Several years ago, a master jeweler realized that if he cuts rivets on the sides of gemstones and diamonds that he could set them precisely next to each other, and with some expertise, give the illusion of a huge stone using smaller gems. This effect gives you a lot of bang for the buck and is not easily detected by the wearer or the admirer. It is a better option for travel as well.
Take, for instance, this pair of diamond earrings. Each earring is set with an elongated emerald cut diamond, and then eight diamonds are hand-cut to exactly fit around it. This gives the appearance of a six-carat emerald cut diamond, and in reality, only has 3.85 carats of diamonds in total carat weight. You have the look of 12-carat diamond studs for a fraction of the price. Also, most people are never going to get that close to your ears to notice the difference in any way, and it is challenging to detect, even if you are looking for it.
This particular pair of earrings still uses the top quality of colorless and clarity of diamonds. The color of these diamonds is D-E in color, which is the top color in the color rating chart, and the clarity is VS (which takes ten power loop to see the minimal inclusion). A pair of six carats each diamond studs of this color and clarity would set you back $450,000-$500,000 dollars, where this pair is on an estate for just $38,000. So you are being practical acquiring this pair of earrings as well.
I have many clients that have both pairs and choose to wear the illusion ones most of the time, and also when they travel, so if they get taken or lost, it is not anywhere near the same loss. So have some fun, pick up a pair and rock them every day. I will never tell, and no one else will ever know either.
All the best, William David