Bees with diamonds! Did you go natural or lab (and your age?)

posted 10 months ago in Rings
Post # 31
Member
3103 posts
Sugar bee

I’m in my 40s (and was when I got engaged).  

I would be open to a lab diamong in theory, but the likelihood of finding what I want is pretty slim.  I love OECs and OMCs, in low colors.  (My e-ring is a ~3.5 ct Q/R).  I just don’t like the blue-white colorless look; I generally don’t find a diamond pleasing for me personal aesthetic until around L/M or lower.  (I’m a redhead with ‘autumn’ coloring, the warmer/buttery/ivory tint works beautifully with the colors I wear and my skintone).  

It seems like most of the lab diamonds I see are higher colors/colorless/near colorless.

As far as moissanite, I was willing to consider it and ordered some earrings a few years ago, but found I didn’t care for it.  

Post # 32
Member
1315 posts
Bumble bee

I’m 29 but I was 21 when I got engaged. I have a 1.35 natural diamond so not big imo. If I ever upgrade, I will probably get a lab diamond. 

Post # 33
Member
222 posts
Helper bee

When I was 23 I got a 0.5ct naturally mined diamond. This time I am 39 and I got a 1.0ct naturally mined diamond. I have nothing against lab diamonds, they are chemically and structurally the same, they just aren’t common around here and there really isn’t anywhere to buy them. And besides, 1ct is considered huge around here so anything bigger just looks like cubic z.

Post # 34
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2022 - Edmonton, AB

I’m 33 and recently engaged. I got a natural diamond, 1.41 ct. 
It’s a Brian Gavin Blue. I am fascinated by blue fluorescence, as it just feels like a truly beautiful natural creation cut to perfection. It’s special and different. 

I would never want a moissy or even a lab created diamond, because I love that my stone was created by nature. I also don’t like the idea of going to something man made just go be able to look bigger and flashier. It works for some people, but something about that doesn’t sit right with me. 

All the power to people who love them, but they’re not for me. I would never “upgrade” to a lab created stone. This is also large enough where I live, so I probably won’t ever upgrade anyways, as this stone is amazing and sentimental. 

Post # 35
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee

I got engaged in Mid 20s (~ a year ago) and went with a natural diamond. I considered a lab diamond because I did want it to be a certain size.  I think at the size I wanted, it would have been half the price of a natural diamond, but this was still a lot of money (many thousands). The natural diamond, the jeweler said I could always trade it in for an upgrade or anything else I wanted. The lab diamond it was clear is ‘final sale’ – you get what you paid for that day and it has 0 value for an upgrade or trade in. I do anticipate buying other diamond jewelry in the future so i’d rather keep buying natural diamonds knowing that I can trade in pieces toward new ones if trends change or I find I’m not wearing something as much as I thought I would be. 

Moissanite I didn’t like as much. It’s almost too sparkly. But to each their own! I don’t see them as fake diamonds, they are just different stones. 

Post # 36
Member
1486 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2005 - A Castle

All of mine are mined (original, heirloom, and bday present). I’m not opposed to a lab stone at all, but I haven’t seen any vendor include them in their upgrade policy. I don’t know that I’d upgrade once I got to a certain size, but I’d at least want the option. 

Post # 37
Member
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1999 - Tacoma, WA

I’ve had 2, both natural/mined. He bought the first when I was 24ish and the second when I was 40. I honestly didn’t even know they had lab diamonds until I joined WB 4 months ago laughing

Post # 39
Member
475 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2021 - Boulder, Colorado

A lot of people are under the impression that lab diamonds are perfect. I see this everywhere and not just on weddingbee. However, this is simply not true. Lab diamonds also have a lot of imperfections and colour. You pay a premium for a higher colour or clarity grade just like a mined diamond. Their cut quality also varies greatly because they are cut individually by skilled artisans just like mined diamonds. That’s part of the reason they are still quite pricey.

Lab diamonds are individually certified. It’s more common to see IGI and GCAL certifications on lab diamonds, but the GIA also certifies them. My lab diamond has a GIA cert. Though, I usually only see GIA certifications on lab diamonds if the stone is bigger. I suspect that a GIA certification is more expensive than the other labs so it puts a premium on the stones and will put off buyers who go for lab due to the lower cost.

As technology advances and becomes more widespread, the manufacturing cost of lab diamonds goes down and so the retail cost might go down too for the same reason. This is just supply and demand. The price of mined diamonds has been artificially inflated for a long time and the price of mined diamonds will likely also go down due to supply and demand as it is harder to control market prices when you own a lower share of the market. Mined diamond suppliers/sellers like DeBeers are trying to fight this and producing their own lab stones.

Diamonds in general are bad investments unless you are buying extremely rare diamonds with very large sizes and/or rare colours. The types of diamonds that most of us will never see. In that case, you would want to go with mined diamonds. People pay hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for these rare stones due to their rarity and perceived value. It won’t matter that lab diamonds are chemically identical because they are paying for the perception of the stone and not its composition.

