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Setting choices/prices at Good Old Gold

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Holy

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I'm considering 3 different settings from Good Old Gold to go along with an awesome 1.158 H SI1 round H&A AGS0 (HCA 1.3):

1. Stuller Tiffany-style 6 prong, 950 platinum/ruthenium, $600, done in-house, 1 week to produce
2. Ingwer Solitaire 6-prong, 900 platinum/iridium, $1,095, done in-house, 3-4 weeks to produce
3. D. Vatche Royal Crown 6-prong, 950 platinum/iridium, $1,279, mounting done at D. Vatche, 3-4 weeks to produce

My analysis (shoot holes in this please) and questions:
a. My gal initially expressed interest in (1) and only later saw (3) and liked it. (2) is more of an alternate to (1).
b. I also am leaning toward (1) or (2) but I've seen a lot of pics of (3) (D. Vatche RC) and also like it.
c. I was concerned about blockage of light from the sides but after looking at pics that doesn't seem to be a problem for any of them.
d. I am happy with the 950 Pt/Ru and the 900 Pt/Ir but NOT the 950 Pt/Ir.
e. Both of us would prefer not to wait an extra 2-3 weeks.
f. With (3), I perceive I am getting extra compications in terms of damaged stone, lost stone, 2 extra shipping events, an extra company involved in terms of future problems, repairs, etc.
g. What exactly am I getting for the extra $495 with Ingwer or the extra $679 with D. Vatche?
h. My only concerns about getting (1) are (a) hastiness causing me to make a poor decision, and (b) hastiness causing me to pass up a preferred setting (but we like them all, so there really isn't a "preferred" one).

Thank you!
 

Holy

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(bump)
 

Adylon

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>>> With (3), I perceive I am getting extra compications in terms of damaged stone, lost stone, 2 extra shipping events, an extra company involved in terms of future problems, repairs, etc.

That's not true. The ring you mentioned is a designer ring yes, but the designer doesn't set the center stone. And even if they did, any jeweler should be able to do repair work on it. It's not like a tension ring or a complicated eternity band or something where only the manufacturer can repair/size it or replace it for you.

>>> What exactly am I getting for the extra $495 with Ingwer or the extra $679 with D. Vatche?

More or less you're getting a name and paying for the advertising dollars to promote the name, etc. Stuller is a very large company, and their mountings are very good. They focus much more on serviceability for the merchant (like having all mountings in stock, they can resize it for you, huge selection, good credit terms, lots of wholesale offices to do business in nationwide, etc), the other two you mentioned focus more on promoting their brand with the consumer.

In my opinion a simple solitaire is never worth paying a premium for. If it's made of good quality materials, well cast and polished, and a good diamond setter sets the stone for you, then that's all you really need.
 

Holy

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Thank you for the analysis and encouragement. I hadn''t had any independent confirmation of Stuller''s quality (except from GOG) until now, so that is also helpful.

Can you explain this further: "That''s not true. The ring you mentioned is a designer ring yes, but the designer doesn''t set the center stone." Maybe I didn''t understand what GOG was saying when they said that with Stuller or Ingwer, GOG would do the mounting, whereas with D. Vatche, GOG would send the stone to D. Vatche and D. Vatche would do the mounting.
 

Adylon

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Most manufacturers are happy to mount any diamonds you provide to them, unless they are selling them as finished pieces, however that''s not usually the case with engagement rings.

This merchant probably doesn''t have enough jobs to hire a full time diamond setter, polisher, etc... so he just has the factory finish the ring for him? Just guessing.
 

Rhino

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Greetings Holy,

I generally don''t comment in threads when consumers are soliciting information from other consumres about us or our rings but after seeing what is posted wanted to clarify some of the things that have been said here.


Date: 11/15/2006 2:36:00 PM
Author: Adylon
>>> With (3), I perceive I am getting extra compications in terms of damaged stone, lost stone, 2 extra shipping events, an extra company involved in terms of future problems, repairs, etc.

That''s not true. The ring you mentioned is a designer ring yes, but the designer doesn''t set the center stone. And even if they did, any jeweler should be able to do repair work on it. It''s not like a tension ring or a complicated eternity band or something where only the manufacturer can repair/size it or replace it for you.
Hi Adylon & Holy,

In fact they do set the stone. You''re reasoning/guess is that we don''t have enough work to hire full time jewelers or setters when in fact we have plenty of work plus the fact that we do have a full time jeweler and diamond setter on the premises.

