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Old hazeltree
 
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Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 07-23-05 , 12:35 PM


Hi folks! What an interesting forum! I'm glad that my dh and I ended up using an heirloom stone rather than shopping for a diamond, because we probably would have gotten hosed. I'm an IT person by trade and my interests are colored gemstones and jewelry - I admire those pretty diamonds but they're a bit out of my league right now. I've found that there are plenty of gems which are both lovely and attainable if I know where to look - but its also easy to see a lot of junk (aquarium gravel - lol).

My biggest concern right now is finding a reputable jeweler. The guy who set my e-ring was just OK, I didn't like the way he threw out a price for setting the stone without any rationale. I'm not trying to get someone to work for free, but I'd like to know how the price breaks down, as in X.00 for the setting itself and X.00 for the jeweler's time and skill, and feel that all customers are charged on that basis, not just whatever the guy thinks he can get out of people. This guy first quoted 700. for mounting the diamond with two side stones we provided - and we negotiated to 400. I had no idea if that was a fair price or not, but we couldn't find another jeweler who would discuss custom work. We haven't been back to him. Most of the people we talked to were not jewelers at all, just jewelry salespeople.

I inhereited an emerald/diamond cocktail ring which I'm having mounted into a pendant for the emerald and two anniversary rings for the diamonds. I also had an heirloom white diamond ring re-pronged, re-sized and polished. We went to a new guy I found, whose shop specializes in custom, and he did a good job on the ring, I paid 200 for that work. Still no idea if that was a fair price, though worth it to me because I treasure this ring. If it was, I'd like to stick with this jeweler.

My future wish list includes interesting colored stones which I will probably have mounted. I would like to get a kunzite, a good aquamarine, and a good color iolite cut so that the dichorism (sp) is visible. I like subtle colors. I also like emeralds, any type of beryl. I like vintage diamond jewelry and eternity rings. I love Michael E.'s stuff which I saw here - amazing.

If I can figure out what to expect from a jeweler and what would be a fair (not cheap, fair) price for the things I want, I will be sure to develop a relationship with that jeweler. One day we probably will buy a good diamond in a vintage piece, something along the lines of Fay Cullen's offerings. I also plan to buy an Oris watch at some point.

I would like to buy a gold chain for the pendant from this jeweler who is mounting the stone, but I feel bad because I can get it online pretty cheaply, and I don't know if it would be worth his while to match the internet prices. Of course it doesn't hurt to ask.

Any advice or tips most appreciated! It's really been interesting to read here.

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 07-23-05 , 01:15 PM


What area are you located in?


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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 07-23-05 , 01:24 PM


Hello Hazeltree!

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 07-23-05 , 01:58 PM


I'm in the DC metro area.

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 07-23-05 , 02:18 PM


Hey, I tried to post a reply with a pic of my ring, but it didn't work. Now I see that pic as a thumbnail in the "bench work" forum, but I can't access the post. Link here > http://www.diamondring.com/forums/t...pleaseread.html

Has my browser cache gone completely nuts, or did I actually post the pic? If so, what do you think?

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 07-23-05 , 02:32 PM


Hi! I would like to stay with that jeweler, just as long as I got a fair price. For all I know it took him 5 minutes. I don't think that's the case but I wanted to ask the folks here if that sounded about right.

For the eternity rings, I am being charged for the setting plus 200 for setting the stones. I know setting stones is not something just anybody can do properly. I know they are already making good money just off of the setting itself, however. I just want to make sure I'm getting a fair deal, so I can feel confident going there in the future.

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 07-23-05 , 03:45 PM


Hi HazelTree
Have you ever heard the saying "You get what you pay for"? This is very true and when it comes to something like the mounting of a diamond you are not paying for how much time it takes to do the work, you are paying for the knowledge, expertise, and skill of the person doing the work. Diamonds have been damaged by benchworkers giving a "cheaper" price.
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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 07-23-05 , 03:57 PM


Right, that's why I made it really clear that I'm not looking for "cheap". But how do I know how good someone is, and what is the right amount to charge?

As I'm sure you well know, there are unscrupulous people out there who are making their livings off of people's ignorance, and damaging the industry as a whole. I want to give my money to a skilled and ethical person, not someone who is trying to 'get over' on people.

