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Lab Diamond Earrings Bought in the UK

Lindsay19

Rough_Rock
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Aug 23, 2020
Messages
41
I’ve been a long-term reader on this forum and I have been amazed at the breadth of knowledge which is shared. I have also been dazzled by the incredible gems and diamonds owned by the contributors here. I’ve finally plucked up the courage to sign up and add my recent lab diamond experience.

I’m in the UK and there is a tendency on this side of the pond to be quite modest when it comes to jewellery. We can sometimes be judged as flashy if we display what we consider to be a large diamond (that would be anything above 50 points!) and gems larger than that would probably be assumed as fake. I have some long-owned certificated diamonds but nothing over 75 points.

For a number of years I have been wearing some diamond studs which are 38 and 37 points respectively, assessed as SI1 and SI2, H colour, ‘very good’ cut. Whilst I like these earrings, as I’ve grown older (I’m 55 now) I’ve felt the urge for something more substantial - suitable for everyday wear in all situations, but also with a noticeable presence. Mined diamonds of over half a carat each are out of my budget and I haven’t seen what I want on the preowned market.

Thanks to reading this forum I’ve learned about the invention of laboratory grown diamonds and I’ve been fascinated with them for months - especially now that the prices appear to be falling a little and the quality and size has improved. I therefore decided to seek out some 1.5 carat total weight stud earrings.

My first choice had been Lightbox, but then I learnt they (and their retailers such as Bloomingdales) don’t ship to the UK. I then looked at Vrai, and New World Diamonds. But there were several reports of diamonds from these sellers having a brown hint, and if I needed to return them I could run into the issue of a costly return and difficulties trying to claim back the extortionate VAT (and duty) I would be paying along the way. That also ruled out James Allen (too expensive when all UK taxes are applied). Unfortunately being in the UK choices are extremely limited and prices tend to be higher than those sold in the US.

What I’m going to say now will leave some of you clutching your throats in horror - but given the UK market for what I wanted is limited to put it mildly, and rather expensive, I decided to order from the lab diamond range at QVC UK. Please don’t kill me. The convenience of quick delivery and easy returns made this a good option. I was informed that QVC now follow GIA guidelines and hence their diamonds should be conservatively graded. I suspect the grading protocols at some of the independent diamond boutiques may not be quite so strict. The lab diamonds I bought from QVC are graded as minimum H colour and SI2 clarity. They are set in 18 carat white gold.

So here is the verdict: They are noticeably whiter than my mined studs which are graded as H in colour. Both the diamonds are eye clean, inclusions can be seen on magnification as expected (see the photo below). I do not have the expertise to assess the cut quality, but the sparkle is fantastic - in certain lighting conditions I can see a ring of arrows around the edge. There should be an inscription on the girdle, but I can’t find it.

My only gripe is the settings - needlessly high in my opinion, I would have preferred a lower profile setting. This causes them to protrude a little too much from my earlobes with a slight droop. They have screw posts but luckily my jumbo backs fit nicely over the posts and that helps them to sit better.

I am loving the fact they did not have to be dug out of the ground. My husband, on the other hand, cannot be educated on this. He is maintaining they are ‘not real diamonds’!

Thank you to everyone in the forum for helping to educate those of us very new to these lovely stones. If or when Lightbox starts retailing in the UK I’d love to buy a 1 carat pendant to complement the studs.

Pictures below are a size and colour comparison with a white 1 carat equivalent CZ, and s self-made amateurish inclusion plot of my new diamonds (the diamonds are a bit blurred unfortunately).

diamond er 010920-1031-Edit.jpg

diamond er 020920-1019-Edit.jpg
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 7, 2013
Messages
6,711
Ooo, I did not know QVC offers lab diamonds!!!

Just had a look, and they looked good.

Tagging @OoohShiny in case you are not aware of QVC's offerings.

DK :))
 

Lindsay19

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
41
Yes, they're new to QVC's UK range (the US range is much bigger, more affordable, and more interesting). I think they're beautiful, I can feel an addiction coming on!
 

123ducklings

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
313
I’m excited for you! The earrings look lovely, enjoy them in good health!

And thank you so much for your thorough post!
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,891
Ooo, I did not know QVC offers lab diamonds!!!

Just had a look, and they looked good.

Tagging @OoohShiny in case you are not aware of QVC's offerings.

DK :))
Ooh, thank you for the tag! :))

I shall go on an investigatory explore tomorrow... :D lol


They look decent, @Lindsay19!

If you want to check for leakage, slide them into a piece of brightly coloured card (in the same way the box has 'notches' to slide them into) and anywhere you can see the colour coming through is leakage :)

I like your 'inclusion plots' BTW, that's a great idea!
 

OdetteOdile

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
956
Wow - they are gorgeous!! Thank you for mentioning QVC - I had no idea that they sell lab diamonds. I think 1.5 ctw is just perfect. Enjoy those beauties! I'm so glad you made an account and officially joined Pricescope - please stick around. I think it is a fun community, and the eye candy cannot be beat!
 

