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Do you all use a local jeweler?

winnietucker

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
1,769
I know there are some popular jewelers that many of us use/ have used and I’m curious if you all use local jewelers.

Mine is a bit spendy compared some of the popular budget friendly jewelers here so I don’t use them often aside from resizing, etc. For example they were about double the price for a simple necklace project. To make a DBTY bracelet (I had all the diamonds) they quoted me $1000+ a bit back.

I feel like a jerk cause I like having a local expert available, but with their pricing it’s just too much more and I never use them for anything big.

I know B&M stores are expected to be costlier but I’m curious what everyone else does.
 

lucky7355

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
45
I was semi-local to my jeweler in NYC before moving, but I'm on the same page in terms of reluctance to do custom work locally.

Aside from things like resizing or prong checks where the cost is less than what I'd pay to ship something to my jeweler insured, I prefer to work with my (now long distance) jeweler via phone/email/social media. I know they're skilled and reliable as well as much less expensive than local retailers.
 

winnietucker

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
1,769
I was semi-local to my jeweler in NYC before moving, but I'm on the same page in terms of reluctance to do custom work locally.

Aside from things like resizing or prong checks where the cost is less than what I'd pay to ship something to my jeweler insured, I prefer to work with my (now long distance) jeweler via phone/email/social media. I know they're skilled and reliable as well as much less expensive than local retailers.

I feel better knowing I’m not the only one. I want to support a local small business but I also want to stretch my bling money.

I use a very well respected local jeweler for certain projects. They are pricey, but I love the quality and service.

That makes sense too!
 

lucky7355

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
45
I feel better knowing I’m not the only one. I want to support a local small business but I also want to stretch my bling money.

I like to support local artists at art festivals that sell one of a kind inexpensive pieces, but for precious metals and gemstones I feel more comfortable going to what I know. What they don't "do" they can source.

The price is simply unbeatable when you "know someone" - with better quality. He's done the engagement rings for half my friends and family plus a lot of other stuff. I mean his kids do work for the business now too so I think we at least put them through school over the years. :lol:
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
7,343
My jeweler is an old school Italian guy who uses asbestos paste he mixes himself to protect gemstones while working on rings. He is kind of a nut, but so far he has done decent work and most of what I have him do is resizing rings.

For anything more than that I would probably have to use David Klass because I haven’t found anyone who does really great work around here.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
21,579
HI:

Absolutely +++++.

cheers--Sharon
 

lucky7355

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
45
My jeweler is an old school Italian guy who uses asbestos paste he mixes himself to protect gemstones while working on rings. He is kind of a nut, but so far he has done decent work and most of what I have him do is resizing rings.

For anything more than that I would probably have to use David Klass because I haven’t found anyone who does really great work around here.

I think your second point is really relevant.

When I have looked at local jewelers, a lot of them have a selection of affordable designer jewelry they bring into the store at all price points and their engagement/wedding band section, which is almost always the most generic stuff you can find. It's hard to find jewelers who show off what they can really CREATE and have developed a unique style.

Before I moved there was a handful of unique artisans because I lived near some artsy towns, but as per artsy town bylaws, all the artsy stuff was obscenely priced for what I thought was fair for the materials and workmanship. A premium is fine. 3x what my jeweler could do for something similar? That's a no go.
 

winnietucker

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
1,769
My jeweler is an old school Italian guy who uses asbestos paste he mixes himself to protect gemstones while working on rings. He is kind of a nut, but so far he has done decent work and most of what I have him do is resizing rings.

For anything more than that I would probably have to use David Klass because I haven’t found anyone who does really great work around here.

I think I’ll continue to do this - local for small stuff and not local for literally everything else.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
7,343
I think your second point is really relevant.

When I have looked at local jewelers, a lot of them have a selection of affordable designer jewelry they bring into the store at all price points and their engagement/wedding band section, which is almost always the most generic stuff you can find. It's hard to find jewelers who show off what they can really CREATE and have developed a unique style.

Before I moved there was a handful of unique artisans because I lived near some artsy towns, but as per artsy town bylaws, all the artsy stuff was obscenely priced for what I thought was fair for the materials and workmanship. A premium is fine. 3x what my jeweler could do for something similar? That's a no go.

I have to tell you a story that goes along with what you wrote here. When I was looking to reset a spinel I went in and spoke to my Italian jeweler and he told me he does all his own custom settings..hand forged, makes them all himself. Okay great, he gave me one of “his” settings from the safe that would fit the stone, take it home and try it out and bring it back in a few days he told me.

