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yennyfire

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purchase a piece of jewelry with the sole intent of pulling the stone(s) out and selling or scrapping the setting? Especially if the piece is really pretty, but just not something you'd wear.

I've been hunting for an OEC to match one I already own to make a set of earrings and I've come across several pieces that have the size/color/clarity stone I'm looking for, but I don't have the heart to buy it just to tear it apart.

Am I the only one who feels kinda bad about the idea of tearing apart a pretty antique piece? I feel a little like a vulture. However, it's making my search for a matching stone that much harder! :errrr:
 

tyty333

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Yes, I too would feel bad about tearing an antique apart. Well, maybe not if it were really ulgy and I didnt think
anyone would ever wear it. Now if it were in a 1970s-80s piece of jewelry, I couldnt have the stone out of there
fast enough. In that case I feel like the stone would be thanking me :bigsmile: .
 

yennyfire

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Ahhhh, that's my mistake. I should be searching for UGLY jewelry that would be grateful to be rescued! :lol:
 

lyra

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Have the stone removed carefully, and resell the piece as a mounting only. I wouldn't feel bad about it.
 

yssie

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Yup, several times, no regrets. As long as you have it done carefully the setting isn't demolished, and the prongs on an older setting would likely need reworking by the eventual buyer anyway...

As for guilt about taking the stone from an antique - not at all. Think about it this way - in a hundred years your cannibalized piece will be an antique, too ::)
 

yennyfire

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Good points Lyra and Yssie. So Yssie, in your experience, how hard was it to sell settings/mountings sans stone? My setting has been for sale on JBEG for 6 months without a nibble, so I'm hesitant to buy settings with the intention of selling them after removing the stone.
 

yssie

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yennyfire|1316478362|3021028 said:
Good points Lyra and Yssie. So Yssie, in your experience, how hard was it to sell settings/mountings sans stone? My setting has been for sale on JBEG for 6 months without a nibble, so I'm hesitant to buy settings with the intention of selling them after removing the stone.
Oh, oops! Sorry yenny, I managed to ignore half the post :nono:
I've never actually sold a setting - I just hoard them and make plans to sell them and never actually follow through - so I'm not a good example...!
 

manderz

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I have, and I would have no problem doing it again. My level of guilt varies based on the condition of the piece. If it's in desperate need of a complete overhaul, I scrap it and just sell the gold. I've never cannibalized a really nice setting, though I've been considering it with a piece or two I already have. I've also swapped center stones. My ering was one of those illusion settings with 4 princess cuts made to look like one big one, and now it holds my 1.04 rounds. The princess stones are now in my dbty necklace.
 

LGK

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Actually, a TON of OECs were (unfortunately!) reset in the '60s. A lot of people inherited them at that point and I guess Deco and Edwardian was vastly out of style, so they scrapped the originals and reset them, in the sort of YG, overwhelmingly huge monstrosities I personally don't care for. I've bought several OECs set like that and scrapped the settings without remorse. I'd also do it if the original setting was in terrible condition. Otherwise... no. I have one I simply *can't* bring myself to unset since the original setting is pretty nice, even though it would make a great earring match with another loose OEC I own!

So, IMO, look for the nice old cuts that've already been reset into settings that are the wrong era. There's a good number out there!

ETA: It's also very hard to find original antique settings that haven't been meddled with. Most have had work- the center stones swapped (a LOT of that happens) or other stuff. So honestly, not all antique pieces are created equal. A really nice piece that's unaltered? I'd have a bunch of guilt over fiddling with. But, almost *every single antique ring* I've had work done on, I'm not the first. And I can't always tell just looking at it- often the bench I bring things to points out work that's been done that you simply can't guess with the naked eye. I thought one ring had the original OEC in it- but no, it had been swapped out and the prongs redone in WG, and poorly- so swapping stones again was no big deal at that point.
 

Rhea

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I've done it before. I'd do it again. I do feel a bit bad about it, but sometimes it necessary to get the right stone!

Sell the setting. It probably wouldn't be worth much on the 2nd hand market so I wouldn't count on that money when you're looking. I recently found a setting on ebay that I liked and would fit one of my loose stones. I stopped bidding at $200. I didn't want to pay more than that when the prongs would also need to be redone, etc. Or scrap it if it's an ugly setting or needs work and the scrap value is high.

I've looked at the setting at consignment places and while I really like some of them, the price is too high for my little project.
 

maplefemme

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I wouldn't hesitate to take a piece apart for the diamond, if it was a gorgeous stone, and sell the setting if the workmanship was of quality. But if the setting was sub par I'd sell it for scrap without guilt. To me, old doesn't always = special, time is a relative abyss...
I wouldn't "destroy" an antique setting that had stunning workmanship to get a diamond out, I'd still probably buy it and keep it intact.
I really admire antique rings that are an obvious masterpiece.
A former client is a russian goldsmith and she has very strong views about this subject. Her store has a vintage section and they are always advertising to purchase vintage Jewellery. Many times people have bought in a special antique piece they have inherited and asked her to reconfigure it to a more modern style and she refuses to, she tells me that says to them "it's like repainting a Picasso to match your couch"... :lol:
 

yennyfire

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Thanks for sharing your experiences. I agree that if a piece is in poor shape, I have no remorse about scrapping it. It's just that I've seen a couple of lovely stones with equally lovely settings and I'm not sure I could bring myself to yank the stone out.

Yssie, lol...the best intentions go awry sometimes, don't they! :lol:
 

Rhea

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If you aren't counting on a large amount of money from the settings, consider selling them on ebay or the classifieds. There are a few of us looking for settings who would be willing to pay a bit - more if it's in better condition, of course!
 
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