Ritani French Halo Diamond Engagement Ring and Diamond Reviews: 2.0 – 2.5 carats

Ritani French Halo Setting & Diamond:

“Hi Todd!  I am looking at the Ritani French Halo setting (pictured left) set with a 2.0 – 2.5 carat diamond. I just read your review of the Ritani website and found it to be very helpful. I have searched the site several times in attempts to customize my engagement ring. I would prefer that the diamond be no less than J in color.”

“The overall cut rating should be GIA Excellent with good clarity in the way the inclusions are located within the diamond. I might possibly consider a diamond with medium to strong blue fluorescence. However I am not certain about the fluorescence because I think it’s beautiful, but it seems to be explained as an imperfection. If there is any advice you could give me it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time!” — Megan G.

Strong Blue Fluorescence in J Color Diamonds:

Blue fluorescence is one of the most misunderstood characteristics of diamonds. This is largely because of the discount that is applied to diamonds with medium to very strong fluorescence. That is because people perceive the necessity of a discount as being an indication that something must be wrong with the diamond. Either that or blue fluorescence must be an undesirable trait, otherwise, why would there be a discount?

The reality is that the discount applied to fluorescent diamonds is the residual effect of the decision on the part of an Asian investment firm, who in the mid-1970s tried to distinguish themselves from their competitors, by only offering parcels of diamonds for investment purposes which contained diamonds without fluorescence. This practice was copied by several other investment firms, which resulted in a glut of diamonds with fluorescence being held by the diamond manufacturers, who responded by offering a discount on diamonds with fluorescence to make them more attractive to investors and jewelry buyers.

While the diamond investment bubble burst shortly thereafter, for some reason the discount applied to fluorescent diamonds stuck… perhaps because of the existence of the somewhat mythical “over blue” diamond which can appear milky or slightly cloudy in some lighting circumstances, such as direct sunlight. While these diamonds exist, in roughly 2% of gem-quality diamonds according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) they are usually comprised of diamonds with fluorescence in the higher ranges of very strong to distinct, therefore you’re pretty safe with diamonds in the medium blue to strong blue range.

I happen to be quite fond of blue fluorescent diamonds, to the extent where practically every diamond which I have owned personally has exhibited medium blue to strong blue fluorescence, and my wedding ring was set with a 2.25 carat, I-color, SI-2 clarity diamond which exhibited very strong blue fluorescence.

Effect of medium blue fluorescence in K color diamond, Brian Gavin Signature round AGSL 104067041010The benefit to strong blue and very strong blue fluorescence in diamonds which exhibit a little bit of warmth, like those in the J-color and faint yellow range which is K-L-M-N color, is that it can help to boost the body color of the diamond when the diamond is exposed to light sources which contain high levels of ultraviolet light, such as direct sunlight.

Plus the diamonds just look cool when they exhibit the bright neon blue color displayed in this 2.173 carat, K-color, VS-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond which was photographed while the diamond was being exposed to black light. The diamond will only glow blue like this when it is exposed to black light, otherwise, it will look normal.

Ritani Round Diamond Reviews: GIA 2141733529

Ritani round diamond reviews, GIA 2141733529, SKU D-C075R9Ritani only has one diamond available in the range of carat weight, color and price that you designated and it is this 2.07 carat, J-color, SI-2 clarity round which is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent.

According to the GIA, the diamond has a total depth of 61.3% and a table diameter of 57%. The crown angle of 34.0 degrees is offset by a pavilion angle of 41.0 degrees. There is a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no cult.

While the 34.0 degree crown angle is slightly below my preferred range of 34.3 – 34.9 degrees, it is an excellent offset for the 41.0 degree pavilion angle. Therefore, this diamond should exhibit a high volume of light return with perhaps just a hint more brilliance than dispersion. However, there is also the risk of more light leakage.

If you prefer a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, then I recommend sticking with options that are cut more to the center of the spectrum for the zero ideal cut proportions rating, with a crown angle between 34.3 – 34.9 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle between 40.6 – 40.9 degrees.

The primary inclusions are indicated as being clouds, feathers, crystals, knots, and needles. The knot is indicated within the table facet on the plotting diagram provided on the GIA diamond grading report pictured above, by a red mark which is encircled in green.

