1.5 Carat Diamond Ring – Shopping And Price Guide

looking for a 1.5 karat diamond ring

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.

Buying diamonds isn’t rocket science. Click here for a step-by-step guide to selecting diamonds and learn how to use Idealscope and ASET imagery to help you determine a diamond’s light performance.

First of All, How Much is a 1.5 Carat Diamond Ring?

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…

cost of one and a half carat perfect diamond

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…

whiteflash g vs2 good value for money

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…

Beyond4cs.com’s Tips to Buying One and a Half Carat Diamond Rings

Rule #1 – Never Buy an “Uncertified” Diamond or Rely on Inhouse Grading Reports

trap danger round diamond ring

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.

one point five carat d if poorly cut stone

D color; Internally flawless – $31.920

near colorless diamond with ideal optics

I color; VS2 clarity – $11,240

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

1.5 carat princess, oval and emerald cut diamond

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.

When it comes to buying diamonds, you need to be selective of the vendors to work with. White FlashBlue Nile and James Allen are awesome vendors I recommend because of their exemplary service standards and diamond selections.

Why Shopping Online For a 1.5 Carat Diamond is the Way to Go

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.

a list of ideal cut one and half carat diamonds from gia

Online retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile allow you to browse through hundreds of 1.5 carat diamonds in the comfort of your home and away from pushy salespeople. Check them out for yourself today!

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!

everything is revealed technical analysis

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.

White Flash is a vendor who offers some of the most beautiful diamonds you’ll ever see. Period. And they make it really easy for you to perform indepth analysis with videos and cut data.

1.5 Carat Diamond Ring vs 2 Carat Diamond Ring

Diamond prices jump exponentially at every half-carat and full carat level. For most people, buying a 1.5-carat diamond enables them to get close to the physical size of a 2ct diamond without paying the price premium.

In order to get a better idea of real-life appearances, check out the visual comparisons of a 1.5ct diamond ring vs a 2ct diamond ring below.

1.5 carat diamond ring vs 2 carat diamond ring on hand real life

1.5 carat diamond ring vs 2 carat diamond ring – Can you see the differences?

In terms of face-up size, a 1.5 ct diamond (round cut) measures roughly 7.4mm by 7.4mm while a 2 ct diamond measures roughly 8.2mm by 8.2mm. However, prices can differ by more than 50% depending on the color/clarity grade of the diamonds you are looking at.

For example, this 1.5 carat G VS2 round cut diamond costs $13,297 while this 2 carat G VS2 round cut diamond costs $24,479. The price difference is a whopping 84% more for the 2ct diamond even though there is only a difference of 0.5ct in weight.

Top Three Breathtaking 1.50 Carat Engagement Ring Designs

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

whiteflash legato pave setting

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

bluenile three stone gallery pave

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

halo ring 1.5 ct 14k wg

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.

To browse through more ring designs, check out the following links. These are vendors we highly recommend and have good experiences with: White Flash, Blue Nile and James Allen.

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.

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  1. Ming Hao-
    September 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I am from Singapore too and had been looking for a proposal ring for my girlfriend. I had been to some local stores like Larry’s and Meyson’s.

    When I was at Meyson, I was introduced to their signature line of ideal cuts and they were priced significantly lower than other local stores. The diamonds were beautiful and I am tempted to make a purchase there.

    Have you heard of them before? If yes, do you have any opinions on them?

    Thanks for the informative site! I had been learning so much from it.

  2. Paul-
    September 17, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Hi Ming Hao,

    Thanks for your kind words. I had been to Meyson and examined their signature line with my ASET and Idealscope.

    Their diamonds are cut pretty well and are pretty much consistent in quality. In fact, I had examined more than 6 stones of different sizes when I dropped by for a visit in the mall.

    The only possible problem you need to take note of is that their signature line isn’t graded by GIA or AGS. Instead, they are graded by Sigma International Gemology (an unknown lab with operations in Singapore). I was told by their sales staff that SIG is just as good or even better than GIA. Yep, sellers love to toot their own horn and you should take it with a pinch of salt.