Get it home and there is a maker’s mark on the inside! It is Stuller’s mark!!! He was trying to pass off a Stuller setting for his own work. When I brought the ring back I told him that I wasn’t really crazy about it but asked if he could source a Stuller setting for me. He immediately said “how do you know about Stuller?” Like it’s this big secret or something, he agreed to let me see the book as long as it was just between us!

He really is a nut, I know a lot of people would read that story and not work with him but despite that incident he has done good work and been fair with prices. His prong work though....not so hot, he set my spinel but the prongs leave a bit to be desired.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
9,451
Yes! He is awesome. Custom pendant for me. My e-ring is a custom piece he did for another person and then she decided to go larger. Used him to repair my grandmother's wedding ring. Beautiful work. All done in house.
 

MeowMeow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
1,399
I do. I work with someone specific though when I go there because she understands me lmao. I'll let the others do my inspections and give them my money but for the details of projects I refuse to go through anyone else at the store.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,660
Mine is so spendy that I send work to another "local" in another state (non PS bench).
 

kipari

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
2,785
I found one great local Guy, then I moved... Back to square one...

I have have wonderful experiences with DK, but he's overseas for me. And they want customs and duties for my own repaired items so no way!!
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
972
I think I’m in the minority here, but my local/family jeweler is absolutely amazing and so cheap compared to the kind of labour costs you see in Western countries (I guess he isnt exactly local to me, but I spend enough time back home with my parents that I have easy access to him). He also accepts scrap metals and sets outside stones and his craftsmanship is amazing, all handforged for a fraction of the price of cast jewelry anywhere else. So I only use my local guy for everything!
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,175
I would love to try the local jeweler, but I already have such good relationships with the ones I found on Etsy, and the local jeweler isn't located close enough/open late enough for me to swing by the shop after work. And now especially with COVID, it's uncertain whether they'll be open at all during their stated hours.
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
1,786
I agree, Winnie. I usually buy the big things online because I feel like I get better deals. And I usually use a local jeweler for smaller things like sizing a ring or replacing a stone.

However, I don't rule out buying something from their display cases that catches my eye or asking for a quote if I like them and their prices do seem competitive.
 
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dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
8,092
I have used a local bench for ring repair or re-size, and for re-setting my larger EC in her new setting.

I have used another local bench for ring re-sizing and pearl re-stringing, and I will not use them again for re-stringing.

I used a bench in London for my MRB open bangle project, as I felt it deserves to be treated to a nice setting, being the biggest diamond that I own.

I have not purchased any significant jewellery in UK ever since I discovered internet shopping back in the 90s, and have imported many items from abroad, not just jewellery.

I believe the jewellery in UK high street/mall are not good value for money, and labour cost for custom bench was is high. Repairs are expensive enough - a 0.10ct diamond cost me 400 GBP to be replaced for example!

I want to support local business, however, not when local prices are significantly higher than the same quality of goods I can get elsewhere.

DK :))
 

siamese3

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
904
I do have a local jeweler I shop with. Over the 17 years my husband and I have been married, he has impressed upon that not everything has to be a "deal" or the lowest price and that it doesn't always matter if I can get something cheaper on the internet. Local businesses provide jobs and enhance the community and that is important to us. That being said, I realize that it's not always easy to find a local jeweler who has the "ideal" diamond mind set or who agrees with what an ideal diamond is to you, so locally, quality can be an issue. It took me a bit to find a place that worked for me. My first local jeweler was a bit of an issue, and we really never saw eye to eye regarding ags and gia and he was uber spendy..luckily, the jewelry store I frequent now uses lovely stones so I have purchased many items over the past five or six years. I could have definitely got them cheaper, but they are lovely pieces and the service is wonderful. I have also bought from BGD, Whiteflash and CVB and also love all those pieces as well.
 
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diamondringlover

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
3,954
I use a local jeweler as most others said he too is pricey...but good...and every time I walk in there they know my name (thinking of the old tv show Cheers lol) I honestly havent spent that much money in there but they always make me feel special, I currently have a ring reset on interest free layway and I will get it out of layway soon...however when he did some modifications it changed the size of the ring and its too big so I need to go in an try it again maybe next month and have it sized before I actually pick it up.
 

winnietucker

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
1,769
I use a local jeweler as most others said he too is pricey...but good...and every time I walk in there they know my name (thinking of the old tv show Cheers lol) I honestly havent spent that much money in there but they always make me feel special, I currently have a ring reset on interest free layway and I will get it out of layway soon...however when he did some modifications it changed the size of the ring and its too big so I need to go in an try it again maybe next month and have it sized before I actually pick it up.

