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Opinions On This Aqua

Marsha Ayers

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
26
My sister is having her e-ring designed. She started the process and without talking to me first, which is totally allowed since she's an adult, lol. Unfortunately what it means is she has put a deposit down for the designer to find a gemstone without proof that the the designer can find a good stone. Further, the designer, who is making this custom ring told her she would charge them $600 to "set a stone" if the stone is not purchased from her, which seems weird to me, since it's a completely custom ring. (Is that normal? I've only had rings made by DK.)

My reason for posting today is to talk about the stone that was offered as an option. Sis wants a round aquamarine, between 6.5 to 8 mm, but she's leaning towards the smaller side for her delicate hands. She also likes the lighter color aquas, more sky blue than saturated. Her budget is $1000. She was supposed to get a few options to chose from but this is the only stone that the designer has offered, so far. She was disappointed by the stone and I tend to agree.

Does that feel like a high price for a not great stone? (That's also looks to be chipped.) This doesn't look like a good cut to me but I thought I would confirm that with those of you with more experience.

Link to the video: https://gem.azureedge.net/sapphires/imaged/afg5972b/afg5972b.html

1610361060680.png

My other question for those who may know, does a $1000 budget seem reasonable to find a good round aqua in that size? She does have room to raise the budget if need be. I just don't want her to overpay for a stone that isn't very nice and doesn't make her happy.

Thank you in advance for your sage advice,

Marsha
 
Last edited:

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
8,096
I am not an expert, however, IMHO, the price to me is on the high side for this stone. With that kind of budget, I believe it is possible to have one custom cut by one of the recommended lapidary artists if they have suitable roughs in stock.

I would recommend Jeff White as I know he has a vast inventory of roughs, and may well have something suitable.

It is not uncommon for a bench to charge a fee to set stones that they do not procure as there is profit to be made selling gems they procure with a mark up on top.

I have come across at least one bench that will not set client's stones for that reason and he said so during a video link for all to hear!

DK :))
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,721
That stone does not look good at all. Is her budget for both stone and setting, or just for the stone?
 

Mrs_Strizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
722
I think that price is ridiculous! I just looked at several PS recommended vendor's sites and the prices for a 1+ carat aqua ranged from 120-270. They were prettier and better cut. I even found sapphires in that weight and color range cheaper than that. A Sapphire would be much more durable for an e-ring too. Do you know if she has considered that?
 
Last edited:

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
167
$600.00 to set a stone?

Way out of line. Most jewelers will do it for $50.00 to $150.00. Some won't charge at all if you are buying their mount and have their own bench jeweler set it. Of course, they cannot be responsible if the stone cracks or breaks completely in the process of being set, since it is not their stone, they sold you.

Price for that Aqua is high retail. You should be able find a stone similar to that for around $200.00 from an online vendor.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
29,422
Engagement rings often are worn every day for life.
This subjects them to great wear, scratching in particular.
Harder gems stand up to daily wear better than softer gems do.

Gem hardness is ranked on the "Mohs scale".
1 is the softest, and 10 is the hardest and most scratch-resistant.
Diamond has a hardness of 10, ideal for a ring worn daily.
Sapphire, at 9, is the next most-frequent choice and usually lower in price than diamond.

Aquamarine has a hardness of only 7.5 to 8, something to keep in mind when choosing a gem for an e-ring.
It is harder than many other gems though and some folks, knowing its relative hardness, still select it for their e-ring
If her choice is still aquamarine (it is beautiful and much less pricey) she might want to take it off when doing rougher work with her hands.
 
Last edited:

Polyhex

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
550
I think it's super expensive and the vendor's $600 upcharge for working with a client stone makes me feel like they are not focused on customer satisfaction. How much is the deposit she would lose if she backed out of this deal? (It might be less expensive for her to lose that deposit.)
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,911
The Aquamarine is ok but yes, it has an inclusion / chip on the girdle.
the other issue is that it’s a “deep” gem, if your sis has petite hands, it’s going to be “sitting up” a lot higher than she might realise.
also being Aquamarine, it’s not really a great choice for an everyday “forever” wearing ring. Unless the setting is very protective ie a full bezel, the girdle is likely to be bumped / knocked during ordinary daily wear. This could cause chipping / abrasions.
And yes, some jewellers / designers don’t work with gems they don’t provide or charge a huge amount to actively discourage the practice. Usual setting price is between say $70 and $200 depending on the number of prongs and complexity. Also “all care taken, no responsibility accepted” is the normal statement.
So your Sis is either stuck with whatever gem the designer can source or looking at paying $600 to have a “provided” gem set or losing the deposit she paid to the designer.
She needs to speak to the designer and see if they can work out an agreeable solution. I wouldn’t choose that aquamarine at that price.
 

Marsha Ayers

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
26
I am not an expert, however, IMHO, the price to me is on the high side for this stone. With that kind of budget, I believe it is possible to have one custom cut by one of the recommended lapidary artists if they have suitable roughs in stock.

I would recommend Jeff White as I know he has a vast inventory of roughs, and may well have something suitable.

It is not uncommon for a bench to charge a fee to set stones that they do not procure as there is profit to be made selling gems they procure with a mark up on top.

I have come across at least one bench that will not set client's stones for that reason and he said so during a video link for all to hear!

DK :))

Thank you for the suggestion of Jeff White. I get his newsletter but hadn't thought of contacting him. I have sent my sis the info.
 

Marsha Ayers

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
26
I think that price is ridiculous! I just looked at several PS recommended vendor's sites and the prices for a 1+ carat aqua ranged from 120-270. They were prettier and better cut. I even found sapphires in that weight and color range cheaper than that. A Sapphire would be much more durable for an e-ring too. Do you know if she has considered that?

I think she's pretty attached to Aqua for symbolic reasons. We did talk about gemstones being softer and less resiliant. I'm not sure if she will take a sapphire but I will suggest it based on the expert opinions. Thanks!
 

Marsha Ayers

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
26
$600.00 to set a stone?

Way out of line. Most jewelers will do it for $50.00 to $150.00. Some won't charge at all if you are buying their mount and have their own bench jeweler set it. Of course, they cannot be responsible if the stone cracks or breaks completely in the process of being set, since it is not their stone, they sold you.

Price for that Aqua is high retail. You should be able find a stone similar to that for around $200.00 from an online vendor.

I'm glad you think so, too. I told her that I think it's possible that she can find a nicer stone, pay the stupid $600 setting fee and still pay less than what they are asking for this inferior stone.
 

Marsha Ayers

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
26
Engagement rings often are worn every day for life.
This subjects them to great wear, scratching in particular.
Harder gems stand up to daily wear better than softer gems do.

Gem hardness is ranked on the "Mohs scale".
1 is the softest, and 10 is the hardest and most scratch-resistant.
Diamond has a hardness of 10, ideal for a ring worn daily.
Sapphire, at 9, is the next most-frequent choice and usually lower in price than diamond.

Aquamarine has a hardness of only 7.5 to 8, something to keep in mind when choosing a gem for an e-ring.
It is harder than many other gems though and some folks, knowing its relative hardness, still select it for their e-ring
If her choice is still aquamarine (it is beautiful and much less pricey) she might want to take it off when doing rougher work with her hands.
She is set on aqua but I'll reiterate to her what you said. It's sound advice, thank you.
 

Marsha Ayers

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Messages
26
I think it's super expensive and the vendor's $600 upcharge for working with a client stone makes me feel like they are not focused on customer satisfaction. How much is the deposit she would lose if she backed out of this deal? (It might be less expensive for her to lose that deposit.)

The deposit is $150, so not too much in the grand scheme of what she will spend on the whole ring. The problem is, she LOVES the ring that the bench designed and I'm not sure about the ethics of taking that design to another bench, if another bench would even do it.
 

fredflintstone

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
167
I'm glad you think so, too. I told her that I think it's possible that she can find a nicer stone, pay the stupid $600 setting fee and still pay less than what they are asking for this inferior stone.

But it is the principal of if extrodinary amount. But it is her decision. Me, I would find another jeweler...yesterday. ;)2
 
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