The reason Vatche sets the stone is to simply keep their warranty in tact with the client. Not that they don''t trust their distributors but when they do the setting job in house, they know and trust the setters they have hired for the task and it''s their policy that if if they are going to back their rings with the lifetime policy they have, they must set the stone. I think is an excellent policy for the consumer who is looking to ensure that they are purchasing a setting knowing that if any problems arise because of setting or manufactures defects they have a 2nd source to go to beyond the jeweler who sold them the ring. Vatche isn''t the only designer that incorporates this policy. Many designers employ this policy to ensure their own QA is being enforced.

Regarding the extra expense for the Vatche. It''s a designer setting. Just like anything designer we purchase in life, we pay extra to own the brand they have designed and developed not because I want to pay for their advertising etc. but because I love the product which is exclusive to their company and the strength of the QA/workmanship that went into producing it. LOL... I wish my wife would settle for a Coach imitation pocketbook but guess what ... she''ll get the Coach and pay the hundreds more. I tell my wife not to look at names but to get what it is she likes/enjoys most. Unfortunately for me it''s usually a designer brand but really though I don''t mind. I just want her to be happy with whatever it is she wanted to get and I prefer paying more when I know the company stands behind the product as strongly as certain brands generally do.

It''s why I''ll generally pay more for a Sony when it comes to television sets. Canon, when it comes to camera and lens. The list goes on. I want a product I can rely on and a company that I know will stand behind it 110% and Lord knows I''ve put some of their customer service to the test.
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The Vatche rings, while considered solitaire are different than the traditional solitaires being sold by companies like Stuller.

This is not to take away from the quality of Stuller mountings though Holy. Although Stuller isn''t necessarily a designer brand like Vatche the quality of their mountings aren''t inferior however the quality of the workmanship in setting the diamond is dependant upon the jeweler doing the job and I''ve seen some real hack jobs done on Stuller mountings.
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Of course if you decided to go the Stuller route we back our workmanship 110% and will forward you pictures of the completed ring before its even shipped.

Holy, my advice is if you like the Stuller as much as you do the Vatche then get the Stuller if the extra expense concerns you. Both are beautiful and if you need any additional photography to help drop us an email.

Kindest regards,
 

diamondseeker2006

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Okay, I was replying before Jonathan''s message was posted. So it sounds like the issue of the finish has to do with who is assembling the Stuller ring. Incidentally, the price on the Vatche for platinum is not bad at all. It is less than the one I just posted. I am getting it in 18k white gold.
 

Holy

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Thank you, Rhino, for the clarification (and diamondseeker2006) and additional insight and explanation!

Is there anything I can do to get the Stuller ring "more perfectly polished"? It's platinum, so it can be polished to a higher shine, right? Should I request that from GOG, or will GOG do that automatically, or should I take it to a local jeweler, and if so, whom?
 

diamondseeker2006

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It sounds like Good Old Gold will do it that way. Just tell them you want the inside of the prongs well polished, etc. I am sure they''ll do a nice job! I do think it is the easiest thing to have the diamond vendor set the ring for insurance reasons, convenience, etc.
 

JulieN

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Date: 11/15/2006 6:57:56 PM
Author: Holy
Is there anything I can do to get the Stuller ring 'more perfectly polished'? It's platinum, so it can be polished to a higher shine, right? Should I requet that from GOG, or will GOG do that automatically, or should I take it to a local jeweler, and if so, whom?
I think there is a difference between intrinsic (ex. Mark Morrell) and superficial (final polishing.)
 

strmrdr

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This is my take on it...

stuller - out of the box the are average which isnt that great and a lot of places throw the diamond in it and its out the door. With a little work by a skilled metalsmith/diamond setter they can move up to very good.

Ingwer - out of the box they are generaly very rough if they go out the door without a lot of work they are poor quality, with work they can be good to very good.

Vatche - a bit overpriced, quality level very good to very good plus.
 

Kaleigh

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Date: 11/15/2006 4:25:42 PM
Author: Adylon
Most manufacturers are happy to mount any diamonds you provide to them, unless they are selling them as finished pieces, however that''s not usually the case with engagement rings.

