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What percentage of your gems are set?

Rubybrick

Brilliant_Rock
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Joined
Dec 29, 2016
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526
struggling with the cost of setting here and I am curious about how everyone else go about it. (My husband banned jewelry purchase for me but I am trying to not count setting cost towards the ban....)

Do you tend to buy gems if you have a plan to set it. Or go for the gem, set it/reset it later?
 

Mrs_Strizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
554
I would say <1% of mine I've set. Mine started just as a gemstone collection with no intent to set anything, about 15 years ago. Last year I set my very first stone, a Paraiba in an antique platinum watch. Currently I have 5 FCDs with DK for a bracelet, and a Mandarin garnet being set in a pendant for my Mom's big birthday coming up. That is all I have ever done.

I tend to have analysis paralysis and change my mind often, which is another reason I hesitate to set my stones. I also love to come home, take them out of the safe and just sit on my bed and admire them after a hard day. Hubby always gets quite the chuckle and says seeing how happy they make me makes them worth the $ to him:D
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Sep 20, 2008
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22,954
Hubby always gets quite the chuckle and says seeing how happy they make me makes them worth the $ to him:D
Not mine, he thinks I’m insane, rolls his eyes at me, and then he goes to another room to watch “Impractical Jokers” with a big bowl of popcorn.o_O

My youngest makes fun of my hobby, but it makes me laugh.

I have unset stones, but the fine ones are back at the bank, like my loose emeralds, as I contemplate settings. I can’t give a percentage, but there are 10 gems I would love to set now.
 

Mrs_Strizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
554
Not mine, he thinks I’m insane, rolls his eyes at me, and then he goes to another room to watch “Impractical Jokers” with a big bowl of popcorn.o_O

My youngest makes fun of my hobby, but it makes me laugh.

I have unset stones, but the fine ones are back at the bank, like my loose emeralds, as I contemplate settings. I can’t give a percentage, but there are 10 gems I would love to set now.
I guess I should add the caveat that I already owned 99% of them when we got married, so I'm sure that helps with his acceptance!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Apr 22, 2004
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37,042
I get the gem, set them later. I think most are unset, at least 70% are unset? I went to my safety deposit box recently and realized there's so many that I would not wear anymore. Will probably sell or give some away.
 

TreeScientist

Brilliant_Rock
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Joined
Jan 16, 2018
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1,248
struggling with the cost of setting here and I am curious about how everyone else go about it. (My husband banned jewelry purchase for me but I am trying to not count setting cost towards the ban....)

Do you tend to buy gems if you have a plan to set it. Or go for the gem, set it/reset it later?
Have a few that are unset now. If we get any really nice stones, then they'll get nice platinum settings eventually (fiancee prefers platinum), but most will get cheap settings. My fiancee is Vietnamese, so whenever we go back to visit her parents we'll bring a stone or two to set there. You can get beautiful custom silver and yellow gold jewelry made in Vietnam for a few bucks over the market price of silver/gold (gotta love that cost of living/salary difference). So a custom solitaire ring or pendant in silver would cost, oh, $20 or $30 maybe. Same in 18kt yellow gold would be $100-200 depending on the amount of gold in the piece.

So if you ever plan a trip to SE Asia, just bring all of your stones with you and come back with a bunch of beautifully set pieces. If you wear them all on your person on the way out of the country, then customs can't stop you haha. Might look like a 2000s rap star, but you'll have solved your gemstone conundrum. :mrgreen:
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
3,592
I have ALOT of unset gems, they are a story and a half in themselves!
I have never been one to buy gems and then plan / design a setting. I’ve only done that twice, with my engagement ring and my huge opal. The cost of such work here in Australia is eye wateringly expensive. The few loose
Gems I’ve set I’ve actually bought pre loved settings to use. My passion is, and always has been, pre loved jewelry at a bargain price. To me at least, it’s about the hunt for something special and then getting it at a price that represents “a score”.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
8,687
Probably less than 1% are set. I was a gem and rock and crystal collector way before becoming a jewellery lover..... although I have always loved jewellery as well.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,294
This is difficult to answer. I have so many itty bitty melee gems, that if we're going by number, only a low percentage is set. I buy two classes of stones: one, the type to acquire now that I don't expect always to be available, to collect as loose gems, and two, the ones I want to set myself, as often a stone will inspire me to combine it with an existing setting type or with some other gems for a custom piece.
 