The easiest way that I can explain what a knot is within a diamond, is to say that it is similar to a knot contained in a piece of wood, in that it is comprised of an included diamond crystal which is located on the surface of the diamond, and as such it can be loosened and knocked out.

When I was the diamond buyer for Nice Ice, that I automatically rejected ALL diamonds containing cavities, knots and twinning wisps, because it was our policy not to sell any diamonds containing inclusion types which presented potential durability risks.. Thus, this diamond would have been rejected by me. Arguably this policy might have been a bit overzealous when it comes to twinning wisps, which are merely a twisting of the crystal plane of the diamond, but I still find cavities and knots to be an unacceptable type of inclusion.

However, this is the only two-carat diamond currently available from Ritani which is within reach of the price range which you designated in your email, so I leave it up to you to weigh the risks and decide whether the inclusions within this diamond warrant being able to achieve the diamond carat weight you desire.

Ritani Round Diamond Reviews: GIA 2146918095

Ritani round diamond reviews, GIA Excellent 2146918095m, SKU D-GS0P0SWhile I’m aware that your preference is for the carat weight of the diamond to be between 2.00 – 2.50 carats with an excellent cut grade, the reality is that your desired price range is not in line with this expectation and either the  carat weight, color, or clarity of the diamond will need to go down or the budget will need to increase.

With this in mind,  I expanded the range of carat weight to include diamonds weighing between 1.70 – 2.50 carats and found this 1.70 carat, H-color, SI-2 clarity, round diamond from Ritani which is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent. This diamond has a total depth of 60.9% and a table diameter of 58% with a crown angle of 33.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 41.0 degrees with a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet.

Here again, this Ritani diamond does not meet my personal preference for crown angle because I prefer more of a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, but if you prefer more brilliance to dispersion, it’s a good option because the slightly shallow crown angle is likely to produce that effect and the 41.0 degree pavilion angle will still produce a volume of light return which I consider to be very good.

The primary inclusions within this diamond are indicated as being feathers, crystals, clouds, and needles. As an SI-2 clarity diamond, it is likely that you might be able to detect some of the inclusions with just your eyes, but I’m not opposed to this… the 2.25 carat diamond which I wore in my wedding ring was an SI-2 clarity diamond and while I was able to see the inclusions without much effort, nobody else seemed to be able to do so and it enabled me to pick up the carat weight that I wanted without breaking the bank (I have to work within a budget when buying diamonds also).

Ritani Round Diamond Reviews: GIA 2127045612

Ritani Round Diamond Reviews, GIA 2127045612, SKU D-G1NQ65If you want something that is going to be “eye clean” I found this 1.71 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, round diamond from Ritani which will provide the same visual properties as the 1.70  carat diamond referenced above. It has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent with a total depth of 61.2% and a table diameter of 58% with a crown angle of 33.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 41.0 degrees with a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet.

The primary inclusions consist of diamond crystals located within the table facet, which should be reasonably difficult for you to locate using 10x magnification which is the industry standard for diamond grading. The diamonds discussed thus far are the best “ideal cut diamonds” that Ritani has to offer in this range at the moment, and I’m not really thrilled with any of them.

Since I value the overall cut quality of a diamond and the increased visual performance which results from it, more than carat weight, color, or clarity, I decided to drop down in carat weight a little further and expanded the range to include diamonds weighing between 1.50 – 1.70 carats and found two additional diamonds for you to consider from Ritani.

Ritani Round Diamond Reviews: GIA 2166695591

Ritani ideal cut diamond reviews, GIA 2166695591, SKU D-M232Q8This 1.62 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from Ritani is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent and has a total depth of 61.7% with a table diameter of 56% with a crown angle of 35.0 degrees that is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees with a thin to medium, faceted girdle and no culet.

I like the combination of crown and pavilion angles for this Ritani diamond much better than the other diamonds reviewed so far. Unfortunately, it also contains every type of inclusion that I hate. Seriously, the piece of diamond rough used to produce this Ritani ideal cut diamond had to be stuck on the bottom of the barrel because this diamond has cavities, extensive feathers, knots and twinning wisps.

As a matter of fact, I almost didn’t include this stone in this Ritani diamonds review even though it has proportions which are going to deliver a nice volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion.

