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price of loose 2.5-3ct of EF VS-VVS diamonds


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I have been getting so many different prices with so much of a variance in between them for my ering that I don't know who to trust and believe anymore. :o


so anyone, what should I expect to pay for a tacori style ring or leon mege ring done obviously custom by a local jeweler ( will take recommendations of local jewelers in toronto by the way) the specs are as follows:


The ring has a total ctw of 2.5-3ct loose stones could be 1-5 pointers EF VS-VVS clarity done in either 14k rhodium plated white gold or platinum.


I would think that the price of diamonds and gold or platinum is the same no matter what as the ring will have the same weight in both gold and diamonds with the same specifications(color, clarity, gold/platinum weight).


so how come the price quotes I am getting are ridiculously different from one another. :shocked: I have gotten over 8-10 quotes from different jewelers and I don't know which one to trust or believe any more :confused: so please any help at all would be appreciated.



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The price of the diamond, by itself, should have fairly low variance from one jeweler to the next. Diamond is a commodity. Try the 'find online jeweler' link on this website to compare diamonds among many different jewelers.


As for the setting, you are paying for much more than just the material. You are paying for a designer, just as you can pay anywhere between $10 to $1000 for a shirt with essentially the same amount of fabric, with the price difference being based on the design and styling.

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I understand that for example cartier will not charge the same as Joe's Jewelers but I wanted to know what price range to expect for such a ring with such specifications on an average. As the prices I am getting are all so ridiculously priced and some of them even when they give me the break down of the cost for examples the cost of the diamond and then the gold etc their prices for the same thing don't match at all and I don't know what to expect or who to believe anymore.


I am in toronto, Canada and I don't honestly know who to trust or to go to as if I go with the jeweler that gave me the lowest price am I getting a deal or ripped off or should I pay more and go with the jewelers with the higher quotes mind you I think these jewelers are all the same as far as how well known they are so why am I getting such a ridiculous price range.


I started off getting prices from the range of $1000( by a jeweler that the next day had amnesia and has changed his quote 3 times now and each time the price is doubled) all the way to $10000? Don't you think this is ridiculous and mind you I don't even have 2-3 prices that are close to one another

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The root of the problem is in the question. You are assuming that there is a fixed ‘value’ for diamonds of a certain clarity/color/size and this is simply not correct. The dealer’s cost of materials is not the core question for the expected price of a ring but, to answer your question, correctly graded stones like you describe go for between $600-$1500/ct. depending on the stones and the deal. You're getting answers that don't make sense because this sort of question leads to a spiral of other questions that end up in a less than ideal conclusion. It's counterproductive to making sales.


What are the diamonds worth?

What’s the gold worth?

What is the setting labor worth?

What is the engraving work worth?

What’s your ‘markup’?

OK. I’ll buy my diamonds somewhere else and bring them. Please provide me for free the exact specifications that will be needed. I’ll buy the gold and setting from you and I’ll get my engraving done somewhere else. Naturally I expect you to take full responsibility for any problems that may arise. I think your markup is too high because there are other people who think their time and skills are worth less than you do so I’ll agree to pay you 50%. When can we begin?

When hell freezes over. Get out of my store.


I’m reminded of a parable about Pablo Picasso. For most of his life, Mr. Picasso was not very successful as a merchant and his paintings were not very popular. Towards the end of his life this changed and he became something of a celebrity. One day as an old man he had the following exchange while dining at a restaurant.


Mr. Picasso, I’ve admired your work for years and it’s such a thrill to finally meet you. Will you make me a drawing?


Sure. (he takes a handy piece of paper, draws a quick sketch of the woman and hands it to her.). That’ll be 5000 Franks please.


5000 Franks!! That’s ridiculous. It only took you 5 minutes.


No ma’am, it took me a lifetime. You were only here to watch for the last 5 minutes.



