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New to lab diamonds and need some guidance!

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,278
The reason I came here today is that it occurred to me this morning that I have two pair of empty platinum studs settings (after upgrading), and how perfect would it be to get lab diamonds for those and give them to my daughters!! Then I thought, I could get a larger pair of studs for myself without the upgrade cost! I have avoided lab diamonds because the prices I was seeing on places like JA were just too high! So I came to the MMD subforum and after only reading a couple of threads, I found Rarecarat and saw MUCH lower prices AND well cut stones! I am now extremely excited but have a few questions!

1) I have heard that certain lab grown material is superior to others. Is that something I need to be concerned about? Or is just seeing a video of stones adequate?

2) I'd be going with VS1 or higher on clarity, so I assume I don't need to be concerned about inclusions, right?

3) Are there any vendors on Rarecarat that I should avoid? I am familiar with Dimend Scaasi, for example, but I have not heard of With Clarity.

4) Do you order through RC or do you go directly to the diamond seller? Is there a better place to be looking? I saw mention of VRAI/Diamond Foundry, opinions?

5) Is IGI or GCAL more reliable than the other in terms of color, etc? As in, could I get a G stone that is IGI graded and a G stone that is GCAL rated and be confident that they will be close in color?

6) Anything else I need to know??? All advice is appreciated!
 
Last edited:

anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
618
The reason I came here today is that it occurred to me this morning that I have two pair of empty platinum studs settings (after upgrading), and how perfect would it be to get lab diamonds for those and give them to my daughters!! Then I thought, I could get a larger pair of studs for myself without the upgrade cost! I have avoided lab diamonds because the prices I was seeing on places like JA were just too high! So I came to the MMD subforum and after only reading a couple of threads, I found Rarecarat and saw MUCH lower prices AND well cut stones! I am now extremely excited but have a few questions!

1) I have heard that certain lab grown material is superior to others. Is that something I need to be concerned about? Or is just seeing a video of stones adequate?

2) I'd be going with VS1 or higher on clarity, so I assume I don't need to be concerned about inclusions, right?

3) Are there any vendors on Rarecarat that I should avoid? I am familiar with Dimend Scaasi, for example, but I have not heard of With Clarity.

4) Do you order through RC or do you go directly to the diamond seller? Is there a better place to be looking? I saw mention of VRAI/Diamond Foundry, opinions?

5) Is IGI or GCAL more reliable than the other in terms of color, etc? As in, could I get a G stone that is IGI graded and a G stone that is GCAL rated and be confident that they will be close in color?

