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A tale of two jewelers--halo help!

ellajoan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
11
I am looking to add a halo to my .41 ct diamond for our 25th anniversary. It is a gorgeous diamond in color and clarity (hubby went for quality over size). I am not looking to change the anything else (simple solitaire with yellow gold, plain band), just to add the halo to my diamond to give it a bit more presence. I went to two local, mom and pop jewelers (both very reputable) and had completely different experiences.

First place--told the associate what I wanted, she responded w/ "no problem--we can work with that ring and add a halo easily." She had sample halos and CZ stones to approximate the size of my stone so she could give me an example of what it would look like. She made a few calls and quoted me a price of just $780, but gave me discount for a sale which brought it down to $480 something. She also told me she is a metalsmith (although not the designer) and answered questions about diamond size in the halo, spacing, how the center stone would sit, etc.

Second place--told the associate what I wanted, and she kindly told me she didn't think it could be done and that I'd need to buy a whole new setting to get that look I desired. I told her that another local jeweler was able to do it. She looked at my ring and still thought it'd be tough to do w/ my 6 prong tulip shank with two (arches? not sure what to call them) supporting the sides. Then she asked someone else in the back, came back, and said, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure we could do that." She looked up a halo in a catalog (hard to see what it looked like, really), and said it would cost me $200. I asked if they'd ever done anything like that, and she told me no, but that their designer could give me the look I wanted (based on a premade ring I pointed out). She said they'd order it, I could see it, and then decide if I wanted to proceed.

What to do? Go with the one that costs $300 more, where the associate knew exactly what I wanted, or go with the cheaper place (where I've always had good service)? I anticipate replies will suggest the first, more expensive quote, but price is truly a factor. I know that both of those prices seem like a "drop in the bucket" compared to most diamond changes on here, but to us it is a large sum. Thanks in advice for your replies/help!
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
906
There are no pictures of your ring on here. Please post one or more photos that show the design of your current ring, and people will be able to advise you better. There are photos of rings on here on PS that people had converted to halo style. What can be done, and how to do it, depends on how your current ring is built.

That said, there are halo heads from Stuller.com that are peg heads.
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
3,847
TBH this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. a) you'll likely be out the money no matter what, because it's a custom job, and b) if they mess it up, you are losing your original band too. I'd proceed very carefully.
 

ellajoan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
11
Hmmm....is what I'm asking them to do very difficult? I know very little, but jeweler one seemed confident it could be done easily. Do you fear disaster b/c this is an uncommon request, or because the cost is not high? FWIW, we live in an area of the country where the cost of living is a lot lower, and recognize that the cost likely reflects that. Or am I being hopefully optimistic?
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
3,847
Now, I could be totally wrong with this - but the issue I see, is that you want to build the halo AROUND the prongs. I believe when halo's are made, the prongs are made into the halo. So they are flush, it looks seamless. The way you are saying, it SOUNDS like the halo will be floating around on the outside of the prongs. It won't be flush, and there will be a significant gap/airline visible. I just don't think it will come out like you are envisioning.

OR are you wanting them to rip off the head entirely and just plop a halo + head onto your shank? Again, doesn't sound like a terrific idea to me, mostly because that sounds unstable, and prone to breakage if you happen to hit it. The most expensive/important part of a halo ring is the actual halo. It takes the most skill, has diamonds vs gold, and holds your diamond. It's too important to be doing a hack job IMO.

This is 2 scenarios, I'm not sure which you are thinking of (or which your jeweler is thinking of). But my opinion is pretty similar either way.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
If they are just removing your peg head entirely And replacing it with a halo head that will be high.enough to clear the shoulders of your cathedral shank,it will be set very high and be awkward. Which is probably why the second place was reluctant to do it. And why they are charging so little do it once you forced their hand.

If they are replacing the peg AND modifying the shoulders to make it meet the sides of the halo.. It would look better and would cost more. Which might be what the first jeweler is doing. But A) With your limited knowledge of jewelry you do not know enough to know what EITHER jeweler is going to do, so B) we really can't advise you because it's all too vague.

So they may be doing two different things. Which is why the quotes are so disparate. Or they could be doing the same thing. I don't know, from your description.

What you can do is start a new thread and call it "bench jewelers please advise" and post pics of you ring and ask is there is a correct way to add a halo to your existing shank. See what they say. And then call each jeweler and ask them if either of them are doing it that way.

That's all I've got.

