Buying loose diamonds online? Experiences/pics please!

posted 1 month ago in Rings
  • poll: Which company did you buy your lab diamond from?
    James Allen : (2 votes)
    13 %
    Brilliant Earth : (4 votes)
    27 %
    Clean Origin : (3 votes)
    20 %
    Other : (6 votes)
    40 %
    Buy from your local jeweler! : (0 votes)
  • Post # 2
    Member
    376 posts
    Helper bee

    My fiance bought my diamond and ring from. James Allen. It’s mined though, not lab. We had no issues, but are located in the US 

    Post # 3
    Member
    429 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2019 - City, State

    lovemochi :  I chose brilliant earth but I’ve heard them and James Allen are great. I ordered from loveaffairdiamonds.com and from HL Gross & Bros and they are both amazing. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    205 posts
    Helper bee

    I have purchased several loose diamonds (all mined) from various online retailers for a few jewelry projects with no issues.  Most online retailers are drop shippers, meaning the diamonds are in the possession of the suppliers and the retailers have agreements to market the diamonds, which is why you will often find the same diamond listed by several retailers, often at different prices.  I can’t speak to lab diamonds specifically, but I’ve heard some not-so-great things about Brilliant Earth and James Allen was recently acquired Signet (who also own Zales, Kay, Jared), who havs a somewhat tarnished reputation for a number of reasons (sexual harassment, discrimination, poor craftsmanship, etc.), so you may want do some further investigation on those two.  Generally speaking you will get more bang for your buck purchasing from an online retailer, but you should definitely do some in store research to determine your color & clarity tolerances, etc. (just make sure the diamonds you view in person are graded by the same lab as the ones you are considering purchasing online since there are variances between the labs).  GL!

    Post # 6
    Member
    2960 posts
    Sugar bee

    I bought a mined diamond from Whiteflash.

    The experience was great. The company is American and I’m in the UK and so I had to pay 20% import duty.,but it was still cheaper than buying a loose diamond here. My problem was that in the UK, jewellers  are used to selling rings rather than setting loose diamonds. The first two jewellers made a mess of it. The third did a great job. I’ll show you a picture at the end of the post.

    Most good quality diamond merchants aren’t into lab diamonds because it cuts into their profits. However, one very reputable firm is selling them – Mervis diamond importers.

    https://www.mervisdiamond.com/lab-grown-diamonds

    Ring them up and discuss your requirements. I’m sure they will be helpful. However, check that the diamond has an excellent cut. This is what gives it the sparkle.

    Apart from all the other companies that you’ve mentioned, another possibility is buying jewellery containing a 1 carat lab diamond from DeBeers’ new company ‘Lightbox’, extracting the diamond and putting it in a ring. Quite a few people on this website have done this and seem very pleased with the result. I don’t think that these diamonds will be graded for cut. (It would be in DeBeers’ interests not to cut them quite as well as mined diamonds, I suspect, but they would still need to be good to maintain DeBeers’ reputation.)

    With loose diamonds it is better to see the diamonds in person. Either visit company showrooms or get a diamond sent on approval. Then look at the diamond in lots of different lights. All diamonds sparkle under jewellery shop lights but well cut diamonds look good in other lights and low-light conditions too. If you get a diamond sent on approval make sure that it is covered by your household insurance for the time you have it and if you don’t want it then send it back by the company’s recommended method so that it is insured, tracked and traced.

    Post # 7
    Member
    151 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: February 2019

    I got mine from Blue Nile. You can tell if a diamond is clear/has good clarity from the videos. Some look dazzling and others look kinda meh.

    Just be patient and don’t rush the purchase. I sifted through hundreds before I got my radiant cut.

    Also, you call tell how sparkly the diamond will be from the video. Some have a lot of faint colour flashes in the videos, other diamonds have much less.

    Use Diamonddb to see how the diamond will look on your finger.

    Don’t be scared to return it if you don’t love it.

    Post # 8
    Member
    205 posts
    Helper bee

    lovemochi :  Avoiding stones with very strong florescence (very rarely an issue, but it can be), those of lower clarity in general or with lower clarity with clouds and those noted as having a clarity grading based on clouds reduces the risk of getting milky or hazy diamond.  Obviously, in extreme cases you can clearly identify milky and hazy diamonds based on the photos and videos, but in my experience the videos provided are often deceptive and seeing the stones IRL is really the only way to truly tell how it will perform and if they are milky or hazy.  Case in point, I currently have two diamonds in my possession that I am deciding between for a right hand ring project and one had a very crisp looking, clear photo and video and the other had a photo and video where the diamond didn’t look quite as crisp.  But after comparing them IRL, I am leaning towards keeping the second diamond (not that either is a dud by any stretch).  After you’ve looked at some diamonds locally to gauge your tolerance levels, if you have the ability to order more than one to compare IRL, I’d recommend it.  GL!

    Post # 9
    Member
    18 posts
    Newbee

    I echo the sentiment that you have to look at many diamonds online, make a hobby out of it; you start to develop a sense for what looks good and then you cross reference that against the 4c’s everyone talks about in order to gauge appropriate pricing. I leveraged rarecarat to assist my assessment since they have live gemologists on hand who will assess your diamond in addition to a matching algo that will notifiy you of other retailers selling the same diamond, in addition to how your diamond falls within the prescribed ideals for that cut, e.g., in your case an oval cut. Also, don’t be afraid to buy the diamond first (meaning- don’t have it set in a ring), so that you can inspect it before you have it set. Generally online retailers will allow you to return the diamond if it’s loose- but not if it’s set. One last note, setting the diamond is a whole other art form. I’d 100% buy the loose diamond online, but then take it to a jeweler whose craftsmanship you like (I found one on Instagram tbh) and have them set the diamond. Blue Nile for example has great prices, but they give you NO guidance around ring crafting if you’re doing a custom cad, and not something off the shelf. After paying $500 CAD fee to bluenile and many back and forths, right before we were going to okay the design I realized that the prong thickness was too much (prongs are a whole other consideration FYI) and finally realized that I should just acquiesce to paying a little more for an actual jeweler versus blue niles eco pricing approach where you need to know what to ask for /what you’re doing re: ring design. 

    Post # 11
    Member
    33 posts
    Newbee

    I ordered one from BE last week and am having a horrible experience with them (just posted a thread all about it if you’re interested in the whole story). I would just we wary of them and they sold me something that wasnt even available. I’ve since then begun looking at Clean Origin who has similar pricing to BE but I’ve also yeard to be aware that they have some duds you should look out for. Those are the best two priced that I’ve seen so far. Good luck in your hunt!

    Post # 12
    Member
    289 posts
    Helper bee

    lovemochi :  We have just ordered a lab diamond from BE and waiting for it to be delivered. I spent HOURS over many months searching and searching and ultimately BE had the most bang for buck for what I was looking for. 

    If I don’t like it in person though, I will just send it back and try again. 

    mangotobe :  oh no!! I’ll have to read your post. This makes me kind of nervous now lol 

    Post # 15
    Member
    33 posts
    Newbee

     

    lovemochi :  Those are all beautiful! I think the first and third are my favorites!

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