6) Anything else I need to know??? All advice is appreciated!
1. I hear CVD is the preferred material because the process is more likely to create a more colorless diamond with less inclusions. Ultimately, judge with your eyes and the cert- creation process does not change the criteria for the cert.
2. VS1 or higher should be very clean, but just like a natural diamond, avoid dark inclusions or those on the table.
3. I purchased from and returned a diamond from With Clarity. There was nothing wrong with the actual diamond (aside from me not liking a J color diamond), but I found the setting I ordered to be clunky and cheap looking. I’ve purchased from Yadav as well- good experience overall, but I did ask for pictures of the ring before it shipped and did not receive them. Personally, I would use a credit card with good buyer protector for ANY purchase from a vendor I wasn’t familiar with, diamond or otherwise.
4. You can go through either. If the vendor has live chat through their website, try chatting with them while browsing- some will offer a coupon code. In my limited experience, the prices on RC and the vendor’s were the same, but sometimes I found diamonds on the vendors site not listed with RC. I’d search the inventory of both before buying.
5. I like GCAL certs because they rate light return, but it seems like many vendors use IGI, I think Diamond Foundry even grades in house. Just like GIA, while the color and clarity grades are largely consistent, there is always a little play in the grades, so review the videos and pictures, and don’t hesitate to order a stone loose if you’re truly interested (but do check the vendors return policy!).
6. I found every bit of advice for mined diamonds to apply to lab diamonds; Check the angles, run numbers through HCA, etc.
Finally, make sure you’re buying for a good price (IMO, between 60-75 percent less than the natural counter part). There is a lot of debate as to whether or not lab diamonds will hold any value in the future, so don’t spend more than you feel comfortable and just assume it will be a sunk cost.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,278
1. I hear CVD is the preferred material because the process is more likely to create a more colorless diamond with less inclusions. Ultimately, judge with your eyes and the cert- creation process does not change the criteria for the cert.
2. VS1 or higher should be very clean, but just like a natural diamond, avoid dark inclusions or those on the table.
3. I purchased from and returned a diamond from With Clarity. There was nothing wrong with the actual diamond (aside from me not liking a J color diamond), but I found the setting I ordered to be clunky and cheap looking. I’ve purchased from Yadav as well- good experience overall, but I did ask for pictures of the ring before it shipped and did not receive them. Personally, I would use a credit card with good buyer protector for ANY purchase from a vendor I wasn’t familiar with, diamond or otherwise.
4. You can go through either. If the vendor has live chat through their website, try chatting with them while browsing- some will offer a coupon code. In my limited experience, the prices on RC and the vendor’s were the same, but sometimes I found diamonds on the vendors site not listed with RC. I’d search the inventory of both before buying.
5. I like GCAL certs because they rate light return, but it seems like many vendors use IGI, I think Diamond Foundry even grades in house. Just like GIA, while the color and clarity grades are largely consistent, there is always a little play in the grades, so review the videos and pictures, and don’t hesitate to order a stone loose if you’re truly interested (but do check the vendors return policy!).
6. I found every bit of advice for mined diamonds to apply to lab diamonds; Check the angles, run numbers through HCA, etc.
Finally, make sure you’re buying for a good price (IMO, between 60-75 percent less than the natural counter part). There is a lot of debate as to whether or not lab diamonds will hold any value in the future, so don’t spend more than you feel comfortable and just assume it will be a sunk cost.
This is excellent, thank you! I wasn't interested before, as I said, due to the higher prices I was using as a comparison on JA. Then when I saw you mentioned RC, I saw much lower prices Not to mention, it helps so much that they allow you to set the parameters for all the specs! I agree that I prefer the lab price to be 25% or less of the mined price. And I am easily seeing great examples of that in the F-G VS stones I am looking at. I can't make myself to pay for F color in mined diamonds, but with these, it's much more possible, although I hope G would be fine in these. I saw mention of brown tint and I thought I could see it in a couple of the videos. So I am trying to be cautious. Thanks again!
 

Lessics

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
579
1) I have heard that certain lab grown material is superior to others. Is that something I need to be concerned about? Or is just seeing a video of stones adequate?

There isn’t a better or worse with CVD or HPHT.
HPHT diamonds often have better clarity but you can run into the issue of getting a blue tinge with them as they are often type 2b diamonds (Carbon with small traces of boron).

2) I'd be going with VS1 or higher on clarity, so I assume I don't need to be concerned about inclusions, right?

No but with CVD Diamonds you need to be careful about striation. I’ve seen IF CVD diamonds that has striation issues. But one can definitely see by closely observing the 360video.


3) Are there any vendors on Rarecarat that I should avoid? I am familiar with Dimend Scaasi, for example, but I have not heard of With Clarity.

I would avoid with clarity but this is just my gut feeling.

4) Do you order through RC or do you go directly to the diamond seller? Is there a better place to be looking? I saw mention of VRAI/Diamond Foundry, opinions?

Diamond foundry doesn’t really have colorless inventory also they often have striation issues.

5) Is IGI or GCAL more reliable than the other in terms of color, etc? As in, could I get a G stone that is IGI graded and a G stone that is GCAL rated and be confident that they will be close in color?

IGI and GCAL both are good.
The CEO of Ada diamonds sent away various IGI and gcal graded lab diamonds to gia to get even better grades from GIA.

6) Anything else I need to know??? All advice is appreciated

What colorare you looking for? That would help in giving you recommendations and more information!
 

Lessics

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
579
To add lower color lab diamonds are advised against by every vendor I’ve talked to. From ADA Diamonds to Parksfinegroup. All have said one should really stick to the DEF range If possible. Yes there are a few nice G stones but it’s more a hit or miss.
I’ve come across 360 videos of HPHT stones that I couldn’t believed where graded as an H, till I read the cert which stated „blue nuance“ and then it made sense to me as when pointed out I picked up the blue nuance easily. Unfortunately mmd grading is still very at the beginning and not every mmd with blue nuance is described with blue nuance on the cert.
I personally have a far bigger problem with striation (which only occurs in CVD rough) as I find that far more unattractive. And as I stated above a higher clarity won’t help you to weed those diamonds out. But it’s pretty easily detectable in a 360video.
One vendor here claims that it boils down to what kind of striation is present and that there is striation that doesn’t impact the performance of the diamond. I can’t follow his argument really and one shouldn’t forget that he wants to sell his mmd. And a lot of his mmds show striation, which doesn’t help me to believe him more.
 

