shape
carat
color
clarity

Would you sacrifice colour in an OEC to maximise size?

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
Hi everyone,

I’ve started tentatively looking for an OEC as an upgrade, but it looks like in order to get the size I would like something has to give!

I live in the UK so this is a modest upgrade and actually my third! I started with a 0.39 MRB, found Pricescope and fell in love with old cuts. I got a beautiful 0.73ct OEC from Grace but have been suffering with DSS. Having spoken to my husband he has a real sentimental attachment to my engagement ring, so he’s not keen to get a new setting and would rather something new. However, it’s hard for him to get his head around how much diamonds cost. It’s not so much affordability but how much seems reasonable to spend to him, if that makes sense?

We will have been together for 20 years in October so it’s feels like a nice time for the upgrade and in his own words if he was buying me an engagement ring now the budget would be completely different, but he won’t say how much!! All I can say is that I saw a nice mine cut on Instagram and for the specs thought it was very reasonable, but when I spoke to him about it he was a bit taken aback. I may need to remind him how much my last upgrade was! I’m also sending him other diamond posts so he starts to get a feel for how much diamonds cost.

There is a diamond that I felt “got away” as he was nowhere near purchasing (still isn’t) but it was a 1.8ct albeit with an EGL cert and to my mind reasonable (possibility due to the cert!). I have since seen that lower colour stones may be the way to go. I’ve seen what looks like a nice O-P diamond with a GIA cert. I think I would prefer to compromise on colour than clarity? Although recently I’ve seen some I1 that don’t look like that grade, at least to my inexperienced eyes?

I tried to see some lower colours in real life but in Hatton garden the shops that had old cuts tended to have whiter stones. I did learn though that I don’t like transitionals (always thought I would love them from images) and I’m drawn to OECs and while I also love OMCs they tend to face up much smaller. I also tried on different carat weights, shame I don’t know the actual measurements, because despite having small child size hands I have fairly fleshy fingers (size 6) and I was totally comfortable with a 1.5ct.

How would you try to maximise size, would you go down in colour? I’m not so hung up on carat weight but more dimensions, as long as it doesn’t compromise performance.

My engagement ring that needs resizing - 0.73ct

8369D39E-5F52-49FA-85EA-485B161B06F3.jpeg

A 1.34ct I tried on and liked

AA7E349A-16AC-4D9D-A91D-4E2DCBA56C35.jpeg

This is a 1.12ct

C6093AF1-79DC-454E-870B-56BF78D2EA1C.jpeg

This is the biggest I tried - a 1.5ct transitional which didn’t feel hugely bigger than the others, but that may be because it’s a solitaire rather than an ornate setting.

0614E409-8FE9-460A-9E34-0D07A282FEAA.jpeg

Thank you for reading if you managed to get to the end!!
 

RetroQT

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
678
Congrats on 20 years!

Since you are looking for more coverage, have you considered a nice halo? You could find a beautiful OEC that might be a little under the 1.5 but that has a nicely done halo that could help with the coverage.

As for going down in color, that’s what I have done. My modern cuts have all been E-G because I thought I needed colorless. But once I started looking into OECs, I’ve been much more comfortable with lower colors. I have a GIA graded M and an awaiting the arrival of a GIA graded N stone. Looking at the lower colors helped me get the size I wanted while also giving me the beauty of the ivory colored stones and their very pronounced rich rainbows of confetti.
 

Mreader

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
4,462
Can you share what you found on IG? As far as sacrificing color or clarity for size it really comes down to personal preference. Some people are very picky about color and clarity and would prefer a smaller stone to have those specs. For me personally I would prefer a bigger look and I could sacrifice clarity or color (to an extent - my stone is L) if the stone is eye clean. Once you have a budget you can share that and I know that PS will be happy to do some shopping for you!
 

Lookinagain

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
3,099
Is it the size of the stone or the finger coverage that is most important to you? You can get more coverage depending on the setting, e.g. a halo, as someone suggested. Or some side stones, either diamond or colored stones. If it's the size of the stone, I think the 1.34 would give you a very noticeable size upgrade. I tend to like old cuts with some warmth, so K, L, M color works for me. And eye clean. Will you stick with white metal?
 

Cerulean

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
4,546
Congrats on your 20th!

