danhov round diamond proposal ring review solitaire

A stunning solitaire round diamond proposal ring from White Flash.

When it comes to buying a proposal ring, most guys have no idea how to get started or even where to buy. Some may begin their search in local stores without doing any prior research while many others try to get advice from friends/family members who are just as clueless.

Worse still, I’ve even come across people who don’t even know what they want but ended up buying something they don’t really want due to heavy pressure selling.

There are also many others who fall into the trap of making a purchasing decision based solely on what a grading report states without fully understanding what they are buying.

Now, I have been in the industry for years and it still befuddles me whenever I see people emptying their savings into a purchase they aren’t sure about.

Buying a diamond isn’t that hard as long as you take a pragmatic approach to the shopping process. In fact, there are only 3 main things you need to bear in mind if you want to buy a beautiful proposal ring without getting ripped off.

  1. You should only buy GIA or AGS graded diamonds.
  2. Place your emphasis on cut quality and verify performance with tangible data.
  3. Magnified videos/photographs that enable you to see the diamond are mandatory.

I’ve also written a comprehensive step by step guide to choosing a diamond. It will help you go beyond the 4C’s and turn you into a smart shopper. This will help you base your purchase using knowledge instead of luck and ensure you buy the best diamond proposal ring for any budget.

Where Are the Best Places to Buy Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds?

where to buy a round brilliant cut diamond

Pulling the trigger on a huge purchase isn’t always easy

Buying diamonds can be very difficult and stressful but this doesn’t need to be the case. Shopping at a reliable vendor that is transparent and consumer-orientated will instantly simplify the process.

Here are 4 things you should look out for when choosing a retailer.

#1 – Diamond imagery and provision of tangible data.

Good vendors offer high resolution pictures and 360 degree magnified videos that allow you to assess the diamond’s appearance. This is especially important when it comes to buying lower clarity diamonds as you can analyze the stone for eyecleanliness.

The best vendors in the business will also be willing to provide you with ASET or idealscope images and they can be extremely useful for comparing light performance between round cut diamonds.

#2 – Sizable diamond inventory (GIA or AGS certified diamonds only)

I’ve already said this before and I will say this again.

You should only buy diamonds graded by GIA or AGS only as they are the most reliable labs in the industry. A diamond with any other reports/certificates will not be graded accurately and you can expect to receive a misrepresented diamond.

With a deep inventory of diamond selections, you would also be able to cherry pick the best diamond for any given budget and you typically only enjoy such features with online retailers.

In contrast, most physical stores would only hold a couple of diamonds within a certain carat size and you would be expected to compromise on your requirements and quality.

#3 – High quality workmanship of proposal ring settings.

Ring setting workmanship is an important factor that many people ignore even though it makes up half the components of a proposal ring. Better craftsmanship not only results in better aesthetics, but it also provides better security to hold the center diamond.

#4 – 100% risk-free money back guarantee. 

Sales policies that protect you as a consumer are virtually non-existent in traditional brick and mortar jewelry retailers. Exchanges don’t count as you are still forced and locked into the sale when things go south!

If a jeweler isn’t willing to stand behind their products with an iron-clad no questions asked refund policy, you better be asking yourself a big fat “Why” you would want to buy from them. If a retailer doesn’t offer any money back guarantee, it’s a red flag. Run.

Top 3 Places to Buy a Beautiful Round Diamond Proposal Ring

James Allen: The Online Visionary And Pioneer of Intuitive Videos

james allen round diamond listing video

James Allen is the undisputed king of diamond display technology. Their 360° HD video listings are super intuitive and allow you to scrutinize the diamond under magnification easily.

Unlike shopping in a traditional store, there’s no need to rely on a salesperson’s opinion or be limited by the mediocre selections they offer. At James Allen, you can review as many diamonds as you like with full transparency and cherry pick the best stone that fits your budget.

On top of that, there are a plethora of beautifully-crafted ring designs that you can choose from at affordable prices. Check out a photo of the proposal ring I recently purchased from them. For a more indepth review, click here.

james allen pave diamond ring review half carat

14k white gold pave diamond ring with 0.57ct center diamond.

As a consumer-orientated company, James Allen offers the best return policies in the industry with a generous 30 days money back guarantee and unprecedented FREE return shipping in the USA.

In truth, they are able to do this because they are confident of delivering high quality products that customers love and that alone should speak volumes.

