Best Value Diamonds – Color vs. Clarity


First off, thank you for offering this free consultation, it’s very much appreciated.

So, let me start off by outlining what I ‘want’ out of a diamond – I want the best overall value delivered to me, not to the market. Hence, I don’t care about fluorescence or other things that contribute to diamond price, but not to appearance.

What I want, is the best value for a diamond that looks good – so a clear color, eye clean, etc. From my research, I’ve gleaned that a very good, round cut diamond rated at SI1 to VSI, H color or better, under 1 ct (so as to avoid the ‘1.0’ tax) is around what I am looking for. On Blue Nile, these are valued at ~$3-4k. Similarly on James Allen, plus a small premium. Zoara actually has them for even cheaper than both, astonishingly. Compared to $6k or more retail for similar.

I was hoping to get your suggestions for this sort of diamond – the reason I ask instead of just buying from James Allen or Zoara outright is that while I appreciate the peace of mind the enlarged photos give me, they also make me nervous. I understand they are on a backlit computer monitor at magnification, but many of the diamonds matching the above descriptions do have garrish inclusions (even when certified as ‘eye clean’ on Zoara), and I was hoping you could put my mind at ease reasoning that they’d not be visible to the naked eye, and get your recommendation on my search parameters for the four ‘c’s described above.




Hi Kyle,

You can get an eye-clean diamond with SI1 or above clarity; you just need to evaluate the diamond image and lab report to ensure that the inclusions are indeed eye-clean. Staying just below the 1.00ct mark will save you significant cash while still getting a diamond that faces-up like a 1.00ct. Zoara has some really low prices and they are a great place to start any diamond search.

It is true that the magnified diamond images tend to exaggerate the inclusions. Please don’t be too alarmed by the images and remember that most inclusions are not visible without at least 10x’s magnification. SI1 diamonds are generally pretty clean and of course anything that is VS1 or above will be perfectly clean.

Thank you for letting me know your budget and what you are looking for. I recommend any of the following:

.90ct F VS2 for $4,324.00: (VS2 grade making inclusion of a cloud followed by a crystal, eye-clean)

Best Value Diamonds

(from left) .90ct F VS2 for $4,324.00 vs. .89ct J VVS1 for $3,850.00. Which is the best value diamond for you?

If you were interested in some other diamonds outside of Zoara that fit without your budget then I also recommend:

.89ct J VVS1 for $3,850.00: (pristine clarity)

.90ct J VS1 for $3,182.00:

A ‘J’ color is near colorless and an excellent option when wanting to save cash.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,




Thank you for all of your assistance! I appreciate the service you offer.


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