Rubybrick

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
526
I would say <1% of mine I've set. Mine started just as a gemstone collection with no intent to set anything, about 15 years ago. Last year I set my very first stone, a Paraiba in an antique platinum watch. Currently I have 5 FCDs with DK for a bracelet, and a Mandarin garnet being set in a pendant for my Mom's big birthday coming up. That is all I have ever done.

I tend to have analysis paralysis and change my mind often, which is another reason I hesitate to set my stones. I also love to come home, take them out of the safe and just sit on my bed and admire them after a hard day. Hubby always gets quite the chuckle and says seeing how happy they make me makes them worth the $ to him:D
maybe I need to do this too!
 

Rubybrick

Brilliant_Rock
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Dec 29, 2016
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526
It sounds like I need to appreciate just the gems more. The are really nice to look at but so much more convenient/portable when they are in the setting!

Follow up question, what are your feelings about gems that are already set? How likely are you to jump on it when you see something you like?
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,294
It sounds like I need to appreciate just the gems more. The are really nice to look at but so much more convenient/portable when they are in the setting!

Follow up question, what are your feelings about gems that are already set? How likely are you to jump on it when you see something you like?
For me, since resetting gems are a risk when I don't yet have a working relationship with an experienced bench jeweler, I would have to be happy to wear the piece as-is, and the price would have affordable for me to buy.
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
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May 17, 2014
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2,941
Haha I'm a setter (in the sense that I can get stones organised to be set asap). I can set something after one day of receiving it in the post.

I like a variety of rings to wear and have no patience for CADs so I toddle off to the trusty setting store and buy one to wack it in.
 

Rubybrick

Brilliant_Rock
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Dec 29, 2016
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526
Haha I'm a setter (in the sense that I can get stones organised to be set asap). I can set something after one day of receiving it in the post.

I like a variety of rings to wear and have no patience for CADs so I toddle off to the trusty setting store and buy one to wack it in.
OMG @mellowyellowgirl I love your candor and the visual “wack it in”

ETA if I can just toddle off to get my gems set I probably would too!
 

lilmosun

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 30, 2014
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1,511
I've set most (90-95%?) of the stones that will ever get set. I do have a bunch of learner stones, unused melee, etc. which would bring the percentage down.

Luckily I have some inexpensive benches, access to preloved/inexpensive stock settings and am more interested in wearing stones I love than designing jewelry (the exception being coming up with colored stone combinations with Yvonne which is as creative as I can get).
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
May 11, 2012
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8,687
I suspected you would probably get three lots of people - those that buy stones and just want jewellery, I have a couple of PS friends who can't understand why I'd have a bunch of pretty rocks doing nothing just sitting around, those that are traditional gemstone collectors that have a lot of gems set and unset, and a heap of people in the middle that see something and have to have the stone but then can't make up their mind or can't always afford to set them immediately..... and those that don't mind a few loose stones sitting around fall into the latter category too.
Group 1 - Always set most of their stones into jewellery
Group 2 - Have a high number of unset stones and a high to medium amount of set gems
Group 3 - Somewhere in the middle of the two a small collection of gems unset and varying levels of set jewellery.
 

deorwine

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
274
ahahahaha I have... exactly one gem set (while in my possession) in a quality 14k setting (actually twice, as the first time I wasn't pleased with it) -- the sapphire in my avatar, which I should really post pics of at some point. (I have also self-set some gems -- the cheaper more replaceable ones -- in "temporary" silver settings which, uh, they are in many years later.)

In my case it's two things: (1) that I keep spending the money I was going to spend on setting gems on more gems (it happened again this week! I was all set to take a couple of gems to the jeweler, but a pretty spinel came up and now I've blown through my jewelry money again for... quite a while) and (2) I am really bad about either going to the jeweler (I know a great one in town, but I have to leave work, parking is annoying, etc. so I have to psych myself up for it) or mailing my gems away. But it's mostly that first one. :razz: The funny thing is that I spend a lot of time thinking about how I'm going to set them to show them off the best; I have a whole notebook full of drawings.

I do buy gems that are already set, but only second-hand -- the markup is generally too much for me in retail, I guess. I do jump on it when I see something I like!

(Also, I have a spinel crystal set in 14k gold; I guess that should count as my second gem that I actually managed to get set!)
 

