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Setting dilemma! Please help. US dollar killing me!

laurenk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
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953
Hello
Firstly I wanted to thank everyone who has kindly helped me and commented on my threads so far. I'm so excited that my pear is paid for!!!! But after spending $18500 usd (nearly $25k Aussie!) I'm beginning to freak out about forking out another $5usd (nearly $7k Aussie) to have Victor set her. I realise this was my intention always, but then I started to think about the duty, customs etc... And I'm looking at $10k Aussie!!!) I am desperate to have Victor set her but I'm also trying to be practical. Recently I saw the thread about the wonderful work of Alistair Kelsey's jewellery. He's based in Sydney and looks to do a fine job. This will cost around $3500aud and then importing customs and duty on a loose diamond is much less also...... So torn........ But it will be half the expense.....
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Living in the US, it is so easy for me to say, use Victor!!!! But under the circumstances with your exchange rate and tax issues, I honestly have to say that I think it is best for you to establish a relationship with a fine jewelry maker in your country if one exists, and it does look like he does fine quality work. With the exchange rate, it looks like it would be a bargain for us to use him, too! However, we really have no way as consumers to ship stones out of this country insured. In your case, it would be good to do a project with him, and if you love it, you have him for future projects for years to come.
 

LLJsmom

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Send it to victor and then come over and pick it up. Will it be cheaper to do a vacay? Will you get charged duties for sending the unset stone?
 

Niel

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alistair makes great rings, but ive never been overly impressed with his pave work. His other stuff is amazing. So, are you planning on doing a halo, or something else? My opinion would really be based on what Alistair would be creating for you
 

diamondseeker2006

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I would think a trip would cost a couple thousand just for a weekend, and hopefully the duty is not that much. But Niel is right that it may depend on what kind of setting you want.
 

Niel

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LLJsmom|1464184063|4036125 said:
Send it to victor and then come over and pick it up. Will it be cheaper to do a vacay? Will you get charged duties for sending the unset stone?
Plus I do believe this is illegal
 

Skhii

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Robinson Designer Goldsmith (RDG) in New Zealand was recommended by some PSers before he retired. His sons have opened their own business called David Michael (http://www.artofdm.com), and their pieces are sold in two Australian jewelry stores. I do not know if custom pieces can be commissioned directly from DM, and whether it comes from NZ instead of AUS. It might be worth investigating.

Hopefully some PSers can comment how the Robinsons' work compares to Victor Canera, Steven Kirsch, and Leon Mege. I think Yssie has experience with RDG and VC, but not regarding pave.
 

LLJsmom

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Niel|1464187421|4036138 said:
LLJsmom|1464184063|4036125 said:
Send it to victor and then come over and pick it up. Will it be cheaper to do a vacay? Will you get charged duties for sending the unset stone?
Plus I do believe this is illegal
Not if you declare it. I don't know how much customs fees are when you are bringing something in that you already own and did not buy on your trip.
 

arkieb1

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I have seen time and time again people wanting Victor settings, not being able to afford them and going with someone else and ending up with a ring they don't like, there are a lot of posts on here like that...... I love Alistair's work but I agree the pave is not going to be the same as Victors.

I have never seen anything here the quality of Victors pave and I have walked into high end shops and specifically compared the pave. For a heap of people that doesn't matter. I even know one PSer who wanted chunkier pave than Victor was willing to make that wasn't happy with his pave, it's super fine and she actually preferred more metal and bigger stones in her halo.

You could email David and Mike, they are here in Brisbane now btw, their prices are not particularly cheap either and again their work is beautiful but it is different from Victor's as well.

So I think you need to think about what you really want versus budget. Getting what we want size wise, setting wise and so on is always a trade off. You need to decide if you are willing to save and wait or if you want something made elsewhere.

Other than that I feel your pain. Our dollar completely sucks at the moment and I think it's still in freefall.

If you want decent budget options for halo settings I'd still get it done in the US, David Klass, Brilliantly Engaged, Grace's bench guy and Mark Broumand, and Erica and Caysie from LAD would all give you something that would be affordable and well made and I will go out on a limb and say any one of these will be of a higher quality than the majority of what you will find or have made here.

