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Help With Black Diamonds And Choosing Dealer


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#1 Harmony Vollmer

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:50 PM

Hello! I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Liori Diamonds. My boyfriend and I decided to choose my engagement ring together ahead of time so it will be just right- so we aren't in a hurry or anything but neither of us know about diamonds. I really want a cushion cut black center diamond with a halo, and I like larger center stones. It doesn't matter to us if the stone is irradiated or not (should it?). We found two great settings we like, with what seems (to us) like nice looking center and side stones at Liori Diamonds, and one at Leibish. Here is where we have an issue choosing. The Leibish ring has a natural untreated black stone, with a GIA certificate and good quality side stones/workmanship. I have read that Leibish is reputable and trustworthy and has good customer service. The Liori bands are black which I love and the center stones are bigger. The rings are cheaper than the Leibish ring because the stones have been irradiated. They do not come with GIA certificates. Liori has many good reviews online, but there are a few that give me red flags. The reviews say side stones fell out, the stones were not as big as they were advertised, and they had bad customer service. The owner replied to these in kind of an unprofessional manner. But the majority of reviews were 5 star. I gather that the reason the black diamonds have not been GIA certified are because GIA only does natural black diamonds. So here are our concerns-
1. I obviously want the diamond to look as nice as possible. Natural vs. irradiated doesn't matter to us. We are concerned the natural stone from Leibish may not be as beautiful/black, etc.
2. In contrast, we have heard that irradiated stones may be hard to care for and as the Liori diamonds are only rated by AGI NY, we don't know what kind of stones they really are or if they were undesirable stones to begin with
3. Customer service and reliability- I know that Leibish isn't going to cheat us and will fix any issues no problem, do maintenance, etc. the few bad reviews of Liori said "buyer beware" and the comments from the owner really seemed shady
4. The Liori stones are bigger and cheaper, the Leibish ring does seem classier to me, Liori rings are $1000 cheaper

Here are the links to the rings in question
http://www.leibish.com/rings-jewelry/fancy-black-cushion-diamond-halo-ring-26862

http://www.lioridiamonds.com/4-13-carat-cushion-cut-black-diamond-ring-18k-black-gold-pave-halo-vintage-style.html

http://www.lioridiamonds.com/6-35-carat-cushion-cut-black-diamond-ring-14k-black-gold-pave-halo-vintage-style.html


Please help us decide, all advice much appreciated

#2 denverappraiser

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 05:18 PM

Treated black diamonds are generally cheaper than untreated natural equivalents.  They’re usually also blacker. Whether that’s a feature or a problem is up to you.

18k ‘black’ gold is a surface treatment over some other sort of alloy, probably yellow or white.  This will wear off if you or your bride actually, you know, wear the piece.  This is entirely inappropriate for an engagement ring, and really for just about any ring that will be worn more than for special occasions.

Most of the images in the advertisement are drawings, not photographs.  This is not what your ring will look like. 

GIA does not grade color treated diamonds.  Their paperwork is not an option. 

The AGI document is useless.
 


Edited by denverappraiser, 11 January 2017 - 08:50 AM.

Neil Beaty
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#3 Harmony Vollmer

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 05:49 PM

Thanks. So I guess I'm just confused or I don't know very much about diamond. I know the images are not the real ring- but there are included some real pictures of similar rings. So I guess what I mean is would you trust Leibish or Liori? Can you tell how black the Leibish ring is by the GIA certificate they included? I know it's a different certificate than for a colorless diamond. Thanks for the info about the "black gold" I didn't know that :) it sounds like you are dubious about the Liori rings but what about Leibish? Are there any other places you would recommend for a black cushion cut with that type of setting?

#4 denverappraiser

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:52 PM

Yes, I'm dubious about the Lioni ring although, in their defense, I've never seen it.  It's their advertising I'm picking on. 

 

Leibish is a large and well-regarded company.  

 

That said, you're not comparing the same things.  People buy natural black diamonds because they like NATURAL and they're willing to pay extra for it.  The point of the GIA document is to provide evidence to support that claim.  If that's not what's important to you, don't buy it.  

 

The way to match a stone to a report is mostly using the dimensions and things like the angles.  With opaque stones it's tough.  Sometimes there's a girdle inscription, which helps.  If you're worried about this, hire a pro to help. 

 

I don't recommend particular dealers because of the conflict of interest in my role as an appraiser but there are others here who might.  


Edited by denverappraiser, 11 January 2017 - 09:01 AM.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.
Professional Appraisals in Denver