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Trading my 1.5 carat mined diamond for a 3-carat diamond

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
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31
Hello, I have a 1.5 carat round mined diamond. G color, VS2 clarity, very good polish and symmetry. The diamond cost $12,000. To make a long story short, I paid $3500 for it. I want to upgrade. A reputable jeweler I found online at Reddit said he would trade my diamond for a 3 carat lab-grown round diamond. Since I only paid $3500 for my $12,000 ring can anybody see a downside to doing this? To be clear, my diamond’s APPRAISAL value is not $12,000. The diamond itself cost $12,000. I appreciate your input.
 

0515vision

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2023
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1,122
I’ll start, and we’ll see what other people have to say.

You won’t likely get $3500 for your mined diamond in the private secondhand market. A decent 3ct LGD will cost you a few thousand. So you might be getting a fair trade.

It’ll be interesting to hear what other ppl have to say.
 

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
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31
Keeping both is not an option. I pay a ridiculous amount of insurance for the $12,000 diamond, and I would want to ensure the lab one also.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I guess there's not a huge downside. Y0u won't get much $ selling the natural stone 2nd hand, especially with "very good" grading.
 

sabinameister

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 13, 2008
Messages
271
I just did the same thing almost 2 weeks ago. My stone was a GIA 1.12 F Si 1 VG cut. I ended up trading that in with its setting and wedding band for a LG 2.51 ideal cut F VS1. I paid nothing out of pocket because that was my husband’s wish. I went to a local jeweler and did my trade in and purchase in person.

The natural stone was bought for just under 6k in 2007, and I bought the lab for 2K. I am putting it a tulip solitaire and got a matching WG band that is plain. I am very excited to hear what you do!
 

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
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31
I have another question please. If, instead of trading my 1.5 carat GIA-graded mined diamond for a lab grown 3-carat diamond, how much could I expect to get if I tried to sell my 1.5 mined diamond? I always hear that diamonds don’t have good resale value. I’m curious to know about what I could conceivably expect if I tried to sell this stone. Thank you
 

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
31
I just did the same thing almost 2 weeks ago. My stone was a GIA 1.12 F Si 1 VG cut. I ended up trading that in with its setting and wedding band for a LG 2.51 ideal cut F VS1. I paid nothing out of pocket because that was my husband’s wish. I went to a local jeweler and did my trade in and purchase in person.

The natural stone was bought for just under 6k in 2007, and I bought the lab for 2K. I am putting it a tulip solitaire and got a matching WG band that is plain. I am very excited to hear what you do!

You said you paid nothing out-of-pocket, but then you said the lab diamond was $2000. Do you mean you traded your $6000 diamond for the $2000 lab-created diamond? I was looking this up on Reddit and nearly everybody said never sell or trade your natural diamond for a lab one, but nobody gave a good reason why not to.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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We need to see the certificate for your mined diamond to know approx resale value.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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You said you paid nothing out-of-pocket, but then you said the lab diamond was $2000. Do you mean you traded your $6000 diamond for the $2000 lab-created diamond? I was looking this up on Reddit and nearly everybody said never sell or trade your natural diamond for a lab one, but nobody gave a good reason why not to.

The reason folks say that is that the price of lab diamonds keeps dropping. So you might wnd up trading something worth 6k for something worth 1k.
 

sabinameister

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
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271
You said you paid nothing out-of-pocket, but then you said the lab diamond was $2000. Do you mean you traded your $6000 diamond for the $2000 lab-created diamond? I was looking this up on Reddit and nearly everybody said never sell or trade your natural diamond for a lab one, but nobody gave a good reason why not to.

I’m sorry if my rep was confusing. So in essence looking at my invoice I got 3,500 for my trade in. I then selected my LG stone and the setting with band and it was 3,500 as I needed to not pay out of pocket. I have a credit of 8.00 too, lol. My payment was my rings, plus some scrap that I had. I was upfront with my jeweler from the start about what I wanted (bigger and ideal cut diamond), and that my husband said I can only do this if we don’t pay anything extra, hence using my earth grown for the lab. I hope this makes sense. I have a thread on here about it.
 