For the record other than the extra cost of the actual setting, importing a loose stone is no different in cost % wise than a completed ring from the US provided that the whole thing is made in the US. You get out of the 5% both ways and you have to pay GST on both irrespective plus their handling fees and charges. So instead of 15% it's 10% plus their fees which on that will be a few hundred dollars extra. On something that costs you say $30 000 AUD you will pay $3500 AUD roughly. I can't see the amount you end up paying being more than $4500 to $5000 AUD in GST and fees but that is still a lot of money.
 

misskittycat

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LLJsmom|1464189150|4036145 said:
Niel|1464187421|4036138 said:
LLJsmom|1464184063|4036125 said:
Send it to victor and then come over and pick it up. Will it be cheaper to do a vacay? Will you get charged duties for sending the unset stone?
Plus I do believe this is illegal
Not if you declare it. I don't know how much customs fees are when you are bringing something in that you already own and did not buy on your trip.
It's illegal. And I know people who have gotten caught. You don't want to.

GST on imports is 10%. Customs duty is an additional 5%. But there is a free trade agreement between Australia and the US which waives the customs duty if the vendor fills out the forms and sens it with the purchase. Plus additional inspection and clearance fees.

Import charges apply whether the stone is set or unset.

I doubt you will get anything the same quality locally as you would from Victor.
 

misskittycat

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Skhii|1464188867|4036143 said:
Robinson Designer Goldsmith (RDG) in New Zealand was recommended by some PSers before he retired. His sons have opened their own business called David Michael (http://www.artofdm.com), and their pieces are sold in two Australian jewelry stores. I do not know if custom pieces can be commissioned directly from DM, and whether it comes from NZ instead of AUS. It might be worth investigating.

Hopefully some PSers can comment how the Robinsons' work compares to Victor Canera, Steven Kirsch, and Leon Mege. I think Yssie has experience with RDG and VC, but not regarding pave.
I have heard David Michael isn't doing custom work at the moment. Worth checking, however. I saw some of their pieces at J Farren Price in Sydney and they look spectacular. Not my style but the workmanship is great.
 

laurenk

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Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Messages
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Thank you so much for all the replies. My heart yearns for VC and I do feel I would regret letting anyone else do it. I did today look over Hardy Brothers based in Brisbane QLD - there work looks ok to my eye but again I'm no expert, any opinions??
 

susimoo

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Having tried on rings in there whilst wearing my VC I have to sat they can't touch Victor.

I have seen nothing besides Ginger's LM which was comparable to Victor's pave. I can say hand on heart that I haven't seen anything remotely close in all the jewellers I have been into in WA. Their reaction to my Emilya says they haven't either.

Don't scrimp over this. Set the pear in a cheap solitaire and save if you have to. Otherwise you will end up paying out twice.

Good luck!! :wavey:
 

laurenk

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 12, 2011
Messages
953
susimoo|1464257162|4036447 said:
Having tried on rings in there whilst wearing my VC I have to sat they can't touch Victor.

I have seen nothing besides Ginger's LM which was comparable to Victor's pave. I can say hand on heart that I haven't seen anything remotely close in all the jewellers I have been into in WA. Their reaction to my Emilya says they haven't either.

Don't scrimp over this. Set the pear in a cheap solitaire and save if you have to. Otherwise you will end up paying out twice.

Good luck!! :wavey:
Ohhhhh susimoo!!! I think deep down I know this and after all this time and money there is no point scrimping now. I actually want to do this well and never think of it again (haha right?) - I think I'll just keep saving my pennies and if it's goingto be a little longer Victor is worth the wait.
 

mrs-b

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Aug 18, 2013
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Lauren -

I'm an Australian living in the US. I was in Victor's office last week and I can tell you right now - there's no substitute. I'm in your boat; I would LOVE to save some $$ on my setting. But I know it's not going to happen and, having seen Victor's work, I either have to go that route, or know (and see on my finger!) that I never really got what I wanted and my ring will never really look as good as I know it could have.

There's no short cuts on this, so I'm forking out the money. Consequently - I feel your pain! But I think it's worth it. It's a case of "once you know - you can't un-know". It will put off setting my diamond by another 6 months, but I dont care; I really want the very best I can get on this, otherwise I shouldn't bother in the first place. If I outlay a bunch of money and don't get what I want, that's an even greater expense than outlaying somewhat more, but at least getting what I wanted.

Good luck! I suspect that, like me, you know in your heart which way to go. :wavey:
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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susimoo|1464257162|4036447 said:
Having tried on rings in there whilst wearing my VC I have to sat they can't touch Victor.

I have seen nothing besides Ginger's LM which was comparable to Victor's pave. I can say hand on heart that I haven't seen anything remotely close in all the jewellers I have been into in WA. Their reaction to my Emilya says they haven't either.

Don't scrimp over this. Set the pear in a cheap solitaire and save if you have to. Otherwise you will end up paying out twice.

