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Help locating a source for calibrated faceted Pigeon Blood rubies

rokor

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
31
Well I appreciate you going into detail over why it's not for me rather than blanket statements along the lines of "I don't want to give it to you/you don't deserve it", I completely agree, that specific parcel wouldn't be of use to me at the moment.

As for your interpretation of that remark, we all have different ways of saying the same thing. In this case I was actually referring to the joy of seeing a singular high quality stone but I often speak in that matter with a plural implication. I think the other things I've said throughout this thread should have made it more clear that I'm building a bracelet and not investing in a single low cost stone.

As for your advice, I always appreciate it, but in this case I'm already ahead of you. I'm just waiting on one more vendor for a mount quote for a 3mm brilliant cut setting and 7" length. My goal from the start of this pursuit was to find high quality rubies in a smaller calibrated round size. I just prefer this setting stylistically and didn't even consider the fact it would be easiest to set. The benefit of buying a mount with CZs already set is that the prong tips will have been finished(hopefully, if quality is where I'd like it to be) thus saving me some time with the tools and a rough polisher when resetting the new stones. I will leave the final polish to a professional as I'm both lazy and not confident I could shine out the tool marks left on and around the prongs super efficiently, despite my intentions to be very attentive and careful during this process as to leave none.

I hope this clears up some misconceptions as to what I'm trying to accomplish here, or at least leave you with the idea that I've planned at least the broader aspects of the project so far.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
Messages
4,264
It's just that you've been quite loquacious here. So reading 10,000 words from you, on and off, over many days, is naturally going to confuse me, a casual forum reader. I can't remember and make sense of all the things you said in your 10,000 words. When you're asking for help on forums, it's much easier for other people to remember what it is that you're looking for when you are specific and use only 500 words or less.
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
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Sep 13, 2019
Messages
1,523
So - because you said I was being cartoonishly dramatic, I can't help myself. Although I won't contribute to this thread again because clearly we are philosophically misaligned.

You seem to care about the credentials of a professional jeweler and want them to weigh in without paying them. You are asking them to demean their own skillset, because you think you can do what they do without much effort by watching a 40 min Youtube video for something they'd charge good money for. If you think that excellent prong work and mounting stones (stones that you don't even have, and I think you will have a hard time finding given your requirements unless you just get lab stones cut to order) requires minimal specified skills, then so be it. I don't care enough to convince you. I know all sorts of artisans and craftspeople ranging from violin makers to foundry workers / sculptors to architects to stone carvers to tattoo artists blah blah blah. They are excellent at what they do, some of them are the top in their field. None of them are arrogant enough to assume that they can do what their peers can at the same level of skill and quality because they have credentials in a peripheral skillset.

If this was an even remotely different type of project, I'd say go for it. Flex your existing skills and have at it. But this type of expensive project would hardly be something that I would experiment on, because you are talking about investment quality stones, which is why I would personally entrust it to a professional jeweler. I'd want the best of the best for such a coveted item. But, again, I believe we are ideologically misaligned.

So, again, good luck. Take care. Adieu.
 
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rokor

Rough_Rock
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Jan 30, 2021
Messages
31
Voce, to be honest that sounds like a cheap excuse for not being an attentive reader. I may go into detail on things otherwise unneeded but essentially calling me long winded and draining is a bit much and the first time in 15 years someone has used this as an excuse as to why they made a simple mistake. I’m not going to go too deep into it since it appears to me as though you’ve had a negative attitude towards me or this project in particular from the start and I’m sure there’s nothing that I can do to change that.

Cerulean, I appreciate you weighing in on this as it forced me to test my theory on a cheaper sterling silver and sapphire/diamond bracelet ahead of schedule. I don’t think the fact that I’ve been working on small or detailed projects with dremels and micro motors for the last 15 years has been properly stated, I absolutely do have the required skill set to do something like this properly, at least in practice with materials like steel, plastic and wood. Admittedly gold will behave differently but to say it’s such a stretch from other materials is hard for me to believe. You say by asking the opinion of a professional jeweller demeans their skillset if I don’t pay for it, that I think is insane and another reason I feel as though I’m becoming the villain of this forum for wanting to add intrinsic value to a very personal project. If my goal was to create a piece of jewellery I would go on to sell then I would make sure every detail of every prong was exactly to specifications, but this is a personal project that I was inspired to work on. I intend to learn from my mistakes and had intended to rework at least a single silver tennis bracelet in preparation for this project, which turned out entirely successful.