    You see, if their entire inventory is graded by the same lab (SIG), I would buy their reasoning that they choose to work with a local grading lab. However, they carry stock with GIA certification as well. Why is this so? It doesn’t cost that much more to send diamonds to GIA for reliable grading.


    While I can’t say with certainty that SIG grade diamonds loosely since I have had no prior experiences with them, what I can say is that unless you are familiar with trade and industrial practices, you should stick with certificates from GIA or AGS. This way, you get what you paid for. Nothing less.

  3. Paul-
    December 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    With the New Year just around the corner, I’m sure you had started your own wish list and even thought about what to buy as gifts for our loved ones. If you are like most people who are faced with the dilemma of finding a great gift or contemplating a proposal during the festive season, this 1.5 carats diamond recommendation is a post you would want to read through entirely.

    Today’s review on a signature hearts and arrows round diamond is going to help you cut out the hours spent trawling through jewelry stores to find the perfect stone. 

    1.511 E Color VS2 Signature Hearts And Arrows

    1.5 carats diamond hearts and arrows review

    Perfectly cut diamond with a nice faceup size

    Brian Gavin is well known in the industry for his high quality diamonds that are cut to extreme precision and vetted by the man himself. When we talk about round diamonds, most people are actually familiar with the phenomenon of hearts and arrows that are displayed when the stone is seen with a special viewer.

    What most people do not know is that different diamonds might display different hearts patterning even though they are all graded as triple excellent GIA or triple 0 AGS.

    comparison of hearts patterning on ags triple 0s

    AGS triple ideal 0s may not always show the same standard of optical symmetry

    By making a comparison between the Brian Gavin Signature against the above stones, you can actually see that Brian Gavin’s craftsmanship and facet precision is actually way better than most triple 0s. If you are interested, click here for a more detailed guide to comparing hearts and arrows diamonds and the things you need to look out for.

    Now, let’s take a look at the diamond’s specifications with details extracted from the AGS report.

    Shape: Round Brilliant Table %: 55.7
    Grading Report: AGS Depth %: 61.7
    Carat: 1.511 Crown %: 15.3
    Color: E Crown Angle: 34.9
    Clarity: VS2 Star %: 57.0
    Measurements: 7.36 x 7.39 x 4.55 Pavilion Angle: 40.9
    Lab Cut Grade: Ideal Pavilion %: 43.1
    Light Performance: Ideal Culet: Pointed
    Polish: Ideal Fluorescence: Negligible
    Symmetry: Ideal Girdle: Thin to Medium Faceted

    With an E color, this stone has one of the best colors on the grading scale. For a large 1.511 carats diamond, it will face up completely icy white. One of the other things I love about this stone is the VS2 clarity grade it has.

    It allows you to have a completely eyeclean stone without having to pay a larger premium for higher clarity grades like VVS or IF. In fact, this stone sits nicely at a price point of $23,397 which offers great value for money.

    Optical Performance And Cut Precision Data

    data to determine diamond's performance

    From the technical data of the red saturated Idealscope and ASET images, it indicates immense light return and a diamond that is ready to burst into fireworks under different lighting. This is really as good as it gets when it comes to a diamond’s optics. Refer to these reference charts to do your own comparisons.

    In the next column of information below, you can see the relationships between the individual facets from the Sarin report. Basically, a Sarin scan uses light to precisely map the positioning and alignment of the different facets. A smaller deviation in the numbers means that the diamond is cut to stricter tolerances.

    For example, the measurement of 8 different crown angles across the diamond yields values between 34.7 – 34.9 degrees. That’s only a 0.2 degrees difference across the entire diamond! Likewise, the measurements of the pavilion angles and diameter also show super strict tolerances in which this diamond is crafted to.

    Diamonds of such quality don’t come by often and they get snapped up really quickly. If you are looking for a nice sized diamond with optimum light performance, this is a stone I will highly recommend you to consider.

    Click here to see more information about the diamond and to browse other similar listings.

    Wishing you a great festive season ahead and enjoy the holidays!


