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Gemstone Rings and Australia

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Magenta

Shiny_Rock
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Apr 6, 2009
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Hey all!.

So, I''m finally out of the lurkers closet, after having admired all the gemstones for a while. Please don''t eat me!


I''m tentatively looking for an engagement ring, and based in Sydney, Australia. I''ve been browsing some stones, and have found some pretty looking ones. Tossing up between the following (where the first is my preference)

http://www.ajsgems.com/gemstones/Gems/Spinel-2049211566-2046340460.html
http://www.ajsgems.com/gemstones/Gems/Spinel-2049210967-2046340460.html
http://www.ajsgems.com/gemstones/Gems/Spinel-2049210976-2046340460.html
http://www.ajsgems.com/gemstones/Gems/Spinel-2049210973-2046340460.html

(or similar colours)

My question relates more to importing, settings, and the like.

Presumably if it''s under $1000 AUD, there are no import taxes & GST?

What happens with settings in Australia? It seems like most of the vendors are requiring purchasing diamonds with the settings, which clearly isn''t what I want.
Does one just walk into a jeweller and say "I''d like this kind of thing, and i''ve already got the center stone?"

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

arjunajane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
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9,758
Hi magenta,

and welcome!

I will let those with more knowledge comment on your gem choices, but the Aussie related Q's I can answer -
yep, you're right - under 1k and no import taxes - if you're planning on spending more than that let us know and I'll direct you to
more info on it.

With re to the setting, it really depends - yes, if you go into a retail jewellery store you are going to usually have a hard time
buying an empty setting, and even less chance of having them set it for you.

But there are absolutely jewellers everywhere that will sell or make an empty setting and set your stone for you.
I would decide first what sort of style you're after (ie. basic solitaire, or with diamonds, budget etc), than you can ask some
other mbrs from Sydney for recommendations - I only know Perth and a lil in Melbs I'm afraid.
My first recommendation would be just to find where the "hub" for manufacturing jewellers is in your city - for example
I think in Melbs its Collins st, in Perth its London Court, etc. Those will be the most helpful (and reasonably priced) people. The retailers
throughout the city will usually take on your job, charge a premium, than send it over to these guys


But an important thing to consider is risk and insurance - you will find that no Ins. Co. in Aus
will cover you for a loose stone to be set, and also unless you buy the gem from them, usually the jeweller
won't cover the risk either.
If you are spending a bit on the setting and the gem's not too pricey, you may find one or two who are more amenable,
but that is the usual practice to take no liability.

I don't want to scare you or anything, but its just something to be aware of. Hope that helps a lil!
 

Kismet

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
2,991
Welcome to pricescope!

Personally I like the second one best, the first one is too orange for my taste. As for settings, just go into a jewelers and ask to buy just the setting. If they tell you no, then you probably didn't want to work with them anyhow. Most jewelers deal with companies like Stuller and Adwar, who just wholesale mountings, so you could order something similar though them as well. I would choose a jeweler who has some experience with colored stones though. Most jewelers should be pretty flexible with you, especially in this economy.

ETA: wow, just read AJ's replay. I didn't realize that jewelers were so different :)
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
Thanks for the advice!

I've no idea where the Sydney hub is...I'll have to go on a search.

Oh, and it's stunning to see how much created sapphire / other gemstones there are in Sydney!
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
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Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
So, i''ve done some more research, and found some manufacturing jewelers in Sydney.

It seems that for 18K yellow gold, in a plain, custom-made (due to the sizing), completely hand-made solitare ring will cost $1500 or so. Is this normal? It seems rather high compared to US pricing, but I don''t know anywhere near enough to know whether it actually is or not.
 

bling addict

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
1,050
I had a custom hand made ring done by a jeweller in melbourne, the price was similar to what you were quoted but included diamond melee (sorry can''t remember exact weight think about 40pts) and was 18K white gold.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
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37,512
Date: 4/6/2009 9:31:50 AM
Author:Magenta
Hey all!.

So, I''m finally out of the lurkers closet, after having admired all the gemstones for a while. Please don''t eat me!


