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Budget question. Stone or setting?

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Sam82

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If you had a tight budget of $2500 to spend on a ring which of the following options would you choose:

1. spend about $500 on the stone (spinel or other lower cost gem) and the rest on a really nice setting (like a Mark Morrell).
2. spend $2000 on a stone (nice quality sapphire) and the rest on a standard setting.

Me personally, I''m leaning towards choice 1. I love Mark Morrell. I''m not into brand names or anything, but I think his work is beautiful. I think it would make me feel good to own one of his pieces.

What are your thoughts?
 

geckodani

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I''d do option 2, and save up for the MM.
Unless I wanted a spinel over a sapphire - personal preference there.
 

Clairitek

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Date: 2/20/2009 9:52:33 AM
Author: geckodani
I''d do option 2, and save up for the MM.
Unless I wanted a spinel over a sapphire - personal preference there.
Ditto. If it were me and I were going to invest in a MM setting I would want a killer stone to put in there. I am not knocking the spinel or anything because I think they are gorgeous stones but it seems that you place more of a value on the sapphire. So why not get the awesome sapphire now and then save up for a re-set later into an MM setting?
 

Lady_Disdain

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I would go for a killer stone as well (then again, we are all coloured stones addicts here)

Pearlman''s has a nice Vatche setting for a 6.5mm stone for $350 (a stone around 1ct should fit), leaving plenty of budget for a good stone and setting fees.

Vatcheatpearlmans.jpg
 

ma re

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I have to spoil the fun, but I''d spend more on the setting (I know it''s a sin to say something like that here, but fine, kill me
). The reason why I think so are my budget conditions, which would maybe allow me to spend somewhat substantial sums on the setting rather than the stone, cause the former can be repaired. But that''s just me. Otherwise, in perfect circumstances, I''d probably too choose a better stone. But I''m a sucker for fine craftsmanship so that would still be a must if paying any significant amount.
 

E B

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I agree with ma re- In this case, I'd splurge on the setting. If you go with a low cost (but still BEAUTIFULLY cut) gem right now, then later, if you so choose, you can have something more expensive cut for the setting. Just make sure you go with a size gem you'll be happy with long term (6.5mm, 7.5mm, etc.).

ETA: This is, of course, if you're comfortable having stones custom cut vs. finding "the one" already cut with amazing color?
 

T L

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Date: 2/20/2009 11:24:09 AM
Author: ma re
I have to spoil the fun, but I''d spend more on the setting (I know it''s a sin to say something like that here, but fine, kill me
). The reason why I think so are my budget conditions, which would maybe allow me to spend somewhat substantial sums on the setting rather than the stone, cause the former can be repaired. But that''s just me. Otherwise, in perfect circumstances, I''d probably too choose a better stone. But I''m a sucker for fine craftsmanship so that would still be a must if paying any significant amount.
I think Mr. Ma Rae is absolutely right in his justification, and that''s what is important to him, craftsmanship. For me, it''s always going to be the stone that is more important. Although gemstones are not to be thought of as investments, I would prefer a rare colored gem over the high quality craftsmanship of a ring. That is going to be the part of the ring that will probably give it the most long term value, unless you''re getting an important signed piece. For me, I feel I can always upgrade to a finer mounting later, but you might not be able to get that perfect gemstone in that special color. JMO, and you just have to weigh what is more important to you, the craftsmanship of a fine quality mount, or that special perfect rare colored gemstone. It''s not like you can "order up" a gemstone (unless perhaps it''s a white diamond), but you can order up a mount. No way is right or wrong, just different perspectives.
 

LostSapphire

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Here''s another way of thinking of this:

There are some really good ''expert'' opinions here on this thread....people that value stones verus setting, and vice versa.

The first thing I thought of when reading these posts was: what about the fiancee? When she''s walking around with that ring on her hand and everybody''s grabbing her finger to look at it....what does she want people to look at? Will she want to have to "explain" how the stone is a temporary but the setting is to die for? How many people really get that worked up about a setting (except for us of course!)...

Just another perspective.