3E106BFB-91E9-454D-BE14-593305CEA04F.jpeg
5648E1E8-F85D-4865-96B8-1530A8F5942D.jpeg
92946C74-8138-45CF-9261-0D022483C02E.jpeg
Before, during, and after.

As for the stones, over the past few weeks a few options of calibrated untreated Burmese rubies became available to me in the required sizes. I’ve decided to work with true jedi spinel on another project as well, which I’m told is a very difficult stone to find since the mine is no longer in use(correct me if I’m wrong, I believe someone told me this fact over email correspondence). I’ve finally found a source for the stones and am now debating on whether or not the designation of “pigeon’s blood” is worth the extra 40-50% in cost compared to another stone which when not looking side by side is the same hue and saturation by my eye. It’s a local business as well, so that saves the time of shipping and I get to see my options in person. I appreciate all the feedback I’ve received even if it was critical to me or this project in particular, thanks folks.

EDIT: I should note the removal and resetting of stones was done entirely with a single set of fine edged pliers. I’ve ordered a whole skew of more specific tools and devices that have been trickling in from Amazon over the past week. I’m lastly waiting for my gold bracelet from India with 12cts of “real lab grown diamonds”. If these turn out to in fact be diamonds I will be keeping the bracelet and reordering another in likely a 6-7ct range to allow use of 3mm stones, which I think are slightly more ideal for me than the bigger ~4mm ones.
 
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yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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601290B4-3850-42E9-9EAC-5B58D0CB70EB.jpeg

After photo is blurry so can’t see quality of seating and tips. However, I already see one prong not holding its stone (red), one hugely askew prong (blue comparison), other prongs poorly shaped (green comparison, etc.). This is serviceable mall-quality workmanship.

The sapphires are removed and replaced into the existing mount. That means the prong seats were already cut to exactly the right shape and depth. If you buy a mount designed for CZs and you try to put a different material in, you’re going to find that the prongseats aren’t shaped correctly for your stones and the new stones themselves will probably want to sit at a different height, due to pavilion depth and bulge (which the prongs that were designed to hold flat CZs may not have clearance for). Much better to get the mounts sans stones and do the work of cutting your own prongs. The fact that you haven’t considered this is telling, frankly.

The conviction that experience with wood and plastic translates to expertise with gold is foolish in the extreme. And yes, silver is much easier to work than gold. I’m comfortable with silver, as an amateur; I wouldn’t touch gold. Ditto @Cerulean.

Rubies have different material properties and inclusion profiles than diamonds. Top quality rubies have different inclusion profiles than low quality sapphires, despite both being corundum. You’re risking breaking these stones.
 
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yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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weeks a few options of calibrated untreated Burmese rubies became available to me

You are clearly not working through “normal” stone sourcing venues. There are new trade sanctions against Myanmar (effective February 11 2021). Normally this wouldn’t be something an end consumer needs to worry about at all, but in your case - you’ll want to ensure you have impeccable comprehension of the legalities involved in acquiring these stones. That will not be easily acquired - I would recommend professional assistance.

Perhaps one of the CS regulars would be willing to provide a recommendation, if you decide to take this advice and seek professional assistance. I’ll tag @voce who is already active on this thread.
 
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Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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601290B4-3850-42E9-9EAC-5B58D0CB70EB.jpeg

After photo is blurry so can’t see quality of seating and tips. However, I already see one prong not holding its stone (red), one hugely askew prong (blue comparison), other prongs poorly shaped (green comparison, etc.). This is serviceable mall-quality workmanship.

