What is your opinion of using CZs in jewelry retailing over $500 vs. using white sapphires or white topaz?
For most it’s a business decision. Working with plated metals and CZ, for example, might not be worth your time if you hand fabricate, but start mass producing them and you stand to make a substantial profit with a low price point, even with bulk retail margins which are quite slim compared to high end jewelry. I probably shouldn’t generalize…
There may definitely be a challenge selling CZ in expensive rings, but I digress, not having researched the market. Odds are if others are doing it successfully, so can you. Go get your piece of the pie
The question is a little vague. Do you mean melee or center stones? Mass production, custom work, wholesale, selling to your customers?
$ 500.00 is a little towards the higher end and I would say “yuck” to CZs. They have the sound of cheap jewelry. Instead of white sapphires (turn chalky when they get dirty), topaz, (never used them much because they are not very “diamond” looking), maybe look into moissanite or lab diamonds?
Moissanites are pretty great, very sparkly and tough. In my experience, they take heat (sizing a ring, re-tipping a prong while the stone stays in the setting, etc.) Would only matter to you, though, if your work would come back to you for those repairs.
If you are talking as a center stone and want to decide between the three options mentioned, they have totally different price points. A CZ is dirt cheap, a sapphire is not. Your “retail price” would not stay at $ 500.00 if you used sapphire. But a sapphire sounds much better.
It would be a tough sell. Even with mass produced jewelry. If consumers want to spend more than $500.00 on a piece of jewelry they expect “real” gems or a lab grown diamond. Not a stone that wants to look like a precious gemstone. Color would sell better.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.