(Closed) What would be your minimum standard for diamond specs?

posted 5 years ago in Rings
Post # 31
577 posts
Busy bee

I agree with everyone else, cut comes first. Always. Even with non-rounds, I’ve seen some atrocious looking radiant, princess, oval and asscher cut diamonds. If anything, cut is even MORE important in fancy shapes. I’m a colored stone lover though, so my eyes are sensitive to cuts since I stare at facets endlessly when picking out a stone to see which reflects best. 

Then clarity. In colored stones, low clarity can make a stone even more beautiful sometimes depending on the inclusion type. It can give a glowy appearance. In diamonds, I’ve never seen low clarity be attractive. Eye clean is a must. 

Color next. But color is negotiable to the cut. I like modern and sleeker cuts in high colors. Round Brilliant, asscher, radiant and princess look better very white to me. Antique cuts like OMC, OEC and AVC look better in warmer colors to me, like J and below. I’d shop for color based on cut style. 

Carat is last. Of course I’d like the largest stone for my money. However I’d set a wide range of carat weight after I’d chosen my other three specs. Whatever my budget would allow for an eye clean stone of my chosen color and cut. 

Post # 32
6 posts


nessdawwg:  For me and my guy, we chose similar specs to what you are looking at. The diamond size wasn’t that important to us but the clarity, cut, and country that it was mined from were. We ended up going with an internally flawless, triple excellent diamond that was mined in Canada and is a little over half a carat. Take a look at some diamonds in person and see what the lowest clairty grade that you can go with and not be bothered. For me, there were some GIA vvs diamonds that I was sure I could see pinpoint inclusions in. Best of luck in choosing one!

Post # 33
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

nessdawwg:  As long as they’re not cloudy, I really don’t care. I like warm diamonds so color wouldn’t be an issue for me.

Post # 34
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

southsun:  Unlike round brilliants, there actually isn’t an internationally accepted cut grading system for fancy-cut diamonds. You can have a fancy-cut diamond with Symmetry and Polish grades of Excellent, but neither of these grades are indicators of that diamond’s light performance. You really need to evaluate a fancy-cut diamond in person or see its ASET scope images in order to determine how it performs.

Post # 35
4644 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Certification must be by GIA or else these stats could be off or overstated by IGI / EGL.

Cut: Ideal WITH HCA score of Very Good or Excellent! (For info on HCA score go to http://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca)

Color I – this still looks white to me (J can start to look yellowish in certan lights)

Clarity: Eye clean. This is the best category to save money in. As long as it is eye clean, then why pay more for higher clarity? Nobody is going to look at it your ring under a microscope, so as long as inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, then you can get away with SI1 or SI2 rather than paying for VVS1! The key is you HAVE to look at each stone or trust the source when they tell you it is eye clean. 

The location and color of inclusions is important. You can have a black inclusion on the table of a VS stone, versus white, tiny inclusions on the edges or pavilion of an SI stone which are invisible to the naked eye. 


Post # 36
577 posts
Busy bee

Ls413:  thanks, I know. 🙂

Post # 37
683 posts
Busy bee

nessdawwg:  sparkle is the only spec I care about.lol

Mine is an I1 and G color, but it is so sparkley and eye clean. I love it so much and am so glad that Fiance didnt sacrifice on size to get me the vvvs1 xxx whatever.lol. i dont even understand the highest one. Because who is carrying around a 100x magnifying glass to inspect rings when they see them on peoples fingers?! They are all so beautiful!

Post # 38
623 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016


nessdawwg:  I had the same minimums as you before I went and looked at a zillion loose diamonds. We went to 3 jewelry stores, and the last one we went to sold their diamonds and rings separately, which was perfect for us. We had done all of this research and wanted the best specs. However, when I was comparing diamonds of all different colors, cuts, and clarity, I realized that I couldn’t see a difference at all between the clarities. The store didn’t sell any I1 or I2, so I was looking at SI2 and up. You can see some of the inclusions with the scope, but nothing with the naked eye. Ideal cut really was visible though, since the ideals sparkled so much better (I looked at round brilliant cut). With color, I noticed a difference with I and below, but everything H and above looked perfectly colorless to me. I thought I was going to get a half carat, ideal cut, VVS or VS clarity, and F or above color just from my online research, but I ended up going with one carat, ideal cut, SI1, H color and I am completely in love with it. I would suggest going to LOTS of stores, especially ones that have loose diamonds with specs right on the cases so you can easily compare. Your internet research and your eyeball research may have different results. 🙂

