Here’s the big day I’ve been waiting for. The parcel arrived 10 days after the order was placed since I am based in Singapore. Do note that freight time may vary depending on where your location is. If you are located in the States, the delivery time would be much quicker and typically take less than 3 days.

fedex express shipping for ring purchase
Opening up the parcel, I found a smaller cardboard box inside.

smaller fedex box inside the parcel

Each of the boxes is sealed securely. The perforated lines that you see across the sealing flap should be intact and not torn. If any tampering attempt was made, the security seals would obviously be broken. See image below…

backview of security features to avoid tampering
Inside the smaller box lies a cushioned envelope that absorbs shock and impact during freight. Again, this envelope is sealed securely to protect the contents. So far, that’s a total of 3 levels of protection!

air cushion envelope for final contents
Inside the envelope, there is a wrapped up gift box, the original GIA certificate for the diamond and a valuation report (for insurance purposes).

gia certificate, ring box and gemologic appraisal card

lacquered wooden proposal ring box
The gorgeous 0.81 carat heart cut diamond with F color and VVS1 clarity.

close up view of gorgeous engagement ring
The ring looks exactly like what the pictures show on their website at

You might want to refer to the pictures that I posted on the earlier page for a reference.

5 prongs setting with v tip

tilted view of pave setting

cross section view of basket setting

* Webpage Updated to Follow Up on Readers’ Questions

If you remembered from the earlier pages, B2CJewels wasn’t able to supply me with ASET images for the diamond during the purchase. Since I had received a number of queries from readers looking for heart shaped diamond ASET references, I decided to post mine below.

beautiful heart cut diamond aset
The blue indicates contrast, red indicates intense light return, green indicates areas of lesser light return and white represents leakage. Do note that ASET images for round ideal cut diamonds will look very different as there will be less light leakage. However, in the world of heart shaped diamonds, this kind of ASET image is rare and very much desired.

If you are in the market for a fancy shaped stone, you definitely want to check out this guide for more insights.

Videos of the Diamond Ring Captured With a Digital Camera



The Next Video is a Demonstration of the Diamond’s Brilliance



Back then, before I got proficient and completed my diamond graduate diploma, the only source of a 3rd party neutral assessment was to bring the ring to a local appraiser. For a peace of mind, that’s what I did as I wanted to be sure that everything was OK.

Continue reading to find out how the appraisal turned out…

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  1. Jessica-
    April 15, 2017 at 2:01 am

    My friend recommended your site, and it has been very helpful!

    I am purchasing a large diamond ring for my mother as a gift, and my budget for the stone is about $105k to $110k. Please note that my mother has a ring size 9, which is why I am looking for larger stones between 4 to 5 carat in my budget.

    I would love to get your thoughts on the following two options I am looking at from Whiteflash. I am really struggling because the 5 carat stone is actually $3k cheaper than the 4 carat stone!

    I know that you won’t be looking at any of the images and only the GIA certificate, but any insight would be very much appreciated!

    Do you think that the 5 carat stone would be eye clean and is the crown angle at 36 too wide (you recommend only 34 to 35). Do you see anything else that jumps out at you?

    Given my budget, would you recommend going with the 5 carat (with some flaws) or the 4 carat?

    Or do you suggest I go back to the drawing board and look at a different stone?

    Thank you very much for your time in advance. I really appreciate it! Please be brutally honest – this is a very big purchase for me and a present to my mother, and I want to make sure it is the best stone for my budget.

  2. Paul Gian-
    April 16, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    With White Flash, you will need to stick to their A CUT ABOVE diamonds instead of their virtual inventory. You can obviously see from those listings that there is no information beyond the grading report and that’s a recipe for disaster.

    I did a search for you and would recommend these diamonds instead:

    Both diamonds are extremely well cut for light performance and you can see this with the tangible data provided. These are diamonds I would personally buy for myself.

    Let me know what you think.

  3. Jessica-
    April 17, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Thank you so much for getting back to me!

    I really appreciate you taking the time to recommend the two diamonds as well.

    I have some questions below:

    – In general, with diamonds in 4 to 5 carat range, would you say SI2 is not “eye clean” to the naked eye?

