So your total budget is 2-3k? The setting itself is $1850, so if you go with a diamond, you’re probably looking at upwards of 3. My advice to you (since it sounds like you would really like a diamond) is to buy online. You will save TONS over the markups on brick-and-mortar stores. Check out pricescope.com for some reputable vendors, but I will do a little digging for you here too. 🙂 (I’m going to assume you are looking for a round brilliant)
How small are you willing to go? For a diamond budget of about $1200 (3k minus the $1850 setting), you unfortunately aren’t going to find much bigger than about .6ct, unless you are willing to sacrifice cut (which I would NOT recommend you do, esp for a smaller stone).
This is a beatiful stone just shy of half a carat that I would reccomend. It’s only $600.
If you want something with a more vintage feel to it to match the look of the setting, I would consider this one. It’s the biggest I could find with our budget, at .68ct. I know it’s got some inclusions, but you can see for yourself in the magnification shots what you’re dealing with. Those little specs you probably won’t even see will save you $! The pics don’t do these justice, I would look for GOG’s videos of their August Vintage styles. They are GORGE!!
It’s best to stay in the “ideal” cut range for smaller stones, since it will make them appear larger, but, if color is important to you, I would check out this one. It’s an F, which is in the “colorless” category, and a GIA “excellent” cut. Keep in mind though, cut wil not only make a rock look bigger, it will also hide color and eye-visible inclusions.
Vicarious diamond shopping is fun… tehee 😉
Oh one more thing, I would suggest doing some research on PS about the ethical mining issue, which I think you were concerned about. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Many, many experts in the business are on PS and will tell you from an insider’s perspective that you don’t need to worry about those issues with most reputable US dealers. You pay a big premium for the “Conflict-free” label from companies like BE.