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JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

I actually don't have any stories to tell. One of the things my customers pay for is discretion. I won't name customers or tell stories that could identify them.

The only exception to that rule is I'll post references to customers who I've worked with on SA and have left a reference. Since they're already posting publicly for a reference it is ok.

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Doghouse
Oct 22, 2004

So many people we vaguely knew died the weeks we were there - car accidents, AIDS, murders, overdoses, fell into vats of acid - that the amount for the

Thanks, that info was exactly what I was looking for.

Naerasa
Aug 5, 2004

Do you not know that Death is the servant of Chaos?

JohnnyRnR posted:

Many socialites won't accept anything less than a 2 carat. I've heard of boyfriends being turned down on the proposal and sent back to the store to fetch a bigger diamond.

My favorite was always the girls who get proposed to, accept the ring, and then go behind the man's back to buy themselves a bigger diamond without him knowing about it. Hell, at least they're putting up the money to be flashy.

DrakoDWyvrex
Feb 5, 2006


Maybe you guys can help my friend out.

She recently got married and at the time of the wedding her and her husband could not afford wedding rings. Since then she has gotten her ring, but she can't find anything for him that they like. What she really wants is to get him a ring made from stone (he is majoring in Geology). The only thing close that we can find seems to be bands with granite or other stone inlays. My question is where would you find a ring made purely from stone and what would you reccommend as far as material for something like that? Would something like that be a good idea or should she go with a titanium band with a stone inlay (which is what I've been advoacting as it would hold up better in my opinion)?

Alterian
Jan 28, 2003

THIRTEEN!

DrakoDWyvrex posted:

Maybe you guys can help my friend out.

She recently got married and at the time of the wedding her and her husband could not afford wedding rings. Since then she has gotten her ring, but she can't find anything for him that they like. What she really wants is to get him a ring made from stone (he is majoring in Geology). The only thing close that we can find seems to be bands with granite or other stone inlays. My question is where would you find a ring made purely from stone and what would you reccommend as far as material for something like that? Would something like that be a good idea or should she go with a titanium band with a stone inlay (which is what I've been advoacting as it would hold up better in my opinion)?

Probably a bad idea. You could break something like that pretty easily. I had a cheap hematite ring and it eventually shattered when I accidentally hit my hand too hard against something.

Monkey Lincoln
Dec 1, 2001
gumshoe



The only stone rings I ever see are usually Jade or jade with a gold rim on the inside. They're pretty strong but I would never suggest getting one if you're gonna wear it every day.

PS I need to thank the other jewelers in this thread for keeping it on autopilot for me while I wander off.

McPantserton
Jan 19, 2005

"(...) it came off as intimidating instead of awkwardly sexy."

My boyfriend and I just started looking at engagement rings and we both fell in love with the same design, here: http://www.gemvara.com/Round-Blue-S...welry/v/216705/
My only thing is that it's got a lot of diamonds in it and I was hoping to cut costs and soothe my first world guilt by using either fake diamonds or lab-grown ones. What is the likelihood that we could get a jeweler to replicate the ring, and about how much would it save us?

The real irony is I started looking at settings like that when I was surfing for antique rings but all the antique ones I found were way more expensive than this one.

Residency Evil
Jul 28, 2003

4/5 godo BRAINS


I know this is probably a terribly broad question, but how much should I expect to pay for a 1 karat diamond that's "suitable" for an engagement ring?

Missouri Fever
Feb 5, 2009

av by ed
do re mi
fà pí qì


JohnnyRnR posted:

I own a jewelry company selling mostly engagement rings, diamonds & colored gems, and special request custom design piece. My ecommerce presence doesn't have much online beyond our ideal cut bridal and a few odds and ends that we sell regularly, but there is a contact form there as well. Feel free to send me a message and I can hunt down anything you might be looking for. http://tinyurl.com/28olvyn

Oh my goodness, those owls are so neat! If you don't mind me asking, is there any special reason why this particular animal is used? (As in, if there's a certain connotation with owls in the past that lends it to being the subject of jewelry.)

Doghouse
Oct 22, 2004

So many people we vaguely knew died the weeks we were there - car accidents, AIDS, murders, overdoses, fell into vats of acid - that the amount for the

Residency Evil posted:

I know this is probably a terribly broad question, but how much should I expect to pay for a 1 karat diamond that's "suitable" for an engagement ring?

This is something I would like to know also.

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

Prices for one carat diamonds... There are many clarity/color/make combinations so it can be very difficult to fix a standard price. It also depends where you buy it. Some retailers will have higher prices than others.

Rounds will tend to be more expensive than fancy cuts.

A one carat diamond of top clarity, color, and make can hit $30,000. A one carat diamond that has lower clarity and color can be had for ~$1,000. The top end is overkill for an engagement ring and the bottom end wouldn't make a good looking ring.

Average price, ballpark, something like $6,000 for a very well made one carat round. It just really depends how you adjust things along the quality scale.

One of the best ways to get a great looking diamond is to set your criteria as "clean to the naked eye." There can be beautiful I1 diamonds or ugly I1 diamonds - It all depends on the way that the inclusions "face up" in the diamond. I2 is one of the lowest grades on the scale, but we have a fantastic diamond with an I2 clarity that is clean to the eye. According to a spreadsheet the diamond should be ugly, but it's beautiful and only $2k.

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

Missouri Fever posted:

Oh my goodness, those owls are so neat! If you don't mind me asking, is there any special reason why this particular animal is used? (As in, if there's a certain connotation with owls in the past that lends it to being the subject of jewelry.)

Thanks! The owl is used because it has traditionally had a connection to wisdom. As such it has always been a favorite of royalty (and their modern American equivalents).

My goldsmiths make a menagerie of fantastic animals. Eventually we'll get photography done for everything. If you have a favorite let me know and I'll see if they have a design for one.

McPantserton
Jan 19, 2005

"(...) it came off as intimidating instead of awkwardly sexy."

Any thoughts on my sapphire ring, Johnny?

Geop
Oct 26, 2007

I guess you could say he's...
hot under the collar.
Heh.


It warms my cockles to see a jewelry thread in here A shame I missed it for this long.

Monkey Lincoln
Dec 1, 2001
gumshoe



McPantserton posted:

Any thoughts on my sapphire ring, Johnny?

You'll save a bunch. I'm pretty sure I have that same ring, sans saphire, in a box somewhere. I can assure you I'm not charging 1700 for just that sapphire. Maybe $900 if I had the same thing in the window.

You won't save any money by making that same ring with CZs. