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Deciding between two emerald stones - one natural and one lab

SandyK

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
491
This is really hard and we've all been there, because most of us unfortunately don't have unlimited bling budgets. Both stones require a certain degree of compromise.

With the natural stone, you get the natural diamond that you prefer, but it is definitely tinted and it is going to appear tinted, sometimes more than others.

With the lab stone, you get a bigger size, icy white D color, and it sounds like a pretty significant cost savings. But it is lab stone.

So the question is which compromise are you willing to live with? Over time, is the tint going to bother you more or is the origin of the lab stone going to bother you more? Since this is an upgrade, you really need to try and think about how you are going to feel about this stone in the long run, as it kind of sucks go through an upgrade and then end up going through another upgrade if you get it wrong the first time around.

My personal opinion is probably neither helpful nor relevant, so please take it with a huge grain of salt, but weighing in a little further since you asked. I had a 4ct H color EC that looked white at home, but once I took it to work I realized it looked tinted in my office lighting, and that bothered me a lot. I ended up selling it at a loss and then buying a 3ct F color EC (I got one with strong fluorescence so I was able to get a pretty good price). So I'm definitely biased towards the whiter stones, although the K above looks lovely. Based on the pictures above, I prefer the look of the lab diamond (the color, size, cut, proportions, everything look great based on that picture - it looks like a celeb engagement ring rock). But if it were me, I might also consider getting a smaller, whiter, natural diamond, especially since you are doing a three stone setting. The three stone setting will give you great finger coverage, and I've seen so many examples of stunning three stone rings that have smaller center ECs (and by smaller I just mean smaller than 3ct, which is a good size!!).

Anyway, I know how tough this is. Good luck with the decision!! Try your hardest not to rush too much, you gotta love the stone you end up with.
 

Decision_Decisions

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Messages
336
My question would be will anything about having a lab diamond make you uncomfortable or less proud compared to a mined stone? Or will a K vs a D make you uncomfortable/less proud? A ring like that will get a lot of attention either way.

For me personally, I totally see the appeal of lab stones and own lab earrings. But for my ering upgrade that I'm contemplating I know I need the stone to be mined. I just know that for me, I would feel strange if people were asking about it. I would feel like I needed to disclose that it is lab grown since it is huge (in your case, mine won't be!). I know that is silly, and no one's business, but that is just how I would feel.

Similarly, if others notice the warmth in your K, will that make you self conscious? I think the warmth in that stone is romantic but it seems to bother you and if it does now it will just get worse. I would get whatever you can feel most proud of.

Does your jeweler have an upgrade policy? If so I might consider a whiter smaller mined stone with future upgrades.
 

nala

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,683
So here’s a long-term question—will this be an heirloom ring for your future kids? How will you feel about it if it’s a lab? Will you still consider it as special handing it down to them?
 

jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Messages
4,235
My question would be will anything about having a lab diamond make you uncomfortable or less proud compared to a mined stone? Or will a K vs a D make you uncomfortable/less proud? A ring like that will get a lot of attention either way.

For me personally, I totally see the appeal of lab stones and own lab earrings. But for my ering upgrade that I'm contemplating I know I need the stone to be mined. I just know that for me, I would feel strange if people were asking about it. I would feel like I needed to disclose that it is lab grown since it is huge (in your case, mine won't be!). I know that is silly, and no one's business, but that is just how I would feel.

Similarly, if others notice the warmth in your K, will that make you self conscious? I think the warmth in that stone is romantic but it seems to bother you and if it does now it will just get worse. I would get whatever you can feel most proud of.

Does your jeweler have an upgrade policy? If so I might consider a whiter smaller mined stone with future upgrades.

I would gladly share that my anniversary center stone is lab grown if asked, but no one has asked! Also I would proudly share that I was savvy enough to save 40% over a mined diamond with much lower color.
 

Mjay

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
402
honestly I prefer that natural but Im a huge fan of warm stones. That being said; I think the lab diamond might be the right choice for you. Reading through the rest of the thread I think that the warmth of the natural will bother you. The lab diamond is absolutely gorgeous and the spread is perfect!
 