  4. Maran-
    November 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I would like to commend you for an excellent article you posted online. I am looking for a diamond ring for my Mrs to celebrate our 10th year anniversary but the prices here (in Singapore) are ridiculous.

    A pair of 1 TCW earring from XXXXXXXXXX (local store) costs about 15k. As I was pouring through all the online forums, I was already pretty set on BlueNile until I chanced upon your article.

    On a separate note, I also came across the software called the Holloway Cut Advisor. It tells us that a diamond’s score should be HCA < 2 and is another factor to consider when buying diamonds online.

    Therefore, GIA should include the following information (& this is where I began to lose BN)

    Depth: yes
    Table: yes
    Crown Angle: not included (must request)
    Pavilion Angle: not included (must request)
    Culet: not given as % but as Medium

    Well, wish me luck on my journey. Thanks to you, I have 2 other online diamond places to look at. :)


  5. Paul Gian-
    November 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks for your kind words.

    You mentioned you are considering a pair of 1 TCW earrings and this got me worried. I hope you understand that total carat weight means the sum of individual smaller diamonds which make up that piece of jewelry. It could be two 0.50 carat diamonds or four 0.25 carat diamonds that make up the earring. Note that the cost of all the smaller diamonds does NOT equal to a 1 carat stone would cost you. They are always much cheaper than a single 1 carat diamond.

    HCA advisor is a rejection tool and not a selection tool. If you are buying diamonds online, make sure you view other necessary data like the idealscope/aset. Also, GIA does provide the crown and pavilion angles for round diamonds in their certification report. My guess is that you viewed the diamond listing on the vendor’s page and sometimes, the vendor doesn’t post this information on their site for convenience.

    To get you started, follow the step by step guide here.


    If you need more help or advice, feel free to ask me any questions.

  6. Maran-
    November 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I have narrowed down my choices to 2 diamonds within my budget:

    – jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Excellent-Cut-Round-Diamond-1499633.asp

    – jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Excellent-Cut-Round-Diamond-1507993.asp

    ( The above diamonds had been sold and are no longer listed on JamesAllen.com )

    Can you please advise me between the 2? I’m going for a VS1 hoping that inclusions are not visible without 20x magnification & get away with a G as near colorless as possible. Can you advise me on how to pick between these 2 diamonds?

    If you think there are some faults that I overlooked, please share them with me. I would really appreciate a fresh perspective.

    PS: These JA guys liked every diamond I pick! Ha, go figure…

    Thank you! :)

  7. Paul Gian-
    November 25, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I think you made some good choices here. VS1 is definitely eye clean even if you can see inclusions under the loupe. I tried looking at JA’s inventory with lower clarity grades to see if you missed any other nice diamonds within your budget but couldn’t find a better stone than what you had picked.

    So, I would say: Definitely this stone


    This has a nicer patterning and will look better than the other stone in terms of optics.

    For the other diamond jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VS1-Excellent-Cut-Round-Diamond-1499633.asp, it has slightly higher crown angles at 36.0. Typically, ideal ranges for crown angles should be about 34.0 – 35.0. A 1 degree angle is a lot in the world of diamonds. In layman’s terms, this would very likely give the diamond a lumpy, top-heavy appearance, and disrupt the balance of fire and brilliance.

  8. Maran-
    November 26, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I’m still not entirely sure on what to look for in an Idealscope & H&A images…

  9. Paul Gian-
    November 27, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Maran,


    Look for severe light leakage under the table facet (middle of the stone)

    H&A refers to the optical symmetry a round diamond displays. Note that even if a diamond has nice H&A, it doesn’t necessary mean the diamond will display excellent brightness and brilliance. Of course, you will be paying a premium for these diamonds because they are cut very precisely (uses up more rough stone) to achieve this effect.

    Check the arrows consistency as well as the hearts patterning consistency.

    You can use this as a benchmark to compare other H&A patternings. In the case of this diamond, it has both (great optical symmetry and light performance).

