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Comparitive Pricing Needed For Pear Cut Engagement Ring


Katy
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Hello! My boyfriend and I went shopping this past weekend for rings and we found the most perfect one, but the price seems quite high.

 

These are the specs the store sent me:

 

18K WHITE GOLD AND DIAMOND RING. THE RING FEATURES A PRONG SET PEAR SHAPED DIAMOND WEIGHING .76CT., G COLOR, VS2 CLARITY HAVING A PREMIUM CUT. COMPLEMNENTING THE CENTER DIAMOND ARE 35 BEAD SET ROUND BRILLIANT CUT DIAMONDS WEIGHING .36CT. TOTAL WEIGHT, F-G COLOR, VS1-VS2 CLARITY HAVING A PREMIUM CUT.

 

The shop was in DC and the diamond was cut by Lewis Wolf and designed by his jeweler.

 

Any help about what the cost should be would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

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Your biggest problem at this point is establishing accurate comparables. This can be broken down into two problems:

 

1. Who is calling the diamond "G/VS2" - a GIA graded stone will be graded more accurately, and thus priced more (range on the Diamond Finder $2700-$1700). An EGL or IGI graded stone will be graded far more leniently, usually, and that will correspond to a lower price (range on the Diamond Finder $2100 - 1400).

 

2. Who is saying it is a "Premium cut" and what do they mean by that? Unfortunately, there is no cut grade for a pear on a GIA report, and I would not consider other labs' grades worth the paper they are written on. Basically, you are going to have to trust the seller's word and your eyes.

 

It's not necessarily bad, but as you can see from the ranges above, there is a huge variability in prices even once you have comparable size, colour and clarity - and the remaining variable is CUT.

 

The other variable you need to deal with is the setting: a comparable setting could cost from about $1600 for a good quality CAD-designed setting in 14k white gold, to over $5000 for a fully hand-forged piece in platinum. The diamonds (which is what you have some info about) are frankly the least of your issue on the price of the setting. On the setting, you generally get what you pay for, but not everybody values quality of finish and subtleties the same way.

 

Put it another way: if the shop is charging you more than $8000, they are charging you for service and reputation that you should be able to see and value. If they are pricing below $3000, something is likely to be amiss. Unfortunately, they are likely to be somewhere in between, which leaves you (and us) with more questions than answers at this stage.

Edited by davidelevi
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Hello davidelevi!

 

First and most importantly, thank you so much for responding!

 

If I remember correctly, the price was right around $6,500. I honestly have never bought or even looked at diamonds in my life, and neither has my sweet boyfriend, so we are very in the dark about how it all works.

 

I do feel like the store is most likely upping the price because 1.) They are in a nice area of DC and 2.) It was cut by a very well known diamond cutter who worked on a jewel for the Smithsonian. I don't know jewels, but I do know marketing, and they are probably using both of those reasons to jack up the price-but that's a complete assumption.

 

So the questions I need to ask the seller are

1. Is the stone GIA, EGL or IGI rated?

2. How do they define premium cut?

3. Some questions about the setting-but I'm not sure what...

What I know about the setting is that Lewis Wolf cuts the diamonds and gives them to his jeweler who designs the setting. I do have to say that I probably tried on 30 rings, and this ring felt exteremely natural and light, but in a good way not a cheap way. From my very, very amatuer eyes, the setting was very good.

 

What else should I ask and look into? So sorry for all the questions, I'm a complete newbie-but don't worry, I learn fast!

 

Thanks so much! And everyone's input is greatly appreciated!

 

Katy

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The cutter - if it is indeed cut by him; you only have the seller's word for it - is a good sign, but there's a lot of depends. Even the best cutters don't cut everything to the highest standards. The fact that you have seen it and liked it is another good sign. Go to a Tiffany, and ask them to show you rings with similar stones - not for buying (though they don't need to know), but to give you a feeling for what is "good" and what is barely OK (or not OK at all).

 

Your questions 1) and 2) are fine. On the setting, having an idea whether it's gold or platinum is a good start. Other than that, ask the vendor to show you the quality (since you are definitely paying a premium) compared to other settings. They should be able to, and be convincing in the process (precision on the joins, polish in hidden areas, lack of visible tool marks and neat soldering).

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Well, is paying a premium for an established cutter worth it? If it was just a ring cut by a non established cutter, what would the price be? Or is there a way to know that?

 

Is there a way for me to figure out how much this ring would cost if it was out of the DC market and just done by a cutter without the credentials Lewis Wolf has? Would the appraisal tell me that?

 

Basically I'm trying to figure out how much this ring should actually cost, without the added "premium" charges for the location of the store and the profiled cutter. I'm sure there is some negiogation room with the cost.

 

What would be an average cost for this ring? Or is that hard to say just based on specs?

 

I like the idea of going to Tiffany to try on rings! :)

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Paying a premium for a premium store, if indeed you are paying a premium, is fine. Really. The best craftsmen are rarely the cheapest and a first class maker is hard to find. Nearly everyone who shops at Tiffany’s goes away happy and I assure you that this is NOT a cheap place to buy stuff and their clients aren’t being stupid, at least not most of them. They are assigning value to the store and the assurance that they will get what they pay for. That's what you did. It’s like going to a fine restaurant, buying a steak and discovering that there are less expensive steaks available at the grocery. It’s true, there are. That doesn’t make it a bad deal and it doesn’t make the grocer a good deal. As Davide points out above, it’s ALL about the details. You’ve been told everything is good, you’ve been given a fine set of specs, and it might be so. We have no way of knowing. If you’re worried, get it inspected by a professional appraiser who is working for YOU, not the jeweler, who can actually see the piece, and who knows what to look for. Then ask them your questions. Blind advice from an internet forum is not a good way to do this. The specs you’ve been given are fine and 6,800 is entirely within the range of reasonable for that albeit it slightly at the high end. If it’s poorly made and the materials aren’t as described then it’s way high. How it compares to the ‘average’ of something that looks sort of like that is not a reasonable standard.

 

FWIW, from the picture it looks like they’re doing a pretty nice job if that’s the actual ring. Having a cutter proudly attach his name to it is a good sign. Handmade by a designer who is putting his/her name on it is a good sign. Having a store in a snazzy location that’s been there for a long time is a good sign. Don’t stress out. Like goods from any dealer (including Tiffany) there are some potential pitfalls but I don’t see any red flag yet.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Well, is paying a premium for an established cutter worth it? If it was just a ring cut by a non established cutter, what would the price be? Or is there a way to know that?

 

Is there a way for me to figure out how much this ring would cost if it was out of the DC market and just done by a cutter without the credentials Lewis Wolf has? Would the appraisal tell me that?

 

Basically I'm trying to figure out how much this ring should actually cost, without the added "premium" charges for the location of the store and the profiled cutter. I'm sure there is some negiogation room with the cost.

 

What would be an average cost for this ring? Or is that hard to say just based on specs?

 

I like the idea of going to Tiffany to try on rings! :)

 

You have the range above - it's somewhere below $3000 to somewhere below $1500 depending on the stone's quality and cut. A lot of the variation is cut, and these are highly competitive prices from online providers. A high street store has to charge more - they have significantly greater overheads.

 

The cutter by itself doesn't necessarily mean there is a premium attached to it; it's more of a "guarantee" that the stone is well cut.

 

Average cost is tough to say; there are too many missing elements. If it has a truly top flight cut and a top flight platinum setting, $6500 is an honest price, perhaps even a very good one.

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