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Thank you for your response. I at least know now what the cost of these stones are approximately. Please don't misunderstand my question. I don't go to jewelers wanting to know the individual prices of each item or process, some jewelers just broke down their cost as such.


I do realize the cost of the craftsmanship and other expenses that might factor in their quote, however I am getting quotes as mentioned for the same ring with same specifications, from jewelers that I would say are all the same as far as their reputation, location, worksmaship etc. And their prices all vary so much from one another that is making me wonder who is to trust.


As there is a big difference between 2-10K for the same thing and I am not one to want to sacrifice the quality of my ring for the price, but I also am not about to pay 5times the price if I know I am getting the same product. But I just cannot believe that even some of them that gave me the brake down of the cost not as per my request but on their own have such a big variance for the same quality of diamonds or the same gram weight of gold or platinum, that is just ridiculous to me as someone is lying to me.


Anyhow, thanks for your advice. I was also wondering is is customery to ask for GIA or here in Canada Gemscan appraisals even for small sidestones or not and if not what can I do to ensure I am getting what I am paying for as I have heard from people that if I get an appraisal stating I have EF Vs-VVS stones and I go get my ring appraised elsewhere independantly, and that appraisal is within a grade lower like GH or FG and VS then I cannot do anything as they are allowed to be within that range and I don't want to pay for higher stones and get lower quality put in.



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The price of the diamond, by itself, should have fairly low variance from one jeweler to the next.  Diamond is a commodity.

The statement above - or people believing such a statement causes a lot of problems- and rip offs.


Well, say I was able to convince you that I had a diamond which was exactly the same as one someone else was selling- and pull out a "certificate" to prove it.

The other place is charging $10,000 for a 2.00 J/SI1, while I am charging $8000- for an identical diamond.



A barrel of crude oil with XX viscosity- is exactly the same as another.

No 2 J Si1's are exactly alike and in fact, we could find two diamonds described as J/SI1 with one being worth double what the other is.



Pishi's last question involves having GIA report- alas- that is highly impractical with .03 diamonds.



When sellers describe diamonds as VVS without GIA reports, I find it to be misuse of terminology.

.01-.03 diamonds are not sorted to separate VS1 from internally flawless.


I don't believe the most qualified appraiser could see the difference between a .01 G/VS2, and a .01 D/IF- if both diamonds are in a pave setting.


Our experience has been- the cheapest quote usually is cheapest for good reason.

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thanks for your response, I realize and understand what you are saying about the difference it two diamonds with the same specifications costing different.


But I would assume that the same should not be with small stones right? Also, I am wondering what you meant by the cheapest price is usually cheap for a reason.


Also, if what you said is true and the difference cannot be told about ie G/VS2 and D/IF, then how do you know what you are getting charged for and what is fair as I am sure even in small stones there is a price difference between such grades and I don't think it is fair to pay for the higher and get the lower ones.


And if my ring comes with an independant appraisal and I get another independant appraisal done, how much of a range of difference is expected and acceptable, and what can be done if the differences are so much. I am sorry I just want to be informed of everything and what I should do to ensure I am getting what I am paying for and not getting ripped off regardless of who I choose and what I pay.


Thanks for everyone's views and advice. It is all appreciated.

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What I said was

I don't believe the most qualified appraiser could see the difference between a .01 G/VS2, and a .01 D/IF- if both diamonds are in a pave setting.

A qualified appraiser certainly could tell the difference loose.


How to know what you're getting?

Research the seller- and go with your gut.

You understand human nature a lot better than diamonds, right?


How to make sure it will appraise properly- wow, that';s a crapshoot- UNLESS- you do exactly the same thing with the appraiser- research- talk to people and see who you feel comfortable with.

It's highly unlikely that whatever you buy will come with a true independant appraisal.



How sure of the difference in price between a .01 D/IF, and G/VS2 are you?


I suggest falling back from someone who's trying to convince a seller they are expert, and instead use your inquisitive nature to find out who you trust the most.

