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Bought a ring from D.NEA

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
I just wanted to post a brief note saying I bought a ring from D.NEA / AOTC for my girlfriend/fiance, Jana, and she's quite happy with it. I proposed with it last Saturday and she said "yes" :)

The diamond is a 0.74CT, Fancy Intense Blue, round brilliant, VVS-1. The ring is Pd 950 (95% palladium), with 5% ruthenium. I've attached a photograph from D.NEA.

Some key notes from my purchase experience:

1) Why buy synthetic? Summary: I'm not helping De Beers, the environmental impact of producing a synthetic diamond is significantly less, there are no human rights issues, the cost of a synthetic blue diamond is orders of magnitude lower than an equivalent mined diamond, they're unusual and I'd never seen a synthetic diamond before, I appreciate the technology it takes to produce them, and they have a "birth date." I hope that's clear :)

2) Why not buy synthetic? No good reasons in my view :)

3) D.NEA uses EGL-USA by default. It's just as well. I had the diamond evaluated at GIA and EGL-USA and found GIA's report less useful. EGL-USA simply provides better lab reports for synthetic diamonds. Moreover, GIA graded the diamond as "Vivid blue," and its clarity as "VVS." No 1 or 2. On the basis of this anecdote, there's no evidence that EGL-USA provides softer grades. More importantly, GIA's imprecise clarity grade and lack of cut information are inexcusable in my view. I'd be happy to post scans of the EGL-USA and GIA reports for comparison if anyone is interested.

4) I'd like to see a study or discussion about how to cut colored diamonds. Traditionally, it's my understanding that colored diamonds are cut to maximize their apparent color. However, reduced light return, brilliance, and fire would seem to be the result. Given that synthetic diamonds can be arbitrarily saturated -- what would make the most sense?

5) D.NEA was a great company to buy from, and I'd recommend them without hesitation. Their website is http://d.neadiamonds.com

I wrote an article that provides considerably more depth than this and posted it on my personal web page. However, PriceScope prohibits links to personal web pages, so I will simply say that my name is Matthew J. Renzelmann and that the article is available via the first Google hit in case you'd like to read more. Disclaimer: I'm presently a student at the University of Wisconsin in computer science and thus don't know much about gemology -- but I do know that Jana approved of the ring :)

Specs on the diamond:
Code:
               EGL-USA                GIA
Carat          0.74ct                 0.74ct
Color          Fancy Intense Blue     Vivid Blue
Shape          Round                  Round
Cut Quality    N/A                    N/A
Clarity        VVS-1                  VVS
Dimensions     5.83 x 5.80 x 3.53mm   5.83 x 5.80 x 3.53mm
Depth          60.7%                  60.7%
Table          58.0%                  58.0%
Crown          14.8% (35.7 degrees)
Pavilion       42.1% (40.2 degrees)
Polish         Very Good              Good
Symmetry       Very Good              Very Good
Girdle         Slightly Thick         Med - Sl. Thick
Culet          None
Fluor. (SW/LW) Slightly Yellow/None   None
Color Origin   As-grown
Type           IIb
Report ID      92707808D              2135751338
Thanks for reading.

DR11-PD-BB198-1.jpg
 

periwinklegirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
1,007
Congratulations! And good for you for going synthetic! My engagement ring is similar, although I chose a halo setting.
I get compliments on my ring all the time - I expect Jana will too. Was it a surprise or was she involved in the decision?
Isn't Eric fabulous?
 

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
Thanks for the comments. I was out of town and so was unable to reply sooner.

Indeed, I'd read some of the threads you'd posted in the past while I was reading about this topic.

I did mention to Jana in advance that I was looking at synthetic diamonds. After making it clear what I was talking about (i.e. not-simulants) and that it would likely be blue, she was interested. She was also wanted to keep it a surprise so this ring was the result. She seems quite happy with it :)

Eric was indeed great to work with, and everything went smoothly. I'm very happy with everything.

I just received an email as well from someone asking about this ring since they'd read the article on my web page, so I'm relieved there someone has gotten some value out of that too :p
 

periwinklegirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
1,007
I read your article too. It cracked me up! And was also very interesting and informative.
I got the idea to have a lab grown diamond in the first place from someone else who posted their experience on a blog. So thanks for for continuing the tradition.
And Eric has mentioned to me that some of his customers have looked at my posts here on PS.

Do you have any pics of it on Jana's hand?
 

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
Sure, I've attached a picture below of the "hand shot." This was about the best I could do with the camera I have -- a macro lens would have made it possible to get a larger picture but it still didn't turn out too bad. I took this picture shortly after popping the question.

I'm glad you liked the article.

DSC_3866.jpg

DSC_38662.jpg
 

periwinklegirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
1,007
Oh, it looks lovely! Very blue! She must love it! Excellent taste!

On a side note, you mentioned coloured diamonds cuts.
I think my blue is very well cut. I no longer have the stats for it (although I'm sure Eric could dig them up for me again), but in one of my photos you can clearly see the hearts and arrows. My impression from Eric is that their diamonds are cut for performance rather than carat weight, so maybe it's not surprising.
 

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
Indeed, as I think you've noted before, the color varies quite a bit depending on the lighting. Under some conditions it's rather dark, but others, not so much. That's OK with me though, as it seems to provide more character.

As for the diamond cut. It's my understanding that, in the case of mined colored diamonds anyway, they are often cut to maximize the diamond's apparent color. This strategy is significant as it seems to be at odds with the goal of producing a "fiery," "brilliant" diamond. Fire and brilliance are two properties that white diamond cutters often strive for. However, I believe that a round brilliant colored diamond cut to ideal proportions exhibits less color than most other shapes and cuts would.

In other words, given the apparent tension between maximizing a particular stone's apparent color, and its light performance, I'm wondering what the appropriate trade off is? I imagine this comes down to the individual to a greater extent than in the case of white diamonds. In the case of white diamonds, pretty much everyone wants fire and brilliance. In the case of colored diamonds, it's not so clear.

What properties characterize a well-cut colored diamond? Assuming an abundance of colored diamonds to choose from, as we'll hopefully see in the coming decades, how should a Joe Shmo consumer like me choose? Is there a Holloway Cut Advisor for colored diamonds? No. But it'll be neat to see what goes into one, since I'm sure there will be such a tool eventually.
 

mepp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
14
hi matt --

nice document -- i'm a fellow academic, and it's funny to see how other lab-grown buyers accumulate the same info and have the same reasoning. one thing i've always been wondering about the lab-grown diamonds in terms of quality is that the grading reports usually show a polish of "good" and rarely "excellent." i didn't think that polish should influence coloration of the diamond, but i see it as a mark of cutting skill (at least for white diamonds). i've been meaning to ask eric about this. any thoughts?
 

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
Interesting comment about polish. I'm not qualified to answer. But I can speculate :) I suspect one reason that most lab diamonds have non-EX polish stems from the fact that there are so few available. EX-polish diamonds are unusual and represent a relatively small fraction of total sales. However, this does not address the "why."

Your comment about cutting skill is interesting, though I've not seen that listed as a likely reason for non-EX grades. I have no explanation.
 

mepp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
14
hi matt --

thanks for the response. I don't know that EX polish is so rare. For a useful, accessible, database, run a search on bluenile. check on advanced search and choose the "polish" option. you can see that for all loose stones between 0.5 and 1.5 ct, 17,851/25,669 (69.5%) are GIA EX or AGSL ID. And if you restrict the search to stones that are better clarity (VVS2 or better) and better color (DEF), the rate of EX/ID goes up to 3,772/4809 (78.4%). This suggests that cutters do a more careful polishing job when they're motivated to fetch a higher price on the diamond. that is, when lots of diamonds score "good" on polish, it suggests to me that while the cutters may have the ability to produce EX polish, they choose not to. i'm wondering if this is done intentionally to enhance color.
 

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
Interesting point. I would comment only that Blue Nile is not necessarily representative of all diamonds sold, however -- each vendor applies different standards. I suspect diamonds bought at, e.g. Walmart, are not necessarily of the EX-polish variety :) The global diamond market is obviously quite large, so it would be interesting to know what fraction of all diamonds sold (for jewlery) fall into which categories. GIA must have this information for the diamonds they evaluate. Their database would be interesting to look at.

As for polish/color -- my impression is only that polish does not have a significant impact on appearance assuming it's "good" or better. I simply do not know if it has any impact on color.
 

EEFranklin

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
125
I'd like to chime in on a few topics from this thread:

The colors certainly do vary with different lighting. Sunlight and other 'strong' light makes them look darker (Jana's hand shot). Our loose photos use standard fluorescent lighting on a black surface, which, we feel, shows a nice 'average' color. Surrounded by white (Matt's first photo), they will look lighter.

Mined colored diamonds are typically very expensive, with many having color zoning issues and lower saturation. They use cutting tricks like longer light paths to maximize the color, as well as trying to maximize the valuable weight (for a $200k 1ct blue, each .01ct costs them $2k).

Our diamonds already have even color and plenty of saturation. We cut them for performance, not for weight, and don't use any color enhancing tricks. We don't even cut for rounded numbers (1.0, .50, etc), since that can leave unflattering weight on a diamond that would look better as a .98 or .49.

An important point to keep in mind when buying colored diamonds is that all of the existing cut grading methods and charts were designed to measure ambient (white) light performance in colorless/near-colorless diamonds. They can absolutely be applied to colored diamonds, and will give you accurate results for what they measure, but they are still evaluating white light performance in non-white diamonds.

As an example, if one of our colored diamonds was a 'good' cut, then it was recut to become an 'ideal', all else being equal, the 'ideal' version would appear slightly less saturated ('whiter') than the 'good'. This is because the ideal returns more ambient white light than the good. The challenge comes in that every one of our colored diamonds has slightly different saturation. This means a good cut but lower saturated blue might return more white light than an ideal cut with higher saturation. So, while cut is certainly still a factor, we recommend customers find the saturation level they like first, then within that color range, cut can be considered next.

I don't want that to sound like I'm saying cut isn't important, but rather, color is more important when choosing a colored diamond. For a white diamond, I still highly recommend an AGS-0 or GIA-EX to anyone, and once our whites become less experimental, we will certainly focus those toward ideal cut.

For polish and symmetry, EGL's highest rating is 'Very Good'. GIA added 'Excellent' and AGS added 'Ideal'. Since most of our diamonds are graded by EGL (we feel they do a more consistent job grading the color and provide more detail than GIA…see Matt's table above), that is why you don't see 'excellent' listed. Nearly all of our diamonds have either 'very good' or 'good' polish and symmetry; anything 'good' or better doesn't measurably affect the cut or color.

I agree that Blue Nile is not representative of the entire diamond market. They get to pick and choose what they list. Most Internet buyers are savvy and focus more on cut than brick-and-mortar or mass-market (Walmart) jewelers, so BN leans their inventory that direction. Similarly, the percentage of PSers with AGS-0/GIA-EX cuts is probably astronomical, but I would guess far less than 5% of the general population has these same cuts.
 

JamesChemist

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Messages
21
@mattsaccount

I wanted to thank you for documenting and sharing your story online. I have found it immensely useful and has helped convince me to a laboratory made or cultured diamond. I am also a scientist (an environmental chemist actually) who is going to marry another scientist and we both love the idea of getting something environmentally friendly, smaller carbon footprint and conflict free. I think I have decided to purchase from D.NEA but just need to decide which color and cut. I will also state that my interactions so far with the company have been great so far. But I just wanted to thank you again for posting your story online and highly suggest people read it.
 

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
Thanks for the comment! I assume you're referring to the article on my personal web page. It bugs me that I can't just post a link to it here, but I don't want to ruffle any feathers. To those who didn't read all of the first post: just Google "Jana's engagement ring," or my name, and you'll find the article. Since making this thread, I've posted a poorly-formatted HTML conversion of the PDF as well, in case that's more convenient for some. The PDF remains the definitive version, however.

That's an interesting profession you're in as well. My fiance and I also hold the environment in high regard, which was a significant reason for getting a synthetic diamond.

As a followup, Jana remains very happy with the ring. It garners plenty of questions, if only because many people are unfamiliar with blue diamonds.