The sapphires are removed and replaced into the existing mount. That means the prong seats were already cut to exactly the right shape and depth. If you buy a mount designed for CZs and you try to put a different material in, you’re going to find that the prongseats aren’t shaped correctly for your stones and the new stones themselves will probably want to sit at a different height, due to pavilion depth and bulge (which the prongs that were designed to hold flat CZs may not have clearance for). Much better to get the mounts sans stones and do the work of cutting your own prongs. The fact that you haven’t considered this is telling, frankly.

The conviction that experience with wood and plastic translates to expertise with gold is foolish in the extreme. And yes, silver is much easier to work than gold. I’m comfortable with silver, as an amateur; I wouldn’t touch gold. Ditto @Cerulean.

Rubies have different material properties and inclusion profiles than diamonds. Top quality rubies have different inclusion profiles than low quality sapphires, despite both being corundum. You’re risking breaking these stones.

OP’s plan of leaving the final polish to a professional will address all these issues. :)
Godspeed OP.
 

rokor

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
31
If there is an issue of legality then I am definitely ready to learn on that topic and would appreciate any input. I was not aware of any new legal implications in my country, Canada.

As for the work, I think I did well with the single set of pliers and 45 minutes of time I had. I see your concerns and they're valid, but the goal was to set the stones as they have been previously set. I wanted them to be secure, I don't have the proper tools at the moment to give them the attention I intend to give the rubies. I didn't bother burring out the prongs for this experiment either because this is a low quality bracelet and the job can be done without the assistance of a micro motor. The prongs came unaltered and what looks to me like unfinished as well. I will reattempt the replacement with a more similar round cut tennis bracelet I have when I've finalized all the logistical issues and have more free time, whish is coming more and more rare as this semester progresses for me.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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OP’s plan of leaving the final polish to a professional will address all these issues. :)
Godspeed OP.
Godspeed, indeed :bigsmile:

- - - - - - - - -
@rokor -

My other half and his brother both own motorcycles. They use the same dealer for fixups - they’ve been going to this guy’s shop for decades. So they’re very friendly with the owner.

The owner says - every visit without fail - that he’s grateful that the two of them bring their bikes in as soon as something’s wrong, rather than trying to remedy things themselves. Because the people who attempt a DIY and then give up and bring the bike to the dealer - they’ve always made their problems exponentially worse and exponentially more expensive to fix.

If you do everything perfectly and your jeweller is capable of high quality workmanship, then yes, the small issues I coloured in can be resolved at time of final polish. But given that you honestly haven’t a clue what you’re actually doing, and you apparently believe that a half-baked attempt at unsetting and resetting sapphires in silver is sufficient practice and proof of competence, my expectations are chipped and scratched and possibly cracked stones, fatigued metal with hairline fractures, poor prong-seats, unfinished interiors, loose hinges - basically, enough that it would have been much easier and cheaper to just have a professional do the work from the beginning. That’s assuming that this on-the-cheap mount isn’t plagued by porosity to begin with. And realistically - no top quality jeweller will even agree to finish a newbie DIY job because there’s all sorts of advertisement and liability issues there.

If this was a cheaper set of gemstones - go nuts. Given what you’re talking about using, though - it’s total lunacy.
 
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yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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If there is an issue of legality then I am definitely ready to learn on that topic and would appreciate any input. I was not aware of any new legal implications in my country, Canada.

As for the work, I think I did well with the single set of pliers and 45 minutes of time I had. I see your concerns and they're valid, but the goal was to set the stones as they have been previously set. I wanted them to be secure, I don't have the proper tools at the moment to give them the attention I intend to give the rubies. I didn't bother burring out the prongs for this experiment either because this is a low quality bracelet and the job can be done without the assistance of a micro motor. The prongs came unaltered and what looks to me like unfinished as well. I will reattempt the replacement with a more similar round cut tennis bracelet I have when I've finalized all the logistical issues and have more free time, whish is coming more and more rare as this semester progresses for me.