Here is a list of all the features that you can enjoy when shopping at James Allen:

· Huge inventory of more than 300,000 loose diamonds.
· Real life HD videos of every diamond listing and magnified photographs.
· High quality jewelry at competitive price points.
· 100s of ring setting designs and customization choices.
· Lifetime warranty on all jewelry purchases.
· 24/7 customer service to answer any questions you have.
· 30 days 100% money back refund policy.

If you are wondering how the complete package looks like when you buy a proposal ring from James Allen, check out the unboxing video below…



Visit James Allen today to start browsing and experience their intuitive diamond videos for yourself!

White Flash: Super Ideal Cut Diamonds And Designer Rings

white flash vatche diamond proposal ring review

Designer pave diamond proposal ring with super ideal round diamond I purchased.

Whiteflash is a vendor that specializes in super ideal cut diamonds. Their A Cut Above collection of round and princess cut diamonds are some of the most beautiful and precisely crafted in the industry.

With a splendid selection of hearts and arrows diamonds that are carefully curated for performance and quality, White Flash is also able to provide physical gemological reviews/comparisons of their diamonds.

Besides their A Cut Above diamonds, White Flash is also well known for their excellent customer service standards. In terms of setting choices, White Flash is an authorized retailer of many designer brands and also have well made in-house ring designs for you to choose from.

In fact, I’ve personally purchased a Vatche diamond proposal ring from them with a budget of $4000 and you can read the full details of the review I made here.

4 prong ring head consistency symmetry review how to know good or bad

Here is a list of the features you can enjoy when shopping at White Flash:

· Curated selections of high performance ideal cut diamonds.
· HD videography and light performance scope data in their listings.
· Massive selection of ring setting from brands like Verragio, Ritani, and Tacori.
· 1 year buy back guarantee and 100% lifetime upgrade policies.
· Top notch customer service to help you throughout your shopping process.
· 30 days 100% money back refund policy.

For people who are interested, I’ve recorded a full-length box opening video of a purchase I made recently below:


Head over to White Flash to find a bright, sparkly diamond and your perfect proposal ring today!

Brian Gavin: Five Generations of Diamond Cutting Perfection

brian gavin workmanship review

Brian Gavin is an industry name that is synchronous with diamonds of impeccable cut quality and sparkle.

As a fifth generation diamond cutter, Brian Gavin is a perfectionist when it comes to diamonds. He is also constantly innovating to produce new cutting styles that exhibit the best sparkle and brilliance.

His signature lines of ideal cut diamonds represent the top 0.01% of polished diamonds in the world when it comes to cut precision and light performance. To cater to people with different needs and budgets, he launched his Black, Cape and Blue signature lines that consist of diamonds with different material specifications.

With their inhouse team of bench jewelers, their jewelry workmanship and attention to detail are exceptional. Here are some of my favorite settings from their collections:

solitaire diamond ring setting brian gavin review
halo setting ring design brian gavin workmanship review

Here is a list of the features you can enjoy when shopping at Brian Gavin:

· Curated selections of high performance diamonds by Brian Gavin.
· Availability of super ideal cut rounds, princess, cushion and emerald shapes.
· HD videography and light performance data in their listings.
· First class setting workmanship that is performed in-house.
· Superb customer support team ready to help you out.
· 15 days inspection period with 100% money back refund policy.

If you are looking for a diamond engagement ring of the highest quality, head over to Brian Gavin.

Summary: Where’s the Best Place to Buy a Proposal Ring?

As you can see from the recommendations, the best places to buy a round diamond proposal ring are predominantly online vendors (they do have physical showrooms too). For the uninitiated, making an expensive purchase online might seem to be a daunting task but it actually isn’t.

The truth is, shopping via the Internet allows you access to more information than what a normal brick and mortar jeweler would provide. You can take your time to cherry pick the best stone within your budget without any pressure from any salespeople.

More importantly, you will be able to make rational decisions based on facts and data instead of buying on impulse. On top of that, you get to enjoy a risk-free, transparent shopping experience with full protection that is non-existent in traditional stores.

At the end of the day, the best place to buy a proposal ring really depends on what you are looking for in terms of budget and setting design. The different vendors each have slightly different offerings.

If you have any queries or require a 2nd opinion on your selections, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or drop me an email with your questions.

