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Dilema - MMD Stud Earring Edition with "I know just enough to know I know nothing"

vintageinjune

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
240
Greetings to one and all, and a heart felt thank you in advance for your honest insight and opinions.

TL,DR: I went to purchase a pair of TAKARA lab diamonds directly through Better Than Diamond for a pair of stud earrings, only to be informed due to inventory issues they had already sold, tried to buy a different matched pair through Distinctive Gems (same issue since they rely on BTD for virtual inventory), and Johnathan searched out a pair that would be "as good or better", F, VS1, and meet AGS ideal optics standards. The diamonds are amazing on paper but the videos show very strong/distinct stria and look "fuzzy" to me, but I've been assured it cannot be noticed in real life by the naked eye. The setting I want is a 3 prong I have on a cheap pair of earrings from a mall jeweler and used to be offered by WhiteFlash, but no stock version has been found, and the custom option was quoted at a price point that feels high enough I am now reconsidering this entire thing due to already being a little wary of what I've seen in the videos. Do I just set them in a standard martini with large, heavy backs and hope they will be comfortable enough and not droop? Return the diamonds and start over elsewhere? Pay the price for the settings and keep the stones since I don't plan on upgrading so it is fine if the cost was more than I expected? If I really cannot see any fuzziness/issues with the stones with the naked eye I am okay with the stria. But... can ideal optics actually overcome that issue? Help a girl out if you can please!

1 - Would you buy these diamonds? Why or why not?
2- Would 18k white gold/palladium be better since it is lighter weight? (For martini settings, I don't want drooping!)

Long version:

Earring History: I had 5.5mm 14k white gold martini moissanite earrings purchased roughly a decade ago that I wore and loved for a long time with regular sized backs that were comfortable and did not droop. They were the original yellow/green tinted ones though, so a few years back I had 6.5mm colorless stones put in to platinum 6 prong martini settings with regular backs. Drooping galore, not particularly comfortable, but they sparkled and I loved the look of the settings. I believe the extra metal and heft of the platinum is what caused the majority of the drooping issue, and could have been fixed by obtaining large platinum butterfly backs, but I never got around to it, I added some plastic discs and lived with that. They would still be my daily wear if I had not lost one last year. My style is fairly minimalistic, so I went without anything for a while but ultimately purchased a cheap pair of 14k yellow gold lab emerald studs from a mall jeweler, which are a modified 3 prong that are "U" shaped against the ear instead of "V" shaped, and incredibly comfortable. This is the style I hope to have for my future diamond earrings.

Journey's Start: We have reached a point where I'm comfortable spending a larger amount of money on luxury items (as is my partner), and we agreed I could get a pair of lab grown diamond studs made as it has been a dream of mine for years. Once I was given a green light, I immediately went to BTD's website and ordered two diamonds (.83 and .86 F/VS1) that I had been eyeing for a long time. My 6.5mm moissy studs always felt a little too big, so these 6.1mm- ish diamonds felt like just the right size! They failed to ship the next day and I figured no big deal, Covid is a thing, etc. 2 or 3 days later (cannot recall precisely) they email me to let me know one of the diamonds I had tried to purchase had been sold, they were(and maybe still are) having inventory issues on their server, and did offer up 3 other pairs, two smaller, one slightly larger, but only gave me pricing for the 2 smaller pairs. I knew Distinctive Gem sold the Takara diamonds too, and found a matched pair on their website and tried to buy those, with the same result. Johnathan however reached out the next day and apologized for the inconvenience and offered to find me a pair the same as or better for specs, and I told him I could be patient to find great diamonds.

Where We Are: I know just enough about diamonds to know I don't know all that much. Browsing here for years has always been a "more for fun" with a little education thrown in. Johnathan has been so kind and helpful and seemed so excited about the pair he found me, .91 F/VVS2 and .93 F/VS1 with amazing cut, hearts and arrows... and stria. Strong, fuzzy looking stria. Logically I know the videos are zoomed in SO much larger than these are in real life, and he assures me it does not detract from the performance whatsoever, and I want to believe that and was happy to go along.While the diamonds were their own issues, the setting is the other. What I want neither he nor I could find as a stock setting, and the quote for the custom version came back today and.... brought forward all the insecurities I have about everything! Just because we have the money to spend doesn't mean I have to (or should), the matched pairs of lab grown diamonds on James Allen don't look fuzzy but also don't have Idealscope/ASET/grading reports handy. I've seen a TAKARA in person and it was breathtakingly beautiful, and that is admittedly the standard I'm holding these too (none of their diamonds have stria as one of their selling points).

My rough budget is $6k, which can be higher according to my husband " if that is what will make you happy", but I get anxiety over buying things for myself. There are a pair of 1.01 ct, G/VS1 6.45x6.5mm TAKARAs listed, but brings me back to "being a little bigger than I imagined", but "maybe with a 3 prong they will look smaller than in a 6 prong?" running through my head. My 5.5mm were lovely for daily wear.



