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Ways to bring down setting cost for inexpensive CSs

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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I have a number of inexpensive CSs, some real, some labs, that I would like to set, and one for re-set, and am looking at ways to bring down the setting cost using the same bench that I normally use based in China which is diamondmounts on eBay.

None of them are in calibrated sizes, therefore, stock settings do not fit. Besides, I prefer for the main stone to be bezel set.

So far I have the following ideas:
- Save on gold content by opting for 9K instead of 14K WG that I usually have (since they will be Rhodium plated, the overall look will be the same)
- Use Moissy as side stones and melees (lab/MMD are more expensive in comparison and I may use these for the nicer CSs)

Any other suggestions please?

TIA.

DK :))
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Curious if you could buy preowned rings with bezels and have them redone. The quote Sako gave me to rebuild the bezels on a ring I had was inexpensive IMO.
I am not into pre-owned anything, sorry!

Except for my house and the pets, and items that have been in my family for ages.

DK :))
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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That’s fair and all of my ideas lol. I’ll be following cause I want to know too.
I have been using this bench for a number of years since ? 2014/5, and have met my contact in person when I went back to HK to visit my folks, and popped across the border when his company is based.

I just found out recently that they can offer settings in 9K with Moissy, and I can buy Moissy and lab melees for them to set (as well as bigger stones).

The other option is to go for silver, however, I would prefer 9K WG.

DK :))
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I would set in silver. Gold prices are crazy right now. Just make sure the prongs aren’t flimsy and there’s enough of them. For example, some pears and trillions are set in three prong settings. I would always go with at least four prongs if setting in silver.

I have a number of gems set in silver, and I’m quite content with them. I keep them in a tarnish proof jewelry box.

if you feel you must do gold, then 10k gold is a more affordable option and quite durable. I never get loose prongs from 10k, but I have, on several occasions, had loose prongs in 18k, as it’s softer.

I absolutely adore this moonstone ring. It’s silver with cz pave, and looks like diamonds and gold. The prongs are super thick and the high domed cabochon is securely set. I bought the setting on Etsy for $40.
 

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bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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i think sterling silver is underrated. it's the whitest metal, can be finished in different ways (blackened, etc.), easy to keep clean and shiny with tools you have at home (polish, ultrasonic). and many silversmiths charge reasonable rates for setting stones.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks for the suggestions to use silver, however, I find silver being yellow when compared with platinum and rhodium plated WG.

Prongs/claws are not really a concern as I would bezel set everything if I can!

DK :))
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks for the suggestions to use silver, however, I find silver being yellow when compared with platinum and rhodium plated WG.

Prongs/claws are not really a concern as I would bezel set everything if I can!

DK :))
the other option is to make the settings lighter/thinner so they have less metal content...if you like the delicate look
 

Tartansparkles

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Feb 23, 2017
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410
@dk168 following with interest. I think you are in the UK too? I wish there was a way us UK peeps could price and then get a hold of stuller settings, they seem reasonably priced. When I worked with a local jeweler last year he had a catalogue from which we 'picked and mixed' to make my ring - when I finally asked who the catalogue was from because i couldn't find them online all he would say was 'oh this is such an old catalogue you wont find it online!" I am in desperate need of some colour right know and am looking for eternity style settings so I can buy melee sizes coloured stones, but I want to buy the setting first so I know what sizes stones to buy and then ask the jeweler to set them.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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@dk168 following with interest. I think you are in the UK too? I wish there was a way us UK peeps could price and then get a hold of stuller settings, they seem reasonably priced. When I worked with a local jeweler last year he had a catalogue from which we 'picked and mixed' to make my ring - when I finally asked who the catalogue was from because i couldn't find them online all he would say was 'oh this is such an old catalogue you wont find it online!" I am in desperate need of some colour right know and am looking for eternity style settings so I can buy melee sizes coloured stones, but I want to buy the setting first so I know what sizes stones to buy and then ask the jeweler to set them.
Have you tried Bella Findings based in LA?

Or Cookson Gold in UK?

I purchased from both as a normal consumer and not as a business, just have to pay the full tax/VAT, and import charges for the former.

I can't get ready made settings as explained in my original post.

Besides, having a stone set can be very expensive in UK.

The re-set fee for my large EC taken from a solitaire bezel platinum setting into another bezel platinum setting was 100 GBP back in 2015!

To replace a 3mm MRB in a bezel setting on a 3-stone ring cost me 400 GBP a year before that!!!

DK :))
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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If you find that silver isn't as white as rhodium plated gold, have you considered rhodium plating silver? :razz:
I thought about that, and may send a cheeky e-mail to the bench to enquire.

DK ;)2
 

Tartansparkles

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Have you tried Bella Findings based in LA?

Or Cookson Gold in UK?

I purchased from both as a normal consumer and not as a business, just have to pay the full tax/VAT, and import charges for the former.

I can't get ready made settings as explained in my original post.

Besides, having a stone set can be very expensive in UK.

The re-set fee for my large EC taken from a solitaire bezel platinum setting into another bezel platinum setting was 100 GBP back in 2015!

To replace a 3mm MRB in a bezel setting on a 3-stone ring cost me 400 GBP a year before that!!!

DK :))
How much!! I was quoted a tenner :)

Will look into Bella findings. I looked through cookson's website many times but they just didn't have a setting large enough for my zircon. Which in some ways, is quite a nice problem to have. But I'm finding coloured stones a quandary. So many gorgeous colours and some relatively cheap but then the mind starts to gabble on about the sense of paying way more for a setting than the stone actually cost.
 

