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Where to find a good semi-mount?


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I was lucky to secure a nice 1ct diamond ring off of craigslist, problem is the setting it in is very plain and very beat up. Ive been looking online at some jewelers but are a little apprehensive about ordering from them. The two settings Im considering are


Semi Mount #1


Semi Mount #2


The first one is from a place (tgdiamonds) thats in so cal, about an hour from where I live and appears to be a good deal, the second is from primestyle and is a really good deal. Although I have read bad reviews for primestyle.


Am I wasting my time dealing with online sites or should I go back to the local jewelers for just a semi-mount (my local jewelers are very expensive, even for just a semi mount) Any advice is greatly appreciated!


Pics of the ring I got off of craigslist are below




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Assuming that you aren't prepared to set it yourself, start by finding who you are going to want to do this. Skilled craftsmen are harder to find than you think. Most of the best jewelers won't assemble a ring from components purchased elsewhere. When you find a jeweler who does the quality of work that you want, ask them if they can help you find a suitable ring.



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Well Im having an awful time dealing with the local jewelers, they want to charge an outrageous amount for a setting where as Im able to find them online for roughly an eighth or a quarter of there cost. I already know of several places that will do the transfer of the rings, just no semi-mount to do it with!

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You do seem to have found some expensive jewelers in your town but I’m confused. You say that they are available online at 1/8th – 1/4th of the cost at jewelers you’ve visited. Doesn’t this mean that you’ve found someone advertising online who has offered you a deal that you count as comparable with a lower price? I don't understand what you're asking us? Are you looking for a review of these two dealers, recommendations of their competitors or something else entirely?



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I've never heard of either dealer and I don't recommend specific sellers because it's a conflict of interest as an appraiser to do so. There are others here who can probably help with that.


Buying online can work out just fine and you may indeed save some money this way but craftsmanship differences between various manufacturers of similar looking items can be considerable and it's remarkably difficult to tell based on a sample photograph and a dealer supplied description of some of the materials. This makes it pretty difficult to shop for mountings without seeing them. Some people are far more sensitive to these issues than others but the lowest cost provider is usually not the best quality, and visa versa. If you are really seeing a factor of 8 price difference on the same items from different dealers, it's entirely possible that they aren't the same item, just the same description.


Neil Beaty

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whats the big liability of buying through craigslist? I went to the persons home, they showed me the ring, the receipt and a appraisal, everything looked good so I bought it. I did take it to a jeweler to verify its authenticity and all checked out well. If there were a problem, I knew who the person was, and where they lived. Plus I got a good deal for it (only cost me 300 dollars)


As for setting a princess cut stone? What would be the problem?

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Hi Alhous,

Sorry my answer was not more complete.

If you spent $300 the most you can loose is $300- so I suppose it's not such a big deal.


The problems of buying from a private individual relate to the services a dealer provides.

In many cases, the risk is larger than the just the dollars involved- after all, an engagement ring is quite an important gift.


The problems of setting a princess cut:

It's possible to damage the diamond during setting- with 90 degree corners princess diamonds really need to be set by a very experienced setter.

If you bring a setter a diamond purchased elsewhere, would he take the liability in case of breakage?

Likely not.

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well it was never my intention to have to put together the ring myself, I would have preferred to buy the whole deal together, but this opportunity arose and seemed like a good deal.


As far as local dealers are concerned, (imho) there a scam, they are all overpriced and for the most part seem shady. Ive always had my reservations about jewelers and for the most part have had nothing but bad experiences with them. To be honest we've really headed in a different direction with this thread. All I was curious to know was about choosing a semi-mount (which Ive since discovered) It would seem though that this thread became a debate on local jewelers.


All in all I wish I would have recieved the advice I so asked for, instead of being told to go a different direction all together.

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You said a few posts ago that you had no problem finding someone to set it. Has this now changed? David’s right, this is almost always a problem but the shady jewelers in your town seem not to be a problem with this part so you've lucked out. Other than lacking specific personal experience with the two jewelers you selected, what question have you asked that weren’t answered?


Congratulations on finding a mounting. Please tell us about what you chose and where you found it.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow- $3000 savings!

Could you give us some details?


In many cases, dealers advertise hugely exaggerated prices to make it look as though they are saving the buyer a huge percentage.

In many cases, this type of sales tactic involves deception.

IE:"Here's an amazing $10,000 ring- we'll sacrifice and sell it for $7k"- when in fact, other dealers might sell a comperable ring for $6k

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  • 7 months later...

Well, for designer rings Pearlman's seems to be a decent site:


And for custom work Leon Mege seems to be all the rage lately:



I never bought anything from them though so I can't vouch for them, but I've read some good things. They deal in the highest quality though so they aren't going to be cheap. Just because something is expensive doesn't mean it is a ripoff however. I've never heard of Primestyle or tgidiamonds, but I'm not an expert and only been around these forums a couple of months.


The testimony for Primestyle from bertina seems suspect to me. Whenever you visit a website your browser tells it's host computer which site it's coming from (the referring URL). Bertina's post seems to me like the Primestyle website owner saw people were coming from this page to their site and thought they'd contibute to the discussion to make it favorable to them, seems more likely than a lurker suddenly deciding to register and vouch for this little known company anyway. The link in their post is highly suspect because it has keywords in the link, which is how spammers format their spam links on message boards to increase their pagerank for those particular keywords:


how often do you see a normal, non-spam post that has their link formatted like that? Who knows, they may have created the ebayer identity to disparage tgdiamonds too??? (maybe an admin can check their IP addresses and see if the two identities match)


Besides that, the settings posted look somewhat cheap to me, but maybe that's what the original poster is looking for (I hope not)? $300 for a 1 carat diamond bought on Craigslist kind of worries me, because moissanite runs about $300/carat (gem quality real diamonds start at about 10 times that.) But if you got it verified by a skilled and experienced appraiser with proper credentials then you have your bases covered. Now you just have to find a setting you like and a jeweler that's willing to take your diamond out of it's setting and into another. If you don't like any of your local ones I'd try emailing Pearlman's and Leon to see if they're willing to work with you on your dilemma. Their biggest worry will probably be you sendig them a fake stone (knowingly or unknowingly) and then you trying to say they switched it, which is why having that appraisal on hand will be helpful. When I brought my stone to the place I bought my setting at, they wanted to see my appraisal (they knew who my appraiser was which was helpful) and they also wanted their appraiser to look at it before they set the stone. Also, I see the box it came with says "Ben Bridge" on it, which seems to have stores in 12 states. Have you tried going to them for a new setting?


I wouldn't worry so much about paying a little more for your setting since you got such a good deal on your diamond. An engagement ring isn't supposed to be about how little you can pay for it and still get a decent ring, it's supposed to be about getting her something she can be proud to wear for the rest of her life. She probably isn't going to be happy if you skimped.

Edited by H and A
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