I remember trying to get my husband to understand the pricing at first. (He does now :lol:) Has he been to a store with you? He might be less inclined to scoff if it comes from the mouth of someone else :) if your budget is a matter of convincing him versus what you can actually afford, it can take time for them to understand and I’d drag him to stores with you so he finally realizes you’re not just filtering inaccurately

Color versus size is personal. If you want something very white, only you can decide. A lot of people are happy with tint in old cuts. I prefer really white or really tinted (think pale yellow) - it took me a while to figure that out

As for clarity, I would skip I1s generally. Old cuts can be tricky because often the girdle (the edge of the stone) can be very thin because they were cut by hand. Because they are more fragile, sometimes stones that look clean might have feathers, chips, etc along the edge. Basically, the clarity grade might be the same for 2 stones but their appearance and structural integrity might be quite different. Many people here can help read the clarity charts on GIA reports. I’ve had 2 different Si1s and they were very different. One had a thick girdle and had a cloud that you couldn’t see with a loupe and that was it…the other has a lot of little issues along the edges so it must be in a bezel to protect the edges. A bezel might be a good fit for you to get more visual “oomph”
 

Ionysis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
1,497
I would definitely compromise on colour with an OEC - and in fact with modern rounds. I love a creamy stone but can’t stand visible inclusions or a poor cut. With an OEC I’d go for M/N/O-P. You would find a smashing stone.

But if you’re in the U.K. please don’t buy at home! Speaking as a Brit the price for diamonds in the U.K. is ludicrous. Find a way to purchase from the US or online. So much more choice and value for money.
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
Congrats on 20 years!

Since you are looking for more coverage, have you considered a nice halo? You could find a beautiful OEC that might be a little under the 1.5 but that has a nicely done halo that could help with the coverage.

As for going down in color, that’s what I have done. My modern cuts have all been E-G because I thought I needed colorless. But once I started looking into OECs, I’ve been much more comfortable with lower colors. I have a GIA graded M and an awaiting the arrival of a GIA graded N stone. Looking at the lower colors helped me get the size I wanted while also giving me the beauty of the ivory colored stones and their very pronounced rich rainbows of confetti.

Thank you! I'm not sure if I'm a halo person, although I have seen some beautiful ones. I only managed to try on a setting with a halo which didn't have a stone in and I did kind of like it. I am quite hard on my hands though and my future job will be hands on (back to being a student after twenty years!) although I may just wear a wedding band for work, so I was thinking some sort of bezel possibly.

I would love to see these lower colours and the rainbows is so appealing. My current stone is an I and I don't think I'm colour sensitive but hard to say for definite without having seen one in real life.

Can you share what you found on IG? As far as sacrificing color or clarity for size it really comes down to personal preference. Some people are very picky about color and clarity and would prefer a smaller stone to have those specs. For me personally I would prefer a bigger look and I could sacrifice clarity or color (to an extent - my stone is L) if the stone is eye clean. Once you have a budget you can share that and I know that PS will be happy to do some shopping for you!

Yes of course - it was an old mine cut from Sako, it was 1.36ct but measured 7.53 x 6.69, K colour, SI1 clarity and it was $5200. Eye clean is important to me but I think I am opening to exploring pushing either I guess, maybe it will depend on the stone? Thank you, I will see if my husband is willing to put a price on it, although I think showing him a variety of options helps. I suspect he would be happier around $4k whereas I am thinking $5-6k, I will see where I get to!
 

RetroQT

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
678
Can you share what you found on IG? As far as sacrificing color or clarity for size it really comes down to personal preference. Some people are very picky about color and clarity and would prefer a smaller stone to have those specs. For me personally I would prefer a bigger look and I could sacrifice clarity or color (to an extent - my stone is L) if the stone is eye clean. Once you have a budget you can share that and I know that PS will be happy to do some shopping for you!

Oh, definitely let these PS’ers help with the search! That’s how I found my N that is arriving this week.
 

Cerulean

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
4,546
Generally OMCs face up smaller, although the one you saw is pretty spready. Do you prefer OMC or OEC?
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
Congrats on your 20th!