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  1. Eugene Lee-
    July 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm


    I have found your website indispensable during this stressful process, and I have gone to James Allen based on your review, and am very happy with the customer service so far as you mentioned. I have selected 3 diamonds to be on hold and am awaiting gemologist review, but I was hoping to get your un-biased opinion on them. 2 are 1.7s (which I know she would prefer), and the 3rd is 1.6 but of slightly better color grade. I am currently leaning on the 1.7 (specifically 222503, because 222504 seems to have a more visible inclusion and less brilliance). Do you think 222503 is “eye-clean”, and do you think it would be significantly less brilliant than the 1.6? All 3 are pretty much the same price ($9,000). I am hoping for a 1.7 but if the 1.6 is significantly more brilliant I would consider going for it. I have pasted the links below.


    Thank you so much for the informative website and for telling me about James Allen!

    Best regards,

    Eugene Lee

  2. Paul Gian-
    July 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Eugene,

    I do have some preferences on the stones you picked. Let’s continue the correspondence via email to avoid any possibility of a lurker who might buy off one of your shortlisted diamonds.


  3. Kev-
    October 31, 2017 at 2:01 am


    great website!!

    I have narrowed my choices down to a few diamonds. The vendors are all reputable merchants. Unfortunately the Brian Gavin range is a little out of my budget although I have found 1.

    what would you choose between these diamonds?

    White Flash


    Brian Gavin

    and a JannPaul diamond from Singapore which I have all the details scopes and videos.



  4. Paul Gian-
    October 31, 2017 at 3:35 am

    These are all extremely well cut diamonds for light performance and are eyeclean. Personally, I take on a practical approach when buying diamonds and these would be my top picks to get best value for money:



    I do have preference for the Brian Gavin option. At the end of the day, you should take into consideration the choice of settings offered by the different vendors. That should be the guiding light on whom to work with as these diamonds are all fantastic options.

  5. Kev-
    November 7, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Thanks for the insight Paul.

    Ring setting choice is another dilemma now. so many choices and its the “I like this diamond but this setting from another merchant” situation.

  6. Paul Gian-
    November 7, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Depending on which vendor you like the diamond from and which setting you want to buy, there are ways to workaround this. Do keep in mind that some vendors like Brilliant Earth only allow diamonds purchased from THEM to be mounted on their settings. Other vendors are pretty much cool with mounting a diamond purchased elsewhere for you.

  7. Jason-
    October 22, 2018 at 5:18 pm


    Your website is outstanding. I am beyond impressed. However, what I don’t see covered as much or discussed are larger diamonds selection and availability.

    While I do understand that there is less demand, the websites you highly recommend (James Allen, Blue Nile, etc) don’t seem to have a large number of bigger stones.

    For instance, I am trying to assist a dear friend in searching for a 3-5 carat round cut diamond. What is most important besides the cut?

    What should be really be looking at? In NYC, where would you go for the very best selection? I find it difficult to comprehend that someone would consider buying a $40-$80k+ stone online! Please advise.

    You are truly the best!

    Thank you!


  8. Paul Gian-
    October 23, 2018 at 1:02 am

    Cut quality is the most important followed by a reliable grading report from GIA or AGS. Read this article as well:

    For big sized diamonds, James Allen is a vendor specializes in them and they have a good collection of round cut diamonds.

  9. Jason-
    October 23, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you Paul. Much appreciated.

    I spoke with them on the phone. Very nice people.

    I guess one of my big questions is, if I know people in the business ( i.e. William Goldberg family, some other Persian families and others who work in the business, would you suggest starting there?

    What I’m trying to determine is does a personal relationship guarantee a great product and a great price? I would think it makes sense to start talking to people I know in the business, but does this mean I will see the best — round brilliant cuts in particular. Perhaps with side Paves and/or side baguettes, etc. And 3.5 – 5 carat center stone range is what I’m after here.

    I would rather speak to someone that knows me or my family first as I’m a New Yorker and now some diamond people. I don’t think they would take advantage of me! Starting online is great, but I can’t actually see the stones in person and this is so important to me.

    What would you do if you lived in Manhattan and have the personal relationships? I suspect my friends would be the best first stop. Do you agree?

    Any other guidance is much appreciated.


  10. Paul Gian-
    October 23, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Most of the time when friends or “family friends” are involved, they end up in bad experiences. The record so far (from readers) is 0% success rate from readers like you (I would estimate it to be around 50 readers). The main problem is when it comes to well cut diamonds, most jewelers have zero ideas about what to look for. Yes, I said that. If you read beyond4cs in full and understand the content there, your knowledge is 99% better than jewelers who are in the industry for more than 10 years. That’s how bad things are in the market.

