Jump to content

Enhanced Diamonds


frozndevl
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been reading this site and have found everyone's opinion very interesting. As my girlfriend and I are shopping for her engagement ring, we have run into a bit of a problem. We are very much on a budget for the wedding and all the trimmings, including the ring. To be able to afford the style, size, and type of ring I want to get her, we have been looking into enhanced diamonds. We are only looking for clarity enhanced, and I do not want any filler.

 

We found a jeweler that will do custom rings for a reasonable price, but when we discussed setting with an EC diamond, the gemologist reacted quite strongly against it. Specifically, mentioned that it would explode. It didn't seem to make sense to me, so I wanted to run what I think I know by the community here.

 

1) A laser drilled EC diamond retains its diamond hardness

2) It is a filling agent that could cause some problems when heated to extreme temperatures.

 

Am I missing a key piece of information?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the usual lingo, ‘clarity enhanced’ means use of a filler. Laser drilling generally gets described as a ‘treatment’ although enhancement is a more technically correct term. Clarity enhancement is a way of gussying up lower clarity stones, generally I-1 and I-2 goods to make them look clearer. Since there’s a big price drop at I-1 and another at I-2, this causes the pricing structure you’re seeing even when you factor in the fees for the process. Laser drilling changes the color of certain types of inclusions to a whiter look and it makes them more difficult to see. Basically, black inclusions look worse than white ones. Laser drilling usually doesn’t have all that dramatic an affect on either the clarity or the price. Sometimes it will have both drill and fill by the way.

 

If the stone is being sold as CE and the price looks good, you can pretty much bet that there’s a filler involved.

 

Filler doesn’t affect the hardness at all but you’re correct that it’s heat sensitive. ‘Explode’ isn’t really the correct way to describe what happens if you cook one but it does make an ugly mess as the goo oozes out. Not that I recommend testing this but the major producers of these things all have a warranty and they can redo the filling at little or no cost if someone screws it up. The real answer is to avoid heating the things. Most settings are done without heating the stone anyway so this shouldn’t be a problem. This puts a theoretical limitation on your mounting design choices but really all it rules out is some pretty exotic stuff.

 

In the end, if the jeweler doesn’t want your work, they are under no obligation to accept it. Find someone else who’s more interested in your business.

 

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To add a bit to what Neil said, many jewelers refuse to work on various things for various reasons, most of them come down to their comfort level working with a specific item.. They may not do much with CE diamonds so don't want to take the risk in working with them.. Or they may be primarily a gold shop and not familiar with Palladium.. Or they may not want to work with CZs or simulants.. Etc etc etc..

 

It usually comes back to training, risk, and liability.. Not every jeweler will work with everything out there.. And I wouldn't expect them to..

 

I want to go back to your first statement though..

 

We found a jeweler that will do custom rings for a reasonable price

 

While it is certainly possible to find custom work for a reasonable price, it's still rare to see someone on a very tight budget go this route.. Custom work will almost always cost more than simply choosing a nice ring from the showcase or a catalog.. What sort of budget are you looking at for this custom ring??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you be a little more specific on what you are looking for? What size emerald cut and what does the mounting look like? Also what metal were you wanting the ring to be in? What kind of budget for the entire ring?

You never know, you may be able to get the ring of your dreams without enhancement or filling.

Edited by jan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the stone is being sold as CE and the price looks good, you can pretty much bet that there’s a filler involved.
If a drilled stone isn't filled, does it still retain the improved look or are the drill lines noticeable?

 

Most settings are done without heating the stone anyway so this shouldn’t be a problem.

In our discussion last night, that point came up. And we were told that the problem wouldn't be with the original setting, but with any repair work that would be needed down the road.

 

What sort of budget are you looking at for this custom ring??
We were looking at about $1000 for the engagement band, another $1000 for the matching wedding band with channel set diamonds, and then the rest would be for the stone. We went into the jeweler last night and looked at at a .70ct stone, H-VS2 for about $2500. We looked at a similar stone, F-SI1 for about $3400, very nice and GIA certified but to the eye, the other looked just as nice. I can't remember exactly on the price. The stone isn't certified and ourself and the woman working on our ring agree it is more likely an SI1 in terms of clarity.

 

Can you be a little more specific on what you are looking for? What size emerald cut and what does the mounting look like? Also what metal were you wanting the ring to be in? What kind of budget for the entire ring?

We are looking for a round cut diamond, not an emerald cut. We have chosen Palladium for the metal for its similar properties with platinum at the lower cost (we have eliminated white gold as an option). The ring was what we call a wrap, where the metal flows around the ring from the two sides, but doesn't quite meet. Here is a picture of a ring similar to what we are looking for .

mtgo50405ks7.jpg

 

On another note, the jeweler would have had no problem working with a CZ.