Lindsay19

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
41
If you want to check for leakage, slide them into a piece of brightly coloured card (in the same way the box has 'notches' to slide them into) and anywhere you can see the colour coming through is leakage :)

I like your 'inclusion plots' BTW, that's a great idea!
Thank you for the tip about the light leakage - I've just had a go and have photographed them in different light. I've also noticed on my 'inclusion plot' that several of the stripe inclusions I marked are in fact reflections from the real inclusions.

dia er light test-1023.jpg dia er light test-1029.jpg
 
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ThiaChelf

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
212
Thank you for the tip about the light leakage - I've just had a go and have photographed them in different light. I've also noticed on my 'inclusion plot' that several of the stripe inclusions I marked are in fact reflections from the real inclusions.

dia er light test-1023.jpg dia er light test-1029.jpg
I'm considering some but was wondering if you can take a pic of the profile so I can see how high the setting is compared to my JA ones? Thanks!
 

Lindsay19

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
41
ThiaChelf - here is a profile picture (the earrings are 1.5ct TW). I have a slight kink where my lobes meet the main part of my ears, so studs tend to angle slightly down on me - which is why I prefer a low profile setting. These earrings have screw posts and good sized butterflies, but I have mostly solved the problem with 'jumbo backs' exactly like these (they fit perfectly over the screw posts): https://www.amazon.co.uk/uGems-Ster...ords=jumbo+earring+back&qid=1599295252&sr=8-5


dia er profile-1007.jpg
 
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dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
6,711
ThiaChelf - here is a profile picture (the earrings are 1.5ct TW). I have a slight kink where my lobes meet the main part of my ears, so studs tend to angle slightly down on me - which is why I prefer a low profile setting. These earrings have screw posts and good sized butterflies, but I have mostly solved the problem with 'jumbo backs' exactly like these (they fit perfectly over the screw posts): https://www.amazon.co.uk/uGems-Ster...ords=jumbo+earring+back&qid=1599295252&sr=8-5


dia er profile-1007.jpg
Geez, that's set way to high for my liking! o_O

I like my jewellery low profile, except for stones that are deep, like pearls and my larger CSs.

DK :))
 

Lindsay19

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
41
I've noticed a lot of sellers seem to use the same kind of high setting, at least in the UK. When I asked about it I was told that the diamonds are less likely to pick up oils from the skin and will sparkle better. Not sure if that's true, I'll have to put it to the test. The trick is to fit them onto the ear snuggly with a large butterfly, then I don't notice the high basket so much.
 

kgizo

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
1,752
The diamonds look great!! I understand your concern about the setting as it does look a little high.
 

Lindsay19

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
41
I'm resenting my earlobes - they're not designed for large or prominent studs. I test drove a 1carat each (CZ) pair before buying these, and the 1 carat stones didn't sit very well on my ears either (despite being lower profile).

However these diamonds are so beautiful in person that I am very reluctant to return them - hopefully I will get used to the settings, particularly as the jumbo backs help to rectify the problem. The QVC return window is currently 60 days so I can take my time in deciding.
 

Lindsay19

Rough_Rock
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Messages
41
Measuring the height of the setting to the table of the stone is 6mm.

The left earring sits just fine and looks good. The right earring less so - and I've just realised why. It's not my ear lobe, it's the angle of the piercing. All these years and I'd never realised that. The angle makes any stud turn outwards and downwards slightly. I'd never really scrutinized my ears until now.

I've just tried on a lower profile stud of a similar width with only a slight difference. My options are to get one of my new studs set into a lower profile setting and accept a small improvement, or maybe I could have my right ear re-pierced (if that is even possible - I'm guessing such a small adjustment wouldn't work very well). Or lastly, just not worry about it.
 
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Lindsay19

Rough_Rock
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Aug 23, 2020
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I've been researching the qvc lab created studs and decided to bite the bullet and order. If they're too high I'll be sending them back. We shall see i suppose.
I think that's very sensible - returns are easy and you have plenty of time to make up your mind.

I'm excited waiting for your opinion! I love the stones in mine.

There is a downside though - today I put on my usual daily diamond pendant and it looked too small (I actually thought it was a nice size until today) it had less presence when worn with these studs. It's a sparkly pendant, but the studs are blazing. The pendant also looked a little warmer in colour next to the studs, which are very white.

It's funny how one purchase can have a knock on effect.
 

ThiaChelf

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
212
Measuring the height of the setting to the table of the stone is 6mm.

The left earring sits just fine and looks good. The right earring less so - and I've just realised why. It's not my ear lobe, it's the angle of the piercing. All these years and I'd never realised that. The angle makes any stud turn outwards and downwards slightly. I'd never really scrutinized my ears until now.