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  MrsLucky91735. Reason: typo
Post # 39
1210 posts
Bumble bee

nessdawwg:  I think you should go look at stores, even if you plan to buy online. Everyone’s ideal diamond looks different. After looking at Pricescope and photos of beautiful J-colored diamonds, I thought thats what I would want to help maximize carat. But when I saw one in real life, I realized I had a strong preference to H and above with a more “icy” color.

Same for clarity – I thought I wanted something VS or higher, but once I looked at diamonds in real life, there were some SI1 and SI2s that I had to search hard to find the inclusions. For me, that is where it made sense to get some more bang for my buck.

Post # 40
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I agree cut is line. We inherited our stone but we took it to get recut so that the cut was perfect. We ended up with GIA triple excellent in cut, symmetry and polish. The remaining specs are cut VVSI, color K and 2.1 carats.


Post # 41
893 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

1. Cut

2. Clarity

3. Color

4. Carat


My ring is a .28 carat I SI1.  No visible inclusions.  Under certain lights, it does take on a very very slight yellow tinge, but you’d have to be looking at it incredibly closely.  Otherwise it sparkles like craaaaaaaazy.

Post # 42
1081 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014


my min. spec for a 0.50 cart would be similar to yours, except, I will go lower to VS instead of VVS and definitelly want excellent cut only.  I would rather have 3EX and a G, instead of F+ and a very good cut… an excellent cut diamond will make it look whiter 

Oh another thing I forgot to mentioned is clarity. I didn’t think it matters until I did some rearch on it. Inclusion is an important factor for durability. Even though diamond is called the strongest gem but if the inclusion (crack) is large enough, it will lead to chip in the future. 

Also if the inclusion is sitting at the edge where the prongs are, it will also very dangerous as well.  Mine is 1.02 F, VS2, 3EX. 


  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  gpiglet.
Post # 43
1914 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

My diamond has my minimum specs so I could get the largest size possible!

  1. Cut – XXX and scores less than 2 on HCA
  2. Clarity – VS2 
  3. Color – I 
  4. Carat
Post # 44
1462 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Curious, does anyone know if Blue Nile’s ideal cut is equivalent to GIA excellent cut? I think that ideal cut is a category that’s only available at Blue Nile and maybe other online jewelers but I was always kinda confused when I see it because they also have super ideal cut.

nessdawwg: Same for me as the other Bees, I valued cut over everything else. This is what I told my Fiance when it came to diamond specs, in the order of importance of the Cs, based on our budget:

Cut – Excellent only

Color – D to G

Clarity – No lower than VS2

Carat – 1.2 to 1.5

I would have preferred a 1.2 with higher specs than a 1.5 with lower specs. I ended up with a super sparkly, white round brilliant – excellent cut, E color, 1.6 carats. I forget the clarity but it met my criteria. He did good! Also not sure of the symmetry and polish, etc., which is on the GIA cert. In retrospect, I would probably have been ok with lower clarity, after seeing so many gorgeous diamonds on here that are SI1 SI2!

Post # 45
35 posts

If I had the budget for it my minimum specs would be Ideal cut, G, VS1.

However if I was set on getting a 0.5 carat stone (and have a flexible budget) I would get Ideal, F, VVS2. That’s just because I like the idea of having an icy clear stone. Even though a stone that small will 95% probably not show the difference in clarity and color. It’s just “peace of mind” since no one but you will know.

If you don’t care about that, and only care about how it looks, G-H and VS2 (maybe even an eye clean SI1, you could even do I color if you’re not color sensitive) ideal cut stone will likely look as good as F VVS1 at 0.5carat. Color and Clarity matter more the more you go up in Carat, I think it’s less of an issue at your preferred size.

The topic ‘What would be your minimum standard for diamond specs?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors