shape
carat
color
clarity

Deciding between two emerald stones - one natural and one lab

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Hi! I am in the process of upgrading my current engagement ring and have narrowed it down to two stones/settings. This has been a long process but I’m confident that it’ll be one of these two options. For the setting, I’m doing a thin band with side step trapezoids

Option 1:
Natural diamond
3 carats, K VS2
1.45 ratio
Really incredible spread: 10.37 x 7.14
I’ve seen the stone in person and it is beautiful. But there is no denying that in certain lights it has a yellow cast. Mostly I don’t mind because I find it fleeting.
208ACB3C-9E94-495E-8A61-A32596CAC1BD.jpeg

if I opt to go with a lab stone -
3 Carats, E VS1
1.46 ratio
9.97x6.85
7F6F2E20-9351-464A-95D0-57604D1E21E7.jpeg

Outside of the specs, the biggest difference is that the natural diamond is roughly double the cost of the lab diamond. I am very torn and undecided if it’s worth double to have a natural diamond, especially given the K coloring. But there’s something special to me about a natural stone. Anyone been in any similar situations? Or any thoughts between these two stones? Any and all opinions are VERY appreciated!
 

chamois

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
509
Hi! I am in the process of upgrading my current engagement ring and have narrowed it down to two stones/settings. This has been a long process but I’m confident that it’ll be one of these two options. For the setting, I’m doing a thin band with side step trapezoids

Option 1:
Natural diamond
3 carats, K VS2
1.45 ratio
Really incredible spread: 10.37 x 7.14
I’ve seen the stone in person and it is beautiful. But there is no denying that in certain lights it has a yellow cast. Mostly I don’t mind because I find it fleeting.
208ACB3C-9E94-495E-8A61-A32596CAC1BD.jpeg

if I opt to go with a lab stone -
3 Carats, E VS1
1.46 ratio
9.97x6.85
7F6F2E20-9351-464A-95D0-57604D1E21E7.jpeg

Outside of the specs, the biggest difference is that the natural diamond is roughly double the cost of the lab diamond. I am very torn and undecided if it’s worth double to have a natural diamond, especially given the K coloring. But there’s something special to me about a natural stone. Anyone been in any similar situations? Or any thoughts between these two stones? Any and all opinions are VERY appreciated!

Not been in a similar situation. Just my thoughts…..cost difference, and performance between the two? And the colour of course? Only you can decide what YOU will be happy with. Have you seen the lab diamond? If you go with the natural diamond is there an upgrade policy? If you go with a lab diamond, can you go larger in carat size?

I hope these thoughts will help you, or give you clearer deciding factors, maybe?

Good luck.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
11,553
This is a hard question to answer and I’m not sure if the discussion is allowed here. Mods, if not allowed I apologize and feel free to move the thread. The preference for lab v mine is very personal and based on so many factors. I can only share mine. I cannot yet part with my money on a lab diamond so if I had a limited budget, I would wait until I saved up more to afford a higher colored mined stone. The market for lab stones is still too uncertain right now. Other people may want to spend their money in different ways and would be happy to buy a lab stone. It’s all about priorities. Good luck.
 

lulu_ma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
1,426
I'm just a natural diamond gal-but as others have said, it's a personal preference.

If you do decide to go for the K color, make sure that you match the color of the trapezoids to the center stone. The trapezoids pictured look a bit too white to my eye. My mother has a gorgeous 4.7 carat J colored emerald cut. Her jeweler set it with G/H trillions. The trillions emphasize the tint versus complementing the center stone.

Also, I just went through a slightly similar situation. My anniversary diamond is an M color. It was very important to me for my melee to complement my center stone.

If you decide on the K color, you may want to consider setting it in unplated white gold, as well. The metal color choice can really enhance the stones. Check out this thread. @yssie used unplated white gold on her warmer stones and the result is just phenomenal.

 
Last edited:

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
1,727
Echoing other posters, this is 100% a personal choice. You will have to decide if lab diamond is mind clean for you or not.

Personally speaking, I feel like the price of lab diamonds is uncertain (especially in large sizes), and I would hate to buy a stone that I could get for significantly cheaper a few years later. But then again, no one knows for sure. Only you can decide how you feel.

I think seeing the stones in person is a good idea.
 

Mjay

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
401
Just my opinion but I’d go for the natural if you can. I think it’s gorgeous. I’m not against lab created diamonds- I actually own two. I purchased one a few years ago and prices have since plummeted. My stone is a 1.25 ct and now I can purchase a 2.5 ct with the same specs for less than what I paid 3 years ago for my 1.25. I’ve been tempted to purchase a larger lab grown but the market is so uncertain that I just can’t bring myself to do it.
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
I'm just a natural diamond gal-but as others have said, it's a personal preference.

If you do decide to go for the K color, make sure that you match the color of the trapezoids to the center stone. The trapezoids pictured look a bit too white to my eye. My mother has a gorgeous 4.7 carat J colored emerald cut. Her jeweler set it with G/H trillions. The trillions emphasize the tint versus complementing the center stone.

Also, I just went through a slightly similar situation. My anniversary diamond is an M color. It was very important to me for my melee to complement my center stone.

If you decide on the K color, you may want to consider setting it in unplated white gold, as well. The metal color choice can really enhance the stones. Check out this thread. @yssie used unplated white gold on her warmer stones and the result is just phenomenal.


Thank you for the point regarding trap colors. These are a G/H and I’ve shared with the jeweler that I think the contrast does not do the center stone any favors. They’re trying to source something closer to I/J, since it seems K is hard to come by (per their party line).

and so glad white gold is the way to go. We are doing 14k white since they said it would be a bit less malleable than 18k.
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Echoing other posters, this is 100% a personal choice. You will have to decide if lab diamond is mind clean for you or not.

Personally speaking, I feel like the price of lab diamonds is uncertain (especially in large sizes), and I would hate to buy a stone that I could get for significantly cheaper a few years later. But then again, no one knows for sure. Only you can decide how you feel.

I think seeing the stones in person is a good idea.

This has been my concern, too. Though I have no intention of selling this ring, I hate the idea of buying at the top and watching the retail price drop substantially over the years. Though that just may be unavoidable and the price of saving money. For 3 carats I had seen lab stones ranging between $7-12k, with the one I’ve selected being on the higher end of that. Just seems like a lot for something that doesn’t necessarily hold it’s value but I keep trying to tell myself it’s more about what I’m going to like on my hand…
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Just my opinion but I’d go for the natural if you can. I think it’s gorgeous. I’m not against lab created diamonds- I actually own two. I purchased one a few years ago and prices have since plummeted. My stone is a 1.25 ct and now I can purchase a 2.5 ct with the same specs for less than what I paid 3 years ago for my 1.25. I’ve been tempted to purchase a larger lab grown but the market is so uncertain that I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Thank you! I really do love it. I’ve posted a few more pictures of it. The spread is really great - and I don’t find the yellow problematic except in the office fluorescence. All three pictures are taken in that lighting but at certain angles it’s noticeable IMO. And of course the blue wax does not help at all. I am on the fence of how frequently that will be a problem in everyday life.

E523FF11-64D4-4DCD-B7F1-1E36A9EB4CEC.png A9E3FED0-13F9-45B3-8370-38838BB0C4DD.png 65F25D90-AC8A-4714-97A6-504F496F4FF3.jpeg
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
I just think there’s something special about a natural stone. I would buy lab stones for earrings or bracelets, etc. but I think I would want the natural stone for my E ring. The one you picked looks really beautiful.

Thank you so much! Just posted a few more pics of it below.
 

Mjay

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
401
Thank you! I really do love it. I’ve posted a few more pictures of it. The spread is really great - and I don’t find the yellow problematic except in the office fluorescence. All three pictures are taken in that lighting but at certain angles it’s noticeable IMO. And of course the blue wax does not help at all. I am on the fence of how frequently that will be a problem in everyday life.

E523FF11-64D4-4DCD-B7F1-1E36A9EB4CEC.png A9E3FED0-13F9-45B3-8370-38838BB0C4DD.png 65F25D90-AC8A-4714-97A6-504F496F4FF3.jpeg

Omg it is exquisite. That is truly a special stone.
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Omg it is exquisite. That is truly a special stone.

