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Does shoddy, expensive jewelry make your eye twitch too?

JPie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
2,169
Ever since I joined PS, I find myself noticing details that I probably wouldn't have before I joined. I get emails from a very high end online retailer, and the jewelry they sell drives me nuts! It's such poor quality for exorbitant sums.

Take this emerald solitaire, for example. It's 3.82ct for $10,000, which makes it about $2,600/ct for an uncerted stone with unknown treatments and far-from-ideal color.

Then there's the uneven prong work:
upload_2019-9-18_9-25-56.png

Poorly finished gallery:
upload_2019-9-18_9-27-16.png

This whole back is just a mess!
upload_2019-9-18_9-27-56.png

Thanks to PS, I know if I wanted something like this, I could drop $2,550 on this 3ct Colombian at Master Cut Gems, have the setting custom made, and I'd probably spend closer to $3,500.



it's like once you learn to see this stuff, you can't un-see it! :eek2:
 

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amoline

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
218
As everyone on PS knows, you pay handsomely for brand and high-end names, and the pieces we know and love can be had for far less money with a little savvy knowledge.

Thing is, if you can drop $10,000+ on anything like it's nothing from such a retailer, you probably don't care as much about the beauty of a piece but rather for that high end name.

Since so many of us on PS are "normal folks" (at least, I am), and not NFL stars, Hollywood actresses, etc. we spend the exhausting time to educate ourselves and make the jewelry budget stretch as far as possible. And thus, gorgeous pieces without brand provenance. :)
 

JPie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
2,169
As everyone on PS knows, you pay handsomely for brand and high-end names, and the pieces we know and love can be had for far less money with a little savvy knowledge.

Thing is, if you can drop $10,000+ on anything like it's nothing from such a retailer, you probably don't care as much about the beauty of a piece but rather for that high end name.

Since so many of us on PS are "normal folks" (at least, I am), and not NFL stars, Hollywood actresses, etc. we spend the exhausting time to educate ourselves and make the jewelry budget stretch as far as possible. And thus, gorgeous pieces without brand provenance. :)
I think some brand names may be worth it (depending on your perspective) if you want a minimum guarantee of quality, an iconic design, or both. Tiffany & Cartier come to mind.

The emerald example is from Maria Jose. Their FB page was created 8/2017 so they're relatively new on the scene. I think part of my eye-twitching is induced by these no-name designers pricing like they're established. It's not a bad marketing strategy though - make your goods expensive enough and people will think they're high quality!
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
6,283
Well.... Sure. Its the reason why I personally don't get Tiffany. If I'm going to pay that damn much, you should at least know if the damn stone is cooked or not.

But thats a whole other issue. People on pricescope and even other boards do see things a bit different. Some would say we're perfectionists.... and I say maybe.

I can understand the reason sometimes for uneven prong work because there might be things that we don't see with that stone happening. For instance, it may not be as even as we think it is, and, not a lot of people look at rings that close to really tell the difference. I do have 2 rings that have uneven prong work because of how the corners of the stone are. It happens. In fact some jewelers aren't terribly fond of some of the more fancy cut stones because where you'd put a prong, might be the edge of a facet.

But I don't have any answer for the basket or the meet points of the ring being so rough. That shouldn't be that way unless its some sort of styling detail. Kinda betting its not.
 

amoline

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
218
What you describe, JPie, is extremely common across all industries -- make a service or product too much of a good deal, and people automatically assume it's poor quality. We all as humans tend to associate higher priced goods with automatically better quality. Not always the case, of course.

But in jewelry especially, when pieces can be substituted with their brands alone. "Are you wearing a Tiffany?" - at this point, it doesn't even matter the brand, but rather the automatic social prestige with wearing "a Tiffany." At my mother's wedding, she requested all bridesmaids to wear a strand of pearls - she still tells the story to this day - and one of her bridesmaids couldn't help but say rather proudly "I have a Mikimoto"

I agree with your iconic design comment as well as a minimum standard of quality. I think this is what the average jewelry shopper tends to think, though. When I talk to people, it definitely seems as if there are your Jareds and Zales of the world, and then there are your Tiffany and Cartier, and there are just "what exist" - as if the high end name brands have a monopoly on access to high quality.

But, I'm rambling. :mrgreen2:
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
7,687
Cool topic!!