Edited by frozndevl
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the stone is being sold as CE and the price looks good, you can pretty much bet that there’s a filler involved.
If a drilled stone isn't filled, does it still retain the improved look or are the drill lines noticeable?

 

Most settings are done without heating the stone anyway so this shouldn’t be a problem.
In our discussion last night, that point came up. And we were told that the problem wouldn't be with the original setting, but with any repair work that would be needed down the road.

The drill holes require magnification to spot. They generally are about the size of one of your hairs and they come straight down from the table so you're looking at a hair endwise.

 

Repairing jewelry containing heat sensitive stones is indeed often more difficult but it’s not impossible and people do it all the time. Otherwise there would never be anything with emeralds, opals, tanzanite, pearls and a whole litany of other popular materials. The approach or how to do the repair will change and it’s definitely wise to tell your repair jeweler about fillers before any repair begins just in case they don’t notice and make some assumptions about it. Many common repairs, like ring sizing can be done without heating the stone. I agree with Jan that you might want to give a second glance at untreated natural stones. Misrepresentation is rampant in the CE business and when you finally get down to really comparing what you are getting, you may be able to do better with an untreated stone than you are thinking.

 

By the way, why have you ruled out white gold?

 

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A competent jeweler can set a CE just like any other gemstone. I'll bet the jeweler who knocked the CE as some sort of doomsday option wasn't getting your diamond business.

 

Barring a few dont's (boiling in acid, putting the jeweler's torch on the diamond...btw a jeweler would not do that to a saphire, or ruby, or other softer and colorful gemstones so all work can be done unless the area by the CE diamond requires a torch to complete) the CE should come with a lifetime replacement of the CE process and in 9 years online I've had two instances, both where jewelers torched the stone.

 

 

 

On another note you sound like you are shopping retail with a person in front of you who is "grading" the diamond based off some numerology on the tags rather than an actual lab cert like GIA? If so you are likely to run into the classic 2 to 3 letter overgrade issue like EGL is known to do. You won't be able to get a true .75ct H VS2 for $1000 but you certainly can have access to properly graded diamonds at much better pricepoints than what you are looking at now...

 

Marty

CEO/Pres

Diamond Brokerage Service, Inc

www.dbsdiamonds.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A competent jeweler can set a CE just like any other gemstone. I'll bet the jeweler who knocked the CE as some sort of doomsday option wasn't getting your diamond business.

 

Barring a few dont's (boiling in acid, putting the jeweler's torch on the diamond...btw a jeweler would not do that to a saphire, or ruby, or other softer and colorful gemstones so all work can be done unless the area by the CE diamond requires a torch to complete) the CE should come with a lifetime replacement of the CE process and in 9 years online I've had two instances, both where jewelers torched the stone.

 

 

 

On another note you sound like you are shopping retail with a person in front of you who is "grading" the diamond based off some numerology on the tags rather than an actual lab cert like GIA? If so you are likely to run into the classic 2 to 3 letter overgrade issue like EGL is known to do. You won't be able to get a true .75ct H VS2 for $1000 but you certainly can have access to properly graded diamonds at much better pricepoints than what you are looking at now...

 

Marty

CEO/Pres

Diamond Brokerage Service, Inc

www.dbsdiamonds.com

 

 

What I mean is two instances where CE clients called after failing to inform their local jeweler that their diamond was a CE. We still had the CE redone at no charge but such an isolated instance/number vs. the total number of CE's we've sold since 1999 online.

 

Marty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the stone is being sold as CE and the price looks good, you can pretty much bet that there’s a filler involved.
If a drilled stone isn't filled, does it still retain the improved look or are the drill lines noticeable?

 

Most settings are done without heating the stone anyway so this shouldn’t be a problem.
In our discussion last night, that point came up. And we were told that the problem wouldn't be with the original setting, but with any repair work that would be needed down the road.

 

What sort of budget are you looking at for this custom ring??
We were looking at about $1000 for the engagement band, another $1000 for the matching wedding band with channel set diamonds, and then the rest would be for the stone. We went into the jeweler last night and looked at at a .70ct stone, H-VS2 for about $2500. We looked at a similar stone, F-SI1 for about $3400, very nice and GIA certified but to the eye, the other looked just as nice. I can't remember exactly on the price. The stone isn't certified and ourself and the woman working on our ring agree it is more likely an SI1 in terms of clarity.

 

Can you be a little more specific on what you are looking for? What size emerald cut and what does the mounting look like? Also what metal were you wanting the ring to be in? What kind of budget for the entire ring?
We are looking for a round cut diamond, not an emerald cut. We have chosen Palladium for the metal for its similar properties with platinum at the lower cost (we have eliminated white gold as an option). The ring was what we call a wrap, where the metal flows around the ring from the two sides, but doesn't quite meet. Here is a picture of a ring similar to what we are looking for .

mtgo50405ks7.jpg

 

On another note, the jeweler would have had no problem working with a CZ.