Decision_Decisions

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Messages
336
I would gladly share that my anniversary center stone is lab grown if asked, but no one has asked! Also I would proudly share that I was savvy enough to save 40% over a mined diamond with much lower color.

I would hope that no one would actually ask! I am just someone that feels like they're lying if they're not sharing all the details. That's totally on me, I don't imagine most people feel like that!
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
1,731
I’m really glad you made this thread because I’ve always wondered for myself whether I would want a natural or be happy with a lab and I thought that lab would be ok for me but I’m realising after looking at the two new stones you’ve posted, despite the fact that the lab is bigger, whiter AND cheaper - it wouldn’t be mind clean for me!!

It’s super personal, honestly. If lab would be mind clean for you, it’s a no-brainer - go for the D VS2! If not, then the natural may be a better option. FWIW, I would not sacrifice size or spread - I’d rather have a lower coloured larger stone than a higher coloured smaller stone, so I would go for the K. With J/K traps it would probably look balanced to the eye.

Good luck with the decision!
 

MillieLou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
649
Such a personal preference, but as you've asked for opinions: I would much rather have a smaller natural diamond than a larger lab one for this sort of piece. Mind clean, as said above.

I have (and love) a natural K VS2 emerald, but if you don't love the colour (and I totally understand that), I'd go smaller + higher colour natural - or wait longer / save up more / go for a simpler setting etc.

Don't settle for something you're not absolutely thrilled about. There will always be other diamonds.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
47,563
It's not comparing apples to apples. First of all lab vs earth mined. Second of all colorless compared to not colorless. If all things were equal and they were same color, clarity and size it would still be a challenging decision but with all the additional differences it's too personal a decision. No right or wrong. Just what is most right for you.


FWIW if this were my decision and they were both D emeralds and one was lab and one was earth mined and I could afford the difference I would go for the earth mined. If I didn't have the funds (or want to spend the funds) I would choose the lab diamond. Because I already have an earth mined diamond as my ER. So that wouldn't be too difficult a choice for me. But the color thing would bother me in an emerald cut diamond and I would want the most colorless emerald cut diamond I could afford. I appreciate the beauty in all color grades but for emerald cut I enjoy the colorless ones the best. I can really see the tint in an emerald cut and it does bother me.
 

chamois

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
509
Perhaps look at this decision a different way….which stone would you regret not having for your ring?
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
@jerseypeach , which diamond did you end up deciding on?! =)

Still tbd! They’ve brought in side stones to match the K so I could see them, and if we wind up going that route they’re going to cut them to my shape preference.

But now they’ve also ordered a lab diamond to match the exact specs of my natural diamond since I love it so much.

so hopefully I will have a decision soon! In the meantime, here’s the picture of the K with K side stones (though these will have a slightly different shape). :)

1628364228841.jpeg
1628364244080.jpeg
 

ksluice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
496
I think this pairing is beautiful, especially against your skin. Have you thought about WG prongs, but a YG band for the ring? That can be a nice way to lean into color without it being overwhelming?
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
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

This is really so beautiful!! I love everything about it :)
 

wifelife

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
58
FWIW, I prefer mined. I still see a colour difference in the sidestones and the main stone in the photo you posted. Not sure if it’s just the photo though, diamonds can be a pain to try and capture can’t they?

To me the K is obviously very tinted, so I would probably lean into that more with than trying to make it look whiter.
 

lulu_ma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
1,427
Now that I'm looking at the traps on the big screen, I agree with @wifelife

The traps could match the center stone better, color wise.
 
Last edited:

sunflowerstate

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
61
I personally would feel that the K is too warm for me. I consider all jewelry a financial loss, lol, and really for me it’s all about the enjoyment of seeing it on my hand. It sounds like you want permission to buy the lab, so if you need it, permission granted. Either way, I hope you love it in the end!
 

emeraldhummingbird

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
291
It's a personal decision but thought I would put my viewpoint out there so you can have one a bit against the grain.