Good luck!! :wavey:
Exactly the same experience. I've worn Victor rings into Hardy Bros here, Tiffany, all the jewellers that are high end in the lovely old building in the Brisbane arcade, 160 Queen St Mall, if you are looking for a general jeweller go for a wander around inside there.... None of them compares to Victor. Canturi has a guy that does decent work on the Gold Coast but his pave doesn't compare to Victors either.

I actually think somewhere like Diamonds International at Chermside and the city has bench people that do half decent pave work too but they don't accept outside stones. There are several other great jewellers in Brisbane but none of them does pave as fine as Victor does so I think it depends entirely on what your expectations are.

Every jeweller that has examined any of my Victor rings, all oooh and aaah about how well made they are, and I regularly get asked to take them off, jewellers examine them and can't believe that the rings are all handmade no casting....

Any of the alternative jewellers I have listed above in the US will also give you a great product, David K, Caysie, Grace's bench all the people I have listed above will do I think a nicer pave than Hardy Bros, and probably for a similar price. Most of there setting work is nicer than the majority of what you will find here. But Victor's pave is 5 star. The only thing I own that compares is Singlestone stuff, their benchwork is pretty darn good too, but they are more expensive than Victor.
 

diamondseeker2006

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In my opinion, if there is no one in your country that is as good as Victor, then I absolutely would go with Victor for a pave halo. I have heard so many people say his work is the best. I have never regretted getting the best, and I so far only have pave earrings from him and a necklace, but they are top notch in every respect. You have the temporary pain of the cost, but that fades over time. Trust me, as one who has paid a lot for something I wanted!

I am using Caysie for some antique style pieces, and she also has two very high end benches working for her. I will use Victor for the type styles he is excellent at, and I use Caysie on some antique style pieces that may work out better cast. There is fine bead set pave on my sapphire ring and I am very impressed with her bench. I really don't even consider others for my best pieces because I know that these two are the best at what they do.
 

misskittycat

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I think you should listen to the advice here. I don't think you will ever be 100% happy with any work on this, other than Victor's. I'd say my guy is great - He does an awesome Legacy Halo and his modern stuff is top notch, but his Harry Winston Style halo pave isn't 100%. I would save a little longer.

The only other person worth talking to is Rox in the Strand Arcade in Sydney. Their Pave is good, but they are pricey and I don't know about outside stones....
 

Lookinagain

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arkieb1|1464240626|4036419 said:
If you want decent budget options for halo settings I'd still get it done in the US, David Klass, Brilliantly Engaged, Grace's bench guy and Mark Broumand, and Erica and Caysie from LAD would all give you something that would be affordable and well made and I will go out on a limb and say any one of these will be of a higher quality than the majority of what you will find or have made here.
I think my answer depends on how long it will take you to save to get Victor's ring. If you are talking 6-12 months, then I would just buy an inexpensive solitaire setting to wear for that time. But if you are talking a year or two, then I'd do the above and have something very nice but more affordable made. If you have the diamond of your dreams, you might not be happy wearing it in an inexpensive solitaire setting for a long time. I would certainly be happier wearing it in something that would still be very nice. Then I could start saving and when I had the funds for Victor's ring, I could then decide if I still wanted to use the funds for that or if I had something else to spend $10,000 on. If I did, then at least my ring would be in a setting that didn't bother me every time I looked at it. And you might be able to use the first setting for a colored stone ring.
 

gr8leo87

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Usually the US dollar rate that you see on google isn't the one you end up paying.

If you're paying through credit card it depends on your issuing bank. It will be about 3 cents more expensive per dollar.

You could get better rates through ozforex or similar.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
 

misskittycat

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gr8leo87|1464312050|4036710 said:
Usually the US dollar rate that you see on google isn't the one you end up paying.

If you're paying through credit card it depends on your issuing bank. It will be about 3 cents more expensive per dollar.

You could get better rates through ozforex or similar.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
Here's the dilemma: We are not really talking the interbank vs card rates. Two years ago we were at mid 90c to the AUD. Three years ago we were at parity. Today we are at 72c. Things are now 20 plus percent more expensive than they were 2 years ago, 30 percent more than three years ago. Exchange rates are killing us for overseas shopping.
 

gr8leo87

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misskittycat said:
gr8leo87|1464312050|4036710 said:
Usually the US dollar rate that you see on google isn't the one you end up paying.

If you're paying through credit card it depends on your issuing bank. It will be about 3 cents more expensive per dollar.

