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Cost Of Setting A Stone


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I'm trying to figure out if my local jeweler is right in the ballpark with this estimate or ripping me off--hard to tell since I am new to this.


I have an 10mmx8mm in size emerald (high k from what the jewer said, but unknown as she "wasn't an appraiser") that is set into a necklace of my grandmothers. I am interested in having it set into a ring with a very simple plain band. While the original necklace has diamonds too, I'm not sure I'm interesting in setting them as the price for this already seems really high to me.


The jeweler quoted me $400 for the white gold band and another $400 for the custom making of a head or crown for the emerald & attaching that to the band, for a total of $800.

That seems high to me, considering the jeweler was selling a ring similar to what I want made for only $200. Can any experts shed some light on this for me?




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Bear in mind that the majority of the cost of a ring - particularly a plain ring in gold - is not the material, but the labour. $800 for a completely custom-made, hand-fabricated ring is not unreasonable. The $200 ring may well look similar superficially, but it is probably a cast piece using a pre-fabricated head. Whether it represents "good value" (or whether the $800 ring is "better value" - it will probably last a lot longer and look better), is a rather subjective matter.


I can imagine the jeweller looking at what is likely to be a 4 carat stone, and assuming you'd rather see a nice stone set in a nice ring. BTW - I assume when you say "emerald" you mean emerald cut - given your comment on "high K" colour.

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I hear what you are saying. I've never had nice jewelry before so it came as a shock that it costs that much, but if it's going to last long, I can see why. It's an actual emerald in emerald cut, surrounded by diamonds in its current setting of a necklace. Similar to my profile pic.

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A-ha. If it is a real emerald, make sure that the jeweller is insured for damage while working on it (and that you have an up to date appraisal specifying carefully what you have). I don't mean to scare you off, but emeralds are fickle beasts, and particularly old stones can shatter with no warning.


To give you an idea of the difference in terms of type/quality of jewellery: here is a fully hand-fabricated ring. Cost in 18kt gold about $1500:



and here is a pre-fabricated and cast version which costs about 1/3 as much:


ETA: Found a better image of the "expensive" ring (made in pink gold and platinum, but same lines and same type of work):


and a photo of the casting parts for the cheaper ring - you can see the amount of work that is saved by using casting vs. building the ring up from wire and pipe


Edited by davidelevi
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