For what it's worth, we've since insured her ring through Jeweler's Mutual with no problems. Eric at D.NEA provided an appraisal for insurance purposes, so that it worked out smoothly. Hopefully we'll never have to make a claim.

With all that said, I wish you the best in buying the ring, and more importantly, popping the big question :)
 

periwinklegirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
1,007
JamesChemist|1326235794|3099852 said:
I think I have decided to purchase from D.NEA but just need to decide which color and cut. I will also state that my interactions so far with the company have been great so far.
That was something that took me a long time to decide too. While I could go into a local store to see types of settings, I couldn't look at colours anywhere.

I have since managed to get to a coloured diamond exhibition. None of their blues looked as nice as mine (since mine's blue and not blue-grey). And my pinks rivalled anything they had on display!

If you are considering blue and it's of any help, I made a thread about it:
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/which-is-the-right-blue-for-me.135953/

Eric sent me the stones for a preview, which helped me pick colour and shade. I don't know if that would help you or not. Just something to keep in mind.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, else compares to a coloured diamond!

It's beautiful, has a neglible carbon footprint and is cruelty-free. What more could one ask?

I wish you all the best!
 

mepp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
14
this is a really great thread. i realized i never responded to the earlier replies, but they were very informative. very good point about blue nile's stones. Eric's dedication to providing clear, honest, and rational feedback not just here but elsewhere on the web is a a great preview of what it's like to do business with him.
 

JamesChemist

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Messages
21
Thanks preiwinkle. That post was indeed very informative for it allowed me to see the differences in the blue spectrum. I think we have decided on a radiant cut. But go back and forth on the color (either blue or yellow). I am waiting to see if availability of radiants increase or the blue prices decrease.

I have noticed that most yellow and blue FCDs I have seen have a halo around them. Why are they mounted between halos so often? Also does anyone have examples of just a single radiant blue or yellow diamond engagement ring? Thanks!
 

periwinklegirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
1,007
I suspect it's because blues have only recently become available in sizes above one carat. And the mined FCDs are prohibitively expensive! The smaller stones don't have as much presence on the hand, so the halo setting is to give it some oomph. And the white diamonds set off the colour.

Have you seen this thread:
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/show-off-your-colored-diamonds.153727/

There are some yellows and blues in it, and some radiants.

Here's another with yellows:
https://www.pricescope.com/communit...amond-folder-or-thread.139310/?hilit=Wendyb0b

What I find a little trickier with photos is that they often don't tell you the ring size, and a small diamond can look larger on a small hand.

Also, Diamonds by Lauren have some radiants.

You could also put a post in the RockyTalk forum asking if anyone has pics of radiants. Many more Pricescope users would see it there than here on Lab-Grown.

Also, larger jewelry stores will typically have some yellow diamonds that you can see in person. Both the Tiffany's and the Birk's here do. And again, you might ask Eric to send you a blue so you can see it in person before you decide. They are so rare that you are unlikely to see them in person any other way.

I'm not a big fan of yellow, so I didn't have any trouble choosing blue.

Good luck!
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,270
What a stunning ering!
 

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
Thank you. Jana and I are now happily married, and the ring has held up well. The palladium is a bit scuffed now, though I know we could get it re-polished.

It seems that D.NEA now produces white diamonds in much greater quantity, so it's nice that people have that option. It looks like Eric is still using pictures of Jana's ring to show off the DR-11 solitaire setting though, so it makes me happy that Jana's diamond remains the nicest way to show it off - hehe (http://d.neadiamonds.com/diamond-jewelry/DR11).

I think the article I had posted is still largely up-to-date. I'll have to review that at some point though as I know e.g. that Apollo Diamond no longer exists. But not for a while yet as I'm just about to graduate, at which point we'll be moving and getting new jobs - heh. Google "jana's engagement ring" to read all about it :tongue:
 

mattsaccount

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
16
LOL - it was early when I posted that and just realized your comment was in reply to periwinklegirl's post. Hehe, ah well :mrgreen:
 

periwinklegirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
1,007
AprilBaby|1358395711|3357524 said:
What a stunning ering!
If this is intended for me - thanks so much! Wait until you see it remade into a three stone (with pears)!

I think Jana's ring is pretty fabulous too!
 
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