I remember trying to get my husband to understand the pricing at first. (He does now :lol:) Has he been to a store with you? He might be less inclined to scoff if it comes from the mouth of someone else :) if your budget is a matter of convincing him versus what you can actually afford, it can take time for them to understand and I’d drag him to stores with you so he finally realizes you’re not just filtering inaccurately

Color versus size is personal. If you want something very white, only you can decide. A lot of people are happy with tint in old cuts. I prefer really white or really tinted (think pale yellow) - it took me a while to figure that out

As for clarity, I would skip I1s generally. Old cuts can be tricky because often the girdle (the edge of the stone) can be very thin because they were cut by hand. Because they are more fragile, sometimes stones that look clean might have feathers, chips, etc along the edge. Basically, the clarity grade might be the same for 2 stones but their appearance and structural integrity might be quite different. Many people here can help read the clarity charts on GIA reports. I’ve had 2 different Si1s and they were very different. One had a thick girdle and had a cloud that you couldn’t see with a loupe and that was it…the other has a lot of little issues along the edges so it must be in a bezel to protect the edges. A bezel might be a good fit for you to get more visual “oomph”

Thank you! I would love to take him but it's his idea of a nightmare! I sent him all the pics of my trip to Hatton Garden, I also took photos of the price labels in case he thought I was making them up!! Yes it's totally about convincing him and I do get his point of view, it's a lot of money to spend on one person vs say a car that benefits everyone in the family.

The lowest colour I have seen in real life is a K and I was completely fine with that so I suspect I can go low.

Thank you for your advice on clarity, all really good points and structural integrity is really important. Good to know I could post the chart and get opinions. You read my mind - I was thinking a bezel!

I would definitely compromise on colour with an OEC - and in fact with modern rounds. I love a creamy stone but can’t stand visible inclusions or a poor cut. With an OEC I’d go for M/N/O-P. You would find a smashing stone.

But if you’re in the U.K. please don’t buy at home! Speaking as a Brit the price for diamonds in the U.K. is ludicrous. Find a way to purchase from the US or online. So much more choice and value for money.

Thank you! That's what I was thinking colour wise, but so hard haven't seen one.

Yeah I was pretty shocked at some of the prices! My OEC is from Jewels by Grace so I have no issue with buying from the US.
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
Oh, definitely let these PS’ers help with the search! That’s how I found my N that is arriving this week.

Oh amazing, I will keep an eye out for yours! I definitely will, you all have such a good eye.

Generally OMCs face up smaller, although the one you saw is pretty spready. Do you prefer OMC or OEC?

Yes that's why I had kind of discounted them. I'm not sure, I saw a gorgeous ring in a window of a shop I didn't dare enter(!) and looked it up on their website and was surprised it was an OMC. I would say as a normal rule when I see them online I am usually visually drawn more to an OEC.
 

Mreader

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
4,462
K and I are actually higher colors for old cuts and thus more expensive. But idk if this is GIA K and I? Because if it's EGL or just the jeweler grading it then you can probably assume two grades lower lol. Also Grace is imo is expensive as far as price points go. Once you have a budget we can find you a deal :)
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
K and I are actually higher colors for old cuts and thus more expensive. But idk if this is GIA K and I? Because if it's EGL or just the jeweler grading it then you can probably assume two grades lower lol. Also Grace is imo is expensive as far as price points go. Once you have a budget we can find you a deal :)

The I is GIA but the K was in a shop so I have no idea, probably their own grading, the elderly gentleman helping me seemed to have no clue. Yes Grace is pricey, although she has lovely diamonds. Ok will try and get a budget sorted, wish me luck!

Also is your budget for only the stone, or a full ring?

For me it would be just the stone, my husband probably the whole lot! I will work on him....
 

luvmysparklies

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
610
The Pricescope detectives will definitely be able to help you score! I just wanted to ask if you solely want an original earth mined old cut OEC or would you be open to a newer cut OEC in a lab version? I only ask this as another possible option to think about, since a lab stone could also address budgetary concerns while getting you a great size as well. If open to lab you would need to post in the other forum. Just a thought, otherwise these bada** PSers can deliver!
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
13,651
@Agnasia, I was good with dropping in color to get a larger stone...my most recent purchase is a N and I'm happy with it.

It's hard for people to wrap their minds around how expensive diamonds are. Once you and dh settle on a budget, I would be happy to join in on the search!
 