I''m tentatively looking for an engagement ring, and based in Sydney, Australia. I''ve been browsing some stones, and have found some pretty looking ones. Tossing up between the following (where the first is my preference)

http://www.ajsgems.com/gemstones/Gems/Spinel-2049211566-2046340460.html
http://www.ajsgems.com/gemstones/Gems/Spinel-2049210967-2046340460.html
http://www.ajsgems.com/gemstones/Gems/Spinel-2049210976-2046340460.html
http://www.ajsgems.com/gemstones/Gems/Spinel-2049210973-2046340460.html

(or similar colours)

My question relates more to importing, settings, and the like.

Presumably if it''s under $1000 AUD, there are no import taxes & GST?

What happens with settings in Australia? It seems like most of the vendors are requiring purchasing diamonds with the settings, which clearly isn''t what I want.
Does one just walk into a jeweller and say ''I''d like this kind of thing, and i''ve already got the center stone?''

Any advice would be appreciated.
I quoting to make your links clickable.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,512
The first spinel could have zoning and shows a light saturation.
The second spinel shows beautiful colour and brilliance. It might have a small window but it can be "closed" once it is set.
Spinel 3 is better than spinel 1 but not as pretty as spinel 2.
I would rate spinel 4 very close to spinel 3.

My top pick is spinel #2. Decent cutting, lively stone and pretty colour. Have you asked for additional pictures?
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
Thanks for the replies.

I''ve not asked for additional pictures of those stones yet, but I did find another gorgeous stone here which I like the look of, and do have some additional pictures for.

Currently looking at getting it set, with the possibility of getting it set in the US.
Arjunajane, if you could give me the information on import taxes for finished jewelry over $1000 AUD, i''d be most appreciative!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Gary Dutton! I can''t recommend him highly enough. You can ask him for additional pictures or whatever else strikes your curiousity and he''s very straightforward and honest. Do you mind sharing the additional pictures?
 

arjunajane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
9,758
Date: 4/20/2009 10:30:49 PM
Author: Magenta
Thanks for the replies.

I've not asked for additional pictures of those stones yet, but I did find another gorgeous stone here which I like the look of, and do have some additional pictures for.

Currently looking at getting it set, with the possibility of getting it set in the US.
Arjunajane, if you could give me the information on import taxes for finished jewelry over $1000 AUD, i'd be most appreciative!
of course!
here ya go
http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=5549
down the bottom of that page - basically its 10% GST and 5% duty, but there is a specifc way to work it out (as in, its not 15% flat), so that link explains
it better than I can
You will also pay ~$50 in fees to have it processed.

if you still need help, than pls ask.

What I would do, as you'll end up paying less this way (potentially alot less) - buy and import your gem. Unless you're planning on getting something
pretty fancy for your first go, than it will most likely be under 1k, therefore no taxes. Even if it is over 1k, there is no GST on loose gems, so you will only
pay 5% duty.

Then, send your gem back out to the US to have your ring made - when its finished, upon import , you will only need to pay for the cost of the work on the
ring, not on the whole thing (ring+gem). This could potentially save you hundreds of $.
Does that make sense??

You will need to keep a good paper trail to prove to customs what has happened, but it's not as complex as it sounds
- pls ask me if you'd like more info !


ETA: I agree with BA above, that quote sounds rather high - although tbh, that's just the way with Aussie jewellers.
before I knew that James Meyer charged reasonable for his designs, I was looking into having an "inspired by" piece made in Aust - turns out'it would've been ~$200 more expensive than the real deal - and I doubt as well executed


The jeweller BA mentioned is very good though, I would like to work with them in the future.
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
Oh, and just to check all possibilities, is there any import tax on finished jewelry *under* $1000? I presume not, looking at the customs site, but I thought i''d read something here that there was...

SP00247face2.jpg
 

arjunajane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
9,758
Date: 4/21/2009 1:24:25 AM
Author: Magenta
Oh, and just to check all possibilities, is there any import tax on finished jewelry *under* $1000? I presume not, looking at the customs site, but I thought i''d read something here that there was...
nope, no import on anything under 1k.

Lovely colour gem btw!
 

Pieface

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
223
Alcohol and cigarettes are the only things that attract duties and taxes under $1000. Really frustrating for my new found love of bourbon!