 

So you have between $4500-$5400 for the total ring?

 

I see no reason to get a CZ or an enhanced diamond in that price range.

The palladium mounting probably will only cost about $200 in palladium leaving you a really nice budget for a center diamond.

You could even get an ideal cut diamond in the 3/4 ct. range with GIA or AGS lab report in the $2600 range VS2 H.

post-10-1221673770_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your budget is fine for where you want to be. If you’re price conscious I think you will have no problem finding a ring that’s quite close to that from a catalog and lots of people have access. The same manufacturer often has a fitting wedding band as well so you don’t need to go through the expense of custom manufacturing. Talk to a few jewelers, like Jan or Steve, both of whom have answered above or the other jewelers in your town and see what they have that looks like your picture. Maybe even that same jeweler will have some catalogs that he can order from that will cost you less money. The experts here all have a link to their own websites in the footer of their posts.

 

Check out the link at the top of the page titled ‘find online jeweler’. Even if you have no intention of buying online this can be a very useful shopping tool to get a feel for how the various attributes relate to the prices and what different combinations cost. Enter a few parameters and look at what offers you get. Then change something and see how the offers change. Ignore everything other than GIA and AGS graded stones. I think you’ll find it to be fairly easy to stay within your budget and possibly even ‘upgrade’ something or have some money left over at the end. You don't need to be compromising.

 

'Ya gotta love the Internet.

 

Let us know what you find.

 

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you’re still looking for enhanced stone stones, EGL-USA is sort of the only game in town but that’s not saying much and the key is that GIA won’t do them all. Even at that, I think an opinion from a reliable dealer is worth more than the ‘cert’.

 

If you are looking at untreated natural diamonds, they’re not even on the same page. They’re not a substitute. They’re not peers. They’re not even an imitation. GIA is the definition of the grades. EGL is a rumor.

 

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you’re still looking for enhanced stone stones, EGL-USA is sort of the only game in town but that’s not saying much and the key is that GIA won’t do them all. Even at that, I think an opinion from a reliable dealer is worth more than the ‘cert’.

 

If you are looking at untreated natural diamonds, they’re not even on the same page. They’re not a substitute. They’re not peers. They’re not even an imitation. GIA is the definition of the grades. EGL is a rumor.

 

Neil

Nope, not looking at the enhanced anymore, looking at untreated stones. Am looking at one right now and will let you all know what I end up with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Frozndevl- to expand a little on what Neil mentioned about EGL- or any other non GIA or AGSL lab- These "certificates" are extremely valuable for one main reason- A dealer who does NOT explain the difference to you- and is trying to sell you a diamond based on a non GIA grade is tipping their hand. Because they , as a dealer, know the grade is suspect, yet they are tying to have the buyer believe all is Honkey Dory.

Basically, once a seller has shown the willingness to deceive, I believe they should be avoided.

 

If the dealer does not know the difference, that's also a good sign that they may not be viable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you thought about just getting a CZ and the setting you want so you can just upgrade the diamond later to exactly what you want unless you find someone willing to allow an upgrade from what you get now? It may save some money now and allow you to upgrade the setting if desired. Then when you are more set in life, upgrade. That would be a nice 5th anniversary present or something like that. No need to scrimp now just to fit everything in a budget. 99% of the people won't even know it's a CZ anyways. It's more practical for new people just starting out in life, IMO>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you thought about just getting a CZ and the setting you want so you can just upgrade the diamond later to exactly what you want unless you find someone willing to allow an upgrade from what you get now? It may save some money now and allow you to upgrade the setting if desired. Then when you are more set in life, upgrade. That would be a nice 5th anniversary present or something like that. No need to scrimp now just to fit everything in a budget. 99% of the people won't even know it's a CZ anyways. It's more practical for new people just starting out in life, IMO>

I did consider going for a CZ or other simulant while thinking about this. I'm not what most would consider starting out, just being fiscally responsible. :P I think what it boiled down to is that I would be in that 1% that did know what it really is. As much as the symbolism of a diamond has been hammered into the general populace by whomever, I have fallen for it and am looking forward to being able to give my gf a real stone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK. I also see what you meant about a jeweler possibly not wanting to set a CE in that setting. I'm not sure how I missed it before. So you are looking at a Tension setting unless they have a small amount of gold connected underneath, but I believe it's a tension setting. Those do require from many stores to have at least an S1 diamond. My wife has one very similar to that only without the wrap. Just straight to ends. Here's another site you might find interesting.

 

http://www.titaniumrings.com/tensionlarge.html

 

We are currently in the process of getting the Atom for my wife and the Fusion for myself, but my wife currently has had the Etoile for the past 10 years in Yellow gold.