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
31
We need to see the certificate for your mined diamond to know approx resale value.

A certificate? My diamond didn’t come with a certificate. I assume it was already certified to be a diamond? My diamond only came with a GIA grading report. Is that what you’re referring to?
 

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
31
A certificate? My diamond didn’t come with a certificate. I assume it was already certified to be a diamond? My diamond only came with a GIA grading report. Is that what you’re referring to?

Or do you mean the receipt? Is that what you mean by certificate?
 

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
31
I’m sorry if my rep was confusing. So in essence looking at my invoice I got 3,500 for my trade in. I then selected my LG stone and the setting with band and it was 3,500 as I needed to not pay out of pocket. I have a credit of 8.00 too, lol. My payment was my rings, plus some scrap that I had. I was upfront with my jeweler from the start about what I wanted (bigger and ideal cut diamond), and that my husband said I can only do this if we don’t pay anything extra, hence using my earth grown for the lab. I hope this makes sense. I have a thread on here about it.

Well, that is pretty much exactly what I’m trying to do. And it seems that I can. The jeweler I spoke to has an excellent reputation on Reddit, and for all I know he has an excellent reputation here as well. Since I technically did not pay $12,000 for my diamond, I’m really only concerned about the $3500. And if I can get a 3-carat lab-grown perfect diamond for that price, I just don’t see why I would not do this. A bunch of folks on Reddit said never trade a natural for a lab grown, but really no reason why
 

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
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Well, that is pretty much exactly what I’m trying to do. And it seems that I can. The jeweler I spoke to has an excellent reputation on Reddit, and for all I know he has an excellent reputation here as well. Since I technically did not pay $12,000 for my diamond, I’m really only concerned about the $3500. And if I can get a 3-carat lab-grown perfect diamond for that price, I just don’t see why I would not do this. A bunch of folks on Reddit said never trade a natural for a lab grown, but really no reason why

The jeweler that I found on Reddit is in California, and I am in New Jersey. I am in Hudson County, New Jersey. The California jeweler said I could mail my stone to him (would be insured of course), and I trust him, but I’m wondering if I might be able to find someone more local to me, if anybody happens to have any jeweler recommendations?
 

Chelsea Palmer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
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The reason folks say that is that the price of lab diamonds keeps dropping. So you might wnd up trading something worth 6k for something worth 1k.

Yes, I thought of that. But wouldn’t it stand to reason that the price of mined diamonds would also drop due to the proliferation of perfect lab-created stones at a fraction of the cost? I’m also concerned that my diamond will be worthless in a few years. I don’t care that it would be worthless from a financial standpoint. But if I can get a beautiful lab diamond now, why would I not? Unless both types just plummet in value. Which I guess could conceivably happen
 

lovedogs

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A certificate? My diamond didn’t come with a certificate. I assume it was already certified to be a diamond? My diamond only came with a GIA grading report. Is that what you’re referring to?

I meant GIA report/certificate
 

Dreamer_D

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 16, 2007
Messages
26,349
This situation is wild. Please don't mail your natural diamond to someone you found on Reddit when you can make the same trade locally. There is nothing rare about lab diamonds that you need to go across the country for that trade.

I would not personally make trade like that. I don't think the introduction of labs will affect high quality natural diamonds much in the long term, just like the introduction of cultivated pearls and synthetic gems have not affected the price of natural pearls and colored gems in the long term. I do expect the price of lab diamonds to continue tanking. Diamonds are not an investment either way, not in the sense of other investments, but there is a long history of people and cultures valuing natural diamond and I don't see that changing dramatically in the coming decades. Just my 2c, I don't have a crystal ball.

I do often think about the woman on this board who spent $150k on lab diamonds a few years ago, against many long-term PSers advice. Her diamonds are worth about $1000 now on the resale market. Had she spent $150k on a natural diamond she could likely recoup $50k today, at the very least. That is pretty obvious math to me, personally.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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27,487
Post your GIA report.
 

glitterata

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I don't think the introduction of labs will affect high quality natural diamonds much in the long term, just like the introduction of cultivated pearls and synthetic gems have not affected the price of natural pearls and colored gems in the long term.

