Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Upgrade from .5 to 1 carat

frogplus

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
518
Some of you may remember me. I'm the most annoying person ever.

I settled on a .5 carat Lightbox lab grown diamond and my fiancé proposed at the beginning of January. Two months later I feel regret about the stone size I picked and want to upgrade to a carat. He doesn't mind since he didn't pick the ring in the first place.

I've been checking Lightbox website every day hoping to see the full carat for sale, but no one knows how long or if they'll ever offer them so I'm looking into other ideas in the meantime.

I've reached out to August Vintage but I had a thought that maybe you guys could help me find a pre-owned 1 carat or close to it. I figured these would be more plentiful as natural which is why I'm posting in RT, but I'm still open to MMD or natural.

I think I actually don't mind inclusions that much as long as the stone still looks white and sparkles a lot. This estate diamond I bought for my mom has a lot of obvious dark inclusions you can see even without a loupe, but in person I think it's still gorgeous.
Screenshot_20190305-134938.png Screenshot_20190305-135008.png

Am I crazy to think I could find a pre-owned 1 carat that's not a total dud for about $1k?
 

Golden_bird

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
411
Some of you may remember me. I'm the most annoying person ever.

I settled on a .5 carat Lightbox lab grown diamond and my fiancé proposed at the beginning of January. Two months later I feel regret about the stone size I picked and want to upgrade to a carat. He doesn't mind since he didn't pick the ring in the first place.

I've been checking Lightbox website every day hoping to see the full carat for sale, but no one knows how long or if they'll ever offer them so I'm looking into other ideas in the meantime.

I've reached out to August Vintage but I had a thought that maybe you guys could help me find a pre-owned 1 carat or close to it. I figured these would be more plentiful as natural which is why I'm posting in RT, but I'm still open to MMD or natural.

I think I actually don't mind inclusions that much as long as the stone still looks white and sparkles a lot. This estate diamond I bought for my mom has a lot of obvious dark inclusions you can see even without a loupe, but in person I think it's still gorgeous.
Screenshot_20190305-134938.png Screenshot_20190305-135008.png

Am I crazy to think I could find a pre-owned 1 carat that's not a total dud for about $1k?
Have you tried to look at eBay ! I think I recently saw 1 carat lab diamond in halo setting ! Same with pre owed natural diamonds ! I buy almost all of my diamonds through eBay :)) you just need to know how to search right . Most of the time I purchase from regular ppl ,not the ones who have somewhat diamond store .
 

kmoro

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
1,076
Some of you may remember me. I'm the most annoying person ever.

I settled on a .5 carat Lightbox lab grown diamond and my fiancé proposed at the beginning of January. Two months later I feel regret about the stone size I picked and want to upgrade to a carat. He doesn't mind since he didn't pick the ring in the first place.

I've been checking Lightbox website every day hoping to see the full carat for sale, but no one knows how long or if they'll ever offer them so I'm looking into other ideas in the meantime.

I've reached out to August Vintage but I had a thought that maybe you guys could help me find a pre-owned 1 carat or close to it. I figured these would be more plentiful as natural which is why I'm posting in RT, but I'm still open to MMD or natural.

I think I actually don't mind inclusions that much as long as the stone still looks white and sparkles a lot. This estate diamond I bought for my mom has a lot of obvious dark inclusions you can see even without a loupe, but in person I think it's still gorgeous.
Screenshot_20190305-134938.png Screenshot_20190305-135008.png

Am I crazy to think I could find a pre-owned 1 carat that's not a total dud for about $1k?
Hi @frogplus ! Ah you have been struck with DSS! To be honest, I would find .5 carat a bit small too, unless it had an incredible cut. I know you’ve been happy with the cut, but I bet this is impacting how the diamond looks to you.

Ummm. I do think it might be crazy to expect a decent 1 carat for $1000, but we’ll see what others say. I can see why you want to wait for a LB 1 carat ... but even that won’t look as big if the cut is not there. Having said that, at $800 a carat, it’s hard to imagine going wrong ...

Have you considered moissanite? I decided to get a necklace a few months ago, and honestly, I’m very impressed with how beautiful it is. I’m a die-hard diamond fan, but I love that necklace - I really do. It’s a gorgeous stone. I have never considered it fake diamond, it is real moissanite. Have you seen any in person?

If not, maybe your best option is to sit tight and wait for Lightbox.

How are you liking your setting?

Good luck in your search!
 