This merchant probably doesn''t have enough jobs to hire a full time diamond setter, polisher, etc... so he just has the factory finish the ring for him? Just guessing.
If I were you I''d stop guessing. Most of what you have said in the short time you have been here has been incorrect, and it''s misleading. JMHO.
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Holy

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Date: 11/15/2006 7:08:14 PM
Author: JulieN
I think there is a difference between intrinsic (ex. Mark Morrell) and superficial (final polishing.)
JulieN,
Please elaborate. What is the difference in polishing? Can I not make up for that later with correct polishing? Thanks.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Holy, think about a Camry versus a Lexus. It''s that kind of difference. Is the Camry a bad car? Of course not. It''s a great car. Is the Lexus worth the price differential? To some it is. I''d settle for the Camry since cars depreciate and there are many thousands of dollars difference in the price. In the case of a ring setting, we are only talking about a few hundred dollars difference. If she likes the settings equally, then get the Stuller. But the Vatche is a little nicer setting. Mark Morrell is one of the top quality setting makers as is Leon Mege, as a couple of examples.
 

mrssalvo

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Date: 11/15/2006 11:41:28 PM
Author: Adylon
Actually my statement was correct. Most manufacturers are happy to mount diamonds, but typically they just sell the mounting or semi-mounts for engagement rings. I''ve never dealt with Vatche so I wouldn''t know how they operate.


No one else answered the posters question even after he bumped it so I thought I''d try my best.

actually adylon, it really depends on the jeweler and the setting. Also, since you don''t know about Vatche, best to not comment at all
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it was also unfair to generalize about most jewelers not having the staff to do the finishing or polishing when you really didn''t know that either
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mrssalvo

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Date: 11/16/2006 7:41:24 AM
Author: diamondseeker2006
Holy, think about a Camry versus a Lexus. It's that kind of difference. Is the Camry a bad car? Of course not. It's a great car. Is the Lexus worth the price differential? To some it is. I'd settle for the Camry since cars depreciate and there are many thousands of dollars difference in the price. In the case of a ring setting, we are only talking about a few hundred dollars difference. If she likes the settings equally, then get the Stuller. But the Vatche is a little nicer setting. Mark Morrell is one of the top quality setting makers as is Leon Mege, as a couple of examples.

this is a great example. Stuller makes a very nice product and it's of good quality. It's not going to look like a handmade Mark Morrell but it's all about priorities, budget etc. If MM finish is important than it would be worth it to some, others don't find it as important and don't wait to pay the premium for it.
 

strmrdr

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Date: 11/16/2006 12:45:50 AM
Author: Holy


Date: 11/15/2006 7:08:14 PM
Author: JulieN
I think there is a difference between intrinsic (ex. Mark Morrell) and superficial (final polishing.)
JulieN,
Please elaborate. What is the difference in polishing? Can I not make up for that later with correct polishing? Thanks.
Im going to tackle both questions at once...
The average ring out there out of the box has no better than a good polish/finish and a lot of them rank poor.
Tifffany and most designers hit the very good to very good plus range.
MM and a few other very tallented small shops hit the exellent range.
To get to that level is not a final polish only operation the finish has to be designed in at every step of the process.
To do so takes many man hours and a skill level that no larger production house can afford to do.

edit> the above is my opinion only based on seeing rings, talking to my local setting guy and Bill Pearlman.
I consider Bill to be the top setting expert on PS.
My local guy if someone is willing to pay the premium can do work rivaled by none.
 

Holy

Rough_Rock
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Thank you all for your analysis. I am still confused on something that some of you have attempted to answer. I have an engineering background with a fair understanding of basic materials science. I have learned even more about the properties of platinum and its alloys in the last few weeks on line.

Scenario: 2 different companies produce a ring (same Pt alloy). You take both to someone who will polish them using proper techniques. Why will the polish come out differently for those 2 rings after that?

Furthermore, the way that platinum wears over time, why will the polish for both rings NOT eventually be the about the same, both after wear and after re-polishing? Why would the metal properties at the surface be different (for the same alloy)? Thanks again.

P. S. Also, note that D. Vatche uses the softer (more easily dented) 950 Pt/Ir alloy (80 HV) as opposed to Stuller''s 950 Pt/Ru (135 HV). http://www.mwmjewelry.com/platinum_purity.htm
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diamondseeker2006

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Holy, you''re not going to take the setting somewhere to get the finishing polishing done. That needs to be done before the stone is set. You want the inside of the prongs polished and every nook and cranny polished. I have also obsessed over the platinum alloy situation and I have come to the conclusion from reading and talking with a jeweler who knows old platinum rings like Tiffany that the 90/10 is better for a shiny finish ring. I wasn''t really in the mood to wait for a Mark Morrell setting, so I just went ahead with 18k wg. If you''re just going with a thin tiffany style setting, the shank is thin and I don''t think it really matters so much. Wider bands like the x-prong may show alot more of the scratches if the platinum is soft. I sort of decided I wasn''t willing to pay the price of platinum unless it was the best platinum. And I didn''t see anyone using the 90/10 but Mark Morrell.

I can''t really answer your questions on wear, but I assume the softer plat. will have the potential for more scratches and dents. That''s what I was told anyway.
 
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