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Opinions on these lab diamonds and their retailers

Laura Zacheus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
16
Hi! I'm fairly new to these boards- first post. I've been researching and looking for round 2ct+ (8.25mm+) lab grown diamond in a six claw prong setting. My budget for the setting and stone is $8000. I have a 7.5 finger and am looking for the 'big rock on a dainty band' sort of look. I prioritized MM size, cut, clarity, color- in that order. I've had virtual appointments with Brilliant Earth and Vrai. Both went very well and each representative was helpful. But now I'm in this conundrum of which stone, which company. I think BE is more established, more likely to be around in 10 years. Vrai has a 60 day 100% return policy and also lifetime maintenance for any reason, and I'm able to get a larger mm stone within my budget. My major concern was that in the videos presented by both retailers, Vrai's stones seemed duller than the ones displayed on BE's site. But... studio lighting and other things i suppose could be the cause of that. I know I could probably find a less expensive route, but I really am a one stop shopper. I'm all about the convenience that these two companies offer.

If anyone would like to chime in on the stones below, I'd be eternally grateful. I prefer Vrai's six claw prong setting over any of the settings at BE, but it's much easier to swap out a setting at some point than another diamond.



The Vrai links - I could only get the links to work if I added the stone to a setting, so the price is the stone plus setting but you can link to the stone itself through the item details. The BE links are the stones themselves.

Like I said, i'll take any feedback. Good, bad, or indifferent. I appreciate the variety of knowledge and opinions in this community.. it's truly invaluable!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,049
Hi! I'm fairly new to these boards- first post. I've been researching and looking for round 2ct+ (8.25mm+) lab grown diamond in a six claw prong setting. My budget for the setting and stone is $8000. I have a 7.5 finger and am looking for the 'big rock on a dainty band' sort of look. I prioritized MM size, cut, clarity, color- in that order. I've had virtual appointments with Brilliant Earth and Vrai. Both went very well and each representative was helpful. But now I'm in this conundrum of which stone, which company. I think BE is more established, more likely to be around in 10 years. Vrai has a 60 day 100% return policy and also lifetime maintenance for any reason, and I'm able to get a larger mm stone within my budget. My major concern was that in the videos presented by both retailers, Vrai's stones seemed duller than the ones displayed on BE's site. But... studio lighting and other things i suppose could be the cause of that. I know I could probably find a less expensive route, but I really am a one stop shopper. I'm all about the convenience that these two companies offer.

If anyone would like to chime in on the stones below, I'd be eternally grateful. I prefer Vrai's six claw prong setting over any of the settings at BE, but it's much easier to swap out a setting at some point than another diamond.



The Vrai links - I could only get the links to work if I added the stone to a setting, so the price is the stone plus setting but you can link to the stone itself through the item details. The BE links are the stones themselves.

Like I said, i'll take any feedback. Good, bad, or indifferent. I appreciate the variety of knowledge and opinions in this community.. it's truly invaluable!
For Vrai, it won't let me see detailed info on the diamonds you chose. Can you click on the IGI certificate for the stone and download + add it here as an image? Without the reports or pics of the stones I can't speak to their quality.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,049
PS. The only one of the BE choices you pasted that I would consider is the last one. The first two are not well cut. The last one has potential, but I would want to see a real life pic/video.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,049
The Vrai ones aren't good either. If you stay in the following parameters you'll be much more likely to find an ideal cut stone.

Table: 54-59
Depth: 60-62.4
Crown angle: 34-35
Pavillion angel: 40.6-40.9


There are some promising ones on BE. I have heard horror stories about their customer service but also know people have been happy with them. Here are the ones I like best for your budget and size preferences (PS for color I was looking at H or above):


You would need to ask how "eye clean" the first few are since they have some crystal inclusions. However, when you zoom out to IRL size (e.g. much smaller than the blown up photos), the inclusions are less noticible.


Remember that cut is king, so you don't want to ever sacrifice cut (at least that's the viewpoint of people here, because cut is what makes the diamond sparkle and shine).

I would also call Jon at Distinctive Gem to see what he might have in your price range and size preference. I didn't see anything on his website that was 2ct and above, but he often has access to tons of stones and can bring in a few and take pics for you. He's super nice.
 

Laura Zacheus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
16
The SI1 stones make me nervous. I had one once- earth mined H SI1 (can't remember who the grading was by) and I could see the inclusion upon close inspection with my eyes. Mind you that was 15 years ago and my sight was much different then. But i'm one of those people that LOVES to stare at my diamond and take pictures and examine it and just admire it.. right up in my face. haha. BE basically told me they can't ascertain if the stone is eye clean, that I could return it. Vrai of course said the same thing.

I actually emailed Jon about the lab OEC's a few days ago.. he showed me an example contract and was so helpful. I have an email out to him to see what my budget would bring in for a lab OEC with a six claw prong setting. So I'm waiting to hear from that. If it could come in within my budget that would be my ultimate desire, but I fear he's out of my price range for my wants. Also, I don't like designing things and looking at CADS and adjusting measurements. Part of why I liked VRAI was because the setting is exactly what I want and i don't have to worry about any of that. I know DG has settings too, but that VRAI knife edge setting is perfectly what I want.