    – Doesn’t a GIA diamond hold its resale value much better and isn’t GIA more precise than other labs? (Both of the ones you recommended are AGS.)

    – Is “A Cut Above” diamonds from Whiteflash better than getting a diamond with GIA certificate? (Because Whiteflash said they can do imaging of the virtual inventory and send me results of those once I pay for the diamond. If I don’t like the image, I would be able to get another diamond.)

    – Are A Cut Above standards better than GIA even though the Cut Above diamonds are graded by AGS?

    – Isn’t the color grade very important? (Both of your suggestions are H or I, so I am very surprised that you went relatively low in the color scale.)

    – How important is the color grade in helping with the light performance? Said differently, would the diamonds you recommended have even better light performance with a higher color grade, like a D or E or F?

    – So if you look at the following GIA diamond, which seems to have similar qualities to the 5 carat you recommended, you would still choose the A Cut Above 5 carat you recommended?

    – Were there other A Cut Above stones you would recommend?

    – Would you recommend James Allen or Whiteflash?

    Paul, I really appreciate your help and sincerely appreciate the time.

    Thank you again,

  4. Paul Gian-
    April 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Yep. 99% of SI2 diamonds in 5 ct range will not be eyeclean.

    It’s true White Flash can send you the images once you pay for the diamond. That said, I can tell you that they won’t come close to the cut quality standards of White Flash’s A Cut Above.

    Stick with these 2:

    At this carat size, every single upgrade in color rating is going to cost exponentially more. You need to be realistic about your budget and what it can get you. If you expect to get a 4 carat diamond in the colorless range, you can expect them to cost a lot more than $110k.

    Cut quality is key because it affects sparkle and beauty. Not so much on carat size or color. You may also want to read this guide to buying a 5ct diamond ring here.

    With round diamonds, I would stick with White Flash. Their in-house signature diamonds are cut to much better standards than the mediocre stuff you see at other vendors.


  5. Jessica-
    April 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Thank you so much for your follow up responses!!

    I have a couple more questions based on your email comment:
    At this carat size every single upgrade in color rating is going to cost exponentially more. You need to be realistic about your budget and what it can get you. If you expect to get a 4 carat diamond in the colorless range, you can expect them to cost a lot more than $110k.

    Cut quality is key because it affects sparkle and beauty. Not so much on carat size or color.

    – In the 4 to 5 carat range, is the cut of a diamond the most important of the “4cs”?

    – How much would a naked eye be able to distinguish color difference of a D/E/F diamond versus H and I diamond?

    – Is that color difference minimized within A Cut Above diamond?

    – When I look at the videos of A Cut Above diamonds you recommended (as well as other ones), I am amazed how much sparkle there is. Does that sparkle/shine actually translate to a normal daylight or indoor lighting?

    – Of the two diamonds you recommended to me, which would you choose for yourself?

    Again, I sincerely appreciate that you’re taking time to answer all of my questions. I really want to maximize my value given that this is a present for my mother and I hope the diamond performs at the top of my budget range without skimping too much.

  6. Paul Gian-
    April 20, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Cut is most important.

    Side by side, you will pick up color. By themselves, a WELL CUT near colorless diamond will face up very similar to a colorless diamond.

    No. Sparkle is dependent on lighting conditions. In office lighting, fire is suppressed and brightness is prominent. Brightness is attributed by cut quality.

    The 1 carat size is significant and this diamond offers great value for money with its color clarity combination.

  7. Jessica-
    April 21, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    I will definitely report back!!!

    The certificate states that the stone was cut January 2017, so I think it doesn’t help that the stone is still new in their inventory… Still, never hurts to ask and I hope larger stones take longer to sell (and is an incentive for them to sell at slight discount)…

    Thank you again!!!

  8. Paul Gian-
    April 21, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    January 2017 is definitely new. Anything over 2015 would be considered “new” at this size.

    Believe it or not, most people don’t buy 5 carat sized inventory and it’s not easy to find or sell well cut diamonds at this size range.

  9. Jessica-
    April 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you for confirming. And what does “negligible” fluorescence really mean? It doesn’t seem as clear as “none” on a GIA certificate.