    To show you the other end of the spectrum as an example, check out this link: jamesallen.com/diamonds/D-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1475244.asp

    This diamond has nice hearts and arrows patterning. However, it is slightly leaky from the Idealscope image. Like I mentioned above, H&A doesn’t necessary equate to better brilliance. In this case, the diamond was cut very precisely to achieve the H&A effect but the proportions it was cut to might not be ideal for light performance.

    For another example, click this link: jamesallen.com/diamonds/E-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1483376.asp

    The hearts shown are not even in size. Some are slightly smaller and there are also tears in the clefts. Don’t get me wrong, this diamond will still sparkle like crazy. What I am saying here is that if I were nitpicky and paying a premium for optical symmetry, I want the best H&A that I can get.

    It really boils down to your personal preference at the end of the day.

  10. Maran-
    December 1, 2015 at 1:52 am

    After thinking hard, I have re-looked my budget; a 1.50 ct diamond in Singapore costs about SGD 35k – so, I’m looking at something between $US9-11k.

    This is my new strategy, get a XXX and stick with a round brilliant cut. I would look for a I-J color diamond with SI1 – VS1 clarity. To make my buying decision, I would rely on IS images and the 20X virtual loupe to check the inclusions for eye-cleanliness.

    What are your thoughts?



  11. Paul Gian-
    December 2, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Yep. Local dealers in Singapore are selling diamonds at way overpriced costs.

    A Hearts on Fire diamond can cost about 3 times that of James Allen’s Hearts and Arrows. That’s insane considering you can get a similar one at way lower prices online. Other jewelry stores carrying their own in-house brands price their diamonds at 2-3 times over what online stores offer. When I actually view the “branded” diamonds with my idealscope and aset scope in the stores, it seems like the quality control of their diamonds isn’t that good too.

    Before I make my comments on your choices, can you tell me your requirements for your diamond? Do you want to max out brilliance? Max out carat weight? What kind of color are you looking at visually? Must it face up white etc?

    With regards to clarity, are you ok if the diamond is eye clean even though it is a SI2? I know some people can’t live with a certain amount of inclusions in the diamond even though they can’t see it physically with their eye. For them, it needs to be mind-clean as well.

    With these details, I can better answer your queries.

  12. Maran-
    December 4, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Yes. I am looking to MAX-OUT the brilliance, sparkle, fire, spread etc..
    1. Cut,Polish,Symmetry: EX,EX,EX
    2. 1.5> HCA <2.0
    3. Table: 53% – 61%
    4. Depth: 59.2% – 62.9%
    5. Crown: 33 – 35.5 deg
    6. Pavilion: 40 – 41 deg
    I would like it to look to look like a typical 1.5 ct sizing which is around 7.3+ mm.

    But something needs to give right? I think clarity is a factor in which I am willing to cut some slack on. As long as it’s eye-clean, I am OK. I know there are some corner inclusions that are considered “prong-able” which would not be visible after being set – I’m still undecided on that.

    As for color, if I want it to look totally white, then I have to stick with D – F right? I don’t think I have the budget for stones within the colorless range.

    Having said that, I hope to get one that is within the “near colorless range”.

    What are your thoughts on getting stronger fluorescence on I & J colored diamonds to make them look whiter?

    Where did you get your Idealscope? I should get one too.


  13. Paul Gian-
    December 7, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Yep to be totally icy white, you need to stay at D-F. That’s for a very sensitive eye and for people who intentionally look out for color when the diamond is mounted on a ring. In my opinion, the average cut-off point where people start to notice very slight yellow tinges is at H color. Many other friends and people whom I had helped purchased diamonds had feedback that they can’t tell the differences.

    Most people only start to notice a small difference when a D colored diamond is compared beside an I colored one faced up. You can do this yourself. Simply walk into some local jewelry stores and get them to show you their best cut diamonds with different colors. With that, you can see the differences yourself. Of course, poorly cut diamonds will NOT hide color and are not a fair comparison.

    Angles or HCA score wise, you don’t have to be too caught up with them. Even if they deviate slightly, it might still be OK. The Idealscope image is more important.

    What are your thoughts on getting stronger fluorescence on with I & J color to make them look whiter?