That’s because the inclusions are SO bad. But then I realized that the diamond presents an excellent opportunity to learn what to avoid in terms of inclusions, so here it is, everything that I can’t stand contained in one Ritani diamond.

Ritani Round Diamond Reviews: GIA 2136658278

Ritani round ideal diamond review, GIA 2136658278, SKU D-GSSR76This 1.66 carat, I-color, VS-1 clarity, round ideal diamond from Ritani has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent with a total depth of 61.8% and a table diameter of 57% and a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet. The 40.6 degree pavilion angle is going to produce a high volume of light return, while the steeper crown angle of 36.0 degrees is likely to create more dispersion/fire than brilliance.

So this is a good option if you like a diamond which is really fiery with just a little less brilliance than would be provided by keeping the crown angle between 34.3 – 34.9 degrees. The primary inclusions consist of crystals, clouds, and needles. Basically these are just smaller diamond crystals that were trapped within the larger diamond crystal as it formed. This seems to be the best option that Ritani has right now within this range.

Ritani Round Diamond Reviews: GIA 5151835569

Ritani round ideal diamond reviews, GIA 5151835569, SKU C15-17158If you definitely want a diamond with strong blue fluorescence, then the best option that I found from Ritani is this 1.58 carat, J-color, VS-1 clarity, round brilliant cut diamond which is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent.

The diamond has a total depth of 59.7% with a 58% table diameter and a crown angle of 33.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.8 degrees and a thin to medium, faceted girdle with no cult.

Here again, the 33.5 degree crown angle is likely to produce more brilliance than dispersion, so it’s a good option if you prefer a diamond which is more brilliant than fiery, although it will exhibit both types of sparkle. The primary inclusions consist of crystals, needles and feathers, all of which look pretty minimal.

Despite their claim of having 40,000 diamonds in inventory, I don’t feel that I was able to find the perfect diamond for you to consider from Ritani, so I’m going to branch out to see what some of the other vendors I work with have for your consideration… Here again, we’re not going to be able to hit the 2.00 – 2.50 carat mark for the price range which you specified via email, but let’s see what might be of interest in smaller sizes.

James Allen Diamonds Review: GIA 2167119113

James Allen Round Diamond Reviews, GIA 2167119113This 1.90 carat, I-color, SI-2 clarity, round diamond from James Allen might not be perfectly “eye clean” but the odds are that it still looks amazing! As indicated earlier in this post, the 2.25 carat diamond that I selected for myself was an SI-2 clarity diamond that had inclusions which I could find without magnification.

However, that was fine with me because it enabled me to get the size that I wanted. In terms of visible diameter, there isn’t much difference between 1.90 carat and 2.00 carat diamond, but the price is dramatically different because of the price increase which occurs between the 1.99 – 2.00 carat marks.

This diamond has an overall cut grade of GIA excellent with a total depth of 61.5% and a table diameter of 58% with a crown angle of 34.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.7 degrees and a medium to slightly thick, faceted girdle and no cult.

The proportions of this diamond are smack dab in the middle of the range designated for the zero ideal cut rating from the AGS Laboratory and will deliver a high volume of light return with a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion! This is exactly the range of proportions that I look for when buying diamonds for myself…

The primary inclusions consist of twinning wisps, but they seem to be light in color based upon the clarity photograph, so I’m okay with them… and small feathers, crystals, needles, and naturals, all of which appear to be of no consequence on the plotting diagram provided on the diamond grading report.

James Allen Ideal Diamond Reviews: GIA 2157214787

James Allen Ideal Diamond Reviews, GIA 2157214787Dropping down in carat weight a little bit, I found this gorgeous looking 1.80 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, GIA 3X diamond from James Allen which I suspect is “eye clean” since all the inclusions appear to be translucent/white in color.

The diamond is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent and has a total depth of 61.4% with a table diameter of 58% and a crown angle of 34.5 degrees which is offset by a pavilion angle of 41.0 degrees with a medium to slightly thick, faceted and no cult.

So it’s going to exhibit a high volume of light return with a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion, and did I mention that it exhibits medium blue fluorescence? Bonus! The primary inclusions consist of crystals, (you guessed it) twinning wisps (welcome to SI-2 clarity stones), feathers, and needles. Definitely an interesting option!