One aspect that drives me a bit batty....
A lot of buyers LOVE delicate-looking pieces- with teeny shanks ( say 1.7mm pave)
Well, delicate-looking will generally be delicate in general!
Sometimes a less costly cast ring can be far more durable than a top of the line hand forged masterpiece.....
 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
10,218
Yeah all my fine jewelry at this point is bespoke. I feel like I can’t justify the markup for the brand name. And honestly I like having one of a kind pieces so if I’m gonna spend the money I want something that was made just for little ol me. :kiss2:

Also allows me to do all my own crazy quality control.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
4,766
Yeah all my fine jewelry at this point is bespoke. I feel like I can’t justify the markup for the brand name. And honestly I like having one of a kind pieces so if I’m gonna spend the money I want something that was made just for little ol me. :kiss2:

Also allows me to do all my own crazy quality control.
Right? I usually have an idea of what I want and only rarely does the idea of what I want coincide with “there’s a stock setting available from someone that can be made to fit the stone I have.” It’s GREAT when it does, but I’m like you and like the overall ring to be a work of art that happens to have beautiful stones, not for the ring to JUST exist as a holder for the stone... and that’s harder to find. I think a lot of people on PS are more that way and it makes us all exceptionally sensitive to the quality and design of the settings. We all want our jewelry to be works of art rather than just utilitarian bling pieces.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
19,813
Cool topic!!

One aspect that drives me a bit batty....
A lot of buyers LOVE delicate-looking pieces- with teeny shanks ( say 1.7mm pave)
Well, delicate-looking will generally be delicate in general!
Sometimes a less costly cast ring can be far more durable than a top of the line hand forged masterpiece.....
Tradepeople have a right - in my opinion an obligation - to Say No to Stupid.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jan 7, 2009
Messages
7,687
Tradepeople have a right - in my opinion an obligation - to Say No to Stupid.
I totally get what you're saying. After all these years and thousands of rings, I am always concerned about the impact of stone loss.
For this reason, I always advise insuring pave rings. I discourage our clients from going below 2mm on pave shanks....
BUT- there's also the school of thought that views jewelry as art- and in that sense, I don't want to place limitations- as long as there's full disclosure.
I like to use a car analogy to describe teeny weeny pave shanks... If you spend half a million bucks on a Ferrari, a simple curb can cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage. But life's too short not to drive Ferrari's for some people.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
4,766
I totally get what you're saying. After all these years and thousands of rings, I am always concerned about the impact of stone loss.
For this reason, I always advise insuring pave rings. I discourage our clients from going below 2mm on pave shanks....
BUT- there's also the school of thought that views jewelry as art- and in that sense, I don't want to place limitations- as long as there's full disclosure.
I like to use a car analogy to describe teeny weeny pave shanks... If you spend half a million bucks on a Ferrari, a simple curb can cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage. But life's too short not to drive Ferrari's for some people.
I also think it’s ok if the consumer makes the choice if they’ve been educated about the risks... despite trying to wear my ring carefully, I can see under the loupe where I’ve taken out chunks of the platinum. But that’s ok because we went into it thinking in 10 or 15 years we might have to redo the setting - and it’s 8.5 years now. However if someone didn’t KNOW that three-sided pave was a risk (and mine is by no means “delicate” at 3-3.8 mm wide), that’s a different story entirely, because then they may be angry at the jeweler when the problem is really just physics.
 

JPie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
2,169
Well.... Sure. Its the reason why I personally don't get Tiffany. If I'm going to pay that damn much, you should at least know if the damn stone is cooked or not.

But thats a whole other issue. People on pricescope and even other boards do see things a bit different. Some would say we're perfectionists.... and I say maybe.

I can understand the reason sometimes for uneven prong work because there might be things that we don't see with that stone happening. For instance, it may not be as even as we think it is, and, not a lot of people look at rings that close to really tell the difference. I do have 2 rings that have uneven prong work because of how the corners of the stone are. It happens. In fact some jewelers aren't terribly fond of some of the more fancy cut stones because where you'd put a prong, might be the edge of a facet.

But I don't have any answer for the basket or the meet points of the ring being so rough. That shouldn't be that way unless its some sort of styling detail. Kinda betting its not.
That’s a good point about the stone dictating the prong work sometimes.

What you describe, JPie, is extremely common across all industries -- make a service or product too much of a good deal, and people automatically assume it's poor quality. We all as humans tend to associate higher priced goods with automatically better quality. Not always the case, of course.

But in jewelry especially, when pieces can be substituted with their brands alone. "Are you wearing a Tiffany?" - at this point, it doesn't even matter the brand, but rather the automatic social prestige with wearing "a Tiffany." At my mother's wedding, she requested all bridesmaids to wear a strand of pearls - she still tells the story to this day - and one of her bridesmaids couldn't help but say rather proudly "I have a Mikimoto"

I agree with your iconic design comment as well as a minimum standard of quality. I think this is what the average jewelry shopper tends to think, though. When I talk to people, it definitely seems as if there are your Jareds and Zales of the world, and then there are your Tiffany and Cartier, and there are just "what exist" - as if the high end name brands have a monopoly on access to high quality.

But, I'm rambling. :mrgreen2:
A cousin of mine was very much into brand names. It was almost as though she adapted Plato’s theory of Forms for shopping; in her mind, the forms were certain designer pieces and everything else was an imitation. The Tiffany six-prong solitaire and Burberry trench coats are some examples that I remember.