Bluegemz

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 22, 2017
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3,789
I only have a few unset gems. The reason that they aren’t set is because I’m not sure I want to spend the money on them. They are all relatively affordable pieces which while pretty, don’t totally wow me. They were all impulse buys in which I wasn’t searching with any intention, but stumbled across them. Most are non standard sizes. Now I’m more restrained and have trained myself to be less impulsive. I have found that if I spend time searching for the right gems, then I love them long term and end up setting them.

All in all it bothers me to have unset gems. I don’t know why. Maybe when I have more time, I will experiment with setting them in learning to make my own jewelry.

I do love minerals too, and have them strewn across my residences and my office, but they are all in natural form. Once they are cut, then I feel as though they should be set.

In general, hand made settings are very important to me. Getting them takes time and effort. In this, I don’t mind taking plenty of time. I believe the hand work creates a bridge between gem and inspiration. Another factor in this is that I love supporting craftsmen and artists. I have bought new hand made pieces, had custom work made, and bought antique and vintage pieces. I have just a few pieces in prefab settings.
 
Last edited:

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 7, 2013
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4,723
Don't know about % however it will be a small %.
I have already given the setting vendor based in China that I use quite a few CSs that I intend to set when I met up with him in 2015.
However setting projects were put on hold in 2016/7 due to changes in circumstances.
It will resume soon.
I have a budget of about 300 to 400 USD per month on jewellery purchases. The vendor allows me to split up to 3 payments for a setting. Hopefully I shall have a couple of rings made before the year is out.
The first one to set is a trillion Mahenge Spinel from Yvonne, then an oval blue Zircon from JD, then the Rubellite from JW.
I still have some cut stones with JW, just need to find some pennies to pay for the import duties!
And yes I am in the camp of stone first then setting.

DK :))
 

Sungura

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
581
I would say <1% of mine I've set. Mine started just as a gemstone collection with no intent to set anything, about 15 years ago. Last year I set my very first stone, a Paraiba in an antique platinum watch. Currently I have 5 FCDs with DK for a bracelet, and a Mandarin garnet being set in a pendant for my Mom's big birthday coming up. That is all I have ever done.

I tend to have analysis paralysis and change my mind often, which is another reason I hesitate to set my stones. I also love to come home, take them out of the safe and just sit on my bed and admire them after a hard day. Hubby always gets quite the chuckle and says seeing how happy they make me makes them worth the $ to him:D

OMG this totally describes me. You are my analysis paralysis twin. Every single sentence.resonates with me I didn’t have a lot of jewelry and I kept changing my mind in what I would like. My gem collection kept increasing. I set some cheaper atones In silver and had a few rings made with Yvonne Raley in gold. Now I think I am ready to start some custom projects with DK. In the meanwhile I pick a gem tray, jump on the bed and admire them. My hubby says the same as yours. Lol.
 

Mrs_Strizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
554
OMG this totally describes me. You are my analysis paralysis twin. Every single sentence.resonates with me I didn’t have a lot of jewelry and I kept changing my mind in what I would like. My gem collection kept increasing. I set some cheaper atones In silver and had a few rings made with Yvonne Raley in gold. Now I think I am ready to start some custom projects with DK. In the meanwhile I pick a gem tray, jump on the bed and admire them. My hubby says the same as yours. Lol.
Too funny! Just today DK emailed asking how to orientate the stones in my bracelet, and I realized that I'm glad I started with this project and can baby step into full CAD projects with all the minute details to decide on. I will definitely be reaching out here for help when the time comes.
 

Sungura

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
581
In my case it's two things: (1) that I keep spending the money I was going to spend on setting gems on more gems (it happened again this week! I was all set to take a couple of gems to the jeweler, but a pretty spinel came up and now I've blown through my jewelry money again for... quite a while)

That happens a lot. The gem is right there and might disappear. The setting isn’t going anywhere.......says the voice in my head. Lol
 

Rubybrick

Brilliant_Rock
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Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
526
In general, hand made settings are very important to me. Getting them takes time and effort. In this, I don’t mind taking plenty of time. I believe the hand work creates a bridge between gem and inspiration. Another factor in this is that I love supporting craftsmen and artists. I have bought new hand made pieces, had custom work made, and bought antique and vintage pieces. I have just a few pieces in prefab settings.
I feel very similarly about the setting, and have a hard time separating the gem from the setting. Which makes it harder to gather the funds to set...
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,294
I feel very similarly about the setting, and have a hard time separating the gem from the setting. Which makes it harder to gather the funds to set...
I feel like I can set round brilliants any which way, but fancy shapes and the preciousness of the gem makes me want to go custom with the design.
 
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