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Thoughts on this MMD?

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
I'm looking for a MMD close to 2CW, eye clean and near colorless for a 10 year anniversary update to my wife's engagement solitaire. While going through various seller's inventories linked in the MMD sellers list we found one that seemed surprisingly good for the price:


Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 8.41.45 PM.png

I plugged the stats into the HCA calc and it came up with a 1.6 score which seemed reasonable from what I've read in these forums for ring scores. Is there anything I'm missing that would be an obvious issue with this diamond or this seller? I'm still very new to the diamond world / MMDs so any thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Thank you :)
 
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anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
518
The J color will likely show some warmth in that size, regardless of the cut. Some would consider the pavilion angle to be a bit high, but not necessarily a deal breaker.
I would contact them to have it put on hold, and request pictures. The description clearly says pics and video are SAMPLE images. You need to see this before ordering, especially given the color grade.
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
Well this more then a little embarrassing but I somehow completely overlooked that those were sample images :shock:

@anangel I really appreciate response as it just saved me from a very expensive mistake. I'll still reach out to them but my guess (as you've called out) is that the color grade is going to show through here.
 

anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
518
Well this more then a little embarrassing but I somehow completely overlooked that those were sample images :shock:

@anangel I really appreciate response as it just saved me from a very expensive mistake. I'll still reach out to them but my guess (as you've called out) is that the color grade is going to show through here.
It’s okay! And maybe the images you receive will be great, and you aren’t color sensitive. Who knows! I’d like to be optimistic for you frankly- when you have it reserved, post some pictures for us. I’d love to see it!
 

Ada Diamonds CEO

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
44
The root cause of color in lab diamonds is completely different than mined diamonds, and a J color will be noticeably brown in color palette. As others have mentioned, that 'diamond' you shared is just a stock photo, which is common with budget eCommerce sites.

I strongly recommend G or better and a 'buy shy' of 1.3 to 1.49ct versus an I or J color closer to 2ct.

Best of luck in your search, and more importantly, congrats on the 10 years with your partner!!!
 

CBPearllover

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
54
My future sister-in-law is looking at a J stone from Distinctive Gems (she's seen down to a K in person and didn't mind the tint). If you want to see that stone, or similar/higher color diamonds, just reach out to the company. They helped her narrow down to one diamond, and are checking it out in person before she has it set. Doesn't hurt to ask?
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
@anangel I emailed the [email protected] today asking to hold it + get pics / video and I'm awaiting a reply. I attempted to call the number on the site and got a "This number is no longer in service" so I'm guessing email is the best option?

In parallel I've been looking at other sellers and I'm curious if there are any to steer clear of? My wife has been looking on Brilliant Earth and I've seen pretty polarizing reviews from them (especially so on the settings). It also sounded like James Allen and D.NEA were promising but I wasn't keen on not having an active inventory online to scroll through on the latter.
 

anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
518
@VivaLaDadLife I hope you’re able to see it- PS has really opened my eyes to how much color can vary within the same grade.
I’ve heard mixed thing in BE, I hear the wait time with JA is crazy at the moment. I ordered from With Clarity- diamond was decent for the price, but the tint in the J diamond was more than I anticipated, and their setting was so very cheap looking. I’ve ordered another diamond from a different vendor, and will gladly give you feedback once I have something to show for it.
best of luck on your search!
 
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VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
@anangel interesting turn of events: a local jeweler we were recommended, but originally told us they didn't source MMDs, contacted my wife and said that was no longer the case so I'll be heading into their storefront today to take a look at a couple of solitaires.

I'm cautiously optimistic as it surprises me that this shop would be willing to change their stance on this so quickly. Anything you (or anyone else reading this :geek:) would recommend to be mindful of when seeing them in person? The only thing I was planning on inspecting for was eye visible inclusions and any significant coloring under various lighting.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,396
@anangel interesting turn of events: a local jeweler we were recommended, but originally told us they didn't source MMDs, contacted my wife and said that was no longer the case so I'll be heading into their storefront today to take a look at a couple of solitaires.