Austina

Ideal_Rock
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@Tartansparkles have you thought about looking at the websites of the shopping channels www.tjc.co.uk and gemporia.com. I know TJC do online auctions, so if you have a standard sized stone, you could always try to win a ring in an auction and swap out the stone?
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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I thought about that, and may send a cheeky e-mail to the bench to enquire.

DK ;)2
i've bought some rhodium plated silver rings in the past, don't think it's that unusual...but if the bench is charging the normal rate it may cost more than the setting....!

i don't know if it's worth the hassle to ship to the uk but for anyone stateside looking i've found moosecry jewelry reasonable for calibrated silver settings
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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I'm in the UK too and have used quite a few overseas companies for semi mounts You can try Cookson Gold but it's a bit basic https://www.cooksongold.com/Cast-Rings/ and https://www.cooksongold.com/Semi-Set-Mounts/

However Julia from HeartofWater on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HeartofWaterJewels was always amazing (if you're prepared to send your gemstones to her) and she will make a bespoke ring for you at a very reasonable cost. And then there's always Ebay. Most settings come from overseas and I've found that if you get one of them you have to tell them you want full diamonds and good quality (you specify what you want) otherwise you can end up with cloudy rubbish. However, I've had some lovely settings from them. The problem comes when you try to find something for 3 stones etc or something a bit more bespoke.
 
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Tarquin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
34
I would set in silver. Gold prices are crazy right now. Just make sure the prongs aren’t flimsy and there’s enough of them. For example, some pears and trillions are set in three prong settings. I would always go with at least four prongs if setting in silver.

I have a number of gems set in silver, and I’m quite content with them. I keep them in a tarnish proof jewelry box.

if you feel you must do gold, then 10k gold is a more affordable option and quite durable. I never get loose prongs from 10k, but I have, on several occasions, had loose prongs in 18k, as it’s softer.

I absolutely adore this moonstone ring. It’s silver with cz pave, and looks like diamonds and gold. The prongs are super thick and the high domed cabochon is securely set. I bought the setting on Etsy for $40.
Would you mind sharing the name of the vendor?
 

MidModMin

Rough_Rock
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Aug 7, 2017
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70
Thanks for the suggestions to use silver, however, I find silver being yellow when compared with platinum and rhodium plated WG.
Have you seen argentium silver pieces? I think the color is noticeably whiter/brighter than regular sterling, and it tarnishes considerably slower.

Ironically, when it tarnishes, it does so with a distinct yellowish cast...but I find it easier to polish than regular sterling, as well.

Apologies if you are already aware, but I wanted to bring your attention to it, in case you weren't. I'm not sure how it compares to rhodium, though, as I haven't compared the two.
 
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LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 11, 2013
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Curious if you could buy preowned rings with bezels and have them redone. The quote Sako gave me to rebuild the bezels on a ring I had was inexpensive IMO.
Sorry to threadjack but PreRaphaelite, can you share roughly the cost for a bezel rebuild? I might need to do that soon... I want to prong a current bezel in an antique ring.
 
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LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
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Have you seen argentium silver pieces? I think the color is noticeably whiter/brighter than regular sterling, and it tarnishes considerably slower.

Ironically, when it does tarnish, it does so with a distinct yellowish cast...but I find it easier to polish than regular sterling, as well.

Apologies if you are already aware, but I wanted to bring your attention to it, in case you weren't. I'm not sure how it compares to rhodium, though, as I haven't compared the two.
Hi, can you share which manufacturer you’ve used for Argentium silver?
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
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Can anyone comment on silver used for gemstones even diamonds (Georgian rings set diamonds in silver for example) is it safe, prong wise?

How would you polish silver so you don’t ruin gemstones, is that a concern?
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
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Can anyone comment on silver used for gemstones even diamonds (Georgian rings set diamonds in silver for example) is it safe, prong wise?

How would you polish silver so you don’t ruin gemstones, is that a concern?
I just use a silver cloth plus silver likes to be worn so if you wear it a lot it might not tarnish
Im sure silver can go in an ultrasonic but perhaps someone thats knows for sure can chime in
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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@MidModMin yup, I have worked with Argentium silver findings myself, such as wire, hairpins and chains, to make jewellery pieces.

They still tarnish though, just slower than normal Sterling Silver.

DK :))
 

MidModMin

Rough_Rock
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Aug 7, 2017
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@LightBright, I had Jen Lawler Designs (on Etsy) create a custom pendant in argentium (though she more frequently works in regular sterling). Although I have regrets about the piece and there was ...miscommunication?...conflict?...regarding the design, the craftsmanship was good. I don't think I'd have her do custom work again, but I would buy one of her own designs (either premade or a duplicate piece in argentium).

I bought an argentium chain from Verbena Place Jewelry (also Etsy) that I'm happy with. I can't speak to their other jewelry.

Daniel M (also Etsy) is experienced in argentium, and he also does silver repair work. I've had him make several pieces for me in gold and am quite satisfied. He is who I plan to reach out to for argentium pieces in the future.

I've had some other small pieces made by others, but wouldn't recommend, so I'm leaving them off this list.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Stuller has Continuum silver. Is that argentium or something else?
I believe is another brand of tarnish-resistant Silver like Argentium.

DK :))
 

helphelp911

Rough_Rock
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Aug 14, 2018
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I love silver setting price but i don't like the way it set in silver mounting

For gold, i notice they usually make a cut on the prong and the gem "sit" on the cut of the prong. So the prong looks very small when done.

But for silver, i notice people always 'bend' the prong on top of the gem. I have asked my setter and he said it is because silver is softer which need set like this.
 
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