James Allen Diamond For $11,000 Budget


Hi Liz,

1-30ct-d-vs2 from James Allen

1.30ct D VS2 from James Allen

Currently I am comparing two diamonds at James Allen. The 1st is a 1.34 G VS2 SKU:1917065. The 2nd is a 1.30 D VS2 SKU:1894155. I am trying to replace my wife’s previous 1.21 D SI1 that was stolen. That stone had a .07 on the Holloway scale and really shined. Any advice on which James Allen diamond is better value?




Hi Darren,

First, I’m so sorry to hear that your wife’s ring was stolen – that is just terrible.

Your first diamond: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.34-carat-g-color-vs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-1917065 is gorgeous and has of course a fantastic cut.

But, I’ve got to lean more towards your 1.30ct D VS2: https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.30-carat-d-color-vs2-clarity-excellent-cut-sku-1894155

Why? Well, with cut and clarity aside (not all VS2’s are the same, but I’d say these two are on par with each other), I prefer the D as it has better overall contrast to white space making the D appear very bright. It has lots of white light return. It also sparkles and scintillates more than the G. There is a subtle ‘flatness’ in the G when you directly compare it against the D.

Also, just a quick word about the HCA Tool….it’s a great tool to eliminate poor performing diamonds based off of basic trig using averaged diamond proportions. However, the true evaluation and assessment of any individual diamond must be done by looking at the diamond and seeing the dynamic movement of light/scintillation. So, while I absolutely value the initial findings that the HCA provides, it is by no means used to confirm whether a diamond should be purchased or not.

Since your wife already had a D color, and this diamond’s light performance and sparkle are gorgeous, and it’s only a $500 difference, I would absolutely go for the 1.30ct D VS2.

Again, let me know if you have any other questions – or if you would like me to offer some additional recommendations. (P.S. if you are serious about this diamond, please put it on hold – JA is notorious for selling out on great diamonds since their inventory is not exclusive – just a word of advice!)

All the best,


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