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Fair price for semi-mount


#1

Hi everyone. I need some advice/opinions and I know that you are all
great at that! My mother is have her diamond, a 8.6 ct radiant cut,
re-mounted because her old one did not protect the corners well and
the shank was pretty worn. So I sent her to local high end but very
reputable jewelry store and I am just checking their pricing because
I have no idea what is reasonable. They are not really redesigning
the ring, just changing the diamond mount from a semi-bezel to 4
prong setting. The rest of the ring will be made the same and they
will be using the same diamonds (1.5 cts of princess cuts, plus the
center diamond). So it’s mostly just gold and labor. They have
quoted $2,200.00. So what do you guys think?

Thanks
Karen
Novice do-it-yourself self study gem lover!


#2

Hi Karen;

It’s hard to say, not seeing the design, but if it’s not platinum,
it seems to me that’s a rather stiff price. Let me put it this way,
if it’s only gold and labor, and it can weigh in at less than two
ounces (which, I know, would be ridiculously heavy), I’d be tickled
pink to give you one hell of a ring for half that price. For $2,200,
I can probably make it in platinum, if it’s not too massive. I’ll
even make it as a one-of-a-kind, completely original design, whatever
flavor you like. If you’re interested, I’ll email you a couple jpegs
to show you the kind of work I do, and I know a couple Orchid people
who can back me up on that claim. Of course, at this point it’s
probably too late for you to back out of the deal. Next time, shop
around here in Orchidland. There are some incredible craftspeople
hereabouts.

David L. Huffman


#3

Figuring that a stone of that size and any form of quality plus 1
1/2 ct in princess cuts is probably worth well over $100,000, quite
possibly $200,000 then $2,200 for a new mounting is a bargain.
That’s around 2% of the total ring’s worth. That’s if the stones ore
on the cheap edge. Do you think that a jeweler should really assume
any risk and take the extra time to rebuild this thing for any less?


#4

I believe a fair number of people are going to claim that the quote
is way too high, but I think, if I understand what they are doing, it
is probably reasonable. If, they are in fact rebuilding the entire
ring, especially if it’s platinum, this is probably more than
reasonable. Please remember that they are taking on the legal
responsibility of working with an 8.6 ct. diamond which has a
significant value

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-234-4392
www.spirerjewelers.com


#5

Is the goldsmith only replacing the center stone head? How are the
other diamonds set? Are there any other gems other than diamonds?
Are all the settings secure? When I price a job it is based on how
much work I have to do- and how much the materials will cost. To
replace a head in a diamond ring- with all other diamonds securely
set- and clean- I would just remove the head and replace with a new
one. A four prong setting can be heavy or light, but I would guess
it doesn’t run more than $200. Then an hour or two labor costs.
Now, if a bunch of stones need to be removed, that can be time
consuming, or if any details need to be reconstructed after the head
has been switched. Ask the shop if the work will be done in-house
or sent out. If sent out- then they are the middleman- find a
goldsmith who works out of their own shop- and get another quote.

Cindy Leffler
Manney B’s


#6

I would agree with Mr. Spirer, and especially so if the work
involves resetting all the diamonds in the ring. Just think of the
years of experience required for them to undertake this type of
project. You might compare this to scheduling some major surgery,
and any self-respecting Doctor wouldn’t touch a scalpel for double
the amount of the estimate.

Jon Michael Fuja


#7

Thanks for the great feedback. In answer to your questions, it is
18K vs platinum. It is a fancy light yellow diamond so they felt the
yellow gold would be better to hightlight the color. I like the
platinum because of it’s strength. And yes they are all excellent
quality diamonds, vs-vvs. But yes I will relay the liability point to
mom, and these guys do top notch work. Just want to make sure she
gets a fair deal (she is retired now so money is a little more
budgeted!)

Thanks again
Karen


#8
    Thanks for the great feedback. In answer to your questions, it
is 18K vs platinum.  It is a fancy light yellow diamond so they
felt the yellow gold would be better to hightlight the color. But
yes I will relay the liability point to mom, and these guys do top
notch work.  Just want to make sure she gets a fair deal 

Karen, the fact that the diamond is Fancy Light Yellow in addition
to being 8.6ct increases the value by a significant amount! Don’t
get me wrong, I’m not saying that a routine ring casting/fabrication
job should be based on the value of the stone(s), but you should
certainly be sure that the people you are dealing with are reputable
and really do, as you say, “top notch work.” If that is the case,
I’d call it a “fair deal.”

James in SoFl


#9
    Karen, the fact that the diamond is Fancy Light Yellow in
addition to being 8.6ct increases the value by a significant
amount! Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that a routine ring
casting/fabrication job should be based on the value of the
stone(s), but you should certainly be sure that the people you are
dealing with are reputable and really do, as you say, "top notch
work." If that is the case, I'd call it a "fair deal." 