This is what makes me feel like a jerk! They looked at the 3.3 ct diamond when I bought it and when I popped in yesterday they were like, “what other deals have you found?” They clearly remember me and are nice enough people. If the prices were a little more similar I’d be able to justify using them.
 

siamese3

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
904
This is what makes me feel like a jerk! They looked at the 3.3 ct diamond when I bought it and when I popped in yesterday they were like, “what other deals have you found?” They clearly remember me and are nice enough people. If the prices were a little more similar I’d be able to justify using them.

Well, that's certainly a pretty rude comment.. not awesome :(
 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
11,756
I’ve worked with the same local jeweler for over 10 years. She actually does mostly bike badges in steel and copper than fine custom jewelry which I find kind of awesome. She does jewelry repair and resize work for the bigger chains and shops for her reliable income I think. But she does really nice custom work too at competitive prices. I go to her with ideas that I think she can pull off, anything delicate or intricate or pave I will go with someone not local just cause she doesn’t has as much practice and experience in that style of metal work.
 

jbake

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
517
I love my local jeweler. She has a small store and it’s just her and her husband doing jewelry work with one to two sales people depending on the time of year. She’s conveniently located right next to my grocery store, so it’s easy to stop in. We met about 4 years ago and she’s been really good to us. She’s basically “grandfathered in” the jewelry I had before and usually takes care of issues while I wait.

Our area brings in a mix of suburban and rural customers, (with a few customers driving out from the city) so that is reflected in their stock merchandise. Most of my needs are met with items from Stuller or another supply company and she can source stones that meet my guidelines.

When I was in high school and college, I worked in a few small town jewelry stores and they still hold such a special place in my heart even though they are no longer in business. When I found a store that reminded me of them, I was so happy.
 

siamese3

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
904
Oh no it wasn’t meant in a rude way. At least I didn’t interpret it that way and I 100% don’t think they meant it to be rude.

Oh!! Glad to hear that.. sometimes things don't translate well in print.. more like they were cheering you on :)
 

winnietucker

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
1,769
Oh!! Glad to hear that.. sometimes things don't translate well in print.. more like they were cheering you on :)

Yes that’s how I took it! They’re nice people. The lady comes off a little more no nonsense but I appreciate that.
 

lucky7355

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
45
I have to tell you a story that goes along with what you wrote here. When I was looking to reset a spinel I went in and spoke to my Italian jeweler and he told me he does all his own custom settings..hand forged, makes them all himself. Okay great, he gave me one of “his” settings from the safe that would fit the stone, take it home and try it out and bring it back in a few days he told me.

Get it home and there is a maker’s mark on the inside! It is Stuller’s mark!!! He was trying to pass off a Stuller setting for his own work. When I brought the ring back I told him that I wasn’t really crazy about it but asked if he could source a Stuller setting for me. He immediately said “how do you know about Stuller?” Like it’s this big secret or something, he agreed to let me see the book as long as it was just between us!

He really is a nut, I know a lot of people would read that story and not work with him but despite that incident he has done good work and been fair with prices. His prong work though....not so hot, he set my spinel but the prongs leave a bit to be desired.

Wow, you're right, I probably wouldn't have continued to work with him knowing he passed off other designs as his own because I really value some level of transparency. Knowing that I don't think I would have felt comfortable once I imagined what he would have done with the pricing or what he might have said was hand forged when it was really casted.

I'm glad you've been happy with most of his work over the years.
 

lilmosun

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
1,781
I use two small local jewelers - mostly for bench work and occasionally, purchase preloved or stock settings- one is close to my house and the other close to my parents. Both are very affordable and I consider myself lucky to have them.

My local jeweler is a small old-school bench guy. His prices for bench work are about 50% less than other jewelers I've priced...$20 for ring sizing, etc. He's a bit of a character - nice guy but opinionated despite not being a gemologist. He often doesn't know what things are worth and also tends to make up prices - the same thing can have wildly different quotes on different visits. But he is honest and stands by his work - so it's great having someone like him local.

The jeweler close to my parents is even less than my local jeweler by 30-50% for bench work...unfortunately, less convenient since my parents live 7 1/2 hours away. But it's worth it if I can wait. They've even made completely custom settings for some of my cab rings - $220 flat labor rate plus materials. Unfortunately, they won't do anything by mail or I would go to them for everything.

Neither sell colored stones...nor do they do CADS, laser work, engraving, etc - so that's where my on-line vendors come in.
 
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