Cherry Pick the Biggest, Best Round Diamonds 1.70 – 2.00 carats, 20K

Yesterday I conducted an extensive search of the market for a client who is looking for the biggest, best, bang for the buck, in a round brilliant ideal cut diamond weighing between 1.70 – 2.25 carats, G-color and higher, VS-2 clarity and higher. He doesn’t want or need a “super ideal hearts and arrows cut diamond” which would be those offered by the likes of Brian Gavin Diamonds, Crafted by Infinity [distributed by High Performance Diamonds] or Victor Canera, those diamonds are cut to a degree of optical precision that puts them in the Top 0.001% category of round brilliant cut diamonds produced in the average year. We discussed it and he’s perfectly happy with a standard ideal cut diamond that is within the Top 1%. But he’s not going to be in a position to buy for about two weeks, so he gave me permission to share the search results with you.

How to buy a stunning diamond online:

When this client contacted me, he initially indicated that he had found 10 diamonds from Enchanted Diamonds within the range of characteristics and price that he was interested in. When I ran a search for diamonds on Enchanted Diamonds using my preset selection criteria [that’s it by the way] nothing came up in terms of options, that’s because I’m setting the total depth between 59 – 61.8% and the table diameter between 53 – 58% in accordance to my preferred range outlined in the article 15 Seconds to Diamond Buying Success, which is designed to maximize the size of the diamond, deliver the highest volume of light return, and incredible sparkle.

My top pick from James Allen:

James Allen Diamond Reviews by Nice Ice, GIA 2105800743, SKU 321677This 1.70 carat, G-color, VS-1 clarity, GIA Excellent cut diamond from James Allen is one that I would recommend. The 40.6 degree pavilion angle will produce a high volume of light return, while the 35.0 degree crown angle will produce a virtual balance of brilliance (white sparkle) and dispersion, and the 75% lower girdle facets will produce sparkle that is larger in size. Anything above VS-2 should be completely eye clean from a top down perspective, which is how we tend to look at diamonds. The combination of center range proportions and the overall cut rating of GIA Excellent place this diamond in the Top 1% of the annual production for rounds. Without access to reflector scope images such as an ASET Scope, Hearts and Arrows Scope, and Ideal Scope images, we can’t judge the degree of Optical Precision exhibited by this diamond, so we don’t know whether the ranking would be higher than that. However James Allen will not provide these images upon request, not even for me, and trust that we’ve gone round and round on this to the point of exhaustion.


Needless to say, if you want to buy a diamond online with the confidence and insight provided by diamond details pages that provide more than just a video of the diamond (which is a good start) then you’re going to need to step up to the plate and buy from the likes of Brian Gavin, High Performance Diamonds, and Victor Canera, who provide these images because they specialize in round brilliant ideal cut hearts and arrows diamonds, which are simply the best that the industry has to offer! The way I explained it to this client is like this…

If you were buying a Porsche, would you want it turbo charged or not?Think of the ideal cut diamonds that we’re discussing as if they are high performance sports cars, just imagine that we’re discussing Porsche 911’s. The ones being discussed thus far from James Allen and Blue Nile are going to deliver the performance of a standard Porsche 911 that just rolled off the factory floor without being tweaked further for performance. The super ideal cut round diamonds offered byBrian Gavin, High Performance Diamonds, and Victor Canera, are like Porsche 911’s which are not only Turbo Charged, but also finely tuned to deliver the ultimate in racing edge performance. We’re talking the ultimate sparkle power!


Admittedly there are minor differences between these brands of super ideal cut diamonds, but that is something best addressed on a stone-by-stone basis, since each of these diamonds are cut by hand. Be sure to take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service if you’d like help selecting the best diamond from these vendors, or anybody else for that matter.

