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Settings Overpriced??


kirghizstan
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I am looking at a few settings at different online retailers. I have to admit I am a novice, but I am starting to wonder if online retailers can charge less for the diamond because they mark up the setting. Here are the ones I am interested in and I would love to hear your opinion on each.

 

http://www.diamondideals.com/jewelry/produ...Type/2/COLLID/0

 

http://www.diamondideals.com/jewelry/produ...Type/2/COLLID/0

 

http://www.bluenile.com/product_details.asp?oid=3472

 

http://www.bluenile.com/product_details.asp?oid=5336

 

 

Note, that I am looking 18 carat white gold or platinum. That also brings up my other thought, platinum carries along with it a certain degree of desire heightened importance, but is it really worth the extra money, especially if you could find a band that used palladium to make the white gold?

 

Thanks for your help.

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Actually, we take quite a hit on the setting. But that's because it's a bad idea to piece meal out a diamond ring by getting a setting one place and the diamond in another. You can end up with a ring you don't like and then there is not someone who will take final responsibility for the ring. You also run the risk of negating the trade up policy if there is one. People usually think this is a good idea and they'll get a better deal but this is rarely the case.

 

I don't know about how these online retailers set their prices but I don't think they are making a killing on the setting. You'd have to compare similar settings to see. I do know they don't post photos of the diamond you're buying, only a representative one. They don't have them there but purchase it sight unseen from a database listing and send it to you.

 

I would encourage you NOT to try and buy a diamond and setting at two different places. And to choose your dealer first, then get a diamond you love.

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The online retailers are, of course, making money on the deal but I think ‘overpriced’ is a pretty harsh choice of words. The ones you pointed out actually look fairly reasonable. Even more than with diamonds, it’s difficult to buy a mounting based on a sample photo and a brief description and it’s usually a mistake to go with the craftsman who is willing to work the cheapest. In most cases, there are 3 major components to the engagement ring shopping process – diamond, mounting, and setting labor (documentation is a 4th but it doesn't apply to the subject at hand). As Webgal points out, there’s a lot to be said for getting all 3 from the same source because it eliminates the fingerpointing between the various suppliers if it doesn’t go well.

 

Precision craftsmanship takes time, and time is money. The quality of the work being offered is chosen by the dealer, not you, so it makes sense to spend some effort choosing the dealer. Since you’ve already done this when you chose your diamond dealer you’ve got a head start by trying to get your mounting there. There are local stores that specialize in this sort of business where they sell a mounting and labor to go with a stone you purchased elsewhere. In many cases these can be an excellent choice but they tend to cost more than the online guys, not less.

 

Going the other direction by choosing a set of specs and then finding a dealer who will offer that for the lowest price, is almost always the beginning of trouble, especially for complicated pieces. The best deal isn’t the one that promises the lowest prices, it’s the one where you get what you want for the lowest price. These are rarely the same.

 

Neil

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Several things you have to know:

 

1. Prices of the Precious Metals, Gold & Platinum, have risen significantly over the past six months.

 

2. The majority of on-line dealers do not have their own settings manufacturing factory

and outsource all ring/band orders to a third party that actually ships the completed ring to you. These manufacturers do bulk orders for scores of on-line and Brick & Mortar Jewelers. Quality Control is a problem.

 

3. Ring quality can vary. Polish, Porosity, Symmetry, and Finish are some important indicators of quality.

 

4. Find out what the Vendor's Policies are RE: Post-Sale Service. Re-sizing, Repair (is there a charge for Labor?), etc.

 

Buy Quality first, then price.

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First, I would buy both the diamond and the same place just so one company is responsible. I am definetely against getting a ring piece meal then being left to wonder who I need to talk to if there is an issue.

 

Second, does anyone have any opinions of the craftmanship that diamondideals and bluenile show in their settings?

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2. The majority of on-line dealers do not have their own settings manufacturing factory

and outsource all ring/band orders to a third party that actually ships the completed ring to you. These manufacturers do bulk orders for scores of on-line and Brick & Mortar Jewelers. Quality Control is a problem.

I think Barry answered that question here although he's not specifically pointing fingers at these online jewelers. Basically, he's saying this is his observation in general of a lot of online vendors.

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Hi Kirg,

I think you're on the right tract- buying the diamond and setting from one place.

We have facilities dedicated to manufacturing our rings.

We've learned the hard way that the least expensive setter is usually the costliest in the long run.

 

Mass production accounts for a lot of bad looking rings in my opinion.

In the links you posted, there are details which I would not necessarily approve.

This could be because they are using stock photos- or it could be actual production techniques that produce less than the best results.

 

Details that might include: Parts of the ring looking as if there are not related. For example, the shank of the ring might have a squared off profile, while the top is rounded.

Another aspect which is more difficult in mass produced rings is the height of the center diamond.

I like the center diamond to be low to the finger- it's safer, and looks better ( in my opinion)

If one wants a high center diamond, the mass produced ones are better- but if you want the ring to be as streamlined as possible and having parts which are all co-ordinated, you'll need to buy from a company that understands the finer points of ring design

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