Thoughts?
 

anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
521
I would wait until a better pair was available. For me, it’s very about having a mind clean stone- like double refraction is a give away for moissanite, the stria marks are a give away for lab diamonds, even if I’m the only one who knows they are there. Especially in that size, there is no reason to compromise visually. Honest, that’s a huge selling point on lab diamonds I think- you can find your desired color, clarity and wait for a exceptional cut to have something that is nearly flawless visually.
but what’s important is YOU!! If they bother you, wait- I have no doubt more are coming.
 
Last edited:

Lessics

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
380
I would go for at least 4 prongs. If one prong fails the diamond is gone with three prongs.
I also really don’t like the diamonds that distinctive gem sells. Even if they say you want see anything I don’t care to have the stria. There are enough mmd vendors to provide you with a nice pair of diamonds.
IMO mmd rough with a lot of stria issues isn’t the highest quality rough
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,587
The stria aspect is one of the big unknowns for all of us 'buying blind' - as mentioned, Jon says it has no impact and he is experienced in such things, but also as mentioned, the 'mind clean' aspect is important IMO!

Perhaps have a look through the 'list of MMD vendors' thread and spend a day or so trawling to see what is available. IIRC CVD (which can cause stria) is more common than HPHT (which seems not to) and which type it is is not always mentioned on the grading report, but there are plenty of options on there on the market that could be worth considering if you're not 100% sure right now.

Alternatively, what are the Returns policies on MMD from Jon? If you are able to view at home and return if you're not happy, perhaps that could be a good option.
 

vintageinjune

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
240
I would wait until a better pair was available. For me, it’s very about having a mind clean stone- like double refraction is a give away for moissanite, the stria marks are a give away for lab diamonds, even if I’m the only one who knows they are there. Especially in that size, there is no reason to compromise visually. Honest, that’s a huge selling point on lab diamonds I think- you can find your desired color, clarity and wait for a exceptional cut to have something that is nearly flawless visually.
but what’s important is YOU!! If they bother you, wait- I have no doubt more are coming.
After taking some time to reflect on it, I decided the stria marks really don't bother me as long as they truly don't interfere with the in person visual performance. Jon was kind enough to make me an additional video of the diamonds that really put my mind at ease. They are cut beautifully and AGS ideal, and they deliver on that!

I would go for at least 4 prongs. If one prong fails the diamond is gone with three prongs.
I also really don’t like the diamonds that distinctive gem sells. Even if they say you want see anything I don’t care to have the stria. There are enough mmd vendors to provide you with a nice pair of diamonds.
IMO mmd rough with a lot of stria issues isn’t the highest quality rough
It is true, stria marks probably aren't indicative of the highest quality rough, but after the additional video Jon was kind enough to make for me I decided to pull the trigger and get these diamonds.
Aaaaaaand I'm still going with a 3 prong, they just make my heart happy. While it is possible I may end up with a loose prong some day, it hasn't happened yet and I've never lost a stone from a pair of earrings thus far.

Did you check out the James Allen sale? They‘ve got really well priced MMD studs. https://www.jamesallen.com/earrings...b-created-diamond-earrings-200-ctw-item-67560
Yes, thank you so much! Ultimately while the price for the preset lab diamond earrings is attractive, I want a particularly high level of cut, and we all know "excellent" can be far from. I'm completely willing to use those sales for the purchase of gifts in the future though!.

The stria aspect is one of the big unknowns for all of us 'buying blind' - as mentioned, Jon says it has no impact and he is experienced in such things, but also as mentioned, the 'mind clean' aspect is important IMO!

Perhaps have a look through the 'list of MMD vendors' thread and spend a day or so trawling to see what is available. IIRC CVD (which can cause stria) is more common than HPHT (which seems not to) and which type it is is not always mentioned on the grading report, but there are plenty of options on there on the market that could be worth considering if you're not 100% sure right now.

Alternatively, what are the Returns policies on MMD from Jon? If you are able to view at home and return if you're not happy, perhaps that could be a good option.
Agreed, stria is indeed one of the unknowns, and after calming myself down (with the help of an additional video from Jon of my diamonds) I decided to pull the trigger because he does have a 14 day return policy on the diamonds if I am unhappy (the custom settings are non-refundable though).

So... FOR SCIENCE, (and because I believe these diamonds will be spectacular in person), I moved forward with the purchase and custom settings.

Once I receive them, I will do a detailed review with many pictures, maybe some videos, and let others judge for themselves if the stria is an issue for them (as well as determine for myself if it is or is not).
 

vintageinjune

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
240
What did you end up doing?
I decided to move forward with the purchase of these selected diamonds, partly from some reassurance on Jon's part, partly the sheer curiosity to see with my own eyes if the stria is or is not something that will inhibit the beauty of the cut, which will help me with making decisions on larger diamonds in the future.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,587
Awesome :))

Thanks for taking the plunge partly in the name of research, I'll look forward to your thoughts! :)
 

mwilliamanderson

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
284
I decided to move forward with the purchase of these selected diamonds, partly from some reassurance on Jon's part, partly the sheer curiosity to see with my own eyes if the stria is or is not something that will inhibit the beauty of the cut, which will help me with making decisions on larger diamonds in the future.
Can’t wait to see them and hear your thoughst after you receive them!
 