    It’s a good idea as long as you get the in house gemologist to review the diamond for haziness. Medium – strong blue is fine. Personally I love diamonds with fluorescence when they glow blue.

    I don’t think you need an idealscope since you can request them from James Allen. Unless you have a huge interest in diamonds or intend to buy lots of diamonds from local stores, you don’t really need the tool. I got mine at around USD $200 for the entire bundle at ideal-scope.com. Individually, I believe it sells for about $60 -$70 (not inclusive of shipping).

  14. Maran-
    December 10, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Went to watch BATMAN at IMAX Lido, wasn’t too bad actually.

    After the movie, we walked across to a nearby shopping mall to check out how a 1.5 ct I or J looks up-close. I was shown a really nice looking 1.54ct H VS2 together with the IS, H&A patterning and ASET (I still need to read up on how a good ASET should look like) images.

    The guy knows what’s he is talking about…but the 25k premium is another thing altogether. Then, he tried to upsell their in-house Super Ideal series, which are modified rounds with 91 facets.

    I have my reservations about these In-house Super Ideals, True Hearts, Signature Blue etc…I’m only sticking to the GIA / AGS grading.


  15. Paul Gian-
    December 11, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    The 91 facets cut is a branded cut. I believe what the jeweler is referring to is called the Solasfera diamond and they are generally cut to very ideal light performances. Undoubtedly, branded diamonds will be more expensive. Choosing the type of diamonds to buy ultimately boils down to your own personal preferences. There are people who are willing to pay a slightly higher premium to get that different look in their diamonds. In most cases, branding is just a lame way to charge consumers a higher price without really providing a better product.

  16. Maran-
    December 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Great timing, the IS images just came in early this morning.

    I would appreciate your feedback.

    comparison of 3 idealscope images

    Subtle variations in the idealscope data

  17. Paul Gian-
    December 15, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Wow… that’s a very tough call. Were these diamonds the same ones that you showed me in your links in earlier correspondences?

    Anyways, I don’t think that to an untrained eye, these diamonds would look significantly different. But if I were to make a call based just on idealscope images alone, the 3rd stone should be the one I would pick.

    When it comes to similar looking IS images, you should consider what the in-house gemologist had said since he would be the one making the physical examination under different light conditions and can advice you on the stone’s eye cleanliness. (pick the best out of these candies)

    If all these diamonds are priced around the same, go for the one that has biggest carat with the best color.

  18. Maran-
    December 17, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    In my excitement, I forgot to tell you that the diamonds have changed, but the IS images are for final few stones that I had shortlisted. I’m curious to know why you’d choose the 3rd one, it appears more leaky than that other 2.

    I looked at the images before reading the e-mail & I chose 2nd one, not by science, but just the way it looked. The gemologist chose the same, citing “having best light performance, featuring excellent fire, brilliance, and scintillation as well as superior polish”

    But it’s not the biggest carat, that would have been the 1st stone, but its on the higher side of my budget.

  19. Paul Gian-
    December 18, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    When I viewed these 3 is, I have no information or details on the diamonds. So, the call was just based on idealscope alone.  For 3rd, it appears that the diamond has tighter cut proportions and symmetry. Because the arrows patterning is more even. But I need to emphasize the point that best optical symmetry does not equate to best brilliance. Like I said earlier, it’s a tough call. These are all great looking stones in their own rights.

    The 2nd stone has more dark spots (or patches of black). That helps a lot in scintillation. The pattern of brilliance would be slightly different from the 3rd diamond (longer lower girdle facets). The 3rd stone will give slightly broader flashes of light but less in quantity. The 2nd should give slightly smaller flashes of light but has more in quantity. Note: This difference is very subtle or you can just say I am trying to split hairs now. : )

    Based on my past experiences, the kind of idealscope images for the 2nd stone usually mean that the diamond has more spread (due to shallower depth probably around 58s%-60% and/or lower crown angles). Bigger spread means the diamond has a slightly bigger physical dimension for its carat weight. I think you can test this out yourself. Go look for other diamonds cut to same exact carat weight and similar cut. You can compare the physical mm dimensions.