Most diamonds (both mined and lab) are marked up to retail prices and are not rare, so the resale value is low. The resale value of lab diamonds is currently much lower than that of mined diamonds, but you usually spend significantly more on a mined diamond so you end up losing about the same amount of money or even less even if you get nothing back for the lab stone (applies even more so to moissanite, etc. as lab diamonds still cost quite a lot compared to other gemstones).

This last one is more of a gripe than a clarification, but a lot of people get lab diamonds, moissanite, or other gemstones for various reasons. There are of course people who will always love the allure of mined diamonds and value mined diamonds over everything else. There are also people who will choose other options (lab diamonds or otherwise) for their own personal reasons. That’s up to each individual. It is untrue to assume that everyone who didn’t choose a mined diamond did so because they wanted something cheaper or flashier, or because they are misinformed about the ethical implications of mined vs. lab diamonds. Mined diamonds are no longer the sole objective goal when it comes to engagement rings and people will have their own preferences. The ethical and environmental impact of various stone choices can have grey areas, so it’s mostly up to your personal judgment and preference.

 

This is a pretty informative and recent article about lab vs. mined diamonds:

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200207-the-sparkling-rise-of-the-lab-grown-diamond

Post # 39
Member
59 posts
Worker bee

27, not engaged yet but we picked out the diamond already. I went with a 1.7 ct. natural diamond but I am at a unique age where I did look into lab and even moissanites compared to my older relatives who only have natural diamonds/gems and not much knowledge on the other options. We looked into all our options for several months with our jeweler before deciding on the natural diamond. 

Post # 40
Member
1365 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
@teainthemountains:  Everything you said!!! I was going to say the same thing but you beat me to it!

I am in my mid 30s, was engaged in my 20s.  I have mined diamonds in my original vintage engagement ring and my alternate set that I just got are lab diamonds. There is no difference whatsoever between mined and lab diamonds’ chemical composition–they’re both diamonds. They’re both graded using the four C’s, and both types of diamonds’ quality varies greatly. My large center stone lab diamond is IGI certified.

I’m sorry, but the ethics between the two just do not compare. Lab diamonds are way more ethical and I will never feel comfortable getting a new mined diamond. Vintage and antique mined diamonds are a different story as it is ethical to reuse old diamonds so as not to create waste. I will not debate the ethics with anyone who tries to engage me, so spare me in advance. I did my research and you can do it too.

Post # 41
Member
640 posts
Busy bee

Engaged at 21 – .25ct mined

Upgrade late 20s – 1ct mined

After divorce, I couldn’t sell it for anything. Gave it to my exDH 🙄 don’t know if he sold it. Good riddance.

Engaged mid thirties and specifically asked for a lab diamond, expected a 1ct and he got me a 1.5-1.75ish lab diamond.

I don’t like moissanite for myself (but that’s just personal).

Post # 42
Member
640 posts
Busy bee

People buy fancy rocks for a variety of reasons.

I don’t judge whether it’s important for them to have a lab, or mined, or simulant, or gemstone, or antique, or preloved, or a name brand, or no ring at all.

It doesn’t affect me.

Post # 43
Member
475 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2021 - Boulder, Colorado

View original reply
@yogahammy:  Thank you! Also totally agree on vintage/recycled diamonds! Recycled diamonds are ultimately the most environmentally friendly choice as they already exist. I went for recycled metals for the same reason but have yet to get a recycled stone! Definitely very interested and looking to get one someday. 🙂

I think people are under the impression that lab diamonds are mass-produced and factory-made so they assume that they’re all perfect and identical, but lab diamonds are created/grown in a large capsule by replicating the conditions in the earth’s crust where mined diamonds were formed. They’re all unique because they are chosen and cut just like mined diamonds. You can add things like boron to get colours or fluorescence, but you still never really know what you’re going to get at the end of it the same way you don’t really know what diamonds you’ll get out of a mine.

Post # 44
Member
475 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2021 - Boulder, Colorado

View original reply
@coffeeeee:  100% agree. What people have is either what they love most or the best that they can afford, so criticism is always unwarranted. Either way, it’s a personal choice and the only thing that matters is that they enjoy it.

Post # 45
Member
1365 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
@teainthemountains:  Precisely! There’s also another method that replicates how diamonds form in gas clouds in space, which is so cool! It’s called the Chemical Vapor Deposition Method, and it’s a more recent development. The High Pressure High Temperature method is the one that replicates conditions in the earth. My lab diamonds are made with HPHT, but all diamonds regardless of how they’re made are virtually indistinguishable except under certain analyses looking for specific deposits. HPHT diamonds for example can have inclusions caused by metal, which earth mined diamonds don’t have. But even an expert gemologist would not be able to tell them apart under a loupe or with standard testing. 

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