shape
carat
color
clarity

Why Would One Choose MMD Over Real?

Discussion in 'Laboratory-Grown Diamonds /Man-Made Diamonds (MMD)' started by MTHealthyLiving, May 9, 2018.

  1. blueMA
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,257
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    by blueMA » May 30, 2018
    The Swarovski CZs are very well cut and they're laser inscribed on top of the table. I have a few I bought as an experiment from Amazon, and they're very inexpensive. I'd say the MMD are priced more in tune with the Moissanite stones, and you can bet that the prices of the synthetics will skydive even further.
     
  2. VDK1
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2017
    by VDK1 » Jun 1, 2018
    FYI, to put the long story of lab grown diamond short, De Beers has launched a new company called Lightbox Jewellery that will sell laboratory-grown diamond jewellery designs at lower prices like costume stones!!! They are much much cheaper than existing lab-grown diamond offerings. Lightbox’s lab-grown diamonds will retail from $200 for a 0.25 ct stone to $800 for a 1 ct stone!

    Very straight forwad : " not special, not unique, not real" diamonds. Lighbox can play with chemistry, time and temperature to make a lab-grown diamond in different colors. So you can choose a jewel in blush pink or powder blue.In natural diamonds, these “fancy colors” are extraordinarily rare and extremely valuable. But we can create them any day of the week.":lol::lol:

    See it yourself https://lightboxjewelry.com
     
  3. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    8,612
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    by denverappraiser » Jun 5, 2018
    Note that lightbox is 'coming soon'. They're not prepared to sell you anything, and won't be for months. That doesn't mean they won't, but the best-laid plans can go astray. It's harder than it sounds.
     
    pearaffair and HDer like this.
  4. VDK1
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2017
    by VDK1 » Jun 5, 2018
    Lighbox will sell lab grown diamonds this Sep. Prices are as cheap as : 0.25ct 200 usd, 0.5 ct 400 usd, 0.75 ct 600 usd and 1ct 800 usd. You will have light box lab grown diamond laser inscription. Simply because they can make laboratory-grown diamonds every day of the week and as many as they want to:(2. Let 's see how the other "beloved MMD suppliers " will continue to cheat consumers :evil2:
    Of course you can never expect to have "De Beers" or " Forevermark" inscriptions or certificates! Simply because "Nature created diamonds over a billion years ago. The larger a natural diamond, the rarer it becomes. Each one is unique, like a snowflake. So they are priced individually, often with certificates to describe their character and qualities."
     
    


    


  5. jeffportnoy
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2019
    by jeffportnoy » Apr 28, 2019
    Why did I buy lab diamonds? Because they provide the same performance as natural ones and cost 80-90% less money.
    For all the “but, investment” folks out there- I could invest that money in gold ingots and get a much better return.
    In my view and based on my research diamonds, all but the ultra-rare 5+ ct stones I am actually interested in, are expensive because of marketing not because they provide some unique function in my life.
     
  6. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    8,612
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    by denverappraiser » Apr 28, 2019
    80-90% cheaper? Maybe someday, but not today unless your talking about fancy colors. May I ask what you bought?
     
    Tekate likes this.
  7. jeffportnoy
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2019
    by jeffportnoy » Apr 28, 2019
    Bought 2 ct (3 stones) from DeBeers/Lightbox for $1600. Similar natural stones would have been $8,000-12,000.
     
  8. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    8,612
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    by denverappraiser » Apr 29, 2019
    Hi Jeff,

    Allow me to start by saying I’m tickled that you’re happy with your purchase and that I have no problem with synthetics. It’s the accounting I’m responding to. Even at that, I respond purely for the benefit of other readers who are considering making this same decision and wonder about price comparison between Lightbox and other comparable lab stones and/or similar natural stones. Congratulations on a successful purchase.