    Anyway, spread is a good thing as long as brilliance is not affected.

    If all things being equal, go for the one with largest carat weight (biggest physical dimension)! This is really what women care about most. In your case, the gemologist has indicated that 2nd stone is brightest, I am guessing that it should have more spread. Higher spread + good optics? I think you’ve got a winner here.

    Could you post the links to the stones so that I could see the color grades as well as certification for the diamonds?

  20. Maran-
    December 21, 2015 at 1:29 am

    You are absolutely right! It was my mistake for not updating you on the changes I made & can’t expect you to give an informed decision considering the lack of information ;)

    Anyway here is the info you asked for.

    It’s a JA, Item #: 1500377


    Sorry for the delay…too caught up in the excitement!. Tell me again what you think :)

  21. Paul Gian-
    December 22, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Ok. Everything looks in order. No surprises there from the GIA certificate. It’s going to be a nice diamond.

    Anyways, I just checked the diamond on JA as well. It’s no longer available. I hope you are the guy who made the purchase and not someone else.

  22. Maran-
    December 28, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Yes, it’s me! They told me they will ship out on the 10th, how long does it usually take to reach SG & clear customs?

    Couple of days more for the Goods Service Tax (GST) as well?

    Anyhow, thanks again Paul for your sharing your journey. I have learnt alot from it. Once the ring comes in I will send you an picture, although I doubt my iphone can do it any justice!


  23. Paul Gian-
    December 29, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Probably about 4-5 working days.

    Customs is cleared automatically. Fedex will pay the Goods Service Tax on your behalf to expedite delivery in Singapore. 2-3 weeks after you receive your ring, Fedex will send you an invoice to bill you the GST they paid for you earlier.

    Do let me know what you think when you see the diamond ring. Yes. A picture would be very nice.

  24. Maran-
    January 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    The ring was shipped over the weekend & should be delivered by Friday.

    Can you share the appraisal process? How much is the fee & what I questions I should be asking? I should not be sharing the GIA report right?

  25. Paul Gian-
    January 14, 2016 at 10:01 pm


    I am assuming that what you are concerned about getting your ring authenticated for the 4C’s. For an appraisal for insurance purposes, I believe James Allen would have provided you with the necessary documentation when you receive the ring.

    Bring your GIA/AGS cert along. Let the appraiser do his job on grading your diamond (they will write down their findings on a piece of paper very similar to what you see on a typical grading report) before you show them your cert and compare the results against your diamond grading report (results for mounted rings might have slight discrepancies).

    And yes, you can see him/her work on your diamond in sight. If you are really busy, you can leave your ring with them and pick it back up after they are done. They won’t try to swap out your diamond.

    The kind of questions that you might want to ask during the appraisal would be: Is the diamond set properly? Does the diamond match the official grading report so that you know you are getting the correct stone? If there are slight discrepancies in his/her grading against your GIA cert, ask the appraiser why.

    There are many reasons for this especially on mounted diamonds; for example, the inclusions could be hidden under a prong when set and the appraiser might not be able to locate them. You might want to ask the appraiser about his opinion on the cut of your stone. How does it fare with other diamonds he had seen? What do you think the value of the diamond is?

    These will set your mind at ease.

    Amongst the 3 that I had used before, I would recommend NGI as they are cheapest.

    You should call in to verify the cost of appraisal and make an appointment because they can get really busy. I believe they charge by carat weight of your diamond. For carat weights of 1 – 1.5 I think the charge is $40 SGD without a written report. If you need a written certification from the lab, the cost is doubled. You really don’t need it. The GIA/AGS report is what really matters.

    Let me know how things go.

  26. Maran-
    January 20, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Here are some pictures of my 1.5ct solitaire diamond ring.