The uncertainty of the second jeweler might be because they are a better jeweler and what you want to do is a bad idea and they don't want you to throw your money away on a bad idea. Or it could be a sign that they are inexperienced. The certainty of the first jeweler could be a sign of experience. Or they could be planning a hack job and taking advantage of your ignorance.

There is no way, from what you've described, for us to know.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Double post, sorry.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,219
I'm sure that the best outcome would be with a whole new setting custom made for your stone. As Gypsy said, they might be able to take the head from your ring and replace with a halo but I'm not sure it's the best way to end up with a beautiful ring.
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
1,290
I would suggest only doing this if you are able to talk with the goldsmith who'll be doing the work. This is a VERY easy project, not something to be concerned about as long as the person doing the work is competent. I would NOT use your existing head, but replace it with a new head having either a built in halo or a new head with a separate halo that can be soldered to it, (earring jacket settings work great for this when using smaller melee). Pop the old head out, pop the new head in, (modifying the cathedral wings to fit), set the stones and you're good to go. Since an entirely new ring can be had for around $600, anything else would be quite a lot less expensive. Here's Stuller's version http://www.stuller.com/products/122060/7085984/?groupId=118292 Here's a head/ halo combo using double the diamond content for around $600 as well, (removing half the diamonds takes away over $200 of that). http://www.stuller.com/products/28251/?groupId=108970
$200 for the whole show doesn't sound right, so if you decide to go with the second place, I'd check with someone else higher on their chain of command or you might be surprised with the total.
 

ellajoan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
11
I can't tell you how appreciative I am that you took the time to answer. I know have a lot of questions for the jeweler and have much more to learn.

And here's the even bigger "fly in the ointment" that may explain why I am going taking the halo only route. When we got engaged (26 years ago), I specifically wanted a simple solitaire that I could add to at some point. A purchase of a diamond anniversary band (for 20 yr anniv.) left me with a weird rash on my finger (water got in holes under ring and caused it repeatedly) and later it was stolen. :( After all of that happened, DH said "You should just keep your ring as is. Don't change it at all or as little as possible." He is thinking the anniversary band was bad karma. I reminded him that I originally wanted something simple so I could change/add to it. So, I am trying to honor the original setting as much as possible but still add a little something extra for this milestone. So, an entirely new setting is out of the question to keep the peace, but I agree that would be the most sensible thing to do.
 

ellajoan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
11
rainydaze, that built in halo head would be perfect. How do I find the cost of that?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Not rainydaze, but you would ask your local jewelers (both of them) for quotes on that.
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
2,834
It's a Stuller head, and most jewelers work with/can get Stuller. Just ask your two jewelers for pricing on adding that particular head. ETA: the item# is on the link I provided, which should be all they need. If you email them, include a pic, and if you go in, just print out that page - so that there is no question of the head you are inquiring about.

Jewelers can vary widely on pricing for Stuller pieces. I had one jeweler quote 1700 for a Stuller semi-mount, and another quote 850 for the same mount. So if the pricing you get back seems way high, try elsewhere for that third point of reference.
 

ellajoan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
11
Spoke w/ Jeweler #1 today and they are getting me a whole new head with a built in halo. They will open the top of my current ring remove the current head/replace w/ new one, and get halo head to the correct height by adding gold to create more room in the cathedral portion. I was very clear that I did not want it to sit too high or have too much height difference b/t the center stone and halo. I will also look at the piece when it comes in before any work is done. I am feeling much better about this!
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
906
Glad y'all got it worked out. :) That's what I envisioned: Put a new peg halo head of some sort on your cathedral shank ring. I just didn't manage to get back on here yesterday. Looks like you got a lot of good replies.
 

ellajoan

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
11
An update! I had the work done by Jeweler one and am thrilled with the result. Here are the before and after shots.....

img_10791.jpg

img_10792.jpg

img_10793.jpg

img_0790.jpg
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
2,834
That really turned out beautifully, I love it! And more importantly, I'm glad to hear *you* love it! Can we see a profile shot?

Enjoy! :appl:
 

Bayek

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
6,698
Ellajoan! it came out beautifully... I love how you kept the stone and enhanced it's beauty! thank you so much for sharing!

:love: :love:
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
6,075
What a lovely transformation! and so nice that you were able to keep part of the original. Wear in good health.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Fantastic update!

Your ring looks really fantastic.

Wear it in good health and much happiness.
 

Crazie4Cuts

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
430
Wow! Beautiful job by jeweler #1. Did you have the halo done in platinum or white gold? Just wanted to inquire out of curiosity.
 
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