Thank you - I do think it's really beautiful. Though can't deny the yellow when a fluorescent light catches it! If it looked like the middle 100% of the time I would have no question. What I keep trying to decide is if it winds up looking like the top or bottom photo even 50% of the time, will I still love it. :confused: I know these are obviously questions I have to answer, just sharing my thought pattern around this!
 

lulu_ma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
1,426
I just had to post @maita13 's beautiful ring as an example of side stones done right color wise. Her center is an L and the side ec's are Js. Imho, it's a lovely match:

 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
I just had to post @maita13 's beautiful ring as an example of side stones done right color wise. Her center is an L and the side ec's are Js. Imho, it's a lovely match:


Wow, this is beautiful! Seeing an L center stone and how gorgeous it is honestly makes me feel crazy for even hesitating about a K :lol-2:
 

lulu_ma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
1,426
Wow, this is beautiful! Seeing an L center stone and how gorgeous it is honestly makes me feel crazy for even hesitating about a K :lol-2:

There are so many beautiful near colorless to warm ecs on PS! When you are working on the setting look at plated (the norm) AND unplated white gold. You may like the look of unplated white gold more if you go with the K.
 

maita13

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Messages
1,154
I just had to post @maita13 's beautiful ring as an example of side stones done right color wise. Her center is an L and the side ec's are Js. Imho, it's a lovely match:


Thanks for tagging me, @lulu_ma ! Appreciate the kind words about Mei!

@jerseypeach , everything boils down to personal preferences, imho. I’m also a natural (mined) stone gal myself, though who knows? That might change in the future.

Step cuts are notoriously the ones that show the most color.
Having said that, I‘m partial to warm colored stones. So an L wouldn’t necessarily be an issue with/for me as much as cut is.
Cut (excellent symmetry and polish) supersedes everything else, for me anyways. My L color does show tint at certain angles and lighting conditions, but how she performs is what ultimately made me decide to go for her.

Equally important is the side stones color. I had H colored traps set along with my L. That proved to be a mismatch because it only highlighted how warm the center is. So I had it reset with J colored ECs in platinum. Attaching photos of before and after pics, taken indoors and out, as well as a video for reference.
Hope this helps.


A4CF5DC1-7326-4888-8EE5-1FA9C81E2B18.jpeg 2DB06CB1-6FF9-4FB0-BB00-2BD6BA969A54.jpeg 11436ED8-2C6C-44CE-90F4-1BE7657BCDF2.jpeg 0B3FB006-C673-4AC5-A8E7-803505CE1A37.jpeg 0A720F94-DEA2-4AB7-B6D8-D890252C170E.jpeg FDEFFB78-0B02-419C-9B77-5DDAEF41A6BC.png
 

Attachments

  • A5892CC7-C7D1-4851-95B0-F39F144FFC38.jpeg
    A5892CC7-C7D1-4851-95B0-F39F144FFC38.jpeg
    78.1 KB · Views: 19
  • E9F2CCDA-9988-48D6-A08C-076B88F801A0.jpeg
    E9F2CCDA-9988-48D6-A08C-076B88F801A0.jpeg
    240.4 KB · Views: 19
  • E353C155-1DD1-4AA4-935B-D937FD866FD3.jpeg
    E353C155-1DD1-4AA4-935B-D937FD866FD3.jpeg
    187.4 KB · Views: 28
  • 1EFFD3E9-C2E5-4419-9FA5-2664AAA2A434.jpeg
    1EFFD3E9-C2E5-4419-9FA5-2664AAA2A434.jpeg
    137.1 KB · Views: 23

Ceilimom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
428
Hi! I am in the process of upgrading my current engagement ring and have narrowed it down to two stones/settings. This has been a long process but I’m confident that it’ll be one of these two options. For the setting, I’m doing a thin band with side step trapezoids

Option 1:
Natural diamond
3 carats, K VS2
1.45 ratio
Really incredible spread: 10.37 x 7.14
I’ve seen the stone in person and it is beautiful. But there is no denying that in certain lights it has a yellow cast. Mostly I don’t mind because I find it fleeting.
208ACB3C-9E94-495E-8A61-A32596CAC1BD.jpeg

if I opt to go with a lab stone -
3 Carats, E VS1
1.46 ratio
9.97x6.85
7F6F2E20-9351-464A-95D0-57604D1E21E7.jpeg

Outside of the specs, the biggest difference is that the natural diamond is roughly double the cost of the lab diamond. I am very torn and undecided if it’s worth double to have a natural diamond, especially given the K coloring. But there’s something special to me about a natural stone. Anyone been in any similar situations? Or any thoughts between these two stones? Any and all opinions are VERY appreciated!