Cool topic!!

One aspect that drives me a bit batty....
A lot of buyers LOVE delicate-looking pieces- with teeny shanks ( say 1.7mm pave)
Well, delicate-looking will generally be delicate in general!
Sometimes a less costly cast ring can be far more durable than a top of the line hand forged masterpiece.....
If delicate shanks drive you batty, don’t look at my engagement ring! :lol:

Yeah all my fine jewelry at this point is bespoke. I feel like I can’t justify the markup for the brand name. And honestly I like having one of a kind pieces so if I’m gonna spend the money I want something that was made just for little ol me. :kiss2:

Also allows me to do all my own crazy quality control.
I’m not nearly as creative as you! :kiss2:

Right? I usually have an idea of what I want and only rarely does the idea of what I want coincide with “there’s a stock setting available from someone that can be made to fit the stone I have.” It’s GREAT when it does, but I’m like you and like the overall ring to be a work of art that happens to have beautiful stones, not for the ring to JUST exist as a holder for the stone... and that’s harder to find. I think a lot of people on PS are more that way and it makes us all exceptionally sensitive to the quality and design of the settings. We all want our jewelry to be works of art rather than just utilitarian bling pieces.
I think PSers are rather good at commissioning utilitarian yet artistic pieces. =)2
 

GliderPoss

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
2,104
hahaha yes 100% makes my eye twitch :lol: I try so hard to reign it in when others show me bad jewellery, I don't want them to feel shitty about their expensive purchase after the fact! :doh:
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
3,064
I cringe when I see an expensive ring that looks good face up but turn it over and see a hollowed out shank and missing gallery.
 

JPie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
2,169
hahaha yes 100% makes my eye twitch :lol: I try so hard to reign it in when others show me bad jewellery, I don't want them to feel shitty about their expensive purchase after the fact! :doh:
That’s the sensible thing to do! It’s a can of worms not worth opening.

I cringe when I see an expensive ring that looks good face up but turn it over and see a hollowed out shank and missing gallery.
Sadly, my mom has a few of these. sad :((
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
3,064
[QUOTE=" Sadly, my mom has a few of these. sad :(([/QUOTE]

Your mother's are different. Hers are beautiful. :)
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
26,599
Does shoddy, expensive jewelry make your eye twitch too?
Ever since I joined PS, I find myself noticing details that I probably wouldn't have before I joined.
it's like once you learn to see this stuff, you can't un-see it! :eek2:
Yes it does.

eyecringe.gif
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 17, 2014
Messages
2,858
Do they save that much from shaving out the gold?

My jeweller makes rings that feel like a tank and charges me by gold weight so he uses what he needs to use quite comfortably. However the final product doesn't even cost that much even with current sky high gold prices so these people must be making a massive profit!
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,095
Rings with hollowed-out shanks are terrible. I've learned not to buy them.
They feel okay for about 5 minutes and then the edges dig in and irritate my finger.
 

madelise

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
5,294
I have this strategy when I take people jewelry shopping in diamond district.

#1 go to the main mall area where there are dozens of booths where they act like sharks when you’ve bled in water to see less quality, China/Indian mass produced stuff.

#2 go to higher end stores to see the top quality stuff.

That way, the shell shock of price isn’t as insane and they can see the quality difference.

I went to diamond/jewelry district this weekend and was in step #1 when this one booth brought out what would be best described as JC Penney/ Zales/ pawn shop jewelry with a bunch of pave set diamonds that are awful quality.

I was so upset that I couldn’t help my visceral response. I was actually angry and overwhelmed.

I said it was for a 40th wedding anniversary and declined a chunky eternity-ish band because it wasn’t good enough for the momentous occasion, so she showed me a whole tray of those complete knuckle covering type fashion rings filled with teeny tiny diamonds that were just one step higher quality than nail file or drill bit diamond dust. I mean, there’s a place for that type of jewelry in the fashion fun world for short term wear or interest. But the costs I saw, the crap I saw... man... I literally had to excuse myself to go outside to breathe because I felt ill.
 

madelise

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 23, 2011
Messages
5,294
So yes, I get upset. But the biggest thing that upsets me is when the price is a rip off in comparison to the quality.
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,357
My problem is I started with high end; the level of finishing, even on casual pieces, was outstanding. Later when I decided antiques were better for me and let go of all my designer stuff, I stuck with quality antiques... and to this day, I cant find satisfaction with modern pieces in my price range. But the antiques have such beautiful patina and inside finishing! Prong work! Slenderness! Refinement of lines! So there’s hope for me as long as I stick with the old stuff.

Today’s styles with poor quality casting and lack of fine finish is disheartening. It’s a good thing PS vendors are out there doing extraordinary work for this community. Sensitive eyes and keen perception would never be able to settle for less. Some of the PS pictures really show excellence and it’s inspiring.
 
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