AMRN0516

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
69
I don’t own an AV, but I am somewhat regretting not advocating more forcefully for my fiancé to go that route. Don’t get me wrong, my LM antique cushion is TDF, and I wouldn’t trade it for a 10mm AVC. However, no one but you will know the difference. If you like the vintage look pop over to the MMD forum to see some recent examples. I can’t wait to add an AVC or AVR moissy to my jewelry box!! Bonus: not having to take out a home equity loan to buy it!
 

frogplus

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
518
Have you tried to look at eBay ! I think I recently saw 1 carat lab diamond in halo setting ! Same with pre owed natural diamonds ! I buy almost all of my diamonds through eBay :)) you just need to know how to search right . Most of the time I purchase from regular ppl ,not the ones who have somewhat diamond store .
"You just need to know how to search right" is the issue. Would you be willing to send me some examples?

Hi @frogplus ! Ah you have been struck with DSS! To be honest, I would find .5 carat a bit small too, unless it had an incredible cut. I know you’ve been happy with the cut, but I bet this is impacting how the diamond looks to you.

Ummm. I do think it might be crazy to expect a decent 1 carat for $1000, but we’ll see what others say. I can see why you want to wait for a LB 1 carat ... but even that won’t look as big if the cut is not there. Having said that, at $800 a carat, it’s hard to imagine going wrong ...

Have you considered moissanite? I decided to get a necklace a few months ago, and honestly, I’m very impressed with how beautiful it is. I’m a die-hard diamond fan, but I love that necklace - I really do. It’s a gorgeous stone. I have never considered it fake diamond, it is real moissanite. Have you seen any in person?

If not, maybe your best option is to sit tight and wait for Lightbox.

How are you liking your setting?

Good luck in your search!
Yeah this DSS is the worst. :cry2:
The cut is actually really good on the Lightbox from what others have said, so I think it's just not the right size for me regardless of cut.
I really want diamond, no moissanite or asha/amora gem.
The setting I love! I'm hoping if I do find a 1 carat that my jeweler will be able to use the same setting.
 

kmoro

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
1,076
"You just need to know how to search right" is the issue. Would you be willing to send me some examples?


Yeah this DSS is the worst. :cry2:
The cut is actually really good on the Lightbox from what others have said, so I think it's just not the right size for me regardless of cut.
I really want diamond, no moissanite or asha/amora gem.
The setting I love! I'm hoping if I do find a 1 carat that my jeweler will be able to use the same setting.
I hear what you’re writing!

In other questions: Are you able to sell the diamond you have? Will you reset it (it’s now the diamond you were proposed with)?

I wish you all the patience and luck that you’re going to need - I think this is going to be a long tough search if you don’t go Lightbox. I really think your best bet is just to wait for them to put out some 1 carats. Maybe contact them and let them know that you’re looking? and maybe they can reserve the next one for you? (not sure what their level of service is). I’m sure they will have some for sale ... I want to say soon but have no idea ... I’m just sure they will have some one day :wink2:
 

rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
5,012
I have a different idea for you to consider. If you already have DSS, I suspect it will happen again. What if you buy a diamond with a small size increase, but get's you into a more generous upgrade program? That way, as you have more funds, you can upgrade again without loss of value or need sell another stone?

https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4089744.htm

I'd set in a simple solitaire to allow less loss of value in getting a reset.

If you like princess cuts.
https://loupetroop.com/listings/rings-lab-created-center/lightbox-1ct-princess-cut-diamond-necklace

Flexing your budget a bit. Does it have to be round? Marquise and oval provide more coverage at less weight.
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.73-carat-j-color-si1-clarity-sku-6223519 {Almost a moval. Inclusions likely visible withou magnification; 8.11*4.81*3.07}.
 

rockhoundofficiando

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
182
I would wait for Lightbox to release 1 carat stones. I don't think you're going to find a nice 1 carat diamond for $1000. The good news is that prices for lab diamonds appear to be dropping. Maybe Lightbox wil have some competition in the future. Aside from the suggestion of a diamond simulant, have you considered adding a halo to your diamond solitaire? It would give you a larger presence.
 

bludiva

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
1,938
Girrrl dss is real! I think your ring looks great on you but if you want to change it for a 1ct round I think you'll either have to wait for Lightbox to release a larger one as mentioned above or dive into the world of ebay/pawn shop hunting. Have you gotten a quote on reworking your ring to accommodate a 1ct stone? Also read @StephanieLynn 's thread about her 1ct OEC find if you haven't seen it, that might help. Good luck!