I'm cautiously optimistic as it surprises me that this shop would be willing to change their stance on this so quickly. Anything you (or anyone else reading this :geek:) would recommend to be mindful of when seeing them in person? The only thing I was planning on inspecting for was eye visible inclusions and any significant coloring under various lighting.
Don't forget that how a stone is cut will have a greater impact on the light performance than whether it's a G or a J, or a VS1 vs an SI1 (for example).

On that basis, I'd *personally* prefer Jon at DG to source stones - they should perform well on the HCA tool and look great.

If you do look at local stones, any that draw your eye should be checked using the HCA, so you can be sure they are not just looking nice because of the magic store lighting ;-)

I think HCA gives 3? free uses, but the cost of extra searches is reasonable.


If you want to aim for a decent HCA score without using the tool every time, the following are guidelines that will get you in the right ballpark:

Table 54-58% (maybe 59 in a 60/60 stone)
Depth 60-62.4% (maybe 59 in a 60/60 stone)
Crown Angle 34-35 degrees (maybe 35.5 or even 36 degrees with a shallow pavilion)
Pavilion Angle 40.6 - 40.9 degrees

When Crown Angle increases, Pavilion Angle should decrease, and vice versa - e.g. 40.6p with 35-36c, but 40.9p with 34c.
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
@OoohShiny I really appreciate the context and the easy razors you called out. I'll see if I can get the lab report for the 4 stones they sourced that I looked at yesterday.

Luckily for the in person interaction we can tune our decision based on "Am I happy with the way this stone performs in real lighting situations with the setting we'd end up using?" (we did in-store, outdoor shade and outdoor sun for each) rather then needing to tune based on analytical metrics that you're hoping translate to actual outcome. In that regard they all looked fantastic for our expectation and, while I'm sure we could continue to eek out more and more value based on cut and color, there's definitely some level of diminishing returns to pushing this much further.

Next Saturday is our appointment (this time with my wife) to see more stones + a 4-prong setting like what we are looking for that is large enough to hold the stones. My main concern right now is if my wife will be ok with the slight grey/blue-ish hue that you see in the stones in sunlight (at least for one that is an I color grade). The initial picture I showed her gives me hope this we may be able to pull the trigger and be at a net $5k spend for setting + ~2CW solitaire :dance:

Attached are pictures of her current ring compared to one of the ones they sourced. It's resting on-top of a 4-prong mount (nothing was big enough to fit it on-hand in that style) so I'm not sure what difference that makes. I took video as well but cannot seem to figure out why the forum won't let me attach the file... it must be a size limit?
IMG_1773.PNG unnamed.jpg
 
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OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,396
It is likely that the blue tint you are seeing is just the sky being reflected - your wife's current ring also seems to have the same blue-ish tint :)

It is true that some MMDs have a blue undertone, though - some people do not like that, other's do not mind, and I am certain that some might even seek it out. Colour is personal taste, after all!

Do you know the stats on your wife's current stone? The second picutre seems to hint that the potential I-colour stone has some level of visible tint to it - but then a 'lower' colour stone will do that, a larger stone will do that (because there's more material for the light to pass through), and stones will also reflect their environment... (nothing's ever simple :lol: lol)

I'm pleased that you are both viewing stones in a range of lighting conditions, that is an excellent idea. Make sure that the Returns policies are also suitable (and in writing!) just in case you find it's not 100% to your taste once you get a stone home.


re: videos - there's no facility to hose videos on here so, as you've found out, Vimeo or YouTube or a.n.other hosting site is needed :)
 
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anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
518
You’re so lucky to have a local jeweler who is willing to source some lab diamonds for you! It’s nice to be able to let your eyes be the final judge- don’t forget all the info you’ve learned about cut.
from the pictures, the first thing that stands out to me is the color difference vs your current diamond. Do you know what color her current diamond is? Is she okay with so much body color? $5k is a great price for a 2 carat solitaire is she loves it, but don’t over look her personal preferences for a bargain.;)2
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
don’t over look her personal preferences for a bargain
@anangel fantastic advice as none of this process would be worth it if she didn't end up liking the outcome (it will be on her finger after all :D). I feel so fortunate this shop changed it's tune when it came to sourcing as it will allow her to make the final call with the ring in hand under various lighting tests.

