eye clean is what Id like. Color in the D-G range. The bigger the better without looking like garbage.

    Budget 4-6k, 7k at the most. I’m looking on James Allen but really don’t know what I’m looking at. Rookie here, calling on the seasoned vet. Help a guy out and pick out a winner for me?

  133. Paul Gian-
    February 4, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    You are being completely unrealistic with your budget to get a well cut diamond that’s eyeclean for the specifications you mentioned.

  134. Tom Fisher-
    February 4, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I appreciate the honestly Paul.

    Whispers say you can find an eye clean in the S1 range on James Allen. That true?

    How about something in that range? 1.2 cts, S1 range and around G-H color?

    Are there any specific types of flaws to avoid?

  135. Paul Gian-
    February 6, 2017 at 3:54 am

    These 2 are extremely well cut diamonds and are eye clean.


    The type of flaws to avoid really depends on the clarity grade of the diamond and on a case by case basis. Read this article to see some real life examples of flaws that you should pay attention to.

  136. Debra W-
    March 5, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Hello, im looking for a great deal on a pair of diamond stud earrings over .25 carat. They do not have to be top of the line but worth buying. What is a reason amount to pay and where should I go? I really prefer a store versus online.

  137. Paul Gian-
    March 5, 2017 at 11:47 am

    If you don’t really care about diamond quality, any local shop should do the trick. If you do care about quality, head online: https://beyond4cs.com/best-place-to-buy-engagement-ring/

  138. Nikki-
    March 29, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Hi…I recently bought a 1.25 ct solitaire on ebay…the guy said it was an H and I1… I had heard that it would be lower ..took it to a jeweler and it is an I and I2… I am on a budget…i gave 1450.00. Is that a ok price? I have 30 days to return…it does sparkle but the girdle is isnt polished and I can see some inclusions…should I send it back? Thanks

  139. Paul Gian-
    March 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Send it back because you’ve been ripped off. Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/

  140. Jake H.-
    May 8, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I was recently quoted $3775.00 to purchase a diamond that is 1.28 ct Round, H I2. I’ve seen the report in person on the diamond and my jeweler has shown me the report and inclusions and he seems really honest and up front. The diamond really has a brilliant look.

    My question is, would this buy a good buy considering a larger carat weight and it is round (fits my budget) but the clarity rating is a little lower than what I like. Just want your expert advice on this as I’m not want to regret this compromise for an engagement ring.


  141. Paul Gian-
    May 9, 2017 at 1:54 am

    Who graded the diamond? For that kind of price point, I am pretty sure it isn’t GIA or AGS. And if you did buy a diamond without a reliable report, you are in for a giant rip off; which is what your whole experience sounds like.

  142. Jake H-
    May 10, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    it was GIA, I saw the report. It had inclusions listed and shown in red but were well hidden visibly. also had a 7 mm spread, the diamond doesn’t have the best depth but had a lot of sparkle and fire despite it.

  143. John-
    May 12, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Hey Paul,

    I’m considering a loose diamond for my wife, it is GIA graded 3.20 ct, round, H color, I1 clarity, Excellent cut, VG polish, Excellent symmetry, no fluorescence. Characteristics are listed as: Twinning Wisp, Feather, Crystal, Needle, Natural. Comments: Additional twinning wisps, pinpoints and surface graining are not shown.

    I am of course attracted to the diamond’s weight, but obviously concerned about the I1 grade, especially in such a large diamond. The private seller is asking $17,500 (maybe take less?), which is less than James Allen or elsewhere I’ve seen, by about $2500. Thoughts?


  144. Paul Gian-
    May 12, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Terribly cut diamond. Clarity isn’t the only red flag here.

  145. John-
    May 12, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Thank you for the quick response. Could you elaborate about why the diamond is cut terribly? Why does the GIA report not explain this?

  146. John-
    May 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Sorry to keep posting, read your “Determining the cut…” article, so I better understand that the GIA excellent rating is not the end all. Used the HCA software, came out to 2.3, saying “worth buying if the price is right”. I assume you don’t agree with this conclusion?

  147. Paul Gian-
    May 13, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Pavilion angles are way too steep.

  148. Kris-
    May 25, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Hi Paul,

    Firstly, thanks for your awesome and informative website. I’m considering getting this diamond.
    its i1 but according to the jeweler it is eye clean. I can’t see it in person. I’m a little concerned about it being too dull due to clouding and high fluorescence. I’d be grateful if you could take a look and give me your thoughts.

    I’d go JA but there are import taxes to Australia and the exchange rate now sucks.

  149. Paul Gian-
    May 25, 2017 at 3:25 am

    The diamond isn’t well cut enough. You can see a ring of light leakage under the table facet of the diamond.

    Now, the import taxes are THERE and this is applicable to the exchange rates as well. It’s whether the jeweler has paid for it in advance and bundled into the purchase price (jewelers buy their goods in the international market in USD). If you want to compare prices, the correct way to going about doing it is to perform an apple to apple comparison in diamond quality (especially cut) and look at the final prices.