mwilliamanderson

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
640
Have you been to been to distinctivegem yet? I seem to remember you having worked with Jonathan in the past and thought you might appreciate having his eye on the stones. He has several mmd in his inventory in a subsection called “private reserve“ which have ideal/ super ideal cut proportions and which he has personally vetted as free from negative effects of stria, etc.

Edited to add: Did you hear that AGS will be offering their services to grade mmd? I’m thinking that might be worth waiting for. It will be interesting to see who will offer them for sale.
 

JoangA

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2003
Messages
184
Have you been to been to distinctivegem yet? I seem to remember you having worked with Jonathan in the past and thought you might appreciate having his eye on the stones. He has several mmd in his inventory in a subsection called “private reserve“ which have ideal/ super ideal cut proportions and which he has personally vetted as free from negative effects of stria, etc.

Edited to add: Did you hear that AGS will be offering their services to grade mmd? I’m thinking that might be worth waiting for. It will be interesting to see who will offer them for sale.
Yes, I’m working with Jonathan. Love his cuts!
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,433
Look at Mia Donna. I got two beautiful diamonds from there for gifts.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
8,191
Just a note that as far as I am aware thanks to lobbying from the lab diamond producers, blue nuance is no longer being noted on IGI reports.
Apologies for my French, but WTF??

I was hoping we were moving towards more openness and improved knowledge in buyers, but it looks like the industry are putting profit over customer benefits, and sellers are looking to push customers away from certain stones because the sellers don't like them :rolleyes:

It looks like a repeat of the fluorescence hatred all over again.

Why can't the industry just be open and transparent and let consumers decide what they want??

[/bad mood day]
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,278
1) I have heard that certain lab grown material is superior to others. Is that something I need to be concerned about? Or is just seeing a video of stones adequate?

There isn’t a better or worse with CVD or HPHT.
HPHT diamonds often have better clarity but you can run into the issue of getting a blue tinge with them as they are often type 2b diamonds (Carbon with small traces of boron).

2) I'd be going with VS1 or higher on clarity, so I assume I don't need to be concerned about inclusions, right?

No but with CVD Diamonds you need to be careful about striation. I’ve seen IF CVD diamonds that has striation issues. But one can definitely see by closely observing the 360video.


3) Are there any vendors on Rarecarat that I should avoid? I am familiar with Dimend Scaasi, for example, but I have not heard of With Clarity.

I would avoid with clarity but this is just my gut feeling.

4) Do you order through RC or do you go directly to the diamond seller? Is there a better place to be looking? I saw mention of VRAI/Diamond Foundry, opinions?

Diamond foundry doesn’t really have colorless inventory also they often have striation issues.

5) Is IGI or GCAL more reliable than the other in terms of color, etc? As in, could I get a G stone that is IGI graded and a G stone that is GCAL rated and be confident that they will be close in color?

IGI and GCAL both are good.
The CEO of Ada diamonds sent away various IGI and gcal graded lab diamonds to gia to get even better grades from GIA.

6) Anything else I need to know??? All advice is appreciated

What color are you looking for? That would help in giving you recommendations and more information!
Thanks for all the good info! I would be looking at F-G, but if G can be a problem, I could stick with F. I wouldn't care about D-E or the price increase.

I have seen people say that prices could still do down a lot, so it makes me a little hesitant to buy anytime soon. I have noticed the striations in some videos, so it is good to know they can be seen in videos in order to avoid them.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,278
Have you been to been to distinctivegem yet? I seem to remember you having worked with Jonathan in the past and thought you might appreciate having his eye on the stones. He has several mmd in his inventory in a subsection called “private reserve“ which have ideal/ super ideal cut proportions and which he has personally vetted as free from negative effects of stria, etc.

Edited to add: Did you hear that AGS will be offering their services to grade mmd? I’m thinking that might be worth waiting for. It will be interesting to see who will offer them for sale.
I have seen that Jon has a few lab diamonds, but I'd have to have a much wider inventory to find what I want. That is very interesting about AGS. I wouldn't be thrilled about it if it added extra cost, though.

