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Advice Wanted on Cost of Custom Platinum Solitaire Setting

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Atlantis

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
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2
Hello,

I am hoping someone can give me additional information about the cost of custom platinum settings.

My fiance and I are looking to have a 2 ct sapphire (probably 6-7mm in diameter) set in a heavy platinum setting similar to the Solitaire C de Cartier setting.

We have found a seemingly good offer for the stone and setting in a big city jewelry district, but we have started to doubt this offer after finding out that other custom jewelery places in the same neighborhood charge 4x as much (or more) for a similar design.

When we try to guess the amount of platinum required for the ring (estimated weight of finished product x current market price for platinum), we get approximately the total price quoted for the entire setting, which either means that we''ve calculated incorrectly or the jeweler with the lowest quote is planning on cutting corners.

What is a reasonable estimate of the weight of platinum needed to make a heavy solitaire setting like the one I''ve described?

Do jewelers generally buy platinum at the commodity price ($900-1000/ounce) or do they often get special deals?

What is a reasonable (minimum/maximum) percentage / amount to add to the raw material cost to cover the design and setting work?

Is there any way we can tell when looking at the ring whether the setter has used less platinum in the alloy or otherwise cut corners? What other corners could he possibly cut?

Thank you!
 

innerkitten

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
5,623
I don''t actually know myself but had an idea. Why not contact some of the vendors here on PS and get some quotes. It would give you something to compare to the quotes you''ve been given so far.

whiteflash.com is a popular one, jamesallen.com is popular, www.knoxjewelers.biz comes to mind even though it''s not a PS vendor

Also are you planning to buy the stone and setting from the same people?
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,367
I am unfamiliar with that setting (I''m not much into settings) but if you post this in Rocky Talky, there are tons of ladies there who know the approximate cost of the setting and design.
 

Edward Bristol

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
538

Most jewelers don’t like calculating their work in weight. They are not selling metals but craftsmanship.


If you calculate Cartier or Tiffany based on $/ounce you know how they pay for full page color adds in every magazine. Same counts for custom made settings.


Jewelers do not get any extra deals or special offers. Metals (like normal small diamonds but not like colored gems) have a fixed market price.


You can cut corners with hallow designs, bad workmanship and of course with low quality alloys, which is illegal cheating, as far I know.


Also, it depends where the stone comes from. If the jeweler provides the gem too, he will have a better margin. Many jewelers don’t like setting other peoples stones.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
I think the bigger question here is whether you trust the vendor. It sounds like you don''t, so I would move on. Custom can go bad very quickly with the wrong vendor.
 

Atlantis

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
2
I am discussing this in weight and not cost (nor is comparing cost that useful for me) because I am in a different country than most of you, a country in which jeweler overhead (shop cost, labor cost, etc.) is undoubtedly of at least a slightly different scale, so direct price comparisons are not useful.

If you have any idea how many grams of platinum a setting like the one I described might require, and/or what jewelers are currently paying for platinum, it would enable me to estimate the raw material costs of the ring -- please let me know!

If my previous calculations are correct, then the amount of the lowest bid is quite close to the raw material costs, which is odd, as designing and making the ring must cost something. I want to assess the accuracy of my previous calculations, because if they are correct, corners might be cut.

Please note: (1) I am being quoted prices for the *setting* only, so it is reasonable to compare the different bids, and (2) the outfit who issued the lowest bid seems otherwise to be trustworthy, promising to take care of future adjustments, etc. The only odd thing is the price difference (literally x versus 4x).

Thank you!
 
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