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Custom Made Ring Vs. Large Retailer


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I picked out the ring that I want to buy my girlfriend for Christmas. I found two: one at Kays and one at Costco. I have been reading this board for a while and have an idea about diamonds, etc. The one thing that I have taken away from this board is that I can get a higher quality diamond, perhaps somewhat smaller, by avoiding large retail stores.


My question is can I have a jeweler make the ring that I want? I wan't to stay in that price range but I rather pay for quality than size. The one that I really like is a 3 stone ring with a total weight of 1.75, which is from Kay. I am certaintly willing to reduce the size to have a higher quality while remaining in the price range.


Any recommendations would be great appreciated.

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The usual reasons to use a local store is because they have a friendly and convenient sales environment, they have merchandise you can look at in person, you've got direct access to the setters, designers etc. and they've established a level of trust in the community. These are fine reasons. The big stores tend to have better inventory and the smaller stores tend to have better relationship with the shop (because that's the guy/gal who owns the store). The reasons to go with the outfits like Costco is low prices. They don't even pretend to have a shop. It's sort of a balance of your style and what you want in order to decide where to land. ANY jeweler who is worth even considering doing business with should be prepared to deal with the size vs. quality vs. price quesiton and be able to offer you things anywhere along the spectrum you wish.


Can your jeweler make what you want? Maybe. That's going to depend on what you want and the skills of your particular jeweler, neither of which we know. Skills and tools vary a lot from one to the next. In general, custom costs more than factory work but your jeweler may be cheaper than Kays anyway. They're not a particularly price agressive outfit and they aren't tough to beat. I would be very surprised if a custom job is going to be less expensive than a similar stock item from Costco but you end up with a custom piece that's just yours so, again, it depends on what you want.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thank you so much for your reply. I am not set on the ring per se, it's simply a three stone ring with smaller diamonds on the side. I'm giving it to my girlfriend this Christmas as a promise ring (an engagement ring will be the next purchase but I truly want to put something on her finger in the meantime). I'm looking for something like the ring in the photos attached to this post. I know 3 stone rings are common and easy to come by but it's more of the design and look rather than having it made exactly like the ring pictured.




Edited by Defense
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I'll answer saying exactly the same as Neil, but in a different way (and with the benefit of having seen what you are looking for).


Can "a jeweller" do something like this, with a higher quality than Costco (or Kay)? Yes, absolutely. Perhaps not your local jeweller (or perhaps yes - it's not a difficult ring to make), but you can definitely find someone to make a similar ring.


Can they do that at a price that you will find competitive? Perhaps, but it depends on what aspect of the Costco ring you particularly value, and the extent to which the ring has to be "better quality" to make it worth it for you.

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My concern with purchasing the above ring is the quality of the diamonds. I want to be certain that I receive good quality stones as opposed to what the above retailers give (Kay for example will give you a range for the stone, so you're not exactly sure what you are getting in terms of quality except that it's in the range provided). I also know that some stones are of better quality than others when purchasing stones in a certain range. I rather purchase a stone, for example, in range A and know for certain that I am getting an A stone. With retailers like Kay they provide a guarantee that the stone will be between ranges A and C and the stone that I receive could be in the B or C range. I rather be confident with my purchase that I am getting what I want.

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You surely noticed that that's a 5 stone ring with a few extras thrown in for good measure. :mellow: I point this out because tiny details can make a big difference in this business. 3-stone variations on that are failry easy to come by and your jeweler can surely get one if you're reasonably flexible. They will assemble it in the store using whatever stones you get. If your hot button is nailing down the grading on the stones, a good idea by the way, have them build it using 3 GIA graded stones. You didn't talk about your sizes and GIA grading gets a little cumbersome on smaller stones where the lab fees become a a significant proportion of the cost of the stone(s) but anything over, say, a third of a carat shouldn't be hard to do.


I wouldn't describe this process as 'custom' although some jewelers do. In any case, Costco doesn't do it. Buy what they have or take a hike. Kays can probably do it if you press them but, again, don't expect especially low prices. Local jewelers do it all the time, as do most of the big internet houses.

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