Looking at ye old engagement rings. I've read all there is to read on the four Cs from good online places like bluenile.com, etc., so I know about what to look for etc. But, like any other thing, you quickly find yourself obsessing over diamond specs and comparing numerous diamonds that in all reality are probably more or less the damn same at the end of the day. While I'd love to get an ideal cut, D color, F/IF clarity diamond, it really pushes the price envelope for the setting I am sold on. Truthfully, I'd love to get a .35-.40 diamond, as it's actually affordable to get a perfect diamond with the 4C characteristics above but also with no culet and no fluorescence, excellent polish and excellent symmetry. However unfortunately, the setting I really think is perfect for her can only be set with 0.5 ct. or larger diamonds. As some of you know who've diamond shopped, the price jump is more than double to get a perfect diamond in .5 ct.; even going to E/F color and VVS2 clarity still brings in a premium when it's a half carat (cut is the most important, I will not budge from an ideal cut no matter what). But unfortunately the setting demands a half a carat minimum. So my question is, how much REAL WORLD difference is there between a perfect diamond and something running in the F/G color range and VVS2/VS1 clarity (again ideal cut)? This assumes other things, like culet, fluorescence, symmetry and polish are all held constant--really just talking about the 4C differences here. I mean is there going to be jack ***** of a real, practical, visual difference between a G/VS1 diamond and a D/IF diamond to the naked eye? Or let me spin it this way: Would you: A) Buy the setting that isn't as nice, with a better diamond even if it's smaller or B) Buy the better setting, and get a lower quality diamond that's a little larger? FTR, all other things equal, B would still be $400-600 more expensive than A because the setting in B is more expensive. I've always been a fan of having something that may be smaller/whatever but absolute top quality than bigger/whatever at the price of quality...but I'm torn here, because the setting makes a big difference and is the most visual thing, and I really really like the setting that goes with the bigger ring (and so will she). So this time, I'm thinking maybe it's better to look at the whole package, a big diamond of pretty good quality in an awesome setting vs a smaller diamond of perfect quality in a so-so setting. But I'm not really sure at what color/clarity cutoffs a diamond becomes truly considered kind of crappy. I realize the differences in each, but just not sure where the imaginary line between "nice diamond" and "decent diamond" lies. Thoughts?