    Based on your other thread, What you bought was a 0.99 princess and two rounds, 0.50 and 0.51. The princess was in a pendant but you didn't mention the rounds. The plan was/is to have a 3rd party jeweler set them into a 3-stone ring, something Lightbox doesn't sell. Lightbox won’t give grades or even real weights, but I’ve seen several and they’ve all been pretty good. Let's call them G/SI1/VG on the rounds and G/SI1 on the princess. For any other vendor who won’t give a grade, the assumptions will be far worse than that, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. They're a reputable company. The cheapest you can get that at Lightbox is $1800 because they don’t sell loose stones. Depending on how you bought your stones you will need at least 2 silver mountings at $100 each. Maybe 3.

    What about naturals? That turns out to be easy to shop, right here. 0.95-0.99 princess (that’s their provided range for a 1 carat stone), G/SI1 in the database has 35 stones for sale, right now, ranging in price from $2,215 - $4,487.

    There are 3599 round stones that fit 0.50-0.52/G/SI1 ranging from $852-$2506. It's slightly less if you include stones a smidge below 0.50cts, which Lightbox does. I'll stick with the bigger ones since that's what you got.

    Picking mid-range offers, that comes to about $5000 for the natural equivalent stones, and possibly as low as $3800 with aggressive shopping. Again, Lightbox expressly won’t give grading information and I’m comparing with people who do. Other dealers with unsupported grading claims tend to be much less expensive, for obvious reasons.

    Depending on what you count as comparable, that’s a ‘discount’ of about 50-60%. That’s less, but it’s a far cry from the 80-90% you mentioned above.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    SandyinAnaheim, Gussie, kgizo and 3 others like this.
  9. sledge
    Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    3,166
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2018
    by sledge » Apr 29, 2019
    Congrats @jeffportnoy, it sounds like you made a choice that met your needs and allowed you to save a few dollars in the process.

    I had started typing out a similar response to @denverappraiser but he beat me to it. In short, you realized some savings but when comparing more apples-to-apples, it isn't as great as you originally eluded. Which is okay, but it's important for others to know that upfront when they are shopping.

    Also, I think a few items need further clarification:

    1. Using the Lightbox option, it requires you buy the size, shape and color of stones you want in a FINISHED piece of jewelry, rather that be earrings, a pendant, etc. There are some costs associated with the silver mountings. Upon receipt, you have some minor costs involved in removing the stones from their existing settings and placing them in their final setting. The settings and additional labor aren't overly expensive, but nonetheless needs to be accounted for in the final price and hassle factor.

    2. Depending on the size of the stone you desire, Lightbox may or may not be a feasible option. I believe the more popular 1 carat round options have been unavailable for awhile. And to my knowledge that is their size cap to date. You obviously achieved 2 carats with a 1 carat princess and 2 round 1/2 carat stones but not everyone will like to mismatch shapes. And for those seeking larger than 1 carat, this isn't an option at all.


    3. Lightbox was the first to introduce pricing this low for lab grown diamonds. I suspect other MMD vendors will eventually lower pricing to compete but am not certain that has happened yet. So if not shopping Lightbox, final pricing may vary and if going over 1 carat where Lightbox is not a competing force, prices will likely spike/vary as well.
     
    Tekate likes this.
  10. jeffportnoy
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2019
    by jeffportnoy » Apr 29, 2019
    Thanks for all the great responses! It’s always nice to learn something!
    Part of the reason I got Lightbox, aside from cost, was
    time - decided “hey I am gonna buy a ring and need it in 3 weeks” and...
    simplicity - instead of having to shop around, do all the typical diamond-buying dance I could order something from DeBeers who is known for being trustworthy & reputable (despite being infamous for other reasons).
    Plus the whole eco thing. I think tech is cool and all the science it took for humans to make a diamond is interesting.

    It did disappoint me LB doesn’t make a 2 ct solitaire....seeing BE’s prices ($6,000-10,000) for lab 2 cts shocked me!
     
    rockhoundofficiando and Tekate like this.
    