I agree with most of your post, Dreamer, but I think these situations are actually all different. Natural pearls were vanishingly rare and extraordinarily expensive. The introduction of cultivated pearl technology drove them out of the market. Now even extremely high-end pearls are cultivated. Natural rubies are and were quite rare and valuable. But there are enough of them around that they're still being produced and sold. Synthetic rubies were popular in high-end jewelry early on in their history, and are now used for industrial purposes (e.g. lasers) and in better costume jewelry, but they haven't replaced natural rubies the way cultured pearls have replaced natural pearls. Diamonds--who knows? They aren't anything like as rare as rubies or natural pearls. They have a long history as objects of desire, plus a shorter, intense marketing history as a ritual object required for a marriage. Because so many brides got one and "A Diamond is Forever," the world is swimming in (used) natural diamonds. If you want to find a string of natural pearls, good luck. If you want to find a natural ruby, you'll look long and hard for a good one and pay dearly for it. If you want a natural diamond, stroll over to the nearest pawn shop and take your pick.

I think it's pretty clear that lab diamonds are going down in price. There will be a floor, because they take a LOT of energy to make, but they could get much closer to that floor. But what will happen to natural diamonds is anyone's guess. Will they become more valuable than ever? Will they even still be considered precious gems?

It'll be interesting to see. I'm glad I'm not trying to decide whether or when to sell any.
 

Dreamer_D

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
26,349
I agree with most of your post, Dreamer, but I think these situations are actually all different. Natural pearls were vanishingly rare and extraordinarily expensive. The introduction of cultivated pearl technology drove them out of the market. Now even extremely high-end pearls are cultivated. Natural rubies are and were quite rare and valuable. But there are enough of them around that they're still being produced and sold. Synthetic rubies were popular in high-end jewelry early on in their history, and are now used for industrial purposes (e.g. lasers) and in better costume jewelry, but they haven't replaced natural rubies the way cultured pearls have replaced natural pearls. Diamonds--who knows? They aren't anything like as rare as rubies or natural pearls. They have a long history as objects of desire, plus a shorter, intense marketing history as a ritual object required for a marriage. Because so many brides got one and "A Diamond is Forever," the world is swimming in (used) natural diamonds. If you want to find a string of natural pearls, good luck. If you want to find a natural ruby, you'll look long and hard for a good one and pay dearly for it. If you want a natural diamond, stroll over to the nearest pawn shop and take your pick.

I think it's pretty clear that lab diamonds are going down in price. There will be a floor, because they take a LOT of energy to make, but they could get much closer to that floor. But what will happen to natural diamonds is anyone's guess. Will they become more valuable than ever? Will they even still be considered precious gems?

It'll be interesting to see. I'm glad I'm not trying to decide whether or when to sell any.

These are good points. I suppose I think mostly of high quality diamonds when I think about the value in natural diamonds. Not the stuff you pick up at the “maul” as we used to say on PS. I think wealthy people will always find a way to display wealth. Something will emerge to differentiate natural diamonds from synthetic IMO. But time will tell!
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
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I think wealthy people will always find a way to display wealth.

With you 100% there! I'm just not sure it will continue to be diamonds, now that identical-looking ones are available for a tenth the price or less.

Something will emerge to differentiate natural diamonds from synthetic IMO.

You may well be right. But will it be a tool people point at each other's rings? That would be...rude. I have a hard time imagining a socially acceptable "something" that would allow people to test other people's diamonds publicly. Possibly just my lack of imagination.

Of course, diamonds survived CZs and moissanite, which most people can't tell from diamonds at a distant glance, and nobody's carrying around diamond testers to test acquaintances' rings with.

Maybe the "something" will just be the usual assumptions people used about CZs and moissanite: He looks too young to be wearing a diamond that big unless it's lab; if she lives in that neighborhood, she must have the money for the real thing. In which case, the diamonds will no longer carry the wealth-display meaning.