RetroQT

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
678
Thank you! I'm not sure if I'm a halo person, although I have seen some beautiful ones. I only managed to try on a setting with a halo which didn't have a stone in and I did kind of like it. I am quite hard on my hands though and my future job will be hands on (back to being a student after twenty years!) although I may just wear a wedding band for work, so I was thinking some sort of bezel possibly.

I would love to see these lower colours and the rainbows is so appealing. My current stone is an I and I don't think I'm colour sensitive but hard to say for definite without having seen one in real life.
The good thing about halos, is that they come in a variety. So you could opt for something like this one (just as an example) that would be low profile.


But again, just an option to help with the coverage if you find a stone you love in his budget but it might not be quite the size you’d like.
 

Tonks

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
883
I would go down in color (but only to a point), especially in an old cut, but I have learned I am not particularly color sensitive. That really does vary by person, though, so I encourage you to figure out what you prioritize. This forum is full of people who have discovered that their priority is size…and also of people who have discovered that their priority is color. We also see those who really prioritize clarity. It is all so individual.

One option to increase size, if you don’t like a halo, would be a bezel. It would protect the girdle of your stone (which could be particularly valuable if the old cut you find has a thin girdle) and could give you a bit of a size bump. If you search, both @LLJsmom and I think @carbonfan have or had octagonal bezels from Victor Canera that were just stunning.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
4,546
I would go down in clarity for size, but depends on the inclusions. I wouldn’t for multiple scattered inclusions that obscured the facet patterning, but would (did) for 2 eye visible but off to the side.

I would go down in color for size, but depends on the color. Some colors just look a bit dingy.

so - my official answer is “it depends”.

happy hunting!
 

Mrs_Strizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
1,425
20211126_153537.jpg I would absolutely sacrifice color for size, and did. In the pic is my O-P OEC and my H Rosie both per GIA. The cut of the oec definitely hides some of the color to my eye. That said, I'm definitely not color sensitive and understand those that are. When I see a "colorless" diamond irl I think they are beautiful! I just don't begrudge my oec for her color, lol
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
The Pricescope detectives will definitely be able to help you score! I just wanted to ask if you solely want an original earth mined old cut OEC or would you be open to a newer cut OEC in a lab version? I only ask this as another possible option to think about, since a lab stone could also address budgetary concerns while getting you a great size as well. If open to lab you would need to post in the other forum. Just a thought, otherwise these bada** PSers can deliver!

It's all starting to feel exciting, as long as I can pin hubby down! To be honest I hadn't really considered a lab stone, I'm not sure how I feel about lab in general, I would need to do some reading around it. I do love vintage though and the idea of the history and story behind a mined old cut.

@Agnasia, I was good with dropping in color to get a larger stone...my most recent purchase is a N and I'm happy with it.

It's hard for people to wrap their minds around how expensive diamonds are. Once you and dh settle on a budget, I would be happy to join in on the search!

Oh that's good to know, seems like a lot of people have lower coloured stones. Yes it's hard to get your head around it for a single purchase but hopefully we'll get there soon. We're going on holiday in a week which seems an ideal time to chat about it. Thank you, I would love for you to help me hunt!

The good thing about halos, is that they come in a variety. So you could opt for something like this one (just as an example) that would be low profile.


But again, just an option to help with the coverage if you find a stone you love in his budget but it might not be quite the size you’d like.

Thank you, that is a really beautiful halo, much more my taste. I think I have something saved that's similar! It's definitely good to have options!
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
4,546
I did learn though that I don’t like transitionals (always thought I would love them from images)
This is the biggest I tried - a 1.5ct transitional which didn’t feel hugely bigger than the others, but that may be because it’s a solitaire rather than an ornate setting.

0614E409-8FE9-460A-9E34-0D07A282FEAA.jpeg

Thank you for reading if you managed to get to the end!!

I may be misunderstanding you - but Please don’t be turned off on all transitionals automatically if this is the examples you’ve seen irl
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
I would go down in clarity for size, but depends on the inclusions. I wouldn’t for multiple scattered inclusions that obscured the facet patterning, but would (did) for 2 eye visible but off to the side.

