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Expensive socket for a cheap gem


#1

Hi

I would like to know if it’s worth to buy an expensive ($600)
handmade socket for a cheap stone ($50).

The stone looks very good (pink topaz in heart shape) in my opinion
but I don’t know if I should spend so much on a socket for it or
rather wait and buy a more expensive stone which fits better a
handmade socket.

Thank you for your help.
Domi
Switzerland


#2
I would like to know if it's worth to buy an expensive ($600)
handmade socket for a cheap stone ($50). (pink topaz in heart
shape) 

If you paid $50 for a pink topaz, you were taken for a ride. Topaz
doesn’t come in pink-- it is a coating, like on sunglasses, worth
pretty much nothing. I wouldn’t set it at all, as the color will
wear off over time, let alone in a $600 setting.

The good news is, once you’ve learned that lesson, you should not
have to learn it again (the voice of sad experience!)

Noel


#3

Domi,

My personal opinion on this is that you should consider yourself
lucky that the stone and setting combination is not as expensive as
it could be. The only reason I might advise against it is if you are
doing it for re-sale and even then it might not be a bad idea. If
this is something for your own enjoyment, you are not looking to
make a profit on it and you think it would be beautiful, go for it!
The finished piece won’t be any less beautiful because it’s set with
an inexpensive stone.

Dave


#4
If you paid $50 for a pink topaz, you were taken for a ride. Topaz
doesn't come in pink-- it is a coating, like on sunglasses, worth
pretty much nothing. 

My goodness, Noel, but you are certainly wrong about pink topaz.
There are absolutely gorgeous pinks, usually with a peachy cast but
definitely pink–usually going by the name Imperial Topaz and
costing more than the other variations. How could you have missed
these in all your time in the biz?

Fifty bucks for a pink topaz could be a great deal.

Janet

from Mill Valley where the winter has so far been spectacular,
weatherwise.


#5
If you paid $50 for a pink topaz, you were taken for a ride. Topaz
doesn't come in pink-- it is a coating, like on sunglasses, worth
pretty much nothing. I wouldn't set it at all, as the color will
wear off over time, let alone in a $600 setting. 

There is some misconception about pink topaz.

First of all natural topazes do come in pink. Second, artificially
pink coloring is not a coating.

Brown and yellow topazes from some location will become pink if
heated to 400 - 500 degrees Celsius. This process was invented around
1740 in France.

What referred to as coating, the proper name is thermo-diffusive
coloring and the colour obtained is red-orange and red-violet, but
not pink. In any even, the coating will not wear off in normal day to
day wear.

I would not have a problem mounting pink topaz in the expensive
setting.

Leonid Surpin.


#6

GIA,FGA,etc. have recognized pink topaz for years and years…many of
them are mined annually,many are available in estate jewelry…Noel,
please research the facts first…

coatings are on things like “mystic”,“autumn”,and other proprietary
names of ionic coatings that are applied to topaz come in a range of
colours that lend an irridescence to the gem material
underneath…the coatings are clearly identifiable…naturally the
real range of colours are equally obvious…

RER


#7

600 bucks is too much to pay for any setting that is pre-made or
cast that is available in a catalogue…hand fabricated platinum on
the other hand may be worth the money…you may have gotten hold of a
triple keystone catalogue as the best basket type settings with very
detailed work run less than 600 dollars per unit even in Pt,or
higher karat golds…if you are looking at a 14 karat anything,run the
other way!!! or consider palladium if you want a “white metal” -I
always advise clients NOT TO spend a dime on 14kt. white as the
client is paying largely for nickel…and the gold is lost in the
colouration of the alloy…Palladium,being a platinum group metal has
a higher perceived value and is whiter than 14kt. white gold, I hold
the same opinion of 14kt yellow if it’s 600 it’s too high

RER


#8

I was put in my place last week regarding pink topaz when I
suggested it to someone looking for an inexpensive hot pink stone and
they weren’t bothered about the colour being the result of some sort
of treatment. I was told that naturally pink topaz was very expensive
and that other pink topaz was the result of a surface treatment and
that such stones were junk.

I contacted my supplier regarding this and he contacted the
gemological lab from whom he buys his pink topaz stones. They assured
him that they do NOT deal in surface treated stones and that the pink
topaz they sell him is heat treated. It was also suggested to me last
week that I put my pink topaz gems into water and that the surface
treatment would show up. The only one that showed itself to be
surface treated was one that I bought from Thailand and it did indeed
appear to be a colourless topaz with a pink surface coating. However,
the pink topaz I bought from my UK supplier that he assured me were
heat treated were all indeed pink all the way through.

http://www.attawaygems.com/NMFG/Lets_talk_gemstones_topaz.htm

This link talks about pink topaz being the result of heat treatment
and that it’s a permanent treatment. “Most pink topaz is obtained by
carefully heating brownish red-yellow chrome-bearing crystals found
at Ouro Preto in the Minas Gerais region. Although the color of some
natural crystals fades when exposed to sunlight, this heat-induced
color-change is permanent.”

http://www.khulsey.com/jewelry/gemstones_topaz.html

Again the above link states pink topaz being a permanent heat
treatment. “Orange-brown Topaz is heat treated to 450 C to bring out
a purplish-pink color (pinking). These treatments are permanent and
do not affect the stone’s durability or hardness.”

So who’s correct, those who say that treated pink topaz is nothing
but surface coated junk, or those sources who say topaz can be heat
treated to produce a permanent pink colour? If my supplier and his
supplier are correct and the two sources I’ve cited above, then
perhaps people should be a little slower to chastise and belittle.
I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who happily uses heat
treated pink topaz and doesn’t consider it junk or anybody who can
provide me with proof from reliable sources that heat treated pink
topaz doesn’t exist.

Helen
UK


#9

Well, I can claim brain cramp-- I actually have a lovely peachy one
around here, myself. Plus, I was embarassingly “burned” by a "red"
topaz, earlier in my career…

But, for $50, I’d still bet it is diffusion coated colorless topaz.
A close exam with a loupe will tell (pooled color on the facets,
worn or missing color on the junctions)

Sorry to mislead!
Noel


#10
If my supplier and his supplier are correct and the two sources
I've cited above, then perhaps people should be a little slower to
chastise and belittle. 

I do not understand connection between the value of the gemstone and
the value of jewellery. A lot of important pieces, which are now in
museums were set with paste. I have also seen pieces with porcelain
inserts instead of Enamel is just a glass and there are
works with enamel that are treasured.

We can discuss pluses and minuses of natural gems versus treated,
and nuances of treatments, but I would like to sever this connection.
It takes far more skill to set glass imitation of the diamond that
the diamond itself. Those who do not believe, should try it.

Leonid Surpin.


#11
I always advise clients NOT TO spend a dime on 14kt. white as the
client is paying largely for nickel.. 

Sorry, this is wrong. The client pays next to nothing for the
nickel, and it composes less than 50% of the weight of the alloy.
Don’t let your personal dislike of 14K white gold push you into
making up added negatives for an alloy that has a definite place in
today’s jewelry market.

Lee Cornelius
Vegas Jewelers


#12

All things are relative.

If you look at it from the perspective of an investment… well
remember that someone has to like it at least as much as you because
you need to find a willing buyer in order to realize profit.

If you view it from a personal satisfaction angle, hey whatever
floats your boat. Enjoy it for a lifetime.

Which is the motivator here, the stone or the setting? Would you like
the stone as much if it were in a $100 setting? Would you like the
setting as much if it held a different stone? Or is it THAT stone in
THAT setting?