I love the Natural mined diamond, the K color speaks to me in aria's vs the lab grown stone. It is personal preference regarding the touch of color. Also the ratio is sweet too,my Gloriana has a similar ratio.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
24,276
Tint on a stone like this just makes me feel like its antique. I find it quite charming but that's me. You may see tint differently. Can
you embrace the tint?
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Tint on a stone like this just makes me feel like its antique. I find it quite charming but that's me. You may see tint differently. Can
you embrace the tint?

Thanks for that perspective - can you explain that a bit more? I’m just entirely unversed in antique stones and signs of age.
 

ecf8503

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
3,888
I have a 1.04ct J color EC - I'm color sensitive, and I can see the tint sometimes, but honestly it doesn't bother me. I think it gives it some character!

IMG_2524.JPG IMG_2588.JPG IMG_2729.JPG IMG_2812.JPG
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
9,008
When I was in the market to get an EC back in 2005, good lab/MMD stones were not that widely available, so I opted for a mined diamond instead.

I do not know if I would have opted for a lab/MMD stone and saved some money had they been more readily available at the time.

I now know if I were to get another diamond, an OEC, I would opt for a lab/MMD stone as I cannot justify spending money on a natural mined one in the size that I would like to have, being at least 8mm/1ct.

Personal preferences and all that.

DK :))
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Hi! I am in the process of upgrading my current engagement ring and have narrowed it down to two stones/settings. This has been a long process but I’m confident that it’ll be one of these two options. For the setting, I’m doing a thin band with side step trapezoids

Option 1:
Natural diamond
3 carats, K VS2
1.45 ratio
Really incredible spread: 10.37 x 7.14
I’ve seen the stone in person and it is beautiful. But there is no denying that in certain lights it has a yellow cast. Mostly I don’t mind because I find it fleeting.
208ACB3C-9E94-495E-8A61-A32596CAC1BD.jpeg

if I opt to go with a lab stone -
3 Carats, E VS1
1.46 ratio
9.97x6.85
7F6F2E20-9351-464A-95D0-57604D1E21E7.jpeg

Outside of the specs, the biggest difference is that the natural diamond is roughly double the cost of the lab diamond. I am very torn and undecided if it’s worth double to have a natural diamond, especially given the K coloring. But there’s something special to me about a natural stone. Anyone been in any similar situations? Or any thoughts between these two stones? Any and all opinions are VERY appreciated!

Hello all! Big thanks to everyone who has been following along on these journey.

today I went to the jeweler and made a couple decisions:
1) I didn’t like the size of the lab diamond. If I’m going to go with a lab diamond I want into to have dimensions closer to the natural diamond I’m considering.
2) I really love the natural diamond, but do not like the shade variation between the side stones and the center stone.

SO, with all that I told them I’m equally open to a lab diamond with larger proportions, or sticking with the natural if they can find side stones that are closer to J/K in color.

Here are a few pictures from today…

- comparison shots between the two stones. Clearly the F is brighter, but you can also see that it looks much smaller
- some solo shots of the natural K outside
C4147627-2A1F-48B9-AF60-FA13C3D3460C.jpeg E5D3630A-FCA3-4054-8C74-0C0FD5BF9D40.jpeg 878F5A59-A3AC-4400-BEFF-58AA5DBAAE12.jpeg
7B7157E7-5E1C-4B44-B4B1-CAE13C357197.jpeg 2E64A9D7-0F09-48DF-A404-0C77C36A2452.jpeg
 
Last edited:

lulu_ma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
1,426
Hello all! Big thanks to everyone who has been following along on these journey.

today I went to the jeweler and made a couple decisions:
1) I didn’t like the size of the lab diamond. If I’m going to go with a lab diamond I want into to have dimensions closer to the natural diamond I’m considering.
2) I really love the natural diamond, but do not like the shade variation between the side stones and the center stone.

SO, with all that I told them I’m equally open to a lab diamond with larger proportions, or sticking with the natural if they can find side stones that are closer to J/K in color.