I would go down in color for size, but depends on the color. Some colors just look a bit dingy.

so - my official answer is “it depends”.

happy hunting!

That's interesting, I've read a little about "clever" inclusions that can be perhaps hidden by the setting. It seems it will be a case by case basis! Thanks!

20211126_153537.jpg I would absolutely sacrifice color for size, and did. In the pic is my O-P OEC and my H Rosie both per GIA. The cut of the oec definitely hides some of the color to my eye. That said, I'm definitely not color sensitive and understand those that are. When I see a "colorless" diamond irl I think they are beautiful! I just don't begrudge my oec for her color, lol

Wow that is beautiful!! Definitely open O-P if they are anything like this :kiss2:
 

lulu_ma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
2,792
You’ve gotten a lot of good advice!

Do you follow Ishy Antiques? He’s very nice and may have something pop up for you.

His mentor (and who he exhibits with at Las Vegas/ NY/ Miami shows) is Pat at Lowther Antiques. I have read that her booth is one of the most popular at the NY Jewelry & Watch Show. She’s based off Portobello Rd. Perhaps you can visit her and see stones in a variety of colors?

Personally, I thought I wouldn’t go any lower than J/ K/L last year. After seeing a bunch of stones, I figured out I was comfortable going to O/P for the right stone.
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
I may be misunderstanding you - but Please don’t be turned off on all transitionals automatically if this is the examples you’ve seen irl

I saw a couple of others too and they were similar to this, but yes that is why I decided against them. The images I have seen online I have loved, but they have always been macro and super close up so I haven't seen any irl that I liked.
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
You’ve gotten a lot of good advice!

Do you follow Ishy Antiques? He’s very nice and may have something pop up for you.

His mentor (and who he exhibits with at Las Vegas/ NY/ Miami shows) is Pat at Lowther Antiques. I have read that her booth is one of the most popular at the NY Jewelry & Watch Show. She’s based off Portobello Rd. Perhaps you can visit her and see stones in a variety of colors?

Personally, I thought I wouldn’t go any lower than J/ K/L last year. After seeing a bunch of stones, I figured out I was comfortable going to O/P for the right stone.

Yes I just looked them up and I am following, will set up the notifications. Oh that is great, does she have a shop there? Would love to do some more real life research if possible. It sounds like that's the way to figure out how low I can go.
 

lulu_ma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
2,792
Yes I just looked them up and I am following, will set up the notifications. Oh that is great, does she have a shop there? Would love to do some more real life research if possible. It sounds like that's the way to figure out how low I can go.

I think she has a booth on Portobello.

Here’s a link to some of my research. Two M’s, an N and an O/P. Btw, stones are 54-60% depth (deeper stones in the same grade *may* retain more body color).

 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
I think she has a booth on Portobello.

Here’s a link to some of my research. Two M’s, an N and an O/P. Btw, stones are 54-60% depth (deeper stones in the same grade *may* retain more body color).


Thank you so much, I will have a look.
 

dmack

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
234
Thank you! I'm not sure if I'm a halo person, although I have seen some beautiful ones. I only managed to try on a setting with a halo which didn't have a stone in and I did kind of like it. I am quite hard on my hands though and my future job will be hands on (back to being a student after twenty years!) although I may just wear a wedding band for work, so I was thinking some sort of bezel possibly.

I would love to see these lower colours and the rainbows is so appealing. My current stone is an I and I don't think I'm colour sensitive but hard to say for definite without having seen one in real life.



Yes of course - it was an old mine cut from Sako, it was 1.36ct but measured 7.53 x 6.69, K colour, SI1 clarity and it was $5200. Eye clean is important to me but I think I am opening to exploring pushing either I guess, maybe it will depend on the stone? Thank you, I will see if my husband is willing to put a price on it, although I think showing him a variety of options helps. I suspect he would be happier around $4k whereas I am thinking $5-6k, I will see where I get to!

I had Sako send me info on this stone too! I loved the face up size but it was soooo shallow. The thing I love about old cuts is the kozibe and this stone showed none.
 

Agnasia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
411
I had Sako send me info on this stone too! I loved the face up size but it was soooo shallow. The thing I love about old cuts is the kozibe and this stone showed none.

Oh how funny! Yes I was worried about the depth given how spready it was.
 
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