I don’t know anything about Canada laws and regulations. I will simply echo my earlier advice to speak with a professional and find out.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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My other half and his brother both own motorcycles. They use the same dealer for fixups - they’ve been going to this guy’s shop for decades. So they’re very friendly with the owner.

The owner says - every visit without fail - that he’s grateful that the two of them bring their bikes in as soon as something’s wrong, rather than trying to remedy things themselves. Because the people who attempt a DIY and then give up and bring the bike to the dealer - they’ve always made their problems exponentially worse and exponentially more expensive to fix.

If OP does everything perfectly and OP’s jeweller is capable of high quality workmanship, then yes, these issues can be resolved at time of final polish. But given that OP hasn’t a clue what he’s actually doing and believes that inserting and resetting sapphires in silver is sufficient practice and proof of competence, my expectation is chipped and scratched stones, fatigued prongs, poor prong-seats, loose hinges - basically, enough that it would have been much easier and cheaper to just have a professional do the work from the beginning.

I’m equating the plan of professional jeweler being used to fix and polish all the issues away
To knowing how much hairdressers love fixing self done cut and colors.
text doesn’t show tone. :)
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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21,726
I’m equating the plan of professional jeweler being used to fix and polish all the issues away
To knowing how much hairdressers love fixing self done cut and colors.
text doesn’t show tone. :)
❤️
I edited, I’m sorry! Most of mine was addressed to OP so I edited to actually address it to OP!
 

Laurainthesky

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
82
It is my very very amateur stone setting experience, reusing a setting damages the metal. Metal can only bend so many times except for maybe niobium. Rubies deserve better than weakened 2nd hand metal. Your expensive gorgeous bracelet will look fake. I have reused gold settings. One was damaged beyond use. The other two look fine, but I would have to disclose what I did because you can see imperfections up close if I ever sold them. I will not be doing this again in the future. I used to buy settings from Tripps. I don't know if they have bracelet settings.
 

rokor

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
31
I'm just surprised there doesn't seem to be any value associated with doing the work yourself amongst those who've been contributing lately. Let's pretend for a second your worries are exhausted; the mount comes in and it's great, prongs are precut perfectly for the calibrated rubies and quality is on par with Stuller(to which I'm in the process of opening a full access account, they are just verifying my information), I place the rubies in and do a successful amateur job and quality isn't quite professional but by this time I'd have gone through one or two full work resettings so it will be fine with holding the stones and there won't be any highly visible variations in the prongs. I then take it to my jeweler who does a great job polishing it. I will wear this bracelet and be happier with it overall than if I just decided one day I want to spend a ton of money on really expensive stones and I want someone to give me a bracelet with them in it. I want this to be "my" bracelet, which is difficult enough as I'm considering stones with such a diluted industry term as "pigeon's blood" in a tennis bracelet line setting. It's just a red bracelet. If this was something more intricate like a custom link stone set necklace I would reconsider but I'll literally be using the simplest method of setting to make something more valuable to me. I'm generally quite agreeable so it's just shocking to me there doesn't seem to be any level of appreciation for the attempt alone. Like I said, nothing is set in stone so my options are still many and I may decide to spend the extra couple thousand to get it put into a Stuller mount, or better yet a custom mount. But yes Rfisher, your tone translates fine.

EDIT: Thank you for your contribution Laurainthesky. Fatigue is something I was very mindful of when considering my mount options. This is unfortunately something I'm going to have to deal with and see in person before discounting a mount with preset stones and can very well be on a case by case basis; some prongs might be thinner than others, I don't know what to expect with the bracelet I've ordered. I don't expect to sell this bracelet once complete, I'm sure my return would be very low in the short term and I think I'd appreciate it more as a heirloom. I appreciate your comment though, I suppose it would be important to notice potential buyers of the process.
 
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elizat

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 23, 2013
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2,548
I think you would get more support if you were talking about setting your own amethyst bracelet.

This.

Here's the thing. It's your money and time, so it's your choice. People are pointing out the pitfalls of possibly damaging or breaking expensive stones, which rubies that are nice, are.

If you were doing these with amethyst, topaz, or something lab grown, I think the reaction would be different.

