Blue Nile Diamond Buying Guide – How To Search For Diamonds Using a GIA Report


Hi There,

We’re looking to buy an engagement ring from Blue Nile. We are looking for an easy to understand Blue Nile diamond buying guide since Blue Nile doesn’t have pictures or images on their website for their diamonds. We heard that you can call and check to see if a certain diamond is indeed ideal cut quality as well as eye-clean.

Our budget is only $2,000, so does it make a difference what color we should look for? I’d ideally like the best cut, white, and as big as we can afford. What is your advice?




Hello Chelsea,

You’re right that Blue Nile doesn’t offer diamond images or videos to shop online. This is a major impediment for consumers as purchasing a diamond should never be limited to a GIA report. However, if you are looking for a round brilliant diamond WITH VS2 or above in clarity, we can confidently search for the top 10% of diamonds in their inventory. How? Well, we can utilize their ‘advanced search’ feature and input criteria for proportions.

Easy Blue Nile Diamond Buying Guide – Search Criteria:

  • Choose 53% to 58% Table (55%-57% is optimal but will show less results)
  • Choose 59.5 to 62.5% Depth (60% to 61.7% is optimal but will show less results)
    *It’s important to note that we cannot search by crown or pavilion angle and so, we are limited in this capacity.

This will limit your search to a subset of diamonds that may be ideal (read ODBA’s Blue Nile Review for more info on this). Notice I said MAY be ideal, as we cannot be 100% sure without images or video – that’s just the way it is. When you find a diamond that looks acceptable, it’s a good idea to input this criteria into the HCA Tool to assess if it will be a ‘good performer’ or not. We are essentially checking to see if the diamond’s proportions will result in high direct light reflection with minimal light leakage. Everyone wants a super sparkly diamond!

In your case, I’ve already done this search for you and found this beautiful .60ct J VS1: When you pull up the corresponding GIA report, we focus our attention to four main proportion numbers: Table % (57), Depth % (61.7), Crown Angle (35.0) and Pavilion Angle (40.8). See below for reference:

.60ct J VS1

GIA report for .60ct J VS1 from Blue Nile

If you place these numbers into the HCA Tool, you’ll get the following computation that ‘predicts’ how bright and sparkly the diamond will be:

HCA - Holloway Cut Adviser

HCA – Holloway Cut Adviser score for .60ct J VS1 diamond from Blue Nile

Please keep in mind the HCA Tool only works for Round Diamonds. The HCA Tool is only a computer algorithm and not meant to be used for final confirmation of cut quality of a diamond. There are limitations to the HCA Tool and understand that diamond images are the only definitive way to know if a diamond is perfect or not. However, the HCA Tool is useful when you have nothing else other than a GIA report.

If you want to get the largest diamond for your budget, I recommend you go for a ‘J’ near-colorless diamond. An ideal cut quality round brilliant with ‘J’ color will face up bright white! Once again, here’s the link to the .60ct J VS1:

This diamond scores a 1.6 on the HCA and was also recently graded by GIA on February 23, 2016. Please be sure to click the link above before you purchase so that ODBA gets credit for your purchase.

Please let me know if you have any questions! 😉

Kind Regards,



Thanks Liz!

This is perfect, thanks so much for your fast reply! We will definitely support ODBA. We can’t thank you enough!



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