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Gemstone budgets: the plan, and the reality!

Desertrose

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So I have my current gemstone "budget"...or at least some sort of boundary after which I start causing problems and my DH starts wondering if this is a good hobby to support. Fortunately I haven't crossed that line...yet! :naughty: :lol:

Since I don't have unlimited funds, and I'm assuming most of us here do not, what do you think is the best way to spend your budget? Do you purchase one super nice stone, or several good ones?

Do all your plans go out the window when a "gotta have it" stone crosses your path? Or are you focused and goal-oriented?

I'm interested to hear others' perspectives on the best way to buy - and then what really happens IRL! :wink2:

My experience: when I started, I didn't realize how much I would get into gemstones and how much they can cost! Haven't had a plan, just bought things as they appealed to me. At this point, I think I need to be a bit more informed, and structured, about my purchases. I find I get on one track for awhile (red spinels, or tsavorites) and then shift to another interest. I'd like to be more savvy about prices and which stones are worth the larger investments. Thanks to everyone here, I feel I'm slowly gaining some of the knowledge to make better choices!
 

AandCGemTradingCorp

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I would imagine that a lot would depend upon your goal. Are you looking to make finished pieces with these gems, a collection of matching jewelry, gems for you to display and enjoy for their beauty, the beginning of a jewelry design career/hobby, or a long term investment? I would carefully think about what I wanted to achieve, and then formulate a plan based on those anticipated goals. Luckily, it is a very fluid process and you can modify it at any time! Enjoy! It really is a fascinating world which will bring you to so many different types of people, cultures, etc.!
 

dk168

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Mixture of inexpensive stones from Jeff Davies, as well as custom/bespoke precision cut ones from cutters such as Jeff White, Doug Menadue, and Richard Homer, via stockists of CSs such as The Gem Trader and Yvonne Raley.

I have a monthly "jewellery" budget, and plan my CS or jewellery purchases or settings accordingly.

DK :))
 

lilmosun

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It's very hard to stay on track while surfing Pricescope, isn't it? Why I pretty much stay out of the other forums :D

Desertrose|1457413568|4001348 said:
Do you purchase one super nice stone, or several good ones?
Another PS effect for me is that I've learned to appreciate small/medium super nice stones over larger good ones. Since I like to change my jewelry up daily, I do have a limit on how much I will spend on one completed piece that is less than some custom settings. I only have gone over 3 times :angel: Some start their collections this way and then work on upgrades - something I consider doing, especially my diamond - but for me the price point is like an invisible barrier that is hard to justify on something that will just get added to the rotation...plus the limit keeps me out of trouble :lol: So I just live those dream through others for now.

When I retire and change my jewelry less often, maybe I will give up my larger collection for a few killer pieces that I can pass on.

Desertrose|1457413568|4001348 said:
Do all your plans go out the window when a "gotta have it" stone crosses your path? Or are you focused and goal-oriented?
While I m still guilty of having plans go out the window when a "gotta have it" stone crosses my path, I've gotten more focused/selective. The more you see and the more you have, the easier it gets. On the other hand, I've lost out on some stones while trying to be more focused (i.e. planning what I will do with it before buying). But the remorse doesn't last long as I remind myself that there will always be another pretty stone that crosses my path.

I would say based on your posted buys, you are much more discerning that I was when I first started. I have a box of sample/starter stones - inexpensive but don't love them enough to spend on setting...maybe my only regret but for me it was part of the learning experience.
 

chrono

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It depends on how you plan to collect; some want variety, some want fewer but very special pieces, and some only want THE one. Over time, I've gotten used to and prefer larger stones, my desire for top colour never waned (although I do like a few non-trade preferred colouration), and since I only wear one or 2 rings at one time, prefer fewer but very special pieces. Since such stones take a long time to find, my budget gets to grow in the interim. :devil:
 

LisaRN

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Do you purchase one super nice stone, or several good ones? Mostly good ones, but some I consider super nice.

Do all your plans go out the window when a "gotta have it" stone crosses your path? Every once in a while. Yet oddly almost every time that stone did not live up to what I expected.

Or are you focused and goal-oriented? Absolutely. I have learned what I personally want in a certain colored stone and plan accordingly. Bigger and well cut is always better in the color I desire. And I have learned to never accept a stone that turns dark or ugly in sunlight or mixed light. Never.
 

lilmosun

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laughing...on the flip side, I've never learned to judge a stone by how it looks in my house at night as we have those awful CFL bulbs. Since my husband doesn't complain about my jewelry spending, I don't feel its right to argue if he wants to save money on light bulbs :think: (Besides, I take my rings off as soon as I walk in the door anyway.)
 

chrono

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Unfortunately, I have those awful CFLs at work and I'm at work at least 8 hours a day, which can make it challenging to find the right stone.
 

mochiko42

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Do you purchase one super nice stone, or several good ones?
I'm past the stage of purchasing lots of little beginner stones (sub-$500 range) and currently transitioning between buying some good stones ($500-$1k range) to saving up for a few big-ticket items ($1k up). However, I'm finding difficult to be disciplined and resist temptation (or a good deal)!