Now all of this doesn’t do a lick of good if James Allen doesn’t have a halo style engagement ring that appeals to you because I don’t think that you can order just the Ritani French Halo setting.

However, you might be able to buy the ring from Ritani and then have them ship it to James Allen or another vendor do have a diamond set, some vendors are open to this and some aren’t but I can find out for you… but James Allen does offer a wide variety of Halo style engagement rings and here are two which I think might appeal to you:

James Allen Halo Style Engagement Ring:

James Allen Halo style engagement ring reviews, SKU 63074I haven’t seen this ring in-person, but this Halo style engagement ring from James Allen looks amazing in this photograph. The carat weight is about the same as that of the Ritani French Halo setting. Actually it’s just a little more at 0.50 carats and the diamonds are SI-clarity and G/H color which is comparable to the ring by Ritani.

So I think it is an option which is worthy of consideration, especially since James Allen has some diamonds available which are cut to better proportions and are likely to exhibit a higher volume of light return and a better balance of brilliance and dispersion this time around (next time it might be Ritani).

Halo Style Engagement Ring from James Allen:

Halo style engagement ring from James Allen, SKU 22654I also think that this Halo style engagement ring from James Allen looks promising, it contains the same diamond weight and quality as the halo engagement ring featured above from James Allen.

I think that this ring would look amazing with one of the diamonds that I referenced above or this 1.64 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, round diamond from James Allen that has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent and which is also cut to the center of the range designated for the zero ideal cut rating by the AGSL.

The inclusions look pretty visible in the clarity photograph provided on the diamond details page. However, keep in mind that the photo was taken using 30x – 40x magnification.

Brian Gavin Signature Diamond Review: AGSL 104068964022

Brian Gavin Signature diamond reviews, AGSL 104068964022It’s no secret that Brian Gavin is one of my favorite producers of ideal cut diamonds and it is because he produces one of the most beautiful round brilliant ideal cut diamonds that I’ve ever seen and this 1.707 carat, I-color, SI-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond which exhibits a crisp and complete pattern of hearts and arrows should be amazing!

It takes an exceptional level of optical symmetry to produce this nice of a hearts and arrows pattern in a diamond, and this level of precision combined with center range zero ideal cut proportions will deliver an incredible amount of light return and sparkle! According to Brian Gavin, this SI-2 clarity diamond is eye-clean.

This diamond is graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) with an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0 on their proprietary Light Performance grading platform which uses Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology (ASET) to measure the brightness of the diamond and provide insight into how light reflects through the diamond.

Out of all the diamonds I’ve reviewed today from Ritani and James Allen, this is the only one which is graded by the AGSL and which the images are provided for which are needed to judge the optical symmetry of the diamond.

The reason why the optical symmetry of a diamond is as critical as the proportions is that the precision of facet shape and alignment has a direct impact upon the sparkle of the diamond. That’s because it dictates the number and size of virtual facets which the diamond will exhibit while it is in motion. Just think of this in terms of how large and bright the flashes of light produced by the diamond will be.

If I had the choice between this diamond or one which is larger, but not cut as nice, I would definitely choose this 1.707 carat, I-color, SI-2 clarity, Hearts and Arrows diamond from Brian Gavin, because I’m confident that people will notice its sparkling personality from across the room!

Brian Gavin Halo diamond engagement ring reviewAnd I know for a fact that this diamond from Brian Gavin will look incredible set in this custom halo style engagement ring from Brian Gavin, because I’ve seen the setting in-person and I’ve literally evaluated thousands of his diamonds over the years.

This halo style engagement ring from Brian Gavin costs a little more than the rings referenced from Ritani and James Allen. However, the ring offers a more substantial carat weight and if you look closely at the photographs I think you’ll agree that the ring appears to be finished to a higher level of perfection. When paired with the 1.70 carat BGD Signature diamond referenced above, it’s just slightly over budget.

Of course I happen to have a coupon code which I’ll send you via email which will save you some money on any setting ordered from Brian Gavin in conjunction with a diamond from the Brian Gavin Signature or Brian Gavin Blue collections, so that will help to even things out a bit.

I know that you have your heart set on a diamond weighing between 2.00 – 2.50 carats, but I think that this last option will provide you with a ring that will outperform anything that you’re going to find in that carat weight which meets your desired price range.

About the AuthorTodd 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)

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