I really like the concept of a spinel for your e-ring. You will have something very unique here in Aus. Good luck with the search.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,512
Magenta,
Can you ask Gary why the colour is so uneven in the 2 pictures? I see splotches of pink and orange and some vein-y red lines. I’m wondering if it’s just bad pictures or something inherent to the stone.
 

Stone Hunter

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
6,401
I see that you put Gary''s stone on hold. Since you are sharing the link and the photos I think putting it on hold was a smart move. It looks like a wonderful stone. (Of course I am a novice with colored stones, but the color is wonderful.)
 

aprilzephyr

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
80
Date: 4/20/2009 3:44:26 AM
Author: Magenta
So, i've done some more research, and found some manufacturing jewelers in Sydney.

It seems that for 18K yellow gold, in a plain, custom-made (due to the sizing), completely hand-made solitare ring will cost $1500 or so. Is this normal? It seems rather high compared to US pricing, but I don't know anywhere near enough to know whether it actually is or not.
Hi, Magenta - I'm not sure if this is helpful, as my memory is a bit hazy with all of my jewelry research (and this forum has only added to that information overload
). I'm a New Yorker, but I spend a lot of time in Sydney because that is where my SO is. I did a bit of ring research the last time I was in Sydney (a few months ago), and the price that you were quoted sounds similar to the quotes I received from a few jewelry shops in the CBD for 18k gold. I don't know if you ever walk through the Strand Arcade. There is a store window that ALWAYS catches my (and every other woman's who is passing by) eye every time I walk through - really colorful and beautiful jewelry (though a bit on the modern side), and they also do custom work and said they would set a stone not purchased from them. I believe they quoted me around that much or a little higher for a 18K setting. I had to do a search to remember the name: ROX gems and jewellry. I did not pursue a project with them, but their SAs were the nicest ones I talked to that day (patient, not at all pushy or judgmental).

Their quotes (as well as other Sydney shops I visited) for both 18K gold and platinum, however, were higher than what I could get here even with the exchange rate. When I expressed this to the SAs, one SA at another shop (antique one) said to me that one of the reasons why gold and platinum seemed more expensive than in the US is because they had to purchased the raw materials in US dollars. Their bottom line not only depended on the prices of gold and platinum, but also on how well/badly the AUD was doing against the USD. I don't know how true this is, but to be fair to her, at the time, the AUD was at its weakest against the USD and the price of gold had climbed. In general, though, I find shopping for most goods in Sydney to be fairly more expensive than NYC
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
Date: 4/21/2009 8:00:13 AM
Author: Chrono
Can you ask Gary why the colour is so uneven in the 2 pictures? I see splotches of pink and orange and some vein-y red lines. I’m wondering if it’s just bad pictures or something inherent to the stone.
Hey again all!

Chrono, so far, he''s said that the "true" color of the stone is very difficult to get the camera to capture. Those two pictures were both taken at a windows with indirect sunlight (no internal lights at all). You can see here that the stone''s color varies under slightly different conditions.

He says it''s even difficult for him to accurately describe the color (and can''t seem to get the camera to produce what exactly what one sees with the eye) - a slightly orangish, coppery redish color. The stone is uniformly this color, and one does not see so much of the orangish highlights as shown in one of the pictures.

If it''s somewhat of a multiple-colour stone, that''s fine by me (as is it not being a stoplight red). It gives it more interest, and I think it adds to the beauty. I presume it''s just a cosmetic thing, rather than an actual problem? I can''t see the vein-y red lines in it, I''ll have to look closer!

As for settings, from another thread, I discovered idjewelryonline, with this beautiful setting, so I''ve sent them an email asking if the stone will fit in it (as it''s only saying diamond ct weight, not dimensions). If that works, the question then is if it''s worth getting it set in the US (hopefully Gary will be happy to) and paying duty/GST on it, or getting both bits sent here, and trying to find a jeweler here to do it. I can only imagine what they would charge for that - it may well be worse than the duty & GST! If you''ve got rough numbers for that sort of thing, i''d love to hear them!

aprilzephyr, thanks for that. I emailed ROX a couple of days ago, haven''t received a response yet. I don''t visit the city much, but I might have to go have a look in person :) I expect the SA assistant is correct over the gold prices - i''d not thought of that previously.

