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Should I Go The Ce Route?


prdurrant
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Hi,

 

I have been searching for a long time for the perfect diamond for my partner. She has told me that I am not to spend more than $10K on it but she has also given me her specifications which are:

 

Princess or Cushion Cut

Color - D - H

Clarity - Fl - SI1

Carat - 2.5 - 3.0

 

Does anyone know if I can make this by going the clarity enhanced (CE) route? If so, where and has anyone bought from them.

 

ALTERNATIVELY, if I took my budget from between $15K - $20K (going against her wishes) would anyone be able to recommend a retailer who would be able to sell not a non-enhanced diamond (not EGL) to suit that specification.

 

Sorry about all of the questions, but this is beginning to feel like an impossible task and I am stuck between going over budget (and getting something she wants, but I will struggle to afford) and being stuck with a compromise which noone really wants.

 

We have tried on a number of rings and I have filtered it down to these specs.

 

Any help would be great

 

Paul

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Hello Paul, and welcome to DiamondReview. I have asked the mods to move this thread to "The Rock" - "Purchase Experiences" is a forum for people to give feedback on what they bought and the people they dealt with.

 

I'm afraid you are on "mission impossible" if you look for a non-CE stone. The one chance you have is to find a private resale of a stone that fits your criteria, and even then you'd need most likely to make some compromise on clarity, cut or possibly both. If you do decide to go down that route, be patient - your specs are very broad, yet the right stone may take a few months to be found - there aren't that many to start with, and the number of people that decide to go the private sale route on a relatively large stone is even lower.

 

If you up your budget to $20k, you have a chance to find something decent by remaining at the bottom of your specs: 2.50 or so, H/SI1 or possibly VS2.

 

CE may appear to solve all the issues, but it introduces others:

 

1. The major labs will not grade diamonds treated with certain types of clarity enhancement (fracture filling/Yehuda). This automatically means you are on your own as to colour and clarity. If your lady is keen on getting a princess cut or a cushion, you are also on your own as to cut - regardless of clarity, which is a problem considering that...

 

2. Many of the dealers that specialise in CE stones are not exactly paragons of transparency and honesty. In some cases you have to dig pretty hard to find that the stone they are selling has been treated, never mind getting a fair assessment of its other characteristics.

 

3. The reason major labs won't touch fracture-filled stones is because the treatment is not categorised as permanent. The filling can (and does) fall off. Many vendors offer "lifetime guarantees", but I'd much rather bypass them and get a laser-drilled stone, ideally one that has been graded by GIA or AGS.

 

There is nothing wrong with CE (laser-drilled) stones per se, but you need to be doubly careful.

 

Couple of thoughts on alternative solutions:

 

1. Get her a 3 or even 4 carat CZ. No, really. And a pair of lovely CZ earrings. They look beautiful, if you choose a good brand they last a long time, and some dealers have more than reasonable quality metalwork. Save the change for buying the diamond of her dreams when it is the right time.

 

2. Get her a good 1.50 carat, and a voucher for upgrade on your first (or fifth, or fifteenth) anniversary. Pick a vendor that has competitive prices AND a good trade-in programme, so you avoid major losses on your initial purchase.

 

3. Combine 1 and 2.

 

4. Consider a non-diamond ring. A nice 3 carat sapphire can be purchased for $2000/carat, and it can look splendid if mounted in the right setting. Ask Kate.

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(Fair) price of a diamond depends on its weight, colour, clarity and cut, as well as a number of other secondary characteristics. Your sources of information for that are the dealer and the lab report. CE stones rarely have a "good" lab report, and are mostly sold through dealers that I would not trust and at conditions that I would not accept (no return, exchange only; restocking fees; return within 3 days only if not as described; no viewing of lab report until after the sale is closed; ...).

 

So, double care: you have no independent opinion, you are buying (often) from people that are not trusted and you may be stuck with it for good even if you change your mind.

 

This is not meant to disparage anyone, and not everyone who sells CE is at the sharp end of consumer protection practices. Statistically, however, you are more likely to get in trouble with CE stones than with untreated ones.

 

If you find a nice looking stone at a good price from a good dealer, by any means go for it. Here is the only laser-drilled stone we ever carried. The arrow points at the laser hole; the line was totally invisible in normal conditions (the photo is about 20x):

 

r3640arrow.jpg

 

It was a 2.02 F/I1 (our grade; EGL called it D/SI2) in a platinum setting, and it sold for $12500 within a week of us buying it.

Edited by davidelevi
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I think it is important to indicate and clarify that the abbreviation "CE" (clarity enhanced-enhancement)is typically used/associated with diamonds that have been externally treated with artificial substances to fill fractures and crevices such as Yehuda treated diamonds et al. The longevity of this treatment as well as the structural integrity of the diamond is not assured; hence the refusal of the major diamond grading labs to grade such stones and the vociferous guarantees provided by some companies that sell clarity enhanced (CE) diamonds.

 

Laser drilling OTH, is a safe manipulation to the diamond as it does NOT deleteriously affect the structural integrity of the diamond and is akin to a diamond cutter applying/manipulating/polishing a facet at the cutting bench.

 

For some additional history on laser drilling cf. this concurrent running thread:

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/7594-advice-on-round-diamonds/

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Hi Guys,

 

Many thanks for the fantastic advice. I still think that my strategy must be to:

 

1. Go for a GIA laser drilled diamond for around $10K or

2. Go for a GIA 2.5 / H / SI1 diamond for $20K

 

I'll keep searching, but with your advices about the 'characters' which sell these diamonds in mind. Do you know of any reputable vendors who may specialize in my first option?

 

Many thanks again

 

Paul

 

I think it is important to indicate and clarify that the abbreviation "CE" (clarity enhanced-enhancement)is typically used/associated with diamonds that have been externally treated with artificial substances to fill fractures and crevices such as Yehuda treated diamonds et al. The longevity of this treatment as well as the structural integrity of the diamond is not assured; hence the refusal of the major diamond grading labs to grade such stones and the vociferous guarantees provided by some companies that sell clarity enhanced (CE) diamonds.

 

Laser drilling OTH, is a safe manipulation to the diamond as it does NOT deleteriously affect the structural integrity of the diamond and is akin to a diamond cutter applying/manipulating/polishing a facet at the cutting bench.

 

For some additional history on laser drilling cf. this concurrent running thread:

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/forum/topic/7594-advice-on-round-diamonds/

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