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/ive-been-offered-a-one-carat-oec-but-its-chipped.246192/
 

StephanieLynn

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
4,563
So I was in this same sort of predicament after selling a one carat princess cut and posted a thread similar asking about getting as close to a carat as possible for around $1,000. Well most of the responses were not encouraging so I bought an OEC Moissanite in a 7mm size which was perfect but I knew it wasn't a diamond and that bothered me and so the search continued. Until I found my unicorn 1.23 carat OEC paid $600 for it since it has some significant chips. Had it not been for PS I wouldn't have ever considered buying a chipped diamond.

With this budget you have to think outside the box, pawn shops are great and you can find some wonderful things but you have to know what you're doing. I definitely recommend doing a lot of research and scouring PS to really get a feel for what you like. I really like @rockysalamander suggestion about buying a diamond you can upgrade later. Is it the stone size you are after or finger coverage? If it's the latter you can find some really nice vintage rings in a cluster design that will give you a lot of bang for your buck.

What if you buy the Lightbox and find that it's not mind clean for you (you would rather have earth mined after all) I thought the Moissanite would be the answer to my limited budget but it wasn't and I ended up spending over $1,000 on a ring I no longer wear. In hindsight it would have been much smarter to put that towards a diamond that could be upgraded down the road. Just my 2c
 

StephanieLynn

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
4,563
Here is a really good example, the round solitaire is 7mm and the ring on my middle finger is a band made up of all different old cuts weighing about a carat. The band gives an amazing amount of finger coverage on my ring finger. The solitaire cost $1200 and the band was $450, so really a lot of bang for the buck with that band.

Just another thing to consider because sometimes you think you want a bigger diamond but what you might really be itching for is a lot of coverage even if that means smaller stones.

IMG_9836.JPG
 

frogplus

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
518
I hear what you’re writing!

In other questions: Are you able to sell the diamond you have? Will you reset it (it’s now the diamond you were proposed with)?

I wish you all the patience and luck that you’re going to need - I think this is going to be a long tough search if you don’t go Lightbox. I really think your best bet is just to wait for them to put out some 1 carats. Maybe contact them and let them know that you’re looking? and maybe they can reserve the next one for you? (not sure what their level of service is). I’m sure they will have some for sale ... I want to say soon but have no idea ... I’m just sure they will have some one day :wink2:
The one I have was only $500 and I doubt it would be worth to sell. I would keep it, maybe put it in a necklace or plan to get another one someday and turn them into earrings. I do have a tiny bit of sadness about replacing the diamond I was proposed to with, but I think it will get worse the longer I wear it so I figured if I'm going to upgrade I should do it now. I'm still considering keeping it as is and trying to find a blingy wedding band to satisfy my DSS and give me the coverage I'm after on that finger.

ps ... I’m actually disappointed you won’t consider moissanite even though I totally understand, lol ... I really need to get a life ....
It's totally illogical but I know I won't be happy with anything but diamond.

I have a different idea for you to consider. If you already have DSS, I suspect it will happen again. What if you buy a diamond with a small size increase, but get's you into a more generous upgrade program? That way, as you have more funds, you can upgrade again without loss of value or need sell another stone?

https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4089744.htm

I'd set in a simple solitaire to allow less loss of value in getting a reset.

If you like princess cuts.
https://loupetroop.com/listings/rings-lab-created-center/lightbox-1ct-princess-cut-diamond-necklace

Flexing your budget a bit. Does it have to be round? Marquise and oval provide more coverage at less weight.
https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/marquise-cut/0.73-carat-j-color-si1-clarity-sku-6223519 {Almost a moval. Inclusions likely visible withou magnification; 8.11*4.81*3.07}.
It's actually not really a lack of funds, just a very cheap person tbh. Even spending $800 on this ring seemed absurd to me because I don't ever spend more than $20 without thinking "do I really need this or can I do without it?" But now we're planning a wedding and money has lost all meaning so, here I am.

I would wait for Lightbox to release 1 carat stones. I don't think you're going to find a nice 1 carat diamond for $1000. The good news is that prices for lab diamonds appear to be dropping. Maybe Lightbox wil have some competition in the future. Aside from the suggestion of a diamond simulant, have you considered adding a halo to your diamond solitaire? It would give you a larger presence.
I've never seen a halo that I like from the side. They lose the classic diamond ring look when you add a halo.

Ugh. I can't decide what to do. I want to just be happy with my little ring that I worked so hard to pick every piece and was so proud of how affordable it was. I wish I didn't feel any bad feelings about the size. And I know I can bling it up with a wedding ring, but for the next year+ it'll be solo and I want to love it with or without the band. I do love it in pictures, I just hate that in regular (not close up) pictures, you can't even see the diamond, it just looks like a plain band. Honestly, I'm not sure if an upgrade to 1 carat would change that anyway. Need to do some more soul searching. Right now leaving towards keeping my little thing and letting myself love her for who she is and what she represents.
 