And I agree - shopping here is often more expensive than getting things imported, particularly when the exchange rate is good! That''s why the first place I went looking for engagement rings wasn''t the jewelers, but was the internet, and the US!

If the setting does end up working out, would you set such a stone in 18K yellow gold or white gold? I tend to wear mostly warm colours.

Off to browse all the shiny on pricescope again... :D
 

innerkitten

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
5,623
I don''t know about import taxes and thing but I just wanted to say I really like the first two stones.
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
Date: 4/21/2009 8:43:10 AM
Author: Stone Hunter
I see that you put Gary''s stone on hold. Since you are sharing the link and the photos I think putting it on hold was a smart move. It looks like a wonderful stone. (Of course I am a novice with colored stones, but the color is wonderful.)
Indeed - as soon as I found that stone, got more pictures, and found out what the shipping costs were, I put it on hold as I liked it so much! Didn''t want to let that one get away unless I found I couldn''t set it!

Innerkitten, feel free to grab them if you like! I think I''ll be going for Gary''s stone, or something completely different. :)
 

planet_jp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
68
Hi, Magenta. I''m a big-time lurker because I''m fascinated and in love with gemstones. Unfortunately, I''m not in a position to purchase much so I have no reason to post! I just wanted to chime in because I bought that spinel a while ago and returned it. It was my very first gemstone purchase so I really didn''t know what to expect. I loved the color! It wasn''t what would be called "top" color, but I thought it was beautiful. It has some brown to it. It looks different in different lighting conditions, just as Gary said, with a lot of sparkle and dispersion. My problem with it was extinction - there was enough to bother me so I decided not to keep it. I did take it to two reputable jewelers, though. One said it was a beautiful stone and said he would price it at around $1500! The other thought it was priced about right, but he did confirm the extinction and I had not mentioned it to him.

I hope this helps and doesn''t muddy the waters for you. I ended up with a pink spinel from Gary (it''s on the bottom of his home page). It, too, has some extinction, but I just had to have a stone! It''s in ring now - if I ever get a good picture of it, I''ll post it. Frankly, I don''t care about jewelry - I just love the stones!

FYI for all you PSers - Don''t worry, I would never "steal" something that you were considering purchasing!
I love this forum and really appreciate how much I''ve been able to learn from reading it.

Janet
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
37,512
Janet,
Thanks for coming out of the woodwork to give your opinion of the stone.
Who else would be the best person to comment on it other than one who has seen and handled it personally?
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
Thanks planet_jp! That''s definitely useful information to know! Is the extinction you saw worse than what''s on these pictures?

I''ve also been looking at a couple of other interesting things that I *don''t* have on hold, so haven''t posted them. I''ve been admiring the spess garnets, one of which is from finewater, and one from dan stair, but the finewater one is rather yellow (I was hoping for more orange), and the pictures from Dan are a little worrying, after seeing the thread on the vendor pictures & the stones in person.

What''s caught my eye at the moment is a certain three-stone pink-purple round umbalite garnet ring from a well known vendor here, which is apparently very nice. Has anyone seen this one? What did they think of it? I asked for more pictures, and they''re certainly pretty! Don''t want to post the URL to it, due to lurkers, but hopefully those who are around here a lot will have seen it, and can comment. I''m starting to get a little paranoid now - sending stones back from here will be a royal pain in the neck, if I want to do it!

How durable are garnets in reality? Will they be fine for years if one only wears them during the day, doesn''t do dishes / have a shower or hard work in them, but does lots of typing? Would I be fine washing my hands with it on, etc?
 

arjunajane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
9,758
Date: 4/23/2009 12:46:04 AM
Author: Magenta
Thanks planet_jp! That''s definitely useful information to know! Is the extinction you saw worse than what''s on these pictures?

I''ve also been looking at a couple of other interesting things that I *don''t* have on hold, so haven''t posted them. I''ve been admiring the spess garnets, one of which is from finewater, and one from dan stair, but the finewater one is rather yellow (I was hoping for more orange), and the pictures from Dan are a little worrying, after seeing the thread on the vendor pictures & the stones in person.