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Is there a way to have things done in writing so that for example the ring should be EF VVS 3cts and if the independent appraisal done by me has a variance then I should get my money back and have the price reduced or the ring done differently, like whatever I am just suggesting stuff. Or I am paying for the wax and computerized drawing and then I pay half and once I get the ring appraised to my satisfaction, I pay the difference.


The only reason I am saying the price difference is that when I wanted VVS instead of VS or SI which all jewelers recommended as they said you couldn't tell the difference I was told that there is a price difference. For example I was quoted $600 more for VVS stones in comparison to VS and $700 less for SI stones in comparison to VS-VVS.


That is why I need to know if I am paying for something that I am getting in not because I cannot or an appraiser cannot tell the difference once they are set, that I will get ripped off and pay for the higher stones and get the lower quality.

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I will be completely, brutally honest here.

I would never take on such a job.

If the person buying was so uncertain of what I was offering, I'd suggest they shop elsewhere.


If there's not ONE seller you are dealing with who's word you can take, find another seller.

BUT- by questioning everything someone says, it's likely you could miss over some very decent sellers.

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I do understand your problem. Diamonds are a blind item and it’s crazy and irresponsible to pay extra if you can’t even tell what you’re getting. The problem is one of defining what the boundaries are. It’s not nearly as clear as customers wish. David is correct that you can’t tell the difference mounted between VS and VVS melee. Why not? Because on a 0.03ct. stone, the beads are going to cover as much as 15-25% of the surface area of the stone. Depending on what is hidden below the prongs, There may even be no visible difference between VVS and SI. Why not just by SI then? Because a neatly prongable inclusion near the edge each stone is not one of the criteria you can sort by. Paying someone to pick through the SI parcels and separate those stones from others with more serious problems would cost you more than the premium for buying from the VS parcel in the first place.


You want the best ring for the best price, right? Allow me to suggest an alternative strategy. Search for the jeweler first. Ahead of price, ahead of stone grading, ahead of total carat weight, even ahead of design. Find a jeweler who thinks the way you do and who produces the kind of work that you can love. THEN go for the details. You’re asking how to tell if you’re getting a good deal and I’m with David, use your intuition, your good shopping skills and your good judgment to buy from someone who knows what they’re talking about and who treats their customers fairly. Talk to your friends and coworkers, talk to the Better Business Bureau, talk to their neighbors. Energy devoted to this is far more productive than energy devoted to learning to sort VVS from VS melee. According to Socrates, a job well begun is half finished. In the case of jewelry, I think it’s more like 80%.


Will appraisers all give the same answer when presented with the same piece? Absolutely not! It’ will be even worse than what you’re observing with the pre-sale estimates. There are a variety of explanations for this and I don’t want to take the time to write about it again but if you read through some of the discussions in this forum, I’ve written several essays on this topic. Ask yourself what is the purpose of the appraisal. If it’s really just to assign a price for the benefit of the insurance company, the documents from the selling jeweler are quite likely to be sufficient. If it’s because you are second guessing the craftsmanship, design or materials selection of the jeweler, ask yourself why you chose that jeweler. If it’s to provide documentation of things like the VVS melee, the total weight, the special alloy, the H&A patterns in the diamond, the terrific warranty etc. The root of this sort of documentation comes from the you and/or the jeweler. This goes directly to your question about putting things in writing. ABSOLUTELY. If the jeweler is making a statement about the grading, the weights, karatage, the history, or anything else of importance to you that you are relying on to make your decision, they should put it in writing. Beware of jewelers where the receipt says ‘ladies ring - $4,000’. Don’t laugh, I’ve seen it. This all goes back to Socrates. Write the purchase order with care. Attach additional pages if necessary. You’ve got a difficult battle at the end if you don’t tell them what you want but it’s really hard for them to complain that you didn’t tell them what you want if you tell it to them in writing at the time you place the order and prior to when they committed to the price.



