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Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail ring?

dollyanjuli

Brilliant_Rock
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Apr 25, 2013
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Has anyone ever replaced low quality melee with top quality in a piece of jewelry they otherwise love?

Here is the situation in a nutshell: I fell in love with a designer $$$ cocktail ring, so decided to find a knock off. And I did, and I love it, and it cost less then a tenth of its gagillion dollar counterpart. However it has was I affectionately call "mall grade " melee. Not black or cracked but what you see in mall jewelry- fairly sparkly I2 stones. For how much I paid I am fine with it- I have jewelry of all qualities and price points and know that you always get what you pay for. However, I am now wondering if it would be worth taking to my bench jeweler and asking if all of the hundreds of tiny stones (225 stones to be exact) can be replaced with much higher quality diamonds. What do you all think? And has anyone ever done something like this?

I am planning on taking it in for a quote but am trying to figure out my threshold. For example, if it's 500 bucks to replace everything it will be a no brainier. If it's much more than that, I am not sure.

Pics attached!

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gr8leo87

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Apr 24, 2015
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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

A simple answer would be that's it's highly unlikely someone would take up this job.

Taking out stones is difficult - it can also results in broken stones as well. In pique grade that breakage is more pronounced.

In short - taking out stones and putting new ones is a bigger job then making this new. So imagine.

This ring was likely made in India, thailand or China. At fraction of the Labour cost that you'll find in Australia or USA.

I usually take out stones when I buy something at price of scrap metal and Diamonds. And i prefer the Acid method, it melts some of the gold and Diamonds come out easy. And then the liquid gold is then recovered from the Acid.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
 

kipari

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

Hi, I have asked my jeweller about this recently. It was an heirloom piece from my grandmother with chipped/cracked melée. He quoted me 10€ (this was in Europe, where labour cost is pretty high) per stone for setting and a flat fee to take the stones out, which I found very reasonable, if you think about the work involved.... However, since there were around 200 stones in total & the overall condition was not the best, I decided against it. For your number of melée it might as well be more reasonable to recreate the design from scratch as gre8leo87 stated.
 

pyramid

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

I would leave it as it is, it does look very white which is better than most mall grade looks. The design is lovely, not sure I would care for more sparkle, though it would be lovely, but even if there was none really, the pattern and how white the stones look would be enough for me. Looks beautiful, wish I had the length of finger to wear something like that.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

Probably wouldn't be much more to have the ring custom made than it would be to remove all those stones and then reset them. This is an enjoy as it is or return item.
 

denverappraiser

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

Remaking that one is crazy, for the reasons given above, but whoever made it may be prepared to make ANOTHER one using the same mold but different materials. Ask 'em.
 

dollyanjuli

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

Thanks all! The ring was not expensive ( less than 700) and definitely one of those mass produced made overseas pieces. For me, I don't find investing significant amounts into cocktail/ fun pieces of jewelry as a strong investment because I end up wearing those types of pieces so rarely. I have seen similar designed rings in the 1500-2000 range with better diamonds (the designer one i saw was over 7K), but even that much for a piece like this I didn't think was worth it. Interesting to hear that it would be so difficult and cost so much to swap out the stones, i don't know why i thought it would be more cost efficient. Thanks everyone for your advice! I will probably keep and enjoy for what it is.
 

AdaBeta27

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

A lot of the time, those little diamonds are molded directly into the ring when it's cast.
 

gr8leo87

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

AdaBeta27 said:
A lot of the time, those little diamonds are molded directly into the ring when it's cast.
And more likely this ring was wax set.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
 

dollyanjuli

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

a quick update for posterity sake-

ended up returning the ring because even though it wasn't expensive, the diamonds were just not as sparkly as I hoped. Not even a day later i found another ring that was almost identical ( seriously, looks like it was made from the same mold) but had beautiful SI, incredibly sparkly melee. It was almost twice the price which is more than I wanted to spend, but it got me what I wanted. It was so interesting to me that one can buy the exact same ring of a not so common design, with such a difference in stone quality. Also, the lower quality one said made China, the higher made in India. Curious indeed...
 

mrs-b

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

Some photos of the new purchase, dollyanjuli? Glad you found what you were after. :)
 

dollyanjuli

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r







The overall work is finer, gold is heavier, and diamonds are much nicer. But it's exactly the same design! So very interesting, to me at least :) pictures dont really do it justice. Also please excuse my crazy hands, with a two month old there are no manicures in my near future ;-)

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VRBeauty

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Re: Replacing blahhhh melee with top quality in a cocktail r

dollyanjuli|1467830228|4052146 said:
The overall work is finer, gold is heavier, and diamonds are much nicer. But it's exactly the same design! So very interesting, to me at least :) pictures dont really do it justice. Also please excuse my crazy hands, with a two month old there are no manicures in my near future ;-)
But you did manage to capture some of the sparkle!

I'm glad you were able to find exactly the ring you wanted. I hope you find many opportunities to wear that stunner!
 
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