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Diamond Setting trade fees!

I was speaking to a fantastic diamond setter and he told me some disheartening news. I asked him how much is the regular setting price for Pave’ setting of diamonds. Pave’ in my estimation and is Bright-Cutting with using an Onglete #1 (rough-cutting) and then followed with the #2 graver, then still afterwards using a Flat graver #40.

For all of his work he only gets…are you ready for this? Only $4.00 a stone, he knows even more (setters) who will charge $3.50. I asked him what about office rent, telephone costs travelling time, tools. He and I openly discussed that even at this rate, the best setter is losing money. I said even if a setter who works at home still has to pay for living expenses. We both agreed that the average rate should be at least 10.00 - !2.00 per stone, but no wholesaler will ever pay this amount.

BTW, the 4-claw setting is now about $2.50 per stone…and this is not anyway near covering the increasing costs of burs and other miscellaneous tools. So sad to hear this!

***Gerry Lewy ***

Whoa! That is very sad news.

I know a guy that was paying $10/stone for pavé in LA 15 years or more ago. He ended up sending it all to Hong Kong for $2/stone or less. Tough competition!

Three words worth remembering…“SPEED” - “QUALITY” - “PRICE” you can only pick two!

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Well, most of those setters in TO share the office space and pay $400 a month or less now. With 50-100 stones a day in average that makes it $200-$400 a day - still ok even for Toronto. Bench jewellers don’t bother setting the stones by themselfs cause it’s much more cost efficent to outsource this. If rates are $10 for a stone, most of them will start setting the stones by themselfs. Most of them know how. My two cents.

The mighty word is “if” as in “if the rates” are $10.00 per stone don’t think that will occur.

The gossip in Toronto now is that the setting trade is in a ‘free-fall’ just to see how low the prices will go.
Remember, that there is too much competition with the “off-shore” countries now doing the setting. You are totally right, many jewellers know how to set stones. But really how many know how to Bright-Cut or do precision and high quality setting?

Gerry, on my iPhone

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not sure about the skill, but I know there a lot of random people in the trade…:slight_smile: nothing personally. Gery you are great setter!

I’m to humble to say anything else, but being taught by the ‘right’ people made me appreciate good work. Even today, I critique my own setting…:>)

Thanks again for the accolades!


Virus-free. www.avg.com

The race to the bottom has been underway for many years. The thrifty retail jewellers want the lowest possible prices to collect the highest margins, and don’t really care about the overall quality. They make their healthy margins in a “flash for cash” way of thinking, and it won’t get better. The Internet helps to reward the inept, as the retailers don’t care, and the “mouse pilots” will buy from anyone who offers the lowest price. When stones fall out, there is a collective shrug among these retailers, “You must have banged it”…good one. “These should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic”. “Your insurance should have been up to date”
Instead of charging per stone, charge by the hour, it’s the only way for people to understand what the actual cost of the service is.
By the way, tattoo artists charge $160.00 per hour, and you can’t pass a tattoo onto your kids,

I was thinking it did create a niche for hanmad local butique style jewellers/artisians. Handmade, rolling mills, small sudio like Pablo Cimadevilla style.