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Thanks I appreciate your honest opinion. I am not second guessing or have voiced my concerns to any jewelers yet. I am just trying to become well-informed enough to know what to expect and what I am dealing with. It also does not help that I am getting ridiculous prices from same caliber of jewelers as a comparison.


I had a jeweler that I have dealt with before but not for diamonds. I trusted him and like the quality of his work. I also appreciated how he was very informative and not pushy and was trying to give me proper advice and even didn't care that I didnot want to get my center stone from him.


He started out looking at my ring pic, counting the stones, and giving me a price in white 14k gold first for $900 which was a shock to me for EF/VS stones and he said it would use about 120-150 stones 2 pointers. Then when I went back to him a week after with my fiancee again but this time ready to pay and get the ring going he said the price was about $1900 quoting the same number of stones mind you both times his prices were too low and I was amazed but thought maybe he is cutting us a deal since we know him. When I asked why the difference in price he said that he probably just gave me the price for the diamonds first time and didn't consider the labour and gold etc eventhogh we both know otherwise.


Anyhow, I let it go and he said for us to go to him when I had my centerstone and knew the size. So a few months later when we went to him, his price now is $4000 for the same specifications, same pic, same ring??? When I asked him how come, he is telling me that prices have gone up and that he didn't count the stones and the pics were unclear( same pic a copy of which he has) and that now 1 pointers can not be used as the ring would cave in eventhough he said he would use 1-2 pointers before and no matter 1-2 pointers he is still quoting me the same ring and the same diamonds.


So having someone that I knew and we have dealt with and felt at ease and comfortable with change their version of the story 3 times when we were both present and know what he told us each time made me not trust him and try to get quotes elsewhere eventhough originally his prices were as mentioned shockingly better than the first few quotes I got from jewelers in the same location as him.


Now between his prices and others telling me 10K you can imagine how I feel worried and feel untrusting and have all these questions and concerns.


I am not trying to make things difficult for him or for any other jeweler. I just want to be able to trust them and they are making it very difficult to do that and honestly would you spend any of your money for something as important as engagement ring with anyone that you can't trust as each jeweler's story is different.

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In my opinion, this jeweler blew it on a few occasions.

If the initial response was- let me look more carefully, and give you a realistic number- OR- hmm, maybe $900, but I could be WAY off here- that would allow a subsequent conversation to have more meaning.

The way this guy answered your price quotequestions lost him a customer, in my opinion.

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Yup, this guy bit himself in the rear. He was way too casual about it, probably because you are a repeat customer and because he liked you. Jewelers get asked to produce ‘ballpark’ estimates all the time and most never turn into a sale. The one’s that do become carved in stone. It’s really pretty annoying (I retired after 25 years as a bench jeweler and a shop manage and I did a ton of this, it’s actually one of the reasons I decided to retire). If you quote too high, the customer walks away mad, never to return. You’ve wasted your time and worse. If you quote too low the management wants to stick it to your pay so you’ve wasted your time and worse. Estimates are ‘free’ at most stores but they suck up a lot of time to do thoughtfully and it takes a lot of experience to get it right. For a guy who makes a living selling his time, this is a nasty problem and the only way out is to convince them that you don't speak English (or Spanish).


Mine was a mid-price shop that was all about custom work. We were proud to do a first class job that really would blow people away and we had a fanatically loyal customer base because of it. Zero advertising, it was all word of mouth. I mention this because it’s probably exactly the kind of shop you’re talking about. We charged $12/stone in 2001 just for the setting on jobs like you’re discussing! That’s $1,800 worth of labor and doesn’t include design, wax, metal, diamonds, casting, finishing, engraving, or any of the other components that go into making a top shelf piece. What this tells me is that $900 total bid wasn't just a discount. He was either answering the wrong question or was just plain dumb. $1900 is in the same only worse because he had already screwed it up once. I probably would have quoted about $7k to do this and it would be more now because both materials and labor costs are indeed up.


