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pricing for hand made custom settings

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Sanjay J

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Oct 22, 2001
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I found this BB very helpful when buying a diamond, and ended up buying a 1.21 carat SuperbCert G VVS1 brilliant cut from Jonathan at Good Old Gold in Long Island in August. As I live in Milan, Italy, this was quite a detour! But Jonathan was great and I was very happy with the purchase.I proposed with the loose diamond, and my girlfriend is thrilled with the beautiful stone. So now, after 2 months of looking for settings together, I have a question and would be grateful for any guidance. We both liked the Gelin and Abaci tension set rings such as TR002 at http://www.platinum-diamond.com/platinumgoldtensionsetrings5a.htm But I have curtailed my US business travel in the current environment, and tension set rings just are not available in Italy, as far as our research shows. Instead we have found a jeweller called Scavia, which I think is very well known internationally for custom ring designs with stores in Milan, Tokyo, New York, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, and has won many international awards.
http://www.scavia.it/ (mostly in Italian)They can make us a white gold (we've been told by several people that Platinum scratches more easily and the scratches are not easily fixed) ring that is very similar in design but is not tension set, instead it has a very open "basket" that holds the diamond.The price I have been quoted for them to hand make this and set our diamond in 18ct white gold within 2-3 weeks is 5 - 6 million lire, or around 2300-2750 dollars.My question is: Scavia probably justifies some premium, but is this an outrageous price or not?thanks
Sanjay
 

Sanjay J

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Oct 22, 2001
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Many thanks for the link to Keith Farley's site, which has several very interesting tension-like designs. But there's no way I'm sending a diamond appraised at $14k from Milan to Kentucky by FedEx, and hoping it come back via FedEx safely, in a setting that works out the way we want it. I can't make a special trip there. The trip to buy the diamond from Good Old Gold in Long Island coincided with a business trip to New Jersey.I'm just wondering what other people might typically charge for this kind of custom made ring, because I have no calibration scale of my own by which to judge whether Scavia's price is reasonable, or 2-3X what would be normal for an established quality jeweller with a reputation to custom make a ring. Its not a 20% difference I'm concerned about, its whether this might be several times the going rate.many thanks for any insightSanjay
 

oldminer

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White gold is typically plated with Rhodium, not chromium.The price seems rather high if one compares it to so many readily available styles found in the USA. It would be unusual for an "artiste" to work in gold rather than platinum, especially at that price level. You ought to continue to shop because unless you want some very avant garde design or something quite ornate, you just don't have to spend that much money for a contemporary and fashionable mounting.If you are adding small diamonds in the mounting, that will certainly also cause the price to rise.------------------
David Atlas
Accredited Gem Appraisers
 

Sanjay J

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Oct 22, 2001
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David, many thanks for your responseThe price quoted for Plainum was 50% higher at around $4150 (9m lire). I already decided that was too highThe ring does not have any additional diamond, just the one I am supplying.What price range would you think was reasonable for this kind of ring (simulating a tension setting - see first link above in my initial posting) hand made by an established jeweller a) in white gold b) in platinummany thanks
Sanjay
 

oldminer

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There are non-designer mountings in our market that imitate the "tension setting" appearance without actually setting the diamond in tension. These have the advantage of being able to be re-sized to fit the finger over time way easier than a tension set stone mounting. These mountings are not generally hand made and there is little reason to re-create the wheel by hand when so many already exist.Surely, less than $1,000 would find you many designs in our local diamond district called Philadelphia's Jeweler's Row that imitate the tension set look without the high cost.
------------------
David Atlas
Accredited Gem Appraisers
 

Looking

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Jun 26, 2001
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I always thought platinum was easier to repair if scratched. First of all it is harder, more durable than gold so won't scratch as easily. While being very strong, it is also maleable, therefore if you scratch it and buff it the material actually "moves" and fills in the scratch area. As opposed to gold that actually wears off as you buff it.
I just had a ring custom made by a designer here in the US named Keith Farley. He does settings that have a tension look to them but are not tension set. His settings are more contemporary pieces, simple but different. He does quite a bit of business over the internet and his prices were great. His website is http://artwork-inform.com/
 

StevL

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Dec 31, 1999
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Or, if you like the Gelin and Abaci mounting, and you like Jonathan, then get in touch with him and he can get you the mounting. You may have to fedex your ring back and forth, I've done it, and it really isn't a problem.------------------
StevL Dems Jewelers Eightstar Diamond Tundra Diamonds
 

mbn

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Sep 8, 2001
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212
If you're going to do white gold, I don't see reason for doing 18 carat white gold since both 14K and 18K are coated with chromium, and because 14K has less gold, ring will stay white longer than 18K, and 14K is stronger for a ring setting.A note on white gold is that for a ring, over time chromium coating will wear off since you wear it so often than necklace. With platinum, it won't change color, just stays white, you only have to polish it, and you won't lose any platinum in the process as you would the gold.
 
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