Hi James,

I think you must take the value of the stones into consideration
when pricing the work. While I have never worked with stones of this
caliber I would certainly want to spend more time making sure the
mechanical aspects of the design will adequately support and protect
such a group of gems, insuring the settings are perfect before
setting the stones and finally the lability assumed for setting such
a stone. Surely these must all go into the pricing of a ring that
will sport what sounds like well over $100,000 worth of diamonds. I
think this can not be considered a routine ring casting job.

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau


#10
    I think you must take the value of the stones into
consideration when pricing the work. 

I agree, James. What I said was that the job shouldn’t be based on
the value of the stones. I never said it shouldn’t be taken into
consideration.

    While I have never worked with stones of this caliber I would
certainly want to spend more time making sure the mechanical
aspects of the design will adequately support and protect such a
group of gems, insuring the settings are perfect before setting the
stones and finally the lability assumed for setting such a stone. 

I’m not saying that my work is perfect, but my view is to spend as
much time as required to do as you mentioned with every job, no
matter how valuable or inexpensive the components. That is what I
meant by “top-notch work.” I don’t believe you feel that less
expensive stones aren’t worth taking the same time and effort as
high-end stones. I would assume you built your own reputation on
giving each and every one of your pieces the same consideration and
attention to detail, no matter the constituents. Again, that is what
I meant by “top-notch work.”

    Surely these must all go into the pricing of a ring that will
sport what sounds like well over $100,000 worth of diamonds.  I
think this can not be considered a routine ring casting job. 

“Routine ring casting job” was a poor choice of words on my part,
but it does speak to my view of every job getting the same
attention. That is what serves as “routine” for me.

My response was intended to be helpful to Karen, who wanted to know
if $2,200 was too much to have an heirloom ring reconditioned by a
store she claimed does top-notch work. I maintain that the price
shouldn’t be based on the value of the stones (meaning that it
probably won’t pay to shop for a cheaper deal), and if the store in
question really does do “top-notch” work, I’d still call it a fair
deal.

James in SoFl


#11
     You might compare this to scheduling some major surgery, and
any self-respecting Doctor wouldn't touch a scalpel for double the
amount of the estimate.

I assume you are not from the USA by that comment. Interesting
analogy, but with Medicare, Medicaid, and managed care all pressing
physicians to lower their rates the profession is becoming more of
public servants than independent professionals able to negotiate
rates. With Medicaid, for example, most physicians see the patients
and perform procedures at a loss as Medicaid only pays 20% of
"customary and reasonable" costs.

Imagine one of your customers coming in and saying “I like that $500
ring. That seems to be a reasonable price. I will give you $100 for
it.”

Rudy Bescherer, Jr., D.O.
Emergency Medicine/ Internal Medicine/ Neophyte Goldsmith


#12
 I maintain that the price shouldn't be based on the value of the
stones 

James,

I agree with most of what you have said in your posting but I
disagree with the above statement. The reality is that when you are
dealing with stones with the value of those mentioned in the
original posting, it is, in fact, necessary to take into
consideration the value of the piece. The reasoning behind this is
that having stones of this value in your hands for a period of time
increases the average value of customer’s goods in your hands
throughout the duration of your annual contract with an insurance
company. I know that at least Jewelers Mutual (who I believe sell
more jewelers insurance than anyone else in the country) vary their
price for your policy based on the average daily value of the
inventory and customer’s property in your hands. If you have to
take in a job with significantly higher value than normal and you
average it into your figures your cost for your insurance goes up.
Quite often, too, when dealing with a specifically higher value item
the insurance company requires that you take out an additional rider
to cover it. Even if you don’t bother letting the insurance company
know, your own risk goes up significantly and all of these factors
should be taken into account when pricing out a job. Additionally,
it is my recollection that the center stone was a princess cut and
the risk of working on a stone with points is always higher than one
without, and if the stone is significantly more valuable than others
this should absolutely be taken into account when pricing out the
job.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-234-4392
www.spirerjewelers.com


#13
    My response was intended to be helpful to Karen, who wanted to
know if $2,200 was too much to have an heirloom ring reconditioned
by a store she claimed does top-notch work. I maintain that the
price shouldn't be based on the value of the stones (meaning that
it probably won't pay to shop for a cheaper deal), and if the store
in question really does do "top-notch" work, I'd still call it a
fair deal. 

Hi James,

I think we are both in agreement on the issue of the ring in
question being a fair price given the task required. What prompted
my reply was the “routine casting” comment. I belive most of us who
have this avocation of jewelry craft work try to produce our best
work on every project no matter what the component costs are. But I
have to tell you, best intentions aside that a expensive (or
irreplaceable heirloom) stone really makes me pay attention to all
the details because I don’t want to have to replace that stone. I
belive that is just human nature to be more attentive when the risk
is higher belive me if I got a job to work with $200k worth of
center stone it would have my full attention and would not be a
routine job for me :-).

Regards
Jim
Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau


#14

Daniel, thank you for explaining that position so well. And again,
while I don’t feel that a job should be based solely on the value of
the stones, I do concur that it must be a weighty consideration -
especially in light of possible insurance requirements. Thanks again
for your diamontaire expertise.

James in SoFl