I've just tried on a lower profile stud of a similar width with only a slight difference. My options are to get one of my new studs set into a lower profile setting and accept a small improvement, or maybe I could have my right ear re-pierced (if that is even possible - I'm guessing such a small adjustment wouldn't work very well). Or lastly, just not worry about it.
Repiercng may or may not be possible. There are so many variables. Does it overly bother you? I'd probably just use them as is.
 
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ThiaChelf

Shiny_Rock
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Jul 11, 2020
Messages
212
I think that's very sensible - returns are easy and you have plenty of time to make up your mind.

I'm excited waiting for your opinion! I love the stones in mine.

There is a downside though - today I put on my usual daily diamond pendant and it looked too small (I actually thought it was a nice size until today) it had less presence when worn with these studs. It's a sparkly pendant, but the studs are blazing. The pendant also looked a little warmer in colour next to the studs, which are very white.

It's funny how one purchase can have a knock on effect.
I dont have a diamond pendant....yet lol. That and a tennis Bracelet are on my list down the road. Everything I saw online makes me think I won't think they're too high. Actually I found a qvc video that showed the profile fairly well and I think i may like the settings more than my JAs even. That's what I'm hoping anyway.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
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11,151
The stones look very nice, I don’t think I could handle the setting being so tall.
 

OoohShiny

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Thank you for the tip about the light leakage - I've just had a go and have photographed them in different light. I've also noticed on my 'inclusion plot' that several of the stripe inclusions I marked are in fact reflections from the real inclusions.

dia er light test-1023.jpg dia er light test-1029.jpg
Nice job! :))

I think they do well in those pictures, no glaring leakage issues to my eyes!
 

Lindsay19

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Aug 23, 2020
Messages
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Yesterday I noticed my earlobes were starting to feel a bit sore. This morning when I went to put my new studs in I visibly winced. I'm finding the screw posts irritating, just having them in is uncomfortable. Getting them swapped out isn't an option because anything like that costs a small fortune in the UK. I hope my lobes can toughen up, I'll see how I get on over the next couple of weeks.

Does anybody else get sore from screw posts? I don't think they're even that secure, the screw butterflies seem to loosen themselves very easily.
 

kgizo

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I have a pair of screw backs and they don’t hurt my ears. Posts come in different thickness so perhaps yours are bigger than mine.

I also have a wonky piercing and larger studs don’t look right. I do dangles and have a local jeweler break the loop where the dangles hang and resolder at a better angle while I’m there so we can get the angle just right. Would resetting the diamonds in dangles be affordable?
 

ThiaChelf

Shiny_Rock
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Jul 11, 2020
Messages
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Yesterday I noticed my earlobes were starting to feel a bit sore. This morning when I went to put my new studs in I visibly winced. I'm finding the screw posts irritating, just having them in is uncomfortable. Getting them swapped out isn't an option because anything like that costs a small fortune in the UK. I hope my lobes can toughen up, I'll see how I get on over the next couple of weeks.

Does anybody else get sore from screw posts? I don't think they're even that secure, the screw butterflies seem to loosen themselves very easily.
Oh I'm so sorry! Your poor ears!! I hate screwbacks. Id rather keep checking my regular clutch posts. I may invest in some jumbo posts especially for my 1 ct pair.
 

Lindsay19

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Aug 23, 2020
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kgizo - unfortunately dangles wouldn't work for me, partly because of my job. Any goldsmithing or re-setting work is hugely expensive here in the UK, I wouldn't be able to justify it.

I might have to bite the bullet and return these (regrettably) and buy from overseas to get the right post/setting combo.

It's amazing how complicated a simple pair of earrings can be!
 

missy

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kgizo - unfortunately dangles wouldn't work for me, partly because of my job. Any goldsmithing or re-setting work is hugely expensive here in the UK, I wouldn't be able to justify it.

I might have to bite the bullet and return these (regrettably) and buy from overseas to get the right post/setting combo.

It's amazing how complicated a simple pair of earrings can be!
Ugh I’m so sorry. Yeah, I cannot tolerate screwbacks either. They probably won’t become more comfortable as time goes on and in fact might become more uncomfortable. Since you can return I would. Unless you could easily reset which it doesn’t sound as if that’s possible for a reasonable cost. I’m sorry. Don’t settle because you’ll end up not wearing them if they’re uncomfortable.
 

ThiaChelf

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kgizo - unfortunately dangles wouldn't work for me, partly because of my job. Any goldsmithing or re-setting work is hugely expensive here in the UK, I wouldn't be able to justify it.

I might have to bite the bullet and return these (regrettably) and buy from overseas to get the right post/setting combo.

It's amazing how complicated a simple pair of earrings can be!
I searched and searched to find non screwbacks within my price range. I understand what you mean!!
 

Lindsay19

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They probably won’t become more comfortable as time goes on and in fact might become more uncomfortable.
That's my concern. Luckily QVC have a generous return window so I'll give it a little longer, but I suspect you're right!
 
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