 

Just in case you haven't been told, they can't resize these types of settings so be warned. My wife has had 4 children and during and for a while after she could not wear her ring so I got a replacement to fit during those times. Cheapo, but something. She also opted not to get a wedding bad portion as it took away from the simple elegance we were going for with the tension settings. That may be why I missed it the first time I saw the ring. Wasn't expecting a wedding band on a tension set. Very nice ring though. They didn't have that style when we got our first and it's probably what I would have chosen if I had seen it.

 

What we are doing since this ring maker is from Canada is buying the ring with a CZ after we find the diamond we will be putting in it. Then having a local jeweler just swap out the CZ that is the same size as the real one. They are sending a video clip of how it's done incase the jeweler isn't exactly sure.

 

I think it's a very reasonable priced ring, but it's titanium so I'm not sure how the price compares to the setting you already found. I believe the ring you found is also available on boonerings.com It's $900 I think without an inlay or $1100 with an inlay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK. I also see what you meant about a jeweler possibly not wanting to set a CE in that setting. I'm not sure how I missed it before. So you are looking at a Tension setting unless they have a small amount of gold connected underneath, but I believe it's a tension setting. Those do require from many stores to have at least an S1 diamond. My wife has one very similar to that only without the wrap. Just straight to ends. Here's another site you might find interesting.

 

http://www.titaniumrings.com/tensionlarge.html

 

We are currently in the process of getting the Atom for my wife and the Fusion for myself, but my wife currently has had the Etoile for the past 10 years in Yellow gold.

 

Just in case you haven't been told, they can't resize these types of settings so be warned. My wife has had 4 children and during and for a while after she could not wear her ring so I got a replacement to fit during those times. Cheapo, but something. She also opted not to get a wedding bad portion as it took away from the simple elegance we were going for with the tension settings. That may be why I missed it the first time I saw the ring. Wasn't expecting a wedding band on a tension set. Very nice ring though. They didn't have that style when we got our first and it's probably what I would have chosen if I had seen it.

 

What we are doing since this ring maker is from Canada is buying the ring with a CZ after we find the diamond we will be putting in it. Then having a local jeweler just swap out the CZ that is the same size as the real one. They are sending a video clip of how it's done incase the jeweler isn't exactly sure.

 

I think it's a very reasonable priced ring, but it's titanium so I'm not sure how the price compares to the setting you already found. I believe the ring you found is also available on boonerings.com It's $900 I think without an inlay or $1100 with an inlay.

 

I haven't been back to look at similar rings in a week or so, but I do believe that it is not a tension ring. We have had the discussion on the ring and since it is not a tension ring, it can be sized, though of course the less resizing the better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I agree you will always know, not a good feeling when proposing. Also will she want to trade it in later, or will it grow on her to where she never wants to trade or return the original diamond because of sentimental value? If so I would recommend purchasing a nice quality diamond of a smaller size to fit your budget. You will always know you bought the right thing without overspending. It becomes a story later in life, as silly as some think that may sound. Also, I have seen some do the same thing you were planning on CZ or CE only to bring a stone like these back dissapointed because a girlfriend pointed out scratches/abrasions on the stone only being a few months old. CZ's are not good for everyday wear on a hand. CE are similar to filling a cavity in a tooth, Most have very simple color flashes usually seen by the naked eye to a trained grader. A CE diamond is also hard to determine a correct value. It only cost minimal dollars to treat these diamonds. Most of the companies grade CE as they see the clarity at 10x power then they compare the price to a non-treated diamond of the same quality and sell them at a huge discount. In reallity what they are doing and you could do with time. Find a diamond with a low clarity or a surface breaking inclusion, generally SI-I3, Have it filled, would cost much less than most CE sold. If you wanted the true cost of a CE diamond have someone remove the filling with chemicals, then have it appraised without the filling. Add the cost of treatment and there is your true value on that diamond. Unfortunetly, CE brands started the pricing of these and other generic CE diamond followed suit. Check GIA attitude towards grading them. I have no problem with CE diamonds but feel sellers take advantage of many people by not explaining the full details of what they are and how they are priced. I recently called one Branded CE company for a replacement price (CE VS2) and how to price them. Was told to grade it the way it looked at 10x, then take 50% back off the price of a comparable untreated diamond. Had to appraise it at that because of the brand, yet it would have probably been an I2 diamond without filling. Large feather across crown and that was pretty much it. The problem was the VS untreated stone was around $14,000. With the treatment was appraised at $7250 from a comparable on the branded website. The diamond it started as would have appraised for $4000-$5000. So they charged $2000-$3000 for an inexpensive treatment that is not permanent or stable. Hence the lifetime treatment replacement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
  • Create New...