    We are going with the three-stone with pears on each side like the Tiffany’s setting. I think they want to table the price conversation until the very end.

    Will report back and thank you so much!

  10. Paul Gian-
    April 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Negligible is the equivalent of none. GIA and AGS use slightly different terms for this. So, no worries there.

  11. Jessica-
    April 24, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you again for your help. I really appreciate it.

    They didn’t move pricing at all and said despite the carat size and the A Cut Above diamond being rare, there is still demand for slightly colored high-quality cut stones in the G/H/I range and that the stone was cut according to this demand. (And said if it were a colorless diamond with the same carat and cut, the price would be significantly higher.)

    They said the I color would be slightly “warmer” that a D/E/F when next to a colorless stone, but on its own, we wouldn’t be able to tell. Do you agree?

    They are also doing a custom three stone setting which will have two pear shaped diamonds on each side. They will be cutting these stones so that they are identical pears, so it will be about a month before it’s delivered.

    Really appreciate your thoughts and insight! It’s been quite the journey. I will send a photo when I get the ring.


  12. Paul Gian-
    April 25, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Yep. As I mentioned earlier, people don’t go out to buy 5 carat diamonds. You are the 2nd that I helped this year at such a large carat size. And with hundreds I helped so far this year, it says a lot (most people buy within 0.9-1.0 carat range). Finding a well cut 5 ct diamond is like finding a needle in the haystack. Put this diamond on reserve or hold.

    For the color question. Yep. You will likely see a tinge of color if you place a colorless diamond right beside the I diamond.

    With White Flash, you can rest assured. They will do a fine job for you and match up the pears. If you have any questions or problems, feel free to let me know.

  13. Jessica-
    May 19, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Hi Paul,

    Hope all is well!

    White Flash sent me two professional photos they took of my mom’s ring! Please see them and let me know your thoughts. The ring appears very shiny and brilliant. My mom’s ring size is a 9, and the Middle stone still looks large despite the circumference of the ring.

    The CEO of White Flash is delivering the ring to me in person on Thursday. I am very excited to see it and hope the ring looks just as nice in real life. I will send iPhone photos but thought you would like to see professional photos too.

    Thank you very much for taking your time to walk me through everything!!

    5 carat diamond ring shopping experience with photos

  14. Ing. Gaston-
    September 8, 2018 at 3:43 am

    I have been reading some other sites about reviews of James Allen, and there are lots of them negative. After reading several, I actually think there are fake reviews but I am not completely sure; do you know anything about this? Is there something that I’m missing? I see that you have a very positive opinion about their site for buying an engagement ring.

    Thanks again!

  15. Paul Gian-
    September 9, 2018 at 2:05 am

    James Allen is a big business and has hundreds of thousands of customers. It’s inevitable that some of them will not be happy. No business, not even Tiffany or Cartier will have 100% positive reviews. It’s what the business does when a client is unhappy that matters.

    The thing is, most of my readers have been happy with their purchases. Those very small minority that don’t and send their rings back for a 100% refund are usually due to setting expectations. If you don’t like what you see, you get your money back. It’s risk-free.

    JA’s cool this way. How many vendors in the world do that and give you a 100% refund (not a lame store credit which forces you to buy from them).

  16. Kyung Choi-
    December 1, 2019 at 1:59 am


    What are some things I should keep in mind in terms of diamond and band care? I read that white gold needs to be dipped regularly and that can add up over time. What other maintenance type services should I be looking out for? Like free resizing, free cleaning, free dipping, and etc. ?


  17. Paul Gian-
    December 3, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    I have several white gold rings for more than 5 years and never had a need to retip them. It depends on personal body chemistry as well as the care taken when the rings are worn. Retipping, when required, can be done at any jeweller for a small fee of $25-$40.

    Resizing is again almost never required within 2-3 years of owning a ring (it’s usually provided for free within 1 year). So, what’s the point? Free cleaning is just marketing stuff that brings you back into the store to eyeball more jewelry and a tactic EVERY store use to push more sales. What’s the point again when it’s much much simpler to clean your own ring at home in 5 mins. That’s less time than what you would need to travel down to a store.

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