I would pick lab 100%. I have a natural diamond as my ER because labs weren't a thing when I got engaged, but if I was picking now it would be a lab stone. Why? Because there wouldn't be a compromise on the 4Cs. I could have a perfect stone! If cutting was equal, visually it would most likely look better than the natural stone. How the diamond actually looks is more important to me than where it came from.

The mind clean thing about it being a lab stone is again personal. I prefer lab stones in general for all my jewellery now because I no longer want earth mined gems if I can avoid it. My partner holds the same values so it would be an easy decision for us.

I'd be lying if I said other people's negative views about lab diamonds didn't bother me a little, but I have to stick with what I like and not make choices based on what other people think. I guess that is a long-winded way of saying ignore everyone here including me, and go with what your heart tells you! :)
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
12,029
I would get ( and do have) the perfection and size of the lab stone. It’s still a diamond and you save money and get a better looking stone.
 

Mjay

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
402
I agree that I’m seeing a major color difference between the k and the side stones. I love the k and would totally rock it as a solitaire but not paired with those side stones. I think you will be much happier with the lab diamond.
 

vintageinjune

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
427
After a truly excessive amount of deliberation, I made the decision to go with a lab diamond. I’ve picked it out and now I’m just waiting for it to be set. There were several factors that went into this choice and I so appreciate everyone’s thoughts and feedback.

Here is the stone. Would love to hear any thoughts!


Congratulations on finding the diamond that will make you happy! It is gorgeous, I just watched the video several times and I hope it makes you smile every time you get to admire it on your finger. ^_^
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Congratulations on finding the diamond that will make you happy! It is gorgeous, I just watched the video several times and I hope it makes you smile every time you get to admire it on your finger. ^_^

Thank you so much❤️I’ll definitely post a final pic once it’s set!!
 

EClove

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2021
Messages
36
After a truly excessive amount of deliberation, I made the decision to go with a lab diamond. I’ve picked it out and now I’m just waiting for it to be set. There were several factors that went into this choice and I so appreciate everyone’s thoughts and feedback.

Here is the stone. Would love to hear any thoughts!


It's so beautiful!! I would have made the same choice as you - from what you were writing I think the color would have always bothered you and I personally would have a hard time passing up the cost savings.

FWIW I am upgrading to a 2.5 EC in a similar setting and decided on a lab diamond, but once I got the ring set I realized the diamond didn't have the best light return (more here) and am exchanging the diamond. I hope I can find a new one that is as bright and lovely as yours!!!

Enjoy your ring once it arrives!!!
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
Hi, everyone :)

A huge thank you to everyone that has taken this lovely little journey with me. Here are the pics of my ring:

6DD2E40C-19B6-462C-8687-0566986C7053.jpeg


05322769-D17A-4E3E-81A9-486FC580A876.jpeg


5ED71D85-D030-4853-BA81-F954064A474C.jpeg


595DFEA2-6FB9-4E0E-84E9-D445D7A89074.jpeg



and here is a quick video I took in the car today: https://youtube.com/shorts/OUXRhDYqVyk?feature=share

I’m very happy with it but of course value the opinion of those on this thread so if anyone sees something I’m missing for sure let me know!

I did also want to share that this ring was purchased through Ascot Diamonds and I’ve been very happy with them throughout this process. I wouldn’t hesitate to anyone.
 

jerseypeach

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
49
It's so beautiful!! I would have made the same choice as you - from what you were writing I think the color would have always bothered you and I personally would have a hard time passing up the cost savings.

FWIW I am upgrading to a 2.5 EC in a similar setting and decided on a lab diamond, but once I got the ring set I realized the diamond didn't have the best light return (more here) and am exchanging the diamond. I hope I can find a new one that is as bright and lovely as yours!!!

Enjoy your ring once it arrives!!!

I read your post!!! I love that setting with Frank Darling. One of the pictures on their Instagram has actually served as my inspo picture :)
 
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