    


  11. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    8,612
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    by denverappraiser » Apr 29, 2019
    When I did the above search for comps just a few years ago, the answer was usually that the differential was more like 25%, and 1-carat stones were few and far between. 2-carat synthetics were nearly impossible to find at any price. Prices are definitely coming down and availability of sizes is going up.
     
    kgizo, Lessics and bludiva like this.
  12. jeffportnoy
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2019
    by jeffportnoy » May 1, 2019
    Posted this on another thread but will share here as it answers the main question “Why would one choose MMD...?”:

    I am a car guy so I’ll make this analogy. Lab diamonds are like the Pur Sang Bugatti or Shelby American Cobra recreations (among others). These have fully interchangeable parts with the original cars and, while they don’t cost $1,000,000+, are not cheap. The recreations still cost well over $200,000. In many ways they are better because they can be driven like a car instead of staying locked away, and used only at special events, due to the fear of damaging something so historical and irreplaceable.
    Recreations require looking up the car’s VIN number to determine whether they were manufactured in the 1960s or 2019.
    Replica cars are built to resemble those vehicles however any person familiar with the originals will know they are knock-offs by looking inside or under the hood. These would be equivalent to CZ or Moissanite.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  13. kmoro
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2018
    by kmoro » May 3, 2019
    I gotta disagree. Man-made diamonds are the equivalent of the replicas, imo. CZs are motorcycles, and Moissanites are jet planes, lol .... gems in their own right (well, moissanite is since CZ looks nice at first and then gets scratched to crap, but it’s still easy to tell from diamond). I suppose some people still try to pass them off as diamonds, but I see that as happening less often - and I think the distinction between simulated and synthetic has a lot to do with it, and that that the distinction is being made more clearly and often with the increase of lab-created diamonds.

    And honestly, moissanite is freaking gorgeous ... no shame in wearing it proudly (and no reason not to prefer it to diamond except for marketing and/or a mind-issue for natural stones). Twice the light refraction, available in high colour and clarity, almost same hardness as diamond, and way less money. Also the manufacturers, as far as I know, are not owned by DeBeers. Objecting to diamond marketing is objecting to DeBeers ... to keep total integrity in objection to diamond marketing would mean boycotting DeBeers too, imo.

    Also, I’m again encouraging you to think more on the eco issue. I know you already bought your ring, but I’m not sure that’s a strong justification .... not that you need a justification! just that you have mentioned that’s one of the reasons you went that route.

    It’s really hard to beat the Lightbox prices even with the reset! I think you made a beautiful and money-wise purchase. I think that’s about the only solid reason to go man-made.

    Sorry I am being such a wind-bag this evening!

    Just my two cents =)2
     
  14. rockhoundofficiando
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    by rockhoundofficiando » May 3, 2019
    Agree with your analogy. Personally I like mined diamonds but I understand the allure of a less costly, yet exact synthetic replication option.
    Moissanite is not its "own gem" any moreso than CZ is. Both were developed and are formulated for use as economical diamond simulants. As you mentioned there are those who may enjoy certain characteristics of moissanite over cz such as the longevity and scintillation. There are also those who prefer the less shallow cut, lack of staining issue, and slightly lower cost of cz.

    Am unsure if this conversation can be continued as related to the merits of cz vs moissanite. Discussion of simulants is only allowed on the fashion jewelry forum.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  15. jeffportnoy
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2019
    by jeffportnoy » May 3, 2019
    Furthermore moossanite and CZ are mostly only valuable/desirable because they look like diamonds.
    They have some value because humans like shiny objects. Just like a Pontiac Fiero bodied to look like a Lamborghini has some value because it will still get you from Point A to Point B.
    Wouldn’t buy a non-diamond white gemstone because they aren’t diamonds which have some societal significance and unique physical properties. .
    There are plenty of pretty or (IMO) prettier gems out there that are uniquely beautiful such as emeralds and opals. Just like I wouldn’t buy a knock-off Lambo car because a factory Fiero looks good enough in its own right.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    rockhoundofficiando likes this.
    


    



Share This Page