Here are a few pictures from today…

- comparison shots between the two stones. Clearly the F is brighter, but you can also see that it looks much smaller
- some solo shots of the natural K outside
C4147627-2A1F-48B9-AF60-FA13C3D3460C.jpeg E5D3630A-FCA3-4054-8C74-0C0FD5BF9D40.jpeg 878F5A59-A3AC-4400-BEFF-58AA5DBAAE12.jpeg
7B7157E7-5E1C-4B44-B4B1-CAE13C357197.jpeg 2E64A9D7-0F09-48DF-A404-0C77C36A2452.jpeg
The K looks great on your hand! I hope they find good traps for you!
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
1,727
I prefer the K on you as well! Would you consider ECs for side stones instead of traps? You might find it easier to find J/K (even L) ECs and it would look quite spectacular as a 3 stone imo! I prefer EC sides to traps.
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
I prefer the K on you as well! Would you consider ECs for side stones instead of traps? You might find it easier to find J/K (even L) ECs and it would look quite spectacular as a 3 stone imo! I prefer EC sides to traps.

Thank you so much! I feel pretty committed to the traps - I just prefer the look personally! But it’s definitely going to be a task finding the right size/color.
 

oncrutchesrightnow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
807
Everyone’s different. This is just my perspective…

Something that “isn’t that bad” is bad. You are hesitating on that K color for a reason. It is not what you want. It will look a little yellow a lot of the time. I have been there. Low color stone in white metal setting. Hated it. Some people don’t care but if you care you care.

You want a mined diamond over a lab one — I’ve been there, too. If you have, or are planning to have, multiple diamonds in your life, get the lab diamond. (Assuming there’s no bad stria or visible metallic inclusions in those giant step cut facets.). If you are only going to have one major diamond and you want it to be mined then get mined.

So if the only option is the K, here is a suggestion: Don’t pretend it isn’t yellow. Play up the color instead. Set it in yellow gold — maybe even bezel everything. You can find examples on PS. Or try rose gold — here’s my K marquise.

AE018FCC-8ABE-4B84-8A84-5D7A55AAB4B8.jpeg

Hey, look at it this way… you are jewelry shopping, and that is always fun!
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Hopefully this will be my final update before a decision….

I’ve spent a good bit of timing working with the jeweler this week and have two true final contenders:

Option 1 - the original (natural) stone.
A reminder of the specs:
Natural diamond
3 carats, K VS2
1.45 ratio
10.37 x 7.14


my biggest issue with this stone was the trapped it was paired with. If I move forward, they will cut J/K traps to match. So that is one solution.

As the second contender, they have sourced a really beautiful lab diamond:
Lab Diamond
3.70 carats, D VS2
10.52 x 7.40
1.42 ratio

Here is a picture comparing the two:

158B411E-9B27-469E-B971-DCD48CAAB676.png 751A46B3-A529-435C-B142-AB069BC911AD.jpeg

it likely goes without saying but the natural is the top and the lab is the bottom. I’m mostly just posting this as an update because at this point I know it just comes down to preference. I no doubt prefer a natural stone (from a sentimental standpoint) but also can’t deny the appeal of a 40% cost savings. Of course any thoughts and opinions are appreciated. And thank you everyone who has provided comments thus far. :)
 

Sprinkles&Stones

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
1,052
That is a really beautiful, well cut looking emerald lab diamond!
 

jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Messages
4,235
Swoon.....Voting for 3.70ct Lab Diamond D/VS2 all the way. I'm color sensitive, and while I can appreciate warmer colors in antique cuts, I feel that icy white is the way to go for step cuts!

Plus a 40% savings for something that the eyes can't see (Natural vs Lab), it is a complete no brainer IMO. It is all about what you feel in your heart though.

BTW, even if you choose the Lab Grown center, your sidestones will still be natural diamond right? I have a mixed 3-stone ring (Natural Center, MMD sidestone), and it makes absolutely no difference in how the stones perform and I love the ring and wear it everyday!
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    5 Reasons To Design Your Own Custom Engagement Ring
    5 Reasons To Design Your Own Custom Engagement Ring - 09/20
    Avant-Garde: Fab or Fail?
    Avant-Garde: Fab or Fail? - 09/17
    Met Gala 2021: Our Favorite Pieces from the Red Carpet
    Met Gala 2021: Our Favorite Pieces from the Red Carpet - 09/15

Holloway Cut Advisor



Top