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Custom made platinum ring -- how do I judge jeweler?

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CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 31, 2006
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4,750
Hi,

After realizing I am not going to find a setting I like, I have decided to have my ring custom-made. I found a local jeweler through someone who used him to make his wife''s ring in platinum (this is not a friend, but it is someone whose standards I trust). After meeting with the jeweler, here are my thoughts:

What I like:
- Sells to a well-known high-end department store (although I don''t know if it''s gold or platinum jewelry)
- The work he does in gold is very nice
- Nice guy, and took his time with us, explaining how a ring is cast, and the advantages/disadvantages of gold and platinum
- I think he would go out of his way to make sure I''m happy

What makes me hesitant:
1.) he would send out the ring to be cast
2.) he knew plenty about what gold is mixed with, but did not know platinum/metal combinations (although he agreed to find this out for me from the casting company)
3.) most of his work is in gold

I think I have conveyed that I am sort of (well, definitely) a perfectionist, and that I am looking for an exquisitely polished and symmetrical ring. He doesn''t seem scared of by this, and seems confident that he will be able to deliver it.

I would like people''s opinions...what can I do to judge him further? Do I ask him to tell me more about the casting company? Any way to kind of guess or judge what his polishing skills will be? (from what I''ve read it seems that polishing platinum requires a lot of experience and skill).

Thanks in advance for all your help!
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
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8,746
That all sounds like a pretty good start. A good personality fit between the jeweler and the customer goes a long way to making the process go smoothly.

Most jewelers job out their platinum casting work because doing it well involves some fairly expensive specialty equipment that’s not really very useful for anything else. For a shop that doesn’t do a whole lot of platinum work, this makes sense. Similarly, if the jeweler mixes his own gold alloys and hires out this as part of the casting job to someone else on platinum work, it’s not surprising that he’s less familiar with the recipe.
Ask to see some platinum work he’s done and carefully inspect the finish of the metal, both inside and out. He should be able to show you an example of some of his platinum work. Perhaps there is something in the showcase that he’s made? Take a look at your friends platinum piece and you may get a few clues but but, of course, you can expect there to be some signs of wear on that one.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
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4,750
Thanks denverappraiser! You put my mind at ease about the casting.

I''m going to try and see if I can get my hands on some of his Platinum work. But what if I can''t, and I don''t have access to the other ring? Anything I can use about his gold jewelry to make an educated guess about how he''ll work with Platinum? I think what I''m worried about most is the polishing/finish, since I''ve read so much that it takes a certain amount of experience and skill to do the best job.
 
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