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14K White Gold Or Platinum?


ytka98
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I'm deciding on a similar looking setting and can't make up my mind if I should go with 14k or platinum? what are the benefits of each? Also, size 6 ring, w/about .30 carats on the rings, extending half way, channel setting, princess cuts 5 or so on each side, what is a reasonable price for this setting if it's custom made in 14k white gold?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Princess-Diamond-Sidestone-Accents/dp/B00557QJ94/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331145712&sr=8-6

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As far as I'm concerned, 14 kt white is cheaper and easier to solder. Platinum is everything else. YMMV.

 

"Custom made" can cover a lot of ground, from casting in a cheap alloy, a ready-made head, low quality melée and indifferent finish by a no-name craftsman (but it's still made on spec for you) to fully fabricated from a palladium alloy, with platinum prongs, top quality diamonds and superb finish, signed by a (relatively) famous name. Difference in price: factor of 4... probably starting somewhere around $2000 (but honestly, I'd spend more money on the centre diamond, considering the characteristics of the stones that you seem to be looking at)

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OK, so if you know the answer why are you asking the question? :)

 

Let me put it another way: I would not be able to get this replicated for less than $2000, because I don't have something similar that I can use as a basis to cast the ring, and I would have to ask the bench jeweller to start from complete scratch. I would have no intention of keeping something like this in stock, so I would have to amortise all the one-off design costs on this one item. This is what "custom make" means. Then there is the small but significant matter of quality of the materials, which can account for several hundred dollars of difference.

 

If you can find this for less than $1000, you like the design, have seen the workmanship and materials and are happy with it (online reviews are good, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating), then go ahead.

Edited by davidelevi
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Thanks for the feedback. I guess I'm trying to gage if $1,000 is a reasonable #. i.e. if the cost alone is $2,000K, then am i really getting what i've paid for? The retailer told me he will have to design it from scratch, will get it molded, show me the mold, and then it will go to production. I just don't know what the price tag of this process is, but also no clue on price of 14k white gold ring with size 6, with 20 princess cut stones on the setting sized 1.5mm give or take, SI1/G. Are the materials alone listed here cost more than $1,000?

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Put it this way: "new" 14k gold is worth about $35-38/gram depending on the alloy, and there are no discounts/margin on this price: it's effectively the price of the gold as quoted on commodity exchanges plus 10-20% for the alloy. The actual weight required will depend on the casting thickness, the amount of work that is left to do after the cast (e.g. milling out the channels), but let's assume it's as little as 6 grams. This means you have about $200 in metal. 0.30 ct. of princess cut melée G/SI1 is somewhere around $200-400 depending on source (20 1.5 mm stones are about 0.60 ct - but in the design you linked there are about 10, so I assume 0.30 as in your first post is the right number). So you go from a minimum of $400 to about $650 in materials; more if you use better quality diamonds (say 2x for VS/D-F). As I said, I'd be unable to pay for the cost of developing the design, producing the wax, casting, machining, polishing, setting and finishing with $600, never mind making any money on it. Undoubtedly, there are ways of doing things cheaper than we do, and a one-man-band can afford lower prices than a larger factory, but still... I'm sceptical that you'd get a quality product.

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Yes, easily, but

 

1. It is very rarely an issue nowadays. And if you don't trust the jeweller to provide you with a gold ring when they will stamp it as such (and could be prosecuted in court for giving something that isn't gold), how can you trust them to do something much more delicate such as making the ring, finishing it and setting the diamonds in it?

 

2. Particularly with plated items (and white gold is much more likely to be plated than not), a definitive test will mean scratching the ring. Which means repolishing and replating afterwards - and the possibility of the scratch still showing. Not something I'd recommend (see point 1).

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Thanks for the info. It's not that I don't trust a jewelers, i've selected one that's been in business for over 40 years, has great reviews on yelp, weddingwire.com, BBB A+ rated - odds are they won't try to ruin their reputation by selling fakes. It's just that the price spread is so wide I'm trying to understand if I really found a good deal or if there are ways to "manipulate" the product to make it for much less. The question is more for educational purposes, I guess.

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There are ways to "manipulate", as you put it, but the gold is by far the unlikeliest of them. First of all because it is the lowest cost item in the ring, secondly because it carries penalties and it is relatively easy to discover. The most likely is the overall quality of work on the product - it can cost a lot of time (and therefore money) to finish things properly, but some things will not be evident (e.g. the finish on the channel surfaces), will appear only too late (e.g. improper metal working resulting in fragility) or will be noticed by many people in the trade but not by most consumers (e.g. use of a pre-fabricated head instead of true custom work).

 

ETA - I'm not trying to put you off working with this guy; he may be great, and able to do things for much cheaper than we can - for example by being based in a city considerably cheaper than NYC and doing most stuff himself. I'm simply pointing out that the chances of you not getting the best (or even good) quality are significantly greater than zero.

 

If I could put you off one thing, I'd put you off 14 kt white gold, and onto platinum. Perhaps with a simpler design. ;)

Edited by davidelevi
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Since the store guarantees their work by providing warranty against imperfections in design and craftsmanship, i'm not so much concerned with the "bad" quality of the ring. Based on this, I'm assuming anything going wrong with the ring, such as side stones falling out, they will replace. If there are additional items you think I should inquire about regarding the rings durability, I'd appreciate the suggestions.

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The way to drive down the price of platinum mountings is mostly to use lighter weight parts, to charge less for things like setting and sizing, and to accept a smaller markup on the materials. They can be doing some or all of these but I agree that it's unlikely that a reputable store will be skimping on the metal content of the alloy. If you're worried you can always get it inspected and appraised by an independent expert of your own choosing. As David points out, it's easy enough to tell and if you've got the right tools, it's completely non-destructive.

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