You could get better rates through ozforex or similar.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
Here's the dilemma: We are not really talking the interbank vs card rates. Two years ago we were at mid 90c to the AUD. Three years ago we were at parity. Today we are at 72c. Things are now 20 plus percent more expensive than they were 2 years ago, 30 percent more than three years ago. Exchange rates are killing us for overseas shopping.
It's killing the local import based business as well. Diamonds is hugely import based. People defer spending when they see the aussie falling. And that's not helpful at all.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
 

Monnyjay

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Lauren, I feel your pain. Our dollar is a shocker at the moment and has put me off buying a few pieces from the US as well. If you have your heart set on a particular setting (speaking from my own experiences) you will not be happy with anything else. I would hang in there and keep saving. It will be worth the wait in the end. :wavey:
 

Niel

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It's just jewelry. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Don't strain your wallet. There must be someone in the entire country who can make a halo.
 

misskittycat

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gr8leo87|1464350436|4036913 said:
misskittycat said:
gr8leo87|1464312050|4036710 said:
Usually the US dollar rate that you see on google isn't the one you end up paying.

If you're paying through credit card it depends on your issuing bank. It will be about 3 cents more expensive per dollar.

You could get better rates through ozforex or similar.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
Here's the dilemma: We are not really talking the interbank vs card rates. Two years ago we were at mid 90c to the AUD. Three years ago we were at parity. Today we are at 72c. Things are now 20 plus percent more expensive than they were 2 years ago, 30 percent more than three years ago. Exchange rates are killing us for overseas shopping.
It's killing the local import based business as well. Diamonds is hugely import based. People defer spending when they see the aussie falling. And that's not helpful at all.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
I hear you. I import and the prices are so expensive now....

Niel said:
It's just jewelry. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Don't strain your wallet. There must be someone in the entire country who can make a halo.
Or just wait. That's another option. And save.
 

laurenk

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So Mike Robinson from Robinson Designer Goldsmith (once based in NZ I beleive) contacted Grace at JBG and whilst they don't do work for the public much or at all anymore he has said he can help me as he's a friend of Graces. There are some threads on here with their work. I'm attaching three images, one in a sketch of what they would like to do re halo, and the second teo are examples of their pavè work.

Now, I think they look good, I'm not an expert so hoped to get some opinions on the pavè. All hand made.

My second issue is they've quoted me $6k aud so whilst they're based now in QLD Australia like me, this actually is MORE than Victors Emilya (by $300). So whilst I've done the exercise it really makes sense to use Victor......

Anyway food for thought - would love opinions on pavè regardless. Thank you!! Actually I also wonder if Victor does my ring, do I pay tax on the cost of the diamond plus the setting actual cost or value?

_3981.jpeg

_3982.jpeg

_3983.jpeg
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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laurenk|1465006641|4039965 said:
So Mike Robinson from Robinson Designer Goldsmith (once based in NZ I beleive) contacted Grace at JBG and whilst they don't do work for the public much or at all anymore he has said he can help me as he's a friend of Graces. There are some threads on here with their work. I'm attaching three images, one in a sketch of what they would like to do re halo, and the second teo are examples of their pavè work.

Now, I think they look good, I'm not an expert so hoped to get some opinions on the pavè. All hand made.

My second issue is they've quoted me $6k aud so whilst they're based now in QLD Australia like me, this actually is MORE than Victors Emilya (by $300). So whilst I've done the exercise it really makes sense to use Victor......

Anyway food for thought - would love opinions on pavè regardless. Thank you!! Actually I also wonder if Victor does my ring, do I pay tax on the cost of the diamond plus the setting actual cost or value?
Why is this more expensive? I don't understand, you said it would cost you 10k to get a VC and this is 6k?
 

laurenk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Messages
953
Victor's Anne Marie is $5300 usd which is about $7200aud plus customs of probably close to $3k aud is $10k.

The Emilya is cheaper and so makes a little more sense.... And if I import the loose diamond its value is less than if it were set so my 10% tax payable here is less.....
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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laurenk|1465009558|4039981 said:
Victor's Anne Marie is $5300 usd which is about $7200aud plus customs of probably close to $3k aud is $10k.

The Emilya is cheaper and so makes a little more sense.... And if I import the loose diamond its value is less than if it were set so my 10% tax payable here is less.....
So that 3k you're paying for the either rdg or vc?
 

laurenk

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
953
Well if RDG sets it then customs on loose diamond will be a little less - depending on dollar - $18500usd for stone vs say $24k for stone set..... I'm probably confusing....
 
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