If you want to ditch him because he's an idiot, I certainly understand. I'm pretty intollerant of this sort of thing when I'm a customer and I would probably apply some sort of a 'three strikes' sort of rule if I was in your position. That said, there is no way you're going to get what you want for $900, or even $1900 for that matter.



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  • 2 months later...

hmmm in my opinion, if you think the people you hang out or the person/people you are hanging out with or the person you are giving the diamond are/is going to ask you what the specifications are and they are going to want only the highest specs and gradings, then i'd shop around for the best. if they don't care, then i'd pay for something that only a person with a microscope can see. if you want bragging rights, then my best bet for me personally would be to pay the extra cash for the stone.... go with a jeweler that has a history and a good reputation and customer service. the jeweler you spoke and gave you different prices sounds sketchy and should have given you a price and stuck with it instead of smoozing and confusing you into paying more cash each time you went to him.


as for price differences, i have come to my own conclusion. if the business is small, you are also paying for the diamond dealer you are working with to not only make a sale, but also give him/her an income, pay the rent, pay his employees, the location the store is in (is it a high demand/upscale location? a city? small town?), number of years experience in the industry, store inventory, difficulty of the cut and/or design...so that also effects the price of your stone and ering. another reason why you could be getting so many different price ranges and/or a markup i would personally believe the one who has the most experience in the industry and the best reputation if you want to feel you are getting what you pay for. its kind of like at the mall the other day, i saw basic, black j.crew headbands for 18 dollars but at walmart they were only 8. they did the same thing, they held back my hair. which ones do you think i bought?


also, if you are uncertain of dealing with local jewelers, then maybe you would find more comfort in buying from a large chain that millions of people have bought from like tiffanys, mayors, cartier; bailey, banks, and biddle; solomon brothers....


and remember, although diamonds are a commodity, they are so common and the fact people pay thousands of dollars and even millions sometimes boggles my mind. is it really worth paying the price for something so common and that most people have? thats up to you do decide. do you want to spend that extra money you could have saved on an anniversary gift? taxes? pay off bills? or is it worth to spend it? do you want to upgrade later?


As there is a big difference between 2-10K for the same thing and I am not one to want to sacrifice the quality of my ring for the price, but I also am not about to pay 5times the price if I know I am getting the same product.


as for what you say yourself here, you should way the pros and cons and make a decision based on that in my opinion. i personally wouldn't pay 8000 dollars more than i needed to. no one is going to know the quality of your diamond but you and possibly your fiance. unless you want to brag to others openly about the stone (which i wouldn't do....)


anyways....if the diamonds you are dealing with aren't the center stone, then i wouldn't get e-f or vvs-vs stones for obvious visual reasons.


a cute story to tell you (at least i think so). when my dad went out to by my mother an engagement ring he only had 800 dollars in his pocket. he didn't get the best stone, because it had a small visible inclusion on it, but my mom happily wore it for 15 years without saying anything about it. however, 8 years ago, she knocked the stone out of the setting when she was vacuuming and lost it. she wore a cubic zirconia for a while and no one could tell the difference. recently, my father bought her a nice diamond tiffany band for a replacement until she gets a real, good quality diamond engagement ring for her 25th wedding annivesary.


anyways, get just goes to show it doesn't really matter but depends on how well the person you are giving it to takes care of it and how much they love you not the ring. i don't know if your a man or woman, but if the person i was giving an engagement ring to refused to wear it cause the grade wasn't good enough, i would drop her like a fly personally.


i'm not sure if i answered your question though. maybe it might help someone else.


by the way, would 14k rhodium plated gold be good holding power for the diamond weight you want? i was told to go for 18k plus or platinum to ensure the stone would be held tight.


bottom line, i'm sure that whatever you decided, the ring will hopefully be a symbol of not just cash and diamond grade but something deeper than that and will be worn with pride not materialism


good luck!!!!!!!!!!!


anyway, sorry if this is late, but i'd like an update and i am curious to see the ring!

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