I don't honestly know what her current diamond is rated. The store said without a lab report their estimate is J-K range (in certain light it does have a slight yellow tint but it's only ~.8CW).

I didn't call this out above but they are willing to give us $1,800 trade-in on her two rings and I'm trying to figure out if we should take it. That is the high side of SI2 K .8CW on PriceScope's diamond search so I'm not sure if the material or melee stones add a significant additional value. She doesn't have a significant emotional attachment to either due to a) the solitaire upgrade and b) her existing wedding band needs to be repaired (the channel collapsed 2-3 years ago and every time it get's cleaned it's a 50/50 it loses another stone).
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
@anangel fantastic advice as none of this process would be worth it if she didn't end up liking the outcome (it will be on her finger after all :D). I feel so fortunate this shop changed it's tune when it came to sourcing as it will allow her to make the final call with the ring in hand under various lighting tests.

I don't honestly know what her current diamond is rated. The store said without a lab report their estimate is J-K range (in certain light it does have a slight yellow tint but it's only ~.8CW).

I didn't call this out above but they are willing to give us $1,800 trade-in on her two rings and I'm trying to figure out if we should take it. That is the high side of SI2 K .8CW on PriceScope's diamond search so I'm not sure if the material or melee stones add a significant additional value. She doesn't have a significant emotional attachment to either due to a) the solitaire upgrade and b) her existing wedding band needs to be repaired (the channel collapsed 2-3 years ago and every time it get's cleaned it's a 50/50 it loses another stone).
What metal is her current set? The metal + melee definitely adds value.
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
@lovedogs my best guess (based on a conversation I had with them 2 months ago when they first appraised it) is plated 14K yellow gold. I actually thought both of them were 14K white gold and didn't even realize that you could plate yellow gold. None of this is confirmed however so I might try to get an appraisal by another party before Saturday just to make sure trade-in on this is the best option.

Is there a range you'd expect based on that?
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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11,047
@lovedogs my best guess (based on a conversation I had with them 2 months ago when they first appraised it) is plated 14K yellow gold. I actually thought both of them were 14K white gold and didn't even realize that you could plate yellow gold. None of this is confirmed however so I might try to get an appraisal by another party before Saturday just to make sure trade-in on this is the best option.

Is there a range you'd expect based on that?
"plated" means that it's rhodium plated (which is how gold becomes "white gold", since there's no such thing as natural white gold). So they are both 14k white gold, the plating just means rhodium and is how all white gold rings are made. Do you know what the ct weight of the wedding band is? I would likely avoid paying for an appraisal, because a lot of people inflate appraisals (for no good reason), so the jeweler will likely just ignore it anyway.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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WARNING: Many assumptions and guesstimates below, but this is my thought process about the trade-in value.


I'm going to just assume that the wedding band is a normal channel set .25ish ct wedding band, like this:
https://www.jamesallen.com/wedding-...el-set-diamond-wedding-band-25-ctw-item-50353

I would say if you sold the band second hand to a private party, then 500-600(ish) would be fair (assuming the diamonds aren't chipped or otherwise problematic). Since you say the stones are prone to falling out, you wouldn't be able to sell second hand for more than like $200-300 (basically the price of the setting by itself without diamonds).

The stone is harder to estimate. Is it certified? Without certification to verify cut/color/clarity, you would not be able to sell for much at all (since no one would know what they are buying). Definitely less than (or close to) 1K for the stone itself.