    If you reside in New York, Enchanted Diamonds do offer the showroom experience and can call in the diamonds for you. At the end of the day, I always tell readers to shop with tangible data (i.e. ASET images, performance images, videos) instead of relying on what a jeweler claims their diamonds to be.

    That is something that Enchanted Diamonds can offer and they are genuinely nice people to work with. Their return policies is a full 100% refund of your money if you are unsatisfied. That is something the stores in the New York diamond district will not beat.


  11. Jason-
    October 24, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!

    I guess when it comes to family connections in the business, I would expect far better pricing and personalized service. That would make sense since there is a relationship. Why have your readers and others had bad experiences?

    For example, for someone who works in the industry, wouldn’t they have more of the wholesale connections? I would want to take advantage of that if I had access. Or does that really not exist at all for those within the industry?

    How can you tell which ones have the best ASET rating and brilliance? I can’t tell from the pictures. How do you pick based off the brilliance, fire, etc. it’s impossible for me to tell differences with light leakages in these pics.

    I am really looking for the 3.5-5 carat, vs2 and up. I was told to only look for a round in the 4+ carat range with a G rating or better. Is that accurate? Which of the diamonds do you like best, ideally over 4 and less than 5 carats. Preferably in the $50-$85k range. I’d be open to a higher price if it really was a better product and was visibly larger. Will you able to actually see the size difference in a 4 carat vs 4.55 carat round cut diamond? I know that cut quality is most important overall. Looking for tapered baguettes, platinum ring, an/or one with nice side paves as well.

    If you think other places have better options than James Allen, please let me know. I want to compare as many as possible ideally in person!:)

    Thanks for your help here. Much appreciated.

  12. Paul Gian-
    October 26, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Well, all you got to do is to ask for quotations (with NO upfront payments) and you MUST get all the tangible data required for a proper analysis. Then you will know who is BSing you and who isn’t. It’s not that hard to do a price comparison once you know the things to look out for.

    People put blind faith when they think they are dealing with people/friends/acquaintances in this industry. Like I said, 99% of jewelers in the market don’t know any better than you do when it comes to buying fancy shaped diamonds. It irks me but that’s the state of the industry. If you don’t care about cut quality or sparkle. Then really, any vendor off the road will just do.


    I have a relationship with James Allen just like I do for many other vendors. That doesn’t change how I give my advice or where you decide to shop. I am brutally honest in that way. https://beyond4cs.com/about/ftc-disclosure/

    If you were buying something smaller like 1 carat in size, there would be more places that have some stones for you to choose from. For your case, large sized diamonds are not something many vendors have the ability to deal with when it comes to selection and cut quality.

  13. Jason-
    July 22, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Sounds good. Thank you Paul.

    However, does James Allen actually own or cut their own diamonds? I want to make sure their selection is top notch with top cuts and for my proposal ring.

    Ps. I saw a Tiffany’s 4.04 F VVS1 diamond cut proposal ring (24293181) that was selling for $365,000! It was beautiful. The Tiffany NOVO.

    But where would I even be able to find a quality ring like that but for significantly less? From what I was told, Tiffany’s does have high standards from what I understand, but who else has those same standards in the sub $100k range?! I don’t know how much “lower” I can do on the cut clarity color scale and still attain the brilliance of that ring!

    Do you know William Goldberg? He is very well known in the industry and does some beautiful rings. I know many people who have gone to him (as a New Yorker). Heard he does some good cushion cuts too.

  14. Paul Gian-
    July 22, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Diamonds are commodities. I would agree that Tiffany diamonds are pretty well cut. But they are extremely expensive and not top notch. Cut quality is what makes the diamonds sparkle or brilliant.

    Read this article for more details: https://beyond4cs.com/reviews/tiffany/

    As I had already said and will restate, James Allen is the best dealer in terms of large sized diamonds. Their price points are super competitive and they hold a good inventory of well cut diamonds. You want to get a diamond ring that’s going to blow Tiffany’s quality away and get it at a competitive price, that’s the place to go to.

    Anyway, it seems like you are not taking my advice well. You are running round and round and round in circles. Since you refuse to heed good advice, go do your own research and you will know who is BSing you and who isn’t.

    With William Goldberg (he’s already passed on by the way), you are paying a hefty premium on the scale of Tiffany and Cartier.

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