What''s caught my eye at the moment is a certain three-stone pink-purple round umbalite garnet ring from a well known vendor here, which is apparently very nice. Has anyone seen this one? What did they think of it? I asked for more pictures, and they''re certainly pretty! Don''t want to post the URL to it, due to lurkers, but hopefully those who are around here a lot will have seen it, and can comment. I''m starting to get a little paranoid now - sending stones back from here will be a royal pain in the neck, if I want to do it!

How durable are garnets in reality? Will they be fine for years if one only wears them during the day, doesn''t do dishes / have a shower or hard work in them, but does lots of typing? Would I be fine washing my hands with it on, etc?
FYI - there is also talk in that thread you mention about how Dan has greatly improved his photography methods, and his photos are now
alot more accurate. I would not say his pics are *the best* of our favoured vendors, but I def. would not let that deter me from
buying from him. The last gem I bought (blue-green tourm) was spot on IRL to Dan''s photo - my comparison is in that thread


From the kind of wear you are describing, I think garnet will be just fine. With my new garnet ring, I am a bit more gentle than with my diamond -
but this is also due to wanting to be cautious with the setting.
I take all my rings off when washing my hands, including diamonds - it just makes it easier to keep them clean etc
 

planet_jp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
68
Thanks planet_jp! That''s definitely useful information to know! Is the extinction you saw worse than what''s on these pictures?


I have to say that yes, it''s more obvious than in the pictures. From what I remember, I wouldn''t have recognized the stone from those pictures. The color is prettier IRL IMO.
 

planet_jp

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
68
Hello. I''m reviving this thread after all this time for three reasons.

1) Magenta, what did you get??

2) I had a "duh" moment, all these weeks later - I got the pink spinel from Rick at Art Cut Gems, not Dutton''s Diamonds. Did anyone look for it on Gary''s home page and wonder what kind of flake I am?


3) Just bought a sunstone from Dan Stair and need advice on setting it in a pendant. I''m going to go see if I can figure out how to attach a picture and start a new thread.

Janet
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
Date: 5/15/2009 1:39:25 PM
Author: planet_jp
Hello. I'm reviving this thread after all this time for three reasons.
1) Magenta, what did you get??
Yay, thread revival!

So, I've bought a few things.

* One is Dan Stair's spess garnet, documented here. I'm still somewhat unsure as to whether I'll keep it.

* I picked up Barry's three stone umbalite ring when it came on special.

* I grabbed a lovely looking Australian Sapphire, which is blue with flashes of teal from Aussie Sapphire - they put a whole lot of new stock up this month - very nice to see some non-green stones there! Teal and blue I like. Green? Not so much. They do have a whole bunch of blue stones that they haven't put up yet, so if anyone wants one, feel free to email them (they're happy to do this for me if I'm not such a fan of the teal). They've got an excellent return policy, and are quite happy for you to send and return stones as they don't have a shop front, so I figured it was worth a shot.

I'm hoping to receive the latter two in the next few days. Not entirely sure what i'm going to do with them, as I've only got 2 ring fingers, and 3 stones!

Date: 5/15/2009 1:39:25 PM
Author: planet_jp
2) I had a 'duh' moment, all these weeks later - I got the pink spinel from Rick at Art Cut Gems, not Dutton's Diamonds. Did anyone look for it on Gary's home page and wonder what kind of flake I am?
Gah! *Damn*. I note the price on it has gone down now, but I'll leave it for someone else to buy. Guess it would have been a pain to set anyway, and I do like the rounded stones. Don't ask why I have an octagonal spess on that basis, though ;-)

Date: 5/15/2009 1:39:25 PM
Author: planet_jp
3) Just bought a sunstone from Dan Stair and need advice on setting it in a pendant. I'm going to go see if I can figure out how to attach a picture and start a new thread.
The sunstones are pretty! I think there's a FAQ thread on how to add pictures, but it's basically just "attach file" when posting.
 

Magenta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
180
The sapphire in question. Unfortunately, I''ve lost the details on this (but they''re going to put it on the certificate), but roughly:

1.05 carat
6.15mm round
blue with flashes of teal
vvs (according to their grading system)

I''m thinking of sending this to wink, and getting it set in this setting, which I''d originally hoped to put the spess in, but it appears to be too big for my finger!

magentasapphire.jpg
 
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