Also another thing with VRAI- their diamond inventory changes soooooo often. I just looked now and the 2.37 ct diamond i sent between now and then is gone off their site. I don't want to feel rushed because a stone a like might disappear. The rep did tell me that i could give them specs and price and they'd put it on the list to cut? I don't really know what that means but i assume it's a waitlist of some sort.

If you don't mind me tapping your knowledge.. the stones you saw that I posted- how do the proportions have a negative affect and the Cut/polish/symmetry be ideal or excellent? Is it light leakage? Brilliance? I'm worried that i'm looking at stones based on cut grade, polish, and symmetry to determine performance and I shouldn't be. Do they represent something different than the proportion measurements in terms of performance and quality? I'm sorry to be asking so many questions, but i really thought i had this down. LOL
 
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lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,049
The SI1 stones make me nervous. I had one once- earth mined H SI1 (can't remember who the grading was by) and I could see the inclusion upon close inspection with my eyes. Mind you that was 15 years ago and my sight was much different then. But i'm one of those people that LOVES to stare at my diamond and take pictures and examine it and just admire it.. right up in my face. haha. BE basically told me they can't ascertain if the stone is eye clean, that I could return it. Vrai of course said the same thing.

I actually emailed Jon about the lab OEC's a few days ago.. he showed me an example contract and was so helpful. I have an email out to him to see what my budget would bring in for a lab OEC with a six claw prong setting. So I'm waiting to hear from that. If it could come in within my budget that would be my ultimate desire, but I fear he's out of my price range for my wants. Also, I don't like designing things and looking at CADS and adjusting measurements. Part of why I liked VRAI was because the setting is exactly what I want and i don't have to worry about any of that. I know DG has settings too, but that VRAI knife edge setting is perfectly what I want.

Also another thing with VRAI- their diamond inventory changes soooooo often. I just looked now and the 2.37 ct diamond i sent between now and then is gone off their site. I don't want to feel rushed because a stone a like might disappear. The rep did tell me that i could give them specs and price and they'd put it on the list to cut? I don't really know what that means but i assume it's a waitlist of some sort.

If you don't mind me tapping your knowledge.. the stones you saw that I posted- how do the proportions have a negative affect and the Cut/polish/symmetry be ideal or excellent? Is it light leakage? Brilliance? I'm worried that i'm looking at stones based on cut grade, polish, and symmetry to determine performance and I shouldn't be. Do they represent something different than the proportion measurements in terms of performance and quality? I'm sorry to be asking so many questions, but i really thought i had this down. LOL
Unfortunately, cut, polish, and symmetry being excellent isn't enough to guarantee a top performing stone. This is especially true when looking at lab diamonds not graded by GIA/AGS, but also holds for GIA diamonds. The proportions above are much stricter than what is needed for "excellent" in those categories, and will get you a "top performing" stone.
 

Laura Zacheus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
16
Unfortunately, cut, polish, and symmetry being excellent isn't enough to guarantee a top performing stone. This is especially true when looking at lab diamonds not graded by GIA/AGS, but also holds for GIA diamonds. The proportions above are much stricter than what is needed for "excellent" in those categories, and will get you a "top performing" stone.
How do you feel about this one? https://www.igi.org/viewpdf.php?r=407956527

I can't help being stuck on VRAI. The one above falls into those proportions but the pavillion angle is at the top of the ideal range.
 

elizat

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
1,889
I am not any good with modern round diamonds, as those are not my personal preference, but I will chime in and say that I have read that the settings from Vrai leave something to be desired. If you search you will find a couple of posts. also, how thick is the band on that setting? I know that you want dainty, but if you go below a certain millimeter band you are asking to have damage.
 

anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
518
How do you feel about this one? https://www.igi.org/viewpdf.php?r=407956527

I can't help being stuck on VRAI. The one above falls into those proportions but the pavillion angle is at the top of the ideal range.
Do you have pictures? The certs plus pictures/videos are really the only way to properly evaluate a purchase like this. Pavilion angle is very low and the crown angle is high. It miiiigggghhhttt work but really, you need a video to get the whole story.
 

Laura Zacheus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
16
I am not any good with modern round diamonds, as those are not my personal preference, but I will chime in and say that I have read that the settings from Vrai leave something to be desired. If you search you will find a couple of posts. also, how thick is the band on that setting? I know that you want dainty, but if you go below a certain millimeter band you are asking to have damage.
Yeah everyone has a prefence.. I don’t like pears, cushions, radiant, marquis, or ovals.. I love OECs and MRBs and all step cuts. This particular setting is 1.7mm.. I’ve messaged with one of the women who had a vrai setting that bent, but she had a pave band and I think that makes it more likely to be damaged? She did comment that she was satisfied with their customer service and how they offered to replace it.. they have a lifetime repair thing.. I just want the plain platinum band.. most likely platinum.. I’m not sure if 18kwg is better but I really don’t want to have to deal with dipping..
 