The setting for the main diamond looks like a standard 2mm (ish) 4-prong. Kind of like this: https://www.jamesallen.com/engageme...mfort-fit-solitaire-engagement-ring-item-7086
I would estimate that someone would buy that setting for 300(ish) on the second hand market (if you were selling the setting alone without the center stone in it).

In total, if someone were buying the entire wedding set (with diamond, band, etc) on the second hand market, I would estimate that you could get 1700 (again, assuming the stone isn't certified, which is why it wouldn't sell for much). I wouldn't expect anyone to pay over 2k for the set given all of the above.

My guess is that the store is low-balling you in terms of the color of her stone (Because they want you to take the trade in). Likely it's slightly higher than K (maybe even an I color) and might be SI1, but again you won't know that without a cert so it's pointless to speculate.


All together, I would likely take the trade since it doesn't sound like either of you have sentimental value attached to the set, and getting the diamond certified will cost $ and take time. You could (of course) get it certified so you know what you have and likely could sell it to a private party for more $, but its a trade off of effort/time for a relatively minor monetary difference.
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
@lovedogs I'm sorry for the delayed reply but thank you again for the extent that you dove into the trade-in number :D

Work and family waylaid me for the last couple of days so I'm hoping to run each of the diamonds above through HCA to be well informed for what we should see performance wise Saturday.

My wife is literally counting the hours until our appointment at the jeweler :-o
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
@lovedogs @OoohShiny @anangel I'm running through the HCA entries and ran into a prompt from the calculator for the one in pictures / video above:

Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 6.51.46 PM.png

Here is the report from the jeweler:
Image.jpeg

Am I doing anything incorrect here or is this to be expected? If so what does it imply performance wise?

I found this link which explains the theoretical impact of having "too think" of a girdle and it sounds like this would have an impact on spread?
 
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anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
518
Yup! You got your angles wrong
Pavilion angle is 41.2
Crown is 35
Pavilion is kind of steep without running hca
Also, you really want pics of that clarity- in lab diamonds, the inclusions can be more apparent vs mined stones.
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
@anangel thank you for the save!

Below are the price, HCA and report for the four we will be seeing in person Saturday. Honestly I think the first one is the one we will be honing in on because I remember thinking it looked the most colorless in person but we'll need to double check the inclusions. The associate I was working with at the shop really pushed me towards the fourth one due to the CW and visible diameter but the HCA seems to reflect my concern about it's performance when viewing it in sunlight (it's the one in the pictures / video above).

$5,300 Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 8.07.17 PM.png
Image (2).jpeg

$5,925
Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 8.22.53 PM.png
Image (3).jpeg

$6,381
Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 8.21.51 PM.png
Image (1).jpeg

$5,080
Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 8.06.25 PM.png
Image.jpeg
 

anangel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
518
One and three look the most promising based off numbers alone, but you’ll be able to tell if there is a thousand dollar difference with your eyes.
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
We pulled the trigger on the purchase Saturday and went with stone three (2.1CW 1.2HCA G Ideal VS2) above. Honestly I don't think there was an eye measurable difference between the two (one and three) but it's a small price to pay to make sure my wife feels like she got what she wanted out of this :D

We'll post pictures when we pick it up sometime this week but I'm overall extremely pleased with the process so hopefully the outcome maps the same!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,047
We pulled the trigger on the purchase Saturday and went with stone three (2.1CW 1.2HCA G Ideal VS2) above. Honestly I don't think there was an eye measurable difference between the two (one and three) but it's a small price to pay to make sure my wife feels like she got what she wanted out of this :D

We'll post pictures when we pick it up sometime this week but I'm overall extremely pleased with the process so hopefully the outcome maps the same!
Yay, congrats! Cant wait to see pics!
 

VivaLaDadLife

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
13
Here are a couple of pictures of the finished product. I'll try and get some video of it in sunlight tomorrow to show off the brilliance but she couldn't be happier!

Side note: anyone have thoughts on good staging techniques for pictures / video? IMG_20200610_182206.jpg
IMG_20200610_182847.jpg
IMG_20200610_182902.jpg
 
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