Browning

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
2
Greetings to one and all, and a heart felt thank you in advance for your honest insight and opinions.

TL,DR: I went to purchase a pair of TAKARA lab diamonds directly through Better Than Diamond for a pair of stud earrings, only to be informed due to inventory issues they had already sold, tried to buy a different matched pair through Distinctive Gems (same issue since they rely on BTD for virtual inventory), and Johnathan searched out a pair that would be "as good or better", F, VS1, and meet AGS ideal optics standards. The diamonds are amazing on paper but the videos show very strong/distinct stria and look "fuzzy" to me, but I've been assured it cannot be noticed in real life by the naked eye. The setting I want is a 3 prong I have on a cheap pair of earrings from a mall jeweler and used to be offered by WhiteFlash, but no stock version has been found, and the custom option was quoted at a price point that feels high enough I am now reconsidering this entire thing due to already being a little wary of what I've seen in the videos. Do I just set them in a standard martini with large, heavy backs and hope they will be comfortable enough and not droop? Return the diamonds and start over elsewhere? Pay the price for the settings and keep the stones since I don't plan on upgrading so it is fine if the cost was more than I expected? If I really cannot see any fuzziness/issues with the stones with the naked eye I am okay with the stria. But... can ideal optics actually overcome that issue? Help a girl out if you can please!

1 - Would you buy these diamonds? Why or why not?
2- Would 18k white gold/palladium be better since it is lighter weight? (For martini settings, I don't want drooping!)

Long version:

Earring History: I had 5.5mm 14k white gold martini moissanite earrings purchased roughly a decade ago that I wore and loved for a long time with regular sized backs that were comfortable and did not droop. They were the original yellow/green tinted ones though, so a few years back I had 6.5mm colorless stones put in to platinum 6 prong martini settings with regular backs. Drooping galore, not particularly comfortable, but they sparkled and I loved the look of the settings. I believe the extra metal and heft of the platinum is what caused the majority of the drooping issue, and could have been fixed by obtaining large platinum butterfly backs, but I never got around to it, I added some plastic discs and lived with that. They would still be my daily wear if I had not lost one last year. My style is fairly minimalistic, so I went without anything for a while but ultimately purchased a cheap pair of 14k yellow gold lab emerald studs from a mall jeweler, which are a modified 3 prong that are "U" shaped against the ear instead of "V" shaped, and incredibly comfortable. This is the style I hope to have for my future diamond earrings.

Journey's Start: We have reached a point where I'm comfortable spending a larger amount of money on luxury items (as is my partner), and we agreed I could get a pair of lab grown diamond studs made as it has been a dream of mine for years. Once I was given a green light, I immediately went to BTD's website and ordered two diamonds (.83 and .86 F/VS1) that I had been eyeing for a long time. My 6.5mm moissy studs always felt a little too big, so these 6.1mm- ish diamonds felt like just the right size! They failed to ship the next day and I figured no big deal, Covid is a thing, etc. 2 or 3 days later (cannot recall precisely) they email me to let me know one of the diamonds I had tried to purchase had been sold, they were(and maybe still are) having inventory issues on their server, and did offer up 3 other pairs, two smaller, one slightly larger, but only gave me pricing for the 2 smaller pairs. I knew Distinctive Gem sold the Takara diamonds too, and found a matched pair on their website and tried to buy those, with the same result. Johnathan however reached out the next day and apologized for the inconvenience and offered to find me a pair the same as or better for specs, and I told him I could be patient to find great diamonds.

Where We Are: I know just enough about diamonds to know I don't know all that much. Browsing here for years has always been a "more for fun" with a little education thrown in. Johnathan has been so kind and helpful and seemed so excited about the pair he found me, .91 F/VVS2 and .93 F/VS1 with amazing cut, hearts and arrows... and stria. Strong, fuzzy looking stria. Logically I know the videos are zoomed in SO much larger than these are in real life, and he assures me it does not detract from the performance whatsoever, and I want to believe that and was happy to go along.While the diamonds were their own issues, the setting is the other. What I want neither he nor I could find as a stock setting, and the quote for the custom version came back today and.... brought forward all the insecurities I have about everything! Just because we have the money to spend doesn't mean I have to (or should), the matched pairs of lab grown diamonds on James Allen don't look fuzzy but also don't have Idealscope/ASET/grading reports handy. I've seen a TAKARA in person and it was breathtakingly beautiful, and that is admittedly the standard I'm holding these too (none of their diamonds have stria as one of their selling points).

My rough budget is $6k, which can be higher according to my husband " if that is what will make you happy", but I get anxiety over buying things for myself. There are a pair of 1.01 ct, G/VS1 6.45x6.5mm TAKARAs listed, but brings me back to "being a little bigger than I imagined", but "maybe with a 3 prong they will look smaller than in a 6 prong?" running through my head. My 5.5mm were lovely for daily wear.



Thoughts?
Thanks so much for all this info! Who is
Johnathan?
 
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