But again, it's your money, time and effort so, best of luck and I hope it turns out well!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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12,210
This.

Here's the thing. It's your money and time, so it's your choice. People are pointing out the pitfalls of possibly damaging or breaking expensive stones, which rubies that are nice, are.

If you were doing these with amethyst, topaz, or something lab grown, I think the reaction would be different.

But again, it's your money, time and effort so, best of luck and I hope it turns out well!

This. It's just a bad idea with such expensive stones, and you seem completely unaware/unwilling to listen to advice
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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21,726
I think you would get more support if you were talking about setting your own amethyst bracelet.
This. Absolutely.

@rokor, what we’re all recommending is pretty simply “take minimal risks with a four or five or six figure set of stones”. Learn and practice on cheap stones, and one day when you’ve mastered this craft - not other related crafts, this craft - confidently and expertly create a beautiful and structurally-sound heirloom that you can wear proudly and pass on.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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There’s nothing wrong with wanting to put your own labor and skill into it, rather than just plunging down cash.
Once you mentioned saving money and having a progressional jeweler do the parts you admitted you may not have the patience for.
That’s what I am addressing. You may pay more in the long run for the jeweler to attach their time (and let’s face it, their business name to the final product) after you’ve had your fun with it.
 

rokor

Rough_Rock
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Well I do apologize if I'm coming off as stubborn and as though I'm unwilling to hear the advice I asked for, because quite frankly I haven't yet even decided if this is the route I'm going to take. That's the last thing I want to appear as being and doing as I'm so new to this forum.

So far my options are: Stuller mount, custom mount from a reputable designer/jeweler, and mount with preset stones. All of these are options I can attempt on my own or have my jeweler take on once I have the stones in hand. I'm quite excited now as things should start moving rather quickly. I'm seeing my jeweler this Thursday to talk about the stones and maybe get his opinion on this project and my next a little better than what's been said so far. I will then set an appointment date to see the stones in person which will likely be next week, at which point my bracelet should have arrived. From then I will have the information I need to decide which route I will go with, and plan out alternatives in case something comes up during the process.

As for legality of the stones, I'm very open to hear anyone's take on this matter, me being in Canada. I'm aware the situation in the states would prohibit me from ordering them from Myanmar but the stones are in country already and the broker hasn't mentioned issue about owning such stones. They did offer me a variety of cheaper alternatives but my preference is Myanmar for the sake of the lore, and it's apparent ability to hold value better than other origins.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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3,177
And
There is a reason it’s not been ‘easy’ for you to get set up with an account from Stuller.
plus
Won’t the bracelet mounting need a ton of polishing before you even address notches in prongs/ set the stones?
 
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rokor

Rough_Rock
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31
And
Three is a reason it’s not been ‘easy’ for you to get set up with an account from Stuller.
plus
Won’t the bracelet mounting need a ton of polishing before you even address notches in prongs/ set the stones?

I have all the requisite information to open an account with them and the dialogue has been started, I'm just waiting for them to confirm as they don't seem to reply to emails on the weekend. And I'm not certain about the mount, from what I can tell from stock photos they do look generally finished. If I opt for the Stuller mount and it does require a first polishing then I can give that a shot or have it done as well. Polishing isn't quite as expensive as I used to think so I wouldn't mind having it done twice if that's the route I decide to take. Doing this myself would require another tool to be done correctly and though I do have more than one project on my mind I don't think I'd use it as often as I'd need to make it worthwhile. That, plus the bench space needed would be an issue.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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1.First get the stones. For a suite like this you’re going to be at the mercy of availability - there’s no guarantee that you’ll love the set that you’ll see next week, and if you don’t, your size and shape parameters may need to change. No rush to go buy mounts for stones you don’t even have.

2. If you’re able to open an account with Stuller then you must be in the trade. That means you need to contact PS admin and have a Trade badge added to your PS profile. You can contact admin by hitting the Report Concern button on your post.

3. Origin really only has monetary cachet if a stone exhibits the features unique to that origin. For stones that don’t show the most valued characteristics native to a particular location, an origin note on a report has no meaningful impact on current or future value. And you’d need proof of origin from a third-party grading authority - “my supplier said so” isn’t going to mean anything to anyone.

I assume the parcel has not been independently graded? If this is the case, you would do yourself a favour by requesting the parcel be submitted to a lab of your choice before you take ownership of it. And come here for lab recommendations - all labs are not equal, in capability and repute.
 
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Laurainthesky

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Feb 14, 2021
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82
I liked the quality of Tripps. It is not finished and meant to be polished. I didn't polish mine. I still don't think it is ruby quality. I am looking at alexandrite rings in these settings, and I am a little skeptical. It is fabulous for my gems which cost under $250.
Screenshot_20210221-141612_Chrome.jpg
 

voce

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@yssie I think I have spent more than enough time on this thread. My advice for OP in post 30 was to go with lab rubies, at least to start.

I haven't been back on this thread for quite a while, but the OP accusing me of having a negative attitude from the start, proves to me that the OP is herself or himself not an attentive reader, and what's more has no sympathy or patience for the circumstances of others. I don't come to PS to read novels, but to see pretty gems and jewelry pictures. Why should I have to remember every detail of what the OP has said, when the OP has completely disregarded my best intentions, and every word of caution anyone else has uttered regarding not using expensive stones for DIY?

It seems to me now, that the OP has all the theoretical knowledge necessary at this point to move forward with the project. Experience almost nil, but not something that the decision maker thinks is of utmost importance. I think it's telling that nobody in the trade has responded to this post... It appears to me there are a number of possibilities why.

1) the kind of hands on experience and things you would need to watch out for is difficult to put into words and summarize in a short format
2) there are so many pitfalls of what could go wrong that the professional jeweler doesn't even feel inclined to start making that list
3) the OP has, across a number of posts, not presented herself or himself as persuadable and open to doing things differently from originally imagined in accordance with advice, so there's no point in posting something that the OP would disregard anyway only to be attacked over it
4) some combination of the above

My imagination is limited, and I admit that I'm as prone to error as anybody else. Since rokor has accused me of harboring a negative attitude towards this project all along, which is far from the truth, I think I lose nothing to say everything on my mind.

It appears to me that, as capable as rokor is and apparently lacking in humility, rokor absolutely would not be asking for advice here on the forums if rokor knows exactly what to do on this project, no thanks to the help of PS members who were unable to present an exact batch of stones for rokor to buy at the best prices. In fact, now that I think about it, rokor has not really asked for anything other than ideas on where to source stones. So all of us trying to dissuade rokor from walking into a risky situation are just wasting rokor's time.

I can pinpoint exactly when and why I started to feel negatively about this project. It's because I love these natural wonders that are mined out of the earth, and would feel pain if they are broken and lost. You, OP, are insisting on setting the most precious, breakable material in the world yourself without even considering the possibility that you may break them, with your complete lack of experience. The way you talk of only wanting a red stone bracelet that holds its value, therefore pigeon blood Mogok ruby, makes me think that I could hardly find a buyer who could respect or love these gems less. If you did care about the rarity and beauty of the material, in a degree equal to your concern over their ability to hold value over time, then you would want to protect them from damage, either by acquiring enough experience before you try to set them yourself, or letting a professional setter handle it.
 

peacechick

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
1,302
It’s not true that we are all averse fo setting our own jewelry. Here is a thread I made a couple years back that will show you otherwise.

The reason why everyone is trying to persuade you not to do it with expensive rubies right away is because setting is a skill set that takes years to acquire. Did I manage to set stones on my own? Yes, but I am aware of how imperfect they are. I recently had two of my rings reset professionally in the same settings with new silver prongs and corrected their wonky position.

I lost track of whether you are using gold or silver, but be mindful silver is very brittle and not forgiving to repeated attempts. I broke a prong the other day when I unset a stone from one of my DIY silver settings and tried to reset a new stone in its place. There was only so much bending it could tolerate.
 
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