I don't know. I'm not sure I'm buying my own argument here. I think lab diamonds pose a very different threat to natural diamonds than simulants did. The marketplace seems to think so too.

But time will tell!
That we can agree on!
 

Dreamer_D

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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With you 100% there! I'm just not sure it will continue to be diamonds, now that identical-looking ones are available for a tenth the price or less.



You may well be right. But will it be a tool people point at each other's rings? That would be...rude. I have a hard time imagining a socially acceptable "something" that would allow people to test other people's diamonds publicly. Possibly just my lack of imagination.

Of course, diamonds survived CZs and moissanite, which most people can't tell from diamonds at a distant glance, and nobody's carrying around diamond testers to test acquaintances' rings with.

Maybe the "something" will just be the usual assumptions people used about CZs and moissanite: He looks too young to be wearing a diamond that big unless it's lab; if she lives in that neighborhood, she must have the money for the real thing. In which case, the diamonds will no longer carry the wealth-display meaning.

I don't know. I'm not sure I'm buying my own argument here. I think lab diamonds pose a very different threat to natural diamonds than simulants did. The marketplace seems to think so too.


That we can agree on!

I think about people who only buy unheated natural colored gems, or people like me who only buy antique diamonds. We are niche. But some people just like natural gems. Hard to see that going away.

I have joked that heavily tinted and included diamonds will become popular as signs that they are natural. Who knows! It’s a fun time to follow jewelry culture.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
4,471
I think about people who only buy unheated natural colored gems, or people like me who only buy antique diamonds. We are niche. But some people just like natural gems. Hard to see that going away.

True! I love antiques myself. I love YOUR antiques. But you do not strike me as someone who's using her diamonds to show off her wealth. I certainly wasn't arguing that nobody will want natural diamonds, just that diamonds may lose their power to proclaim their wearers' wealth.

(I apologize if I'm coming off as argumentative. I'm enjoying discussing the question and looking at its different, um, facets. But I know not everyone finds discussions that involve disagreement fun, so please let me know if you'd like me to stop. A wink or an eye-roll emoji will do it.)
I have joked that heavily tinted and included diamonds will become popular as signs that they are natural. Who knows! It’s a fun time to follow jewelry culture.

How everyone will envy me my S/T color I1 CBI!
 
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My diamond did not come with a certificate. It came with a GIA grading report. Is that what you mean?

Yes, people tend to use the words report and certificate interchangeably; but technically what everyone here means is the GIA grading report. No one can advise you on how much you could hope to get by selling it without seeing this information.

On the general topic - I personally would not trade my natural diamond for lab. The prices of lab grown diamonds fell around 60% in 2023 (according to this article I read that pulled its data from stonealgo). There is still quite some way to go imo, but no one can say for sure. Still, the prices of labs has been steadily declining.

In terms of natural diamonds - the jury is out, long term. In the short term - I don’t think labs have impacted the price of naturals THAT much. It’s true that natural diamond prices fell in 2023, but that was off the back of a staggering price increase in 2022. I read a couple of articles that suggest the fluctuation in prices over the last few years has been primarily driven by the prices reverting to pre-pandemic levels. No one can say for sure, but going off of historical trends and close analogues in terms of other precious stones and natural pearls; the existence of lab grown gemstones / cultured pearls have not materially impacted the prices in the long term. Cultured pearls themselves can also command high prices unlike lab grown gemstones; but natural pearls are staggeringly expensive if certified as such. Lab grown gemstones are cheap, naturals are not (of course dependent on quality and level of treatment etc).

Given this, I wouldn’t want to trade my natural for a lab, because the chances are high that it would hold very little value years down the road. I’d be more inclined to sell the natural stone and buy a (much cheaper) lab (like the one someone linked upthread); or keep the natural and buy another lab.
 

maryjane04

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,681
I can't help but think if mined diamonds were really going to be worthless why would someone in the trade offer to trade it in? They are a business so they probably know they could get more for the mined diamond than the lab diamond.

If it was me I would keep the mined diamond and purchase the 3ct lab diamond that @lulu_ma posted for $1300.
 
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