Laura Zacheus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
16
Do you have pictures? The certs plus pictures/videos are really the only way to properly evaluate a purchase like this. Pavilion angle is very low and the crown angle is high. It miiiigggghhhttt work but really, you need a video to get the whole story.
There’s a video on their site but I can’t link to it. It’s probably because I’m typing from my phone.. here are some still shots of the video.. I truly appreciate all your input!!!!:

1CF541B2-9255-4E55-AAF0-9D28452E6854.png DCAED3B0-8683-4AED-9DF7-B4EE98B36C6F.png 298C0096-6A37-4CD8-982D-FB8D78503657.png 027A7C56-100E-42CF-9E65-C77A0689F195.png
 

champagnepear

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
40
I'm no expert but that stone look like they have a noticeably brown tint.

If you're not 100% tied to one of these two companies, I would recommend looking on Rare Carat. They have lots of great filters (for instance you can filter for crown and pavilion angles, table size, etc) and they also have gemologists on staff that will help you select the best one of your results. From there, whichever stone you choose you can select a setting from that vendor's website.

Just my opinion but I love the LOOK of Vrai's settings however I think 1.7mm is too delicate to stand up to a lifetime of wear. And I wasn't impressed with their stone selection.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,049
The cut of the vrai stone is good, and the images look solid as well. But the stone clearly has a brown tint, so you would need to be ok with that. I also think the vrai setting isn't solid for daily wear, especially given the negative reviews. That setting is very generic, so I wouldn't worry about needing to buy from them to get that specific setting.
 

Laura Zacheus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
16
I'm no expert but that stone look like they have a noticeably brown tint.

If you're not 100% tied to one of these two companies, I would recommend looking on Rare Carat. They have lots of great filters (for instance you can filter for crown and pavilion angles, table size, etc) and they also have gemologists on staff that will help you select the best one of your results. From there, whichever stone you choose you can select a setting from that vendor's website.

Just my opinion but I love the LOOK of Vrai's settings however I think 1.7mm is too delicate to stand up to a lifetime of wear. And I wasn't impressed with their stone selection.
I did see that it had a tint.. i noticed some others on VRAI and other sites had a pinkish hue or brownish hue. I"m not sure what that looks like IRL. I don't know if it's a chance i'm willing to take. What MM size would you recommend for a 2ct six prong solitaire in platinum? Also I just tried Rare Carat and the filters are amazing. I wish you could drill down that far on all the retailers' sites. The search continues!
 

Laura Zacheus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
16
The cut of the vrai stone is good, and the images look solid as well. But the stone clearly has a brown tint, so you would need to be ok with that. I also think the vrai setting isn't solid for daily wear, especially given the negative reviews. That setting is very generic, so I wouldn't worry about needing to buy from them to get that specific setting.
Thanks for looking at it.. idk what a brown tint looks like IRL.. and some had a rosey pink tint at VRAI and other retailers. Not sure if I"m willing to take the risk. Jonathan got back to me with a quote and for his the stone would be in the I/J range roughly within my budget and around 2.05ct for an lab OEC. He also roughly quoted me on a hand made setting with claw prongs. A bit over my budget total, but not too much. So that's an option too. Oec's tend to face up smaller and i'm not sure about the I/J color grade, but I feel as though Jonathan's personal attention is something I can't find anywhere else. I'm going to keep searching for a couple of weeks, reading these boards, asking questions, etc and then pull the trigger on something. Weigh the pros and cons. etc. I mean ideally I would increase my budget and not have so many restrictions or wants, but i'm an expert at putting myself in decision making situations where i cannot decide.
 

anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
518
@Laura Zacheus I think vintage cuts like OECs wear warmth better than a MBR- but just my opinion! And depending on the cut, they don’t always face up terribly small- I have a 1.30 carat AVR that faces up 7.3 mm if I recall correctly, that is pretty much spot on for the carat weight compared to the MRB. I also think OECs/AVRs can be shopped for visually much easier than MRBs.
With all the search criteria for the perfect MRB, it can get exhausting! Frankly there never seems to be the perfect stone- quality of cut, clarity, color and carat all weigh on a budget- unless you have unlimited funds, it seems like something always has to be slightly compromised.
buuutttttttt, will you be happy with an OEC? I love my AVR, but don’t wear it every day- the sparkle and seek look of a MRB in a clean solitaire often win me over.
so many choices! Good luck- be patient (especially with all that’s going on right now), don’t blow your budget out of the water, and be picky! It’s okay to wait and get what you want instead of getting what’s available now.
 
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Laura Zacheus

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
16
My current set is an earth mined .78 E SI1 OEC in a double halo sapphire/diamond octagon halo. I love the facet pattern of OEC’s.. but I do find myself longing for something sharp and clean looking if that makes sense. I love antique style jewelry, but you’re actually right. I don’t care for my set for everyday wear, even though I do. 4B046600-2997-4F2D-9A62-309646F96259.jpeg
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,049
I think you should trust your gut. If you want something "shaper" and more "defined" in terms of pattern, etc, then round brilliant is likely the best option. Your current set is gorgeous, BTW!
 
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