  150. Mia-
    July 14, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    I’m looking for a nice diamond ring. Was looking online at Evine.com. Found a diamond treasures elite 14K gold 1.50 ctw three station band ring retail value $3412.50/ their price $1515.00. You have a choice of white or yellow gold. Stone: 12 square princess cut (2.1-2.6mm diamonds)/various round full cut (1.2-2.1mm diamonds). Diamond color G-H/diamond clarity I1-I2. Jewelry expert is Chuck Clemency. What do you think?

  151. Paul Gian-
    July 15, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I think you can get ready to get ripped off and overpay for rubbish quality with that ring.

  152. July 20, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Hi I recently purchased a ring at zales.

    I’m in love with the ring but want to know if I wasn’t ripped off. We traded my first ring in for $2,500 and are paying $2,300 back now so overall the ring was $4,800 dollars it’s 1 3/4 carat and I2 quality. I do see a nick in the big diamond ring in the center and it’s really bothering me. I just want to make sure that the price we paid wasn’t over priced. Any input would help also I’m concerned because I can still return it but I probably won’t get back my original ring back which would of help purchase something else where! Thanks for your expertise!!! Ps: do u think I should get it appraised? Thanks!

  153. Paul Gian-
    July 21, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Given the kind of quality you are getting in the stone, this purchase is not a good buy regardless of price.

  154. John-
    August 21, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I purchased a .46 ct tw round diamond engagement ring graded I1 clarity E color for$250 on clearance down from $998…the ring in beautiful…set perfectly. I could not be happier…It is clean to the eye and the smile I get from it brings tears of joy to my eyes. For me its all about the meaning behind it. I had no budget to work with and at first was embarrassed that this was all I could do for her. I felt that since the stone was small and it was near colorless the inclusions were not obvious…good luck.

  155. Dave-
    August 31, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Hello. I found the article as well as the comments here to be very informative and a great tool for buyers.
    After scrolling the comments, I can’t help but notice that 98% of the feedback is that the customer is looking at a bad deal or is prepared to get ripped off. It was interesting that I didn’t see an example where the purchase is recommended or supported, yet people value the opinion and guidance. Perhaps a section can be opened where you link stones that you actually recommend people purchase or are bargain deals? Or illustrate examples of stones and/or rings that you consider to be intelligent buys?

  156. November 29, 2019 at 9:42 pm


    I Love the design of this ring. However, when in person I noticed the haziness of the diamond. After reading the specs online I see it falls with in the Center Stone Color: H-I, Center Stone Clarity: I1 range. I told my BF I wanted this ring for our engagement. Do you think its worth the price for what I am getting? I considered purchasing a different center diamond to replace at a later date because I love the design of the ring so much. Do you believe I could get a better ring for the price he’s paying? It has come out to $4685 and that’s including the lifetime inspection and tax. What are your thoughts? Thanks

  157. Paul Gian-
    November 30, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    The design of the ring is perfectly fine. The problem I have with the listing is that it is uncertified (or uses an unreliable grading document). It’s a big red flag when a listing is listed as H-I color and this tells me the diamond isn’t graded by GIA. The I1 clarity is a red flag as well and given how the industry works, you can be assured that the diamond is going to be at least an I2 or I3 grade when jewelers market it this way. I would avoid this retailer and go elsewhere if you don’t want to overpay for inferior quality.

  158. Celia-
    January 31, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Paul,

    my husband recently bought me a new ring from Helzberg jewelry. The ring was on sale for $6000 and although we left it for sizing, we have the receipt and GIA report and now we feel uneasy about the purchase and now even considering returning it. What are your thoughts on this diamond. Greatly appreciate your feedback.

    7.33-7.29 x 4.66mm
    1.55 carats
    color: G
    clarity: I2
    polish/symmetry: very good/ good

    thank you in advance!

  159. Paul Gian-
    February 1, 2020 at 6:53 am

    Are you sure the diamond is graded by GIA? The I2 clarity is a big red flag for really bad issues with inclusions. The Very Good/Good and lack of cut ratings seem to indicate this diamond isn’t certified by GIA and let me tell you something. For a 1.5 ct diamond with such horrible specifications, $6000 is way overpriced.

  160. Kelsea-
    September 7, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I know that inclusions and the effect they have on the overall appearance of a diamond will be totally unique. In general however, I’m wondering if lower clarity is less of a problem in smaller stones.

    My partner and I aren’t concerned about resale value, and in theory I really don’t have a problem with my diamond having unique features like the ones you show in the article. I’m looking at rings with a centre stone of 0.40 – 0.45 carats. If we’re able to find something with a good cut, do you think a GIA-graded I1 diamond might look clean enough for non-experts at that size? Thanks!

  161. Paul Gian-
    September 11, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    I1 diamonds vary from one stone to another. Sure, it is possible to find eyeclean I1 diamonds and at a 0.40 carat range, I would say that it is easier than finding one that is at a 1 carat size. You will need to eyeball the diamonds to see if they are eyeclean for you. Most I1 diamonds would have somewhat visible inclusions but not all. The tricky part is to be able to find one that is clean and yet well cut. That combination will be tough.

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