LS
 

T L

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Many of us have very inexpensive mounts from LOGR, and I know some people cringe at the thought of getting an LOGR, but I see some of the best compliments on LOGR rings because the people that choose to get stones for them are very selective in their colored gemstone choices. The stones really shine in those settings as a result because they are the center of attention. In a perfect world, I think we would all want to have both the fine gemstone and the best quality crafted mounting, but it doesn't always work that way. I just cannot say enough about taking a really fine quality colored gem and putting it in the simplest of settings, and it will look magnificent no matter what. It's like someone with natural beauty that doesn't need cosmetics to look great.
 

Harriet

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Sam 82,
Is the ring an engagement ring? If so, I''d say go with the stone.
 

E B

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Edit: I'll re-type after I've woken up a little.
 

Sam82

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Wow! Thanks for the info and food for thought. The ring is an engagement ring, but I''m going to be wearing it (I''m a female). My bf pretty much told me that I can pick the exact ring that I want because he knows I''m picky. Some might think this is unromantic, but it works for us. Anyway, I decided that I didn''t want a traditional diamond ring. As I mentioned in other posts, purple is my favorite color, so why not a purple stone? I orginally thought about using Amethyst, but it is not durable enough to wear on a daily basis. So next, I thought either Spinel or Sapphire. Obviously Spinel is much cheaper than sapphire. I figure the more we save, the more money we can have towards the honeymoon and wedding.

I''ve admired Mark Morrell''s rings and I really want to have the stone set using the Sunbrust setting. I would like it set in gold. I don''t know if having Mr. Morrell use gold would lower the price, especially since gold prices are up. So that''s my long story and I''m totally confused about what to do.

P.S. the budget is not set in stone, but it will probably not exceed $4,500 (and that is kind of pushing it). I have a little time to research, but the engagement is most likely going to be within this year (don''t know exactly when)
 

E B

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Sam,

There''s nothing unromantic about picking out your own ring. If anything, I think it''s even more romantic that your future fiance wants you to have exactly what you want. My husband let me pick and continues to let me pick any jewelry we buy because he wants me to be 110 percent happy with what I have. Nothing wrong with that!


If you haven''t already seen Jeff White''s website, check it out and give him a ring: White''s Gems. He cut that gorgeous blue sapphire in LostSapphire''s avatar and has custom cut several more beauties for PS clients. Tell him what you''re looking for and see if you can swing one of his creations IN a Mark Morrell in your budget- a win/win!
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/20/2009 1:30:21 PM
Author: EBree
Sam,


There''s nothing unromantic about picking out your own ring. If anything, I think it''s even more romantic that your future fiance wants you to have exactly what you want. My husband let me pick and continues to let me pick any jewelry we buy because he wants me to be 110 percent happy with what I have. Nothing wrong with that!



If you haven''t already seen Jeff White''s website, check it out and give him a ring: White''s Gems. He cut that gorgeous blue sapphire in LostSapphire''s avatar and has custom cut several more beauties for PS clients. Tell him what you''re looking for and see if you can swing one of his creations IN a Mark Morrell in your budget- a win/win!
Ditto - that''s what I''d do - it seems like Jeff has been great about working with PSers and some GORGEOUS stones have resulted. Since purple isn''t *quite* as highly valued as the intense blues, you may be able to get a bit of a break there. In any case, never hurts to ask!
 

Diamond*Dana

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I would chose option 2 and get a nicer setting later.
 

FrekeChild

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I really don't know what I'd do...I can see it both ways.

I think I would probably end up searching for the perfect stone, and then go from there. TL is correct in saying that you can always upgrade a setting, but the stone is much much harder to come by.

So I guess I'd go with stone.

That's basically what I ended up doing...but I wanted a spinel. No sapphires for me.
 

Rockit

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I understand wanting to have a beautiful custom setting. And, really, if that is what floats your boat, then, go for it and don''t look back. Just try to keep the setting as "standard" a size as you can... there would be nothing more frustrating down the road than to have a beautiful custom setting that doesn''t fit the new "upgrade" stone of your dreams. In that case, you wouldn''t be doing justice either to the setting or to the stone.

If it were me, I''d definitely have to have the stone, stone STONE first! The setting can always be changed-up later, and it is far easier to match a setting to an existing gem than vice verca. And, there are some lovely, well-made settings that are reasonably priced.

Besides, think how much fun it will be to plot and plan for your beautiful MM setting upgrade!