Do all your plans go out the window when a "gotta have it" stone crosses your path?
Sometimes :oops: I am trying to stick to my goals of a few larger big-ticket items instead of impulse buying.

Or are you focused and goal-oriented?
I try to be.. not always successful :lol: Somehow I ended up spending all my gem/jewelry budget this year on a paraiba ring from Yvonne, when I was supposed to be saving for upgrading my AVR diamond, and setting my existing collection of loose stones. :shifty:
 

lilmosun

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So if we were talking a 5 step program, chrono is at step 4, mochiko is at step 3 and I am a 2? :D
 

chrono

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Oh no, I'm almost at the irredeemable stage!!! :lol:
 

Lovinggems

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I am fickle and easily distracted, this year I'm going to write a wish list and stick to it...
Going to consolidate my collection and reinvest the funds into new gems.
 

Desertrose

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Thanks everyone! Lilmosun, Chrono, LisaRN, Lovinggems, Mochiko, DK, AandC. It's so interesting to hear your perspectives, and how they've changed. This is really helpful to me, and I'm sure to others...it sounds like there is a 5 step process! :lol:

Mochiko, thanks for specifying the price ranges. I think I moved pretty quickly from beginner-priced stones to mid-priced stones, maybe a little too fast...it takes time for the eye for gems to develop. I'm starting to see color differently, to be able to pick out things I couldn't before. But I know there's father to go. I'm still learning to see cut quality. I'm also starting to learn what I like, in terms of color, cut, sleepiness, etc.

I just got my first set of jewelry made by Yvonne, and I'm so excited! It turned out nicely, though pricey with the paraiba.

Here's another question - what's the most you would spend on a stone? On a setting? Or what is your overall limit for a piece like a ring?
 

mochiko42

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Chrono|1457617663|4002647 said:
Oh no, I'm almost at the irredeemable stage!!! :lol:

Not even close, it's really a 12 step program. We just don't talk about step 6-12 :lol:
 

LisaRN

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lilmosun|1457581872|4002381 said:
laughing...on the flip side, I've never learned to judge a stone by how it looks in my house at night as we have those awful CFL bulbs. Since my husband doesn't complain about my jewelry spending, I don't feel its right to argue if he wants to save money on light bulbs :think: (Besides, I take my rings off as soon as I walk in the door anyway.)
Lol. There is one spot in my breezeway where the lighting is very weird. I call it the spot "where colored stones go to die."
 

dk168

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I was not planning another big ticket CS after Yvonne's trillion Mahenge Spinel for this year, honest.

Then I made the mistake of asking Jeff W what goodies he picked up from Tucson when I e-mailed him about the 6ct+ Aqua he is cutting for me soon, saw blue-green Tourmaline on his list, and jumped right in, no hope! :rolleyes:

I then found more goodies in Yvonne's Etsy shop, and am keen to get more after paying for the Mahenge Spinel. :rolleyes:

Good job I resisted Doug's goodies, as Prasiolite's colour does not suit me. However, I am eyeing some of his Emeralds and Tsavorites in his King Stone Gems site.

Resistance is futile it seems. :rolleyes:

DK :bigsmile:
 

lilmosun

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Chrono|1457583318|4002392 said:
Unfortunately, I have those awful CFLs at work and I'm at work at least 8 hours a day, which can make it challenging to find the right stone.
Note to self: check out the lighting when going on a job interview :sun:

Desertrose|1457620438|4002675 said:
Here's another question - what's the most you would spend on a stone? On a setting? Or what is your overall limit for a piece like a ring?
Easy question as I really do have these mental limits that I find hard to justify crossing (and am actually afraid that once I do there is no going back so I actually use these amounts to talk myself down all the time).

1) Limit is $1200 for a colored stone (I think as I've never spent more than $1000 yet on a single stone)
2) Setting is probably $1000 give or take - depending on whether you include the side stones. Most of my non-custom settings are under $300.
3) Most of my non-custom rings could go on the budget thread but my overall limit for a ring is $2000. Admittedly, I have broken it 3 times.

But I am only at step 2 of mochiko's 12 step program :shhh: and can't afford to spend more until I get more disciplined :angel:

(DK is still step 1 <kidding> :wavey: )
 
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