This is a great question, and a no-brainer for me to answer. I''d go for the $5000 piece every time. Of course, deciding WHICH $5000 gem to purchase is another story!
Once, when I was trying to decide what/how many gemstones to purchase from a vendor, this very well respected gemologist vendor advised the same thing. Vendor reported, during early years of collecting, having always gone for quantity over quality. After years of experience, vendor cautioned me about following the same path and throwing money at the "smaller stuff." So, I bought the larger, single piece and I''ve been grateful that I did. I wouldn''t have been "satisfied" if I hadn''t. And, ironically, the vendor could have made more money if I''d gone for more gems instead of just one "important" piece. (It''s OK though, I went back for more)! Although I like some of my less costly pieces, some very much, I''ve never had the sense of pride that I get from the bigger gems.
Dunno. Haven''t looked at Dems because I''ve been busy. So many projects going on at once:
1. Cobalt spinel
2. Tsavorite search
3. Pink asscher spinel being set
4. Just settled my spess setting design
5. Already thinking about the blue spinel setting
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