Seeking a 2 Carat Diamond For Less Than $20K


Hi Liz,

I have been looking online for a nice 2 carat diamond, H or better color with VVS clarity grade that would look good on my size 7 finger. I have found a few that I like but I would like your opinion. Can you please let me know what you think of the following options?

Which one do you think that would look bigger and would have a better appearance?

I am also considering cushion cut, like this one:

What do you think?

Thanks so much for your help!



Hi Cassie,

Sure, I’m happy to help you.

First, may I ask why you are looking for such a high clarity grade? VVS1 or IF will look the same as a VS2/SI1 eye-clean stone. You will not see any visual inclusions unless you are looking through 10x’s magnification or higher. Therefore, I generally recommend clients look for clarity grades that are lower so that they can invest in a larger carat weight diamond.

Second, all of the round 2 carat diamonds you have linked to on James Allen are not cut well. You can easily see the difference visually when you compare them to an ideal cut diamond. A diamond must be cut well in order for it to reflect light which of course means it will be brilliant and sparkly. Cut is the most important characteristic and also the most complex to understand.

2 carat diamond comparison

The first three diamonds on the left are not ideal and can easily be told apart from the diamond on the far right that is an ideal cut diamond. We are looking for sharp, distinct arrows that are symmetrical and evenly shaped. This ‘optical symmetry’ helps to make the diamond appear white, brighter, and larger than lesser cut quality diamonds.

Therefore, if you are looking for a 2.00ct H with eye-clean clarity for around $20K I can recommend a few round and cushion cut diamonds for you:

2.10ct H SI1 for $17,622.00:

This diamond is available from Ritani. It has SI1 clarity grade, with grade making inclusions of very tiny scattered white crystals. These are not visible in the HD magnified video and you will not see them without magnification. This diamond is also graded by GIA with Excellent cut, polish and symmetry. The proportions of this stone are ideal and you can clearly see the symmetrical and evenly spaced dark arrow contrast in the still image. Overall, this diamond has a much better cut and will be visually whiter, brighter, and sparkle more than the other round diamonds you choose from JA; this due to it’s cut.

Unfortunately, I could not find any suitable diamonds from JA’s website.

As for cushion cut diamonds, there are many different ‘style’s to choose from. Here’s an article that will help you understand:

The cushion cut diamond you linked to from James Allen is referred to as a ‘crushed ice’ cushion. So, you don’t want to consider this one.

Crushed Ice Cushion vs Ideal Cut Cushion

2.37ct H IF Crushed Ice Cushion Cut Diamond on left and 2.04ct G VS2 Ideal Cushion Cut Diamond on right. The 2.04ct is cheaper, will face-up larger, and is more brilliant and sparkly than the 2.37ct.

To start, here’s a 2.04ct G VS2 for $17,300.00:

This is a cushion modified brilliant with excellent polish and symmetry. It shows lots of direct white light reflection and good amount of contrast. Length/width ratio of 1:1 and is perfectly eye-clean.

Here’s a 2.31ct H VS1 for $18,360.00:

Again, this is a cushion modified brilliant with excellent polish and symmetry. The length/width ratio on this diamond is 1.02, so it’s a bit more square in appearance. As a VS1 it is absolutely eye-clean.

Let me know what you think of the above 2 carat diamond recommendations and if you have any questions. I’ve included my affiliate links above and would appreciate you clicking on the link before purchase so that ODBA gets credit for your referral!

Kind Regards,


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