"My wife wants a diamond solitaire necklace for an upcoming milestone birthday. The "diamond solitaire necklace" image search results contain various styles, and I'm not sure which is best."
"I bought her engagement ring from you about ten years ago, and your advice was invaluable. I'm wondering how much diamond pendants cost? I'm hoping to spend around five thousand dollars; what color and clarity do you recommend? Many thanks. – Ian"
It's great to hear from you again, Ian. We appreciate you remembering us and returning after all these years! Let's see what one-carat diamonds are available within your desired price range.
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What is a Diamond Solitaire Necklace?
A diamond solitaire necklace is a pendant containing a single stone set in a frame with a bail that supports the setting on a chain. The necklace is usually gold or platinum, but it can be any precious metal or other material.
This photograph shows a Whiteflash A Cut Above™ diamond set in a four-prong setting with a v-bail for the necklace. Most solitaire pendant settings incorporate a v-bail, but single loops and hidden bails are also popular.
Diamond solitaire necklaces make stunning gifts for any special occasion and are essential to any jewelry collection. Diamond stud earrings are another meaningful gift that women tend to appreciate.
How to buy the best-looking diamond pendant:
Where to Buy Diamond Solitaire Necklaces:
What Color and Clarity Diamond Should I Buy?
According to GIA, D-color and Flawless clarity are the highest diamond grading standards. However, being at the top of the grading scale does not automatically make them the best for your purposes.
First, the highest color and clarity grades demand premium diamond prices. Second, the proportions and the degree of optical precision dictate the volume of light return and intensity of the sparkle factor.
For those reasons, selecting a clarity and color combination that is "good enough" rather than the highest is more appropriate. Of course, your desired price range and carat weight also factors into the equation.
In this case, our client prefers a one-carat diamond solitaire and has five thousand dollars to spend. Therefore, we'll focus on finding 1-carat diamonds with proportions we recommend within that price range.
What Are the Best Diamond Proportions?
Gemological laboratories, such as the AGS and GIA, adhere to broader proportions guidelines than we recommend. Perhaps that's because they're subject to industry political pressure, whereas we're performance-driven.
In that case, you'll find that most AGS Ideal and GIA Excellent cut diamonds don't meet our selection criteria. That does not make them bad diamonds per se, but there is probably room for improvement.
Ideal Proportions For Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds:
We recommend the following round brilliant proportions for all types of jewelry, including engagement rings, earrings, and pendants.
Best Looking 1-carat Diamond for Five Thousand Dollars:
This 1.038 carat, L-color, VS2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond is perfect for a solitaire pendant. First, it has the proportions we recommend, so the stage is set for a high volume of light return.
The hearts and arrows pattern is crisp, complete, and uniform, indicating high optical precision. In that case, the diamond will exhibit a broad-spectrum sparkle factor that is larger and more vivid than standard ideal cut diamonds.
The VS2 clarity grade ensures that inclusions are not visible from the face-up vantage point. L-color diamonds are in the faint yellow spectrum, but the sparkle factor intensity will mask that somewhat.
Additionally, the diamond color will not be readily apparent since the pendant is worn against the skin. It stands to reason that diamond pendants are not subject to the same scrutiny as engagement rings.
Consequently, the diamond will look about one color grade higher if you choose a platinum or white gold setting. That's because the metal color touching the edge of the stone will reflect throughout the stone's body.
Whiteflash ACA Diamond Solitaire Necklace:
This 1.103 carat, K-color, SI1 clarity, Whiteflash A Cut Above diamond is another excellent candidate. The proportions and optical precision are in the range we recommend, so the sparkle factor is top-notch.
The diamond color is one grade higher than our first recommendation, and the clarity is one step lower. In that case, this diamond may appear slightly whiter, but you might be able to see the inclusion without 10x magnification.
Of course, that depends on your personal vision and how closely you scrutinize the stone. The primary inclusions are feathers under the table and along the stone's edge. This is a good choice for a pendant because the clarity characteristics are minimal and the sparkle factor significant.
James Allen True Hearts Diamond Solitaire Necklace:
This 1.08 carat, J-color, SI1 clarity, James Allen True Hearts diamond is another good option. The proportions are within our recommended range, so the stage is set for excellent performance.
Based on the clarity photographs provided, the inclusions are easier to detect. However, remember that you're looking at the diamond under 30x magnification.
The inclusions will appear smaller and be less noticeable in real-life conditions. In this case, the color grade is two levels higher and the clarity grade one degree lower than our first recommendation.
The hearts' pattern is less consistent than the Brian Gavin and Whiteflash ACA diamonds but is also better than most standard ideal cuts. In that case, the sparkle factor is better than average, but the BGD and ACAs should be more vivid and intense.
Blue Nile Diamond Solitaire Necklace:
This 1.09 carat, K-color, VS2 clarity, GIA Excellent cut diamond from Blue Nile is perfect for a solitaire diamond necklace. The proportions are in the range we recommend, so the performance stage is set.
Unfortunately, Blue Nile does not provide the images necessary to judge the degree of optical precision. Neither does the supplier, so we can rely only on the lab report details.
In that case, we must assume that this is a standard ideal, not a hearts and arrows diamond. Remember that a higher degree of optical precision produces a more vivid and intense sparkle factor.
Under those conditions, it's easy to see why we recommend hearts and arrows diamonds above all else. Of course, everybody has different criteria when buying a diamond solitaire necklace.
That's why we recommend using our free diamond concierge service. Provide us with the range of characters and price, and we'll conduct a search to find the best options available.