Dandi

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
5,129
Are you 100% set on a solitaire? Would adding lab side diamonds to make it a 3 stone ring give you the finger coverage you want? Your beautiful slender hand and fingers do look amazing with a soli though I must say!
 

LinSF

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Messages
404
I'm with @rockysalamander. Buy a stone with an upgrade policy- That way as you get more financially comfortable you can treat yourself. Add children to the equation and you'll wonder why you ever thought the wedding was expensive! o_O

BTW: Financially I am the same, but my reward for being fiscally responsible is an ex that financially raped me. My point is to treat yourself sometimes, life is too short! Bring on the bling!
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,040
I agree that buying a stone with an upgrade policy is a good idea. It won't get you to a 1 carat right away but you can work your way up and it gives you something to look forward to. In the mean time you get a super ideal real diamond to admire.
 

kmoro

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
1,076
I think I understand. You want a 1 carat diamond now - right now. And right now, you’re willing to spend a maximum of $1000 on a diamond.

I just wanted to reassure you that Lightbox will be selling more one carat diamonds. They’ve had them in the past and they know that they are in high demand at $800 a carat. I know you don’t want to wait, but I doubt this wait will be a long one ,,, it would be stupid for them to delay too long. Like others, I think this is your best bet.

Another thought ... have you considered just going a bit larger than the .5 carat? Like a .65? Of course you’re not me, but I mentioned that I thought my old .5 was too small ... later I had a .62 and the size difference was significant enough that I did not have that “too small” feeling about it ... it did have excellent spread as it was slightly on the shallow side. The point is that maybe just going up to around 5.5 mm might work for you too.

.62 on size 6:
5F990653-437F-42DB-BFCE-8DCEE4065A90.jpeg
 

frogplus

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
518
Are you 100% set on a solitaire? Would adding lab side diamonds to make it a 3 stone ring give you the finger coverage you want? Your beautiful slender hand and fingers do look amazing with a soli though I must say!
I really love solitaires. To me it's the classic engagement ring. I love 3 stones too but not for this ring.

I think I understand. You want a 1 carat diamond now - right now. And right now, you’re willing to spend a maximum of $1000 on a diamond.

I just wanted to reassure you that Lightbox will be selling more one carat diamonds. They’ve had them in the past and they know that they are in high demand at $800 a carat. I know you don’t want to wait, but I doubt this wait will be a long one ,,, it would be stupid for them to delay too long. Like others, I think this is your best bet.

Another thought ... have you considered just going a bit larger than the .5 carat? Like a .65? Of course you’re not me, but I mentioned that I thought my old .5 was too small ... later I had a .62 and the size difference was significant enough that I did not have that “too small” feeling about it ... it did have excellent spread as it was slightly on the shallow side. The point is that maybe just going up to around 5.5 mm might work for you too.

.62 on size 6:
5F990653-437F-42DB-BFCE-8DCEE4065A90.jpeg
I think you're right that it won't be a long wait. I just don't trust them! Yes I do think a .6 to .75 would probably satisfy me, but I figured I'd better go up to 1 carat to make sure I don't have DSS again in 6 months. I almost bought the .75 Lightbox that was available a few days ago but it would have been the same price as a 1 carat since it was a necklace with 1 ctw. It's sold out now anyway.

Why not halo your current stone. So many ppl have tackled dss that way!
I don't like the side view of a halo.
 

HappyNewLife

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 25, 2010
Messages
2,527
I just took a look around ebay, and YIKES. You could get a highly included, cloudy AF dud of a diamond for $1000. I'd prob either wait for LB to have the inventory or would hit pawn shops in your local area.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,200
I second what other people have said. I understand the want/need to correct the ring now. But you will need to a) wait for lightbox to come out with the 1 carat stone, and/or frequent pawn shops, ebay, etc trying to find that unicorn. It IS possible, but will take legwork and time.
I also tried moissanite and it was just too different from diamond. It reminded me of YAG and rhinestones. I would honestly rather have either real diamond, or a cz if I wanted the look without the price tag. Or a gemstone ring. To me moissanite seems like (very expensive) costume jewelry.