Top Diamond Picks from Blue Nile:

Blue Nile diamond reviews by Nice Ice, LD06369017, GIA 2207803613If you prefer diamonds that exhibit more of that pin-fire, smaller disco type sparkle, then I’d recommend this 1.71 carat, G-color, VVS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent cut round diamond from Blue Nile, because that will be the effect of the 80% lower girdle facet length. The 40.8 degree pavilion angle will produce a high volume of light return, and the 34.5 degree crown angle will produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. Note that I was able to obtain a clarity photograph of this diamond, along with reflector scope images of the diamond as seen through an ASET Scope, and a Hearts and Arrows scope. The diamond is not hearts and arrows quality, even though it does exhibit a rendition of a hearts and arrows pattern. The variations in the size and shape of the hearts, along with differences in the length of the lower girdle facets that create the twisting in the tip of the heart located in the relative seven o’clock region, and the splits in the clefts of the hearts prevent this from being represented as a “Hearts and Arrows diamond” by my standards. The same principle description applies to this 1.72 carat, G-color, VS-1 clarity, GIA Excellent cut diamond from Blue Nile as far as what to expect in terms of the volume of light return and sparkle factor, and I’ve got a clarity photograph for it if you want one.


And this 1.74 carat, G-color, VVS-2 clarity, GIA Excellent cut round diamond from Blue Nile, will also exhibit the same high volume of light return and balance of brilliance and dispersion, but exhibit sparkle that is larger in size, due to the 75% lower girdle facet length. Clarity and reflector scope images were not available for this diamond either, but that’s not to say that we might not be able to get them… I’ve arranged for clients of Nice Ice who take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service to have access to the highest level of customer service available from Blue Nile!

These are the best options that I’m seeing at the moment within your preferred range of criteria, priced up to $20,500.00 for search purposes. Let me know if you’d like to adjust things further, these are all Top 1% options. By the way, if you don’t want any of these, I’d like to feature them in a blog post since this is a popular size, let me know when and if that would be all right. Obviously I want to give you first shot at them…

If I were buying a diamond for $20k± on a diamond:

Brian Gavin diamond reviews, AGSL 104082148019, hearts and arrows pattern gradingWith the understanding that while I’m perfectly happy drinking a $7-10 bottle of wine from Costco, that I’m a total snob when it comes to diamond cut quality, thus I’d be more inclined to drop down one color grade, and purchase this 1.743 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond, which exhibits a phenomenal pattern of hearts and arrows! The 40.9 degree pavilion angle is going to provide a high volume of light return, and the 34.8 degree crown angle is going to produce a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. Perhaps more critical than that, is the fact that the combination of the higher degree of optical precision, combined with the 79% lower girdle facet length is going to produce sparkle that is larger in size, but which is also bolder, brighter, and more vivid, than what most standard ideal cut diamonds are capable of producing! And the diamond is going to face-up whiter because of the increased sparkle factor, believe me when I say that this will be money well spent.

Now if you really feel that you need a diamond that is G-color and higher, then lay off the cafe latte’s for a week or two, and step up to either this 1.700 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round hearts and arrows diamond, or this 1.702 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round hearts and arrows diamond. Both of these diamonds are going to exhibit the same high volume of light return, a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, and broad spectrum sparkle. The only difference between these diamonds is a color grade, and the 1.743 carat is one clarity grade higher, so it’s a bit of a trade-off mentally speaking.

This 1.705 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, hearts and arrows round ideal cut diamond from Victor Canera is another great option, as is this 1.804 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Crafted by Infinity round hearts and arrows diamond, which is being offered by my friend Wink from High Performance Diamonds.

In-depth Diamond Buying Advice for Free:

Please take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service if you’d like help finding the best diamonds available within the range of price and characteristics that you’re working with. And as always, please use the links provided on this page, and in my email correspondence when buying a diamond to help compensate me for the time spent writing articles like this, and providing the diamond concierge service… Using the links does not change your price on the diamond, that will be the same whether you find the diamond by yourself, or allow me to do that for you. My fees are paid out of the annual advertising budgets of the vendors that I work with… And of course, I’m always happy to help you, regardless of whether you’re working with a vendor who I’m affiliated with or not. This process is set up as a Win | Win | Win for everybody involved! Be sure to tell whoever you buy a diamond from, that you’re working with Todd Gray of It will either scare the hell out of ’em, or they’ll be super happy to know that your a virtual diamond expert!

About the Author Todd Gray

Todd Gray is a professional diamond buyer with 30+ years of trade experience. He loves to teach people how to buy diamonds that exhibit incredible light performance! In addition to writing for Nice Ice, Todd "ghost writes" blogs and educational content for other diamond sites. When Todd isn't chained to a desk, or consulting for the trade, he enjoys Freediving! (that's like scuba diving, but without air tanks)

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: