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price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earrings

alphonse95035

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
7
Hi folks. I stumbled onto this site just tonight. I'm having a little bit of jitters over a price being quoted to me from my jeweler for a custom pair of earrings.

Right now, the price is at $1800. I know this isn't much info to go on, but here's what I have. He's telling me the two 0.5 ct sapphires (natural) are $300 in the budget (not super VS or anything, just really nice cut to sparkle) and each earring will also have two smaller diamonds on top and bottom (four total) at about $40 each (not huge). Rest is gold and workmanship cost.

Gold is white gold, not rhodium plated, just the bare white gold. Design is custom. He made wax molds based on my drawing. So, the gold will be solid gold. Drawing incorporates two hearts, cross and butterfly. Total length is about 1.5 inches from top tip of cross to bottom tip of second heart. Stud will be in the cross with the two hearts being open - or just an outline of a heart (one diamond inside each) and 0.5 ct sapphire between the hearts. I hope that sufficiently gives you an idea of what they will look like.

So, considering all this ... gem cost is maybe $500, gold cost is I dunno .. maybe couple grams per each ... $500 or so? Rest is for workmanship (and this guy does superb work, very happy with it).

Sound reasonable? I was perusing on-line stores and looking at what else $1800 will buy me in terms of dangling sapphire and diamond earrings and I saw some really nice-looking, larger pieces. But then, it won't be custom and I would be unsure about the quality of what I'm buying on-line.

Guess I'm just looking for some assurance that this price isn't WAY out of the ballpark and I'm not totally nuts for splurging on this (very special occassion, these are for my wife).

Thanks in advance for all your helpful comments. These forums are awesome.
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
19,456
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Do you have a drawing or something, so we can see what it is exactly that you're talking about? You can very likely get something bigger and blingier for less cost, but it would be stock, not custom.
 

alphonse95035

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
7
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Yes, perhaps I did not explain very clearly.

Imagine a cross, which would have a backing to attach to the ear. Directly under the cross, connected by a loop which allows for rotation (so the rest can dangle), the following in order: an upside-down hear, a sapphire, a right-side-up heart. The sapphire is wedged between the two hearts. So it is: cross-heart-sapphire-heart, going from the earlobe down. Total height from top to bottom about 1.5-1.7 inches. Sapphire is about 5 mm. Cross and hearts are in white gold with the cross being solid, and the hearts merely outlines of hearts. In the center of each heart is one diamong (so you have two per earring). Additionally, there is a small solid gold butterfly which will be placed on top of the center of the cross.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,707
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Even with your descriptions it's almost impossible to guess because you have to factor in the gold weight (as they're almost 2 inches I would think they'll be pretty substantial) and more importantly the time spent putting it together. It sounds like there are lots of parts to the design, so not simple.

It's very difficult for anybody to give you a ball park figure without seeing drawings and knowing the quality of the workmanship.

What do you think? When you were told the cost, what was your initial reaction?
 

alphonse95035

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
7
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Thanks LovingDiamonds. I guess I need to figure out how to post a picture. I think the question boils down to this. If the materials are about $1000, is it outrageous to expect to pay $800 for workmanship on a pair of earrings. I mean, he is having to do wax models and design everything from scratch. So this is obviously taking him several hours. At first I was shocked by the price. But the more I think about it, the more I feel since this is a once in a lifetime piece, it is worth it since he is a talented jeweler.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,707
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

alphonse95035|1316316604|3019868 said:
Thanks LovingDiamonds. I guess I need to figure out how to post a picture. I think the question boils down to this. If the materials are about $1000, is it outrageous to expect to pay $800 for workmanship on a pair of earrings. I mean, he is having to do wax models and design everything from scratch. So this is obviously taking him several hours. At first I was shocked by the price. But the more I think about it, the more I feel since this is a once in a lifetime piece, it is worth it since he is a talented jeweler.

No that's not outrageous. Don't forget you have to pay for his time AND then he also has to make a profit. If this is a fully bespoke piece then it may be far more than a few hours work (depending on how he works) and it could extend to a day or two.

Yes you could probably find it much cheaper elsewhere but then (a) that person still has to source the stones for you (b) spend time going over the design etc). Then, unless you've seen their work, it may be pot luck as to the quality of the finished product. If you've seen bespoke pieces by this jeweller and are comforted by his/her work then it's worth paying a little more to get what you want and avoid potential disappointment.

Forgive me but one last thing to bear in mind. Have you had a piece made before? If not, sometimes they don't turn out as you expect (sometimes better, sometimes worse). It's a VERY good idea to sit with the jeweller and have him draw the design so you both know that your ideas match! Words are useless and can be understood very differently!
 

alphonse95035

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
7
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Thanks LD. Yes, they did a couple pieces for us already and we're always really happy with their work. We did draw out the design and I've seen the wax model already, so I think in terms of quality and what we're expecting from the design - we're pretty set there. I agree with everything else you've mentioned in your response. Thanks again. I think I should just sit tight and wait for the finished product.
 

pokerface

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
223
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Though your question seems to be more about the value of the workmanship, I still question the value of the sapphires. It seems to me that often Be-diffused sapphires are sold as "natural" - the sapphire itself is natural, while the color is not. I would make sure before spending $300-$500 on sapphires that they are indeed natural, untreated gems, as the price difference can be substantial. Be-diffused sapphires are worth much less than what you would be paying.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,707
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

pokerface|1316446401|3020652 said:
Though your question seems to be more about the value of the workmanship, I still question the value of the sapphires. It seems to me that often Be-diffused sapphires are sold as "natural" - the sapphire itself is natural, while the color is not. I would make sure before spending $300-$500 on sapphires that they are indeed natural, untreated gems, as the price difference can be substantial. Be-diffused sapphires are worth much less than what you would be paying.
There are 2 x .5ct sapphires for $300 - even if these are BE diffused then I'm not sure that these are grossly overpriced. Yes, you can buy the cheaper elsewhere (IF they're BE diffused) but you wouldn't be saving much and you'd have to find a matching pair, buy them, view them, decide whether to have them or not blah blah blah! I do agree that it would be nice to know if they were treated but there's a great many people who are not concerned by this.
 

alphonse95035

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
7
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Great advice and thanks again for the experienced responses and comments. I will check on whether they are Be-diffused. My understanding is they are natural, but not sure what processing may have been done (heat treated, etc.) to better the color.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

$300 for each 0.5 ct blue sapphire doesn’t seem too expensive (if heated only)…or is that $150 per sapphire? $40 for each small diamond accent seems reasonable. $1K plus for the setting (including workmanship) in white gold. Considering that CADs needed, the design itself and the high price of gold, it sounds like a reasonable price.

Do check on the sapphires as even heavily treated sapphires are still called natural sapphires.
 

alphonse95035

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
7
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Thanks Chrono. Sapphires are $300 total, heated only, Ceylon. No Be or other treatment. So I'm pretty happy with that.
 

alphonse95035

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
7
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Well, finally got photo of the earrings and they look fantastic. Wish the diamonds would have been bigger, but this was a big enough chunk out of my checkbook. GIA-certified independent gemologist gave an appraisal of $2280 retail with DWT of 5.07, 2x0.5 ct sapphires (intense medium-dark violetish blue with good clarity). Four diamonds are 0.02 ct with average quality of SI clarity and G color with good proportions and polish (but boy they're tiny).
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
Re: price check sanity on $1800 white gold sapphire and earr

Any chance of us seeing those pictures? :naughty:
 
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