In my profession, I could very easily charge people for doing work that took me little effort, and charge lots of money for cheap parts. Stores like Best Buy and little independent used computer stores do this to people all the time. Honest professionals in every field are well worth the time spent vetting and researching. :-)

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 07-23-05 , 04:28 PM


It is really hard to know of someones skill and ethics unless you know someone who has used a particular person for benchwork. You are so right about people getting ripped off by simply not knowing how a profession works. If you feel like you received quality work from the custom design jeweler you used previously, and felt the price was acceptable for you, then I agree with David maybe you should stay with that jeweler.
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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 07-23-05 , 04:54 PM


Indeed...this thread got me thinking about all the times I've cringed hearing someone tell me which computer they bought, useless bootleg software they unknowingly bought, what they paid trying to get their computer unfutzed. The time I bought my house, caught the mortgage co trying to charge me more for the escrow than they were legally allowed, to the tune of 2,000 dollars, etc. etc. Because I'm young and female I have had computer guys assume they can rook me. One guy at an independent store (which I felt it would be good to support - ha!) sold me a used stick of RAM for new, and the wrong one besides. I guess he didn't mind permanently alienating someone who buys a lot of parts and someone whom a lot of people ask for computer advice and referral...GRRR! You'd think it would be fun to bust these people and see the looks on their faces, but you know what, it isn't, really. And auto mechanics -- you know the ones who tell you you need new rotors when you ask for a brake job -- before they've even seen your rotors? I am sure we all have stories.

The money I spent on all of that work together was a lot for me, especially with not knowing really what to expect. Having some idea whether this guy gave me a fair shake will be a big factor in how I spend in the future. Like I said, it seemed fair but I would love to feel completely confident about it. The price being "acceptable" to me is totally contingent on that.

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 07-23-05 , 06:55 PM


Well if you were in my area (Gulf Coast) then I would know for sure where to send you. I have had a business relationship and friendship with my jeweler for almost 15 years and he treats everyone fair. I know this because I am also his accountant and I see what he charges for various things. I know in the DC area things could cost more. If this helps to put the money you have already spent in perspective, I just purchased a 5.50ct GIA Oval Shaped diamond solitare from my jeweler. I was talking to him about having it mounted in just a plain Tiffany style setting to wear while he and I work together to custom design the setting it will permanetly go into. He told me his "Bench Guy" would charged him at least $500.00 maybe more because of the liability of mounting a diamond that size. Soooo..... it is still a loose diamond waiting on the custom setting to be complete.So I understand your feeling of wanting to get a fair price since you see rip-off situations in your profession.
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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 07-23-05 , 06:57 PM


I forgot to mention earlier in the spring I had him remount one of my diamonds. It is a 2.30ct Round Brilliant. He charged me $100.00.
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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 07-26-05 , 05:50 PM


Hi Hazeltree, I am new to this forum as well (this is my first post, but I have been lurking for awhile!) I would love to know the name of your jeweler in the DC area. I am in NoVa.

Thanks!

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 07-27-05 , 04:01 PM


Hey Editrix, I went to Jewelry by Design in the White Flint Mall in Rockville. The results were kind of 'eh' since the mounts didn't really fit my stones, the prongs are bent around the stone because they're too long, and in some places you can see the back of the setting between the diamonds. It looks OK, not great. I paid the catalog price for the mount plus 100. per ring for setting the stones (five stones per ring.)

I would have preferred that they told me the mounts wouldn't fit and and we could come up with a "Plan B." I am not sure what I'll do next time I need a jeweller.

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 08-01-05 , 11:20 AM


It's good to know I should stay away from Jewelry by Design, but I was wondering who was the jeweler that you were happy with? (The custom jeweler who did a good job?) We will also be setting an heirloom diamond for my engagement ring, and I am very concerned that we don't know any jewelers personally.

I don't have any personal experience with jewelers in this area, but I have heard people on this forum mention Quest Manufacturing Jewelers Inc in Dunn Loring, VA. Does anyone know anything about them?

Also, Hazeltree, I found this great site with amazing colored gems, but again I haven't bought from them although I think they seem very legit and up front about everything...http://www.ajsgems.com. Anyone bought from them?

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 08-08-05 , 03:49 PM


The jeweler who did my e-ring is Columbia Jewelry Service Center.

One of these days I am going to get something from AJ's. My husband has found some beautiful inexpensive stones for me, Amethyst, Iolite, Aquamarine. I have decided to learn how to do this myself and I'm starting a class next month with a local lapidary/gem cutting society :-) :-) :-)

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Re: Newb says hello - questions about finding a jeweler
Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 08-09-05 , 01:17 PM


Very cool!!!!! Good luck!!!!!

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