And rather than getting in mindset of correcting a problem that needs to be immediately fixed, think of this as a journey of discovery and options. The more you shop and look around, the more you will know what is around you and what things cost and what things look good on your hand.
 

natasha-cupcake

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
908
I'm going to be brutal here. You are not happy with your petite diamond, despite being happy about how you procured it and how much you saved by buying "smart".You say you can afford a bigger diamond, but your frugal nature is standing in your way, even though you apparently really want a larger one. It's only been a few months from "I'm so happy with my ring!" to "DSS has set in--yikes!". I am a very responsible person in the financial realm. I have never in my life paid a bill late and have often gone without necessities, to meet obligations when money was tight. So I am not giving this advice lightly. Figure that you may have difficult times, financially at some points during your lifetime. If now is not one of those times, give yourself permission to enjoy something "frivolous" that will cost you money.

If a diamond is something that gives you joy and you can afford a bigger one, don't be cheap about this. :naughty: You will not find a decent earth mined one carat diamond for anywhere near $1000. Wait for a Lightbox diamond, if that helps you deal with your frugal side. Or tell your frugal side to STFU and buy yourself a bigger diamond--maybe even a fully upgradeable one from WF or HPD.

I did not have a diamond for the majority of my 26 year marriage. I wore a CZ (very un-PS like!) for years when a diamond was out of reach. When I finally decided to buy a diamond last year, I only allowed myself to spend half of what I really could have afforded because I felt unworthy of the indulgence. I just might have to correct that mistake one of these days.:twisted2:

You deserve an indulgence to mark your engagement, and you should have no regrets, so I say "Size up, girl!" I hope I haven't offended you--definitely not my intention!
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
895
If you are really reluctant to spend much but want a bigger look, then you could consider something like the Stuller illusion head with a plain shank if you like that vintage look. It's a VERY wearable and practical setting. Comfortable on the hand and very sturdy, much sturdier than prongs. Stuller has a nice head, with a ribbon type thing on the sides. It's on their web site. I've had it in rings for a6.5mm sim, and that head is 8mm across which gives "illusion" of a 2ct. The .75ct / 5.8mm size, is a bout like a 1.5ct across. I have seen some nice .5ct diamonds in illusion head rings in pawn shops and they looked HUGE, like at least 1ct. Any jeweler could whip one of those up for $100s, and it might just do ya if you want a bigger look, but a solitaire, and don't want to part with money. I had my .8ct engagement ring made in a Stuller illusion head with a step shank, after I saw an illusion head ring on some woman's hand when she was cutting fabric at a fabric store. We could not afford a 1ct diamond at the time, so that setting really did the trick for me, and I loved it. I had a 6.5mm cz from Wink made into a ring using the 1ct illusion head ring, and it's a fake, but people still grab my hand and love that RING! https://www.stuller.com/products/140172l/?groupId=7516 is ring, but the head is available as a finding.

eta: If you like the illusion head, you might be able to split the difference and get a 5.8mm approx 3/4 ct diamond and bulk it up with an illusion setting. Or full bezel. Or fishtail.
 
Last edited:

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
895
Another vintage look that bulks up, an d you can pair with a plain or elaborage shank, is the Fishtail. These heads are from Southeastern (Southwestern?) Findings company, as I recall. It's another type of illusion setting, with triple prongs at the corners. The ring settings are vintage ones fron ebay. I've had these files saved on my PC since 2005-2006 so the findings may or may not be available.
2_151.jpg 2_152.jpg 3507_1_S_100.jpeg 3507_1_T_100.jpeg a2_152.jpg 208001_2_of_6.jpeg
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
895
Or, you have bezels, too. Or half bezels. Europeans use a lot of bezels for smaller diamonds, which are more common there. graff_mokume.sized.jpg
This yellow gold is a Stuller setting, I believe.
12208_y_8-8_eng.jpeg
 

rockhoundofficiando

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
182
20190306_172130.jpg I just received this from JCPenny. I can't imagine the diamond quality is any good at all considering it is $1200!
 
Last edited:

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
895
illusion4.jpg illusion6.jpg
The ring in the illusion setting with YG shank is my .8ct e-ring and that diamond had a 5.8mm diameter like a .75ct size. The diamond in the 6 prong is an OEC .85 or so and it's diameter is 6.3 or 6.4mm, like a 1ct size. The rings are both size 5, made from stock Stuller findings.
 

soxfan

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
4,334
You need to wait for Lightbox to offer up a 1 carat. You aren't interested in a halo so that is your only choice here.

You are not going to get a one carat diamond that doesn't look like road grit for $1000. Your half carat stone looks amazing on your finger. I remember waiting anxiously to see your update, then looking at your pic and saying to myself "Damn. That is a beautiful ring and it looks just perfect."

Don't be impulsive or you will be following one bad decision after the next. Find something else to occupy your time until you can get the 1 ct from lightbox!!!
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top