Also, because you are interested in purple gems, and you''re not absolutely set on one type of gem over another, I wouldn''t limit your search to either just spinel or sapphire. Look through the offerings of both types of stones for the most beautiful all-around gemstone – of either type – that you can find. Purple sapphire is not the most pricey of sapphires, so you may be surprised at what you can find in terms of price (but, you MAY just find a purple spinel that you like best of all). Sounds like a fun and exciting project. Congratulations on your engagement and happy hunting!
 

omieluv

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If it were me, I would also put the weight of the budget into the stone. Who knows, you might fall in love with a stone and still have extra money left over for your MM setting. However, if you end up spending the most $$ on the stone, you can always upgrade the setting for a special event, such as an anniversary. TL is correct, a beautiful colored stone can stand on its own in a solitaire setting, just take a look at the stones in the colored stones/eye candy thread. Also, I tend to prefer letting the stone itself dictate what the setting should be, as colored stones seem to have their own unique charm.
 

LostSapphire

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Date: 2/20/2009 1:30:21 PM
Author: EBree
Sam,

There''s nothing unromantic about picking out your own ring. If anything, I think it''s even more romantic that your future fiance wants you to have exactly what you want. My husband let me pick and continues to let me pick any jewelry we buy because he wants me to be 110 percent happy with what I have. Nothing wrong with that!


If you haven''t already seen Jeff White''s website, check it out and give him a ring: White''s Gems. He cut that gorgeous blue sapphire in LostSapphire''s avatar and has custom cut several more beauties for PS clients. Tell him what you''re looking for and see if you can swing one of his creations IN a Mark Morrell in your budget- a win/win!
Aw shucks, thanks EBree.
LS
 

LostSapphire

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Date: 2/20/2009 1:09:44 PM
Author: Sam82
Wow! Thanks for the info and food for thought. The ring is an engagement ring, but I''m going to be wearing it (I''m a female). My bf pretty much told me that I can pick the exact ring that I want because he knows I''m picky. Some might think this is unromantic, but it works for us. Anyway, I decided that I didn''t want a traditional diamond ring. As I mentioned in other posts, purple is my favorite color, so why not a purple stone? I orginally thought about using Amethyst, but it is not durable enough to wear on a daily basis. So next, I thought either Spinel or Sapphire. Obviously Spinel is much cheaper than sapphire. I figure the more we save, the more money we can have towards the honeymoon and wedding.

I''ve admired Mark Morrell''s rings and I really want to have the stone set using the Sunbrust setting. I would like it set in gold. I don''t know if having Mr. Morrell use gold would lower the price, especially since gold prices are up. So that''s my long story and I''m totally confused about what to do.

P.S. the budget is not set in stone, but it will probably not exceed $4,500 (and that is kind of pushing it). I have a little time to research, but the engagement is most likely going to be within this year (don''t know exactly when)
Sam: with your budget, a gorgeous Jeff White gemstone in a MM setting is totally doable....(I''m thinking solitaire with no sidestones etc). The minute you start adding diamonds the price goes up...but I think you can get both setting and stone easy peasy.....

Make some queries with both MM and Jeff. Give them a rough size for the stone, say, start at 1.5 cts or so. See where you come in quote-wise, then adjust your project from there. Just remember, that a 1.5 ct sapphire is actually smaller than a 1.5 ct diamond - so Jeff usually works on mm diameter. So say, 6mm dia to start should give you a good starting point.

And good luck with it!

LS
 

chrono

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I'd put the bulk of the money in the stone. There's no point in putting a mediocre stone in a drop dead setting, however, there's no need to go super cheap on the setting either. The thing with MM is that it's the workmanship that costs a lot, not the metal. I recall reading a few years ago that he quit working in gold and does platinum only. If he still does gold, the price would only cost a few hundred less than platinum; it may not be as much of a cost savings as you might expect.

If you really like MM's pieces, is it possible to get the stone now and have it in a temporary setting? You can get the MM setting on the first anniversary?
 

Sam82

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Thanks for the advice, all.

I already contacted Mark Morrell about working in gold. I really like the look of yellow gold. I''m not expecting the price to be lower. He said he does work in yellow gold if his clients want it. He will not work in white gold. Being that I don''t have the stone, I haven''t discussed price with him. On his website, he posted the prices of his signature pieces. I''m assuming the gold setting will be about the same price. Also, the price depends on the size of the stone.
 

marcy

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I''d go for #2. Get the stone you want now.
 
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