Thank you!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,278
Great post, I’m looking for a MMD too! I’m considering a AVR in the 1.5 to 2 carat range though, it’s going to be a pendant.
So many options.
That would be wonderful! I love my AVR! The key to a good diameter is having the stone under 65% depth and the girdle must stay within thin-slighty thck.

Look at Mia Donna. I got two beautiful diamonds from there for gifts.
Thanks for the recommendation! I'll definitely look!

Just a note that as far as I am aware thanks to lobbying from the lab diamond producers, blue nuance is no longer being noted on IGI reports.
Good to know, thanks!
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
551
Hi diamond seeker! I recently stumbled into the lab world too! I have a new G oval lab ring and love it! I'm keeping my eye out for other finds too. Can't wait to see what you end up with. Let me know if you find a vendor you like!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,278
Hi diamond seeker! I recently stumbled into the lab world too! I have a new G oval lab ring and love it! I'm keeping my eye out for other finds too. Can't wait to see what you end up with. Let me know if you find a vendor you like!
I was just checking back into the MMD forum to review my thread advice and saw that you posted! I am so sorry for the very delayed reply! Congrats on your oval! I'd love to see it and will search to see if you've posted it here! I am still looking at stones for studs on and off. Some people are warning me to wait until prices decline further, too. So I am a little uncertain when I will buy, although if I find a perfect pair with the specs I want, I probably will go ahead and buy. It's SO much harder finding matched pairs with the right specs and no negative issues. I might even consider a 2 ct solitaire pendant. I've just spent plenty on natural diamonds and would love the addition of a few things I want without having to spend major money on them. I'd feel much better travelling with MMDs, too, if we ever get to travel again!
 

AprilBaby

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I have since used Rare Caret and vendor 12Fifteen. Excellent service and prices. They are in Milwaukee area.
 

FL_runner

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Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
202
I ordered through With Clarity on Rare Carat and was happy with my purchase. The diamond looks great and appropriate for the report (K, cut, clarity). Setting is OK but nothing outstanding, i'm still enjoying it though. Their settings aren't as great as some of the other vendors IMO but if you're looking for loose stones should be fine.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,885
Finally, make sure you’re buying for a good price (IMO, between 60-75 percent less than the natural counter part). There is a lot of debate as to whether or not lab diamonds will hold any value in the future, so don’t spend more than you feel comfortable and just assume it will be a sunk cost.
Hi! Can you tell me where you're finding lab diamonds priced in this range??
 

anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
618
Hi! Can you tell me where you're finding lab diamonds priced in this range??
I used RareCarat and watched prices carefully. Around holidays and other “engagement worthy” dates prices go up a smidge, but if you’re patient, you can find a good deal. I paid a touch over $4k for my diamond before setting, a quick PS search for the same specs gets me about $14k to $18k for a similar diamond.
Although my cert says my diamond is cut to hearts and arrows standards, I did not compare it to a branded mined diamond prices.
 

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msop04

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I used RareCarat and watched prices carefully. Around holidays and other “engagement worthy” dates prices go up a smidge, but if you’re patient, you can find a good deal. I paid a touch over $4k for my diamond before setting, a quick PS search for the same specs gets me about $14k to $18k for a similar diamond.
Although my cert says my diamond is cut to hearts and arrows standards, I did not compare it to a branded mined diamond prices.
Thanks... I think a lot of the pricing/percentages has to do with a lot more than just straight comparison of prices of lab vs. mined. It seems the larger stones cost a lot more percentage-wise compared to mined.
 

Lessics

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 6, 2019
Messages
579
Thanks... I think a lot of the pricing/percentages has to do with a lot more than just straight comparison of prices of lab vs. mined. It seems the larger stones cost a lot more percentage-wise compared to mined.

I can attest that on the wholesale level a 5ct D diamond will be priced 82-87% off Rap sheet. For example a 4.42 ct D VVS2 is available for 29k. Or a 5.08ct D Si1 (nice Si1) is available for 33k.
 

Kim N

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I can attest that on the wholesale level a 5ct D diamond will be priced 82-87% off Rap sheet. For example a 4.42 ct D VVS2 is available for 29k. Or a 5.08ct D Si1 (nice Si1) is available for 33k.
@Lessics could you share where you found these stones?
 
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