    Cool James Allen Packaging

    James Allen’s package is a cool black and flattering design

    view from box

    1.52 carat round diamond

    hand shot

    A great nice hand shot

    face up view of 1.50 carat diamond ring

    Getting a close face up view of the sparkly diamond

  27. Leeroy-
    November 5, 2016 at 3:33 am

    I’ve been very fascinated by your website and your generosity in sharing your knowledge. I’m wondering how big is a 1.5 carat diamond and whether it will look awkward if I set it in a 3 stone ring with 0.5 carat pear cut diamonds by the side.

  28. Paul Gian-
    November 5, 2016 at 8:36 am

    If you want to know how big a 1.50 carat diamond is in relation to other sizes, this chart here will be very useful to you: https://beyond4cs.com/carat/size-chart/

  29. Jason E. Gray-
    November 8, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Thank you for this amazing site and your hard work in educating the public. I’m looking to upgrade my wife’s ring for the 10th year wedding anniversary. I’m looking to buy a 1.5 carat oval diamond in 1 month’s time. Can you help me recommend some stones?

  30. Paul Gian-
    November 8, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Sure! Get in touch with me via email with specifications you are looking for the 1.50 ct oval and I’ll do a search for you.

  31. Lillian-
    November 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    How much is a 1.5 carat diamond ring worth it is graded by EGL International to be a F color and SI3 clarity?

    Also, I’m trying to figure out the differences between 1 carat vs 1.5 carat sizes and whether I should pay more for the size increase if it isn’t that obvious to untrained eyes.

  32. Paul Gian-
    November 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    First of all, EGL International is an unreliable lab and grossly misgrades diamonds. They had been in the center of lawsuits from disgruntled consumers and you should avoid buying them at all costs. Jewelers that sell these types of diamonds are just out to rip people off and it says alot about their integrity.


    The differences between a 1 carat vs 1.5 carat diamond is very significant visually. I don’t think you will need a trained eye to notice the size differences even in casual viewing comparisons. If the cost of a 1.5 ct stone is over your budget, you may want to consider lowering the color/clarity specifications to bring it down to a more affordable cost.

    Here’s a visual comparison of a 1 ct vs 1.5 ct diamond ring to show you size differences.

    generic gia triple excellent diamond mediocre light return

    I have also attached an image of a 1 carat vs 1.5 carat diamond ring that is worn on a size 7 finger below to show you their relative finger coverage.

    1 carat vs 1.5 carat

  33. Ann-
    November 16, 2016 at 5:36 am

    Hi Paul

    Thank you for the great website. I have been reading all your posts thoroughly! That being said, I was a bit surprised to see you recommended Blue Nile above, given your previous reviews of their service. I was wondering if something has changed to make you reconsider them?


  34. Paul Gian-
    November 16, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I only recommend certain diamonds and not everything that’s on BlueNile.com. Basically, BlueNile’s video technology for their signature diamonds are a useful tool for consumers to see and gauge the quality of the stones.

  35. Deborah-
    December 1, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    My friend is interested in a jewellers tennis bracelet…VS1/VS2 …G…cost £4995…. for cash he will reduce price by a £1000.
    Oh set in 14 karat gold.
    Hope you can advise.

  36. Paul Gian-
    December 2, 2016 at 3:46 am

    I don’t have sufficient details on the jewelry piece to offer any constructive advice.

  37. Jesus Bonilla-
    March 10, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Hey thanks for taking the time to write this up, i wanted to know where would u recommended me to look for a 1.5c diamond in the 7500-9000 range thanks in advance

  38. Paul Gian-
    March 10, 2017 at 6:36 am

    It depends on the shape of the diamond you are looking for. For round diamonds, start at the following places:

  39. Vernon-
    November 8, 2017 at 3:42 am

    I was offered a 1.5 carat solitaire diamond ring from my jeweler at a price of $13,432. The center diamond is a princess cut and the setting is made of platinum 950. Is this a good deal?

  40. Paul Gian-
    November 9, 2017 at 3:46 am

    It depends on what you are buying. You mentioned that you are getting a 1.5 carat princess cut diamond in a solitaire setting. The important thing here is who graded the stone and what are the specs on it? You can easily do a comparison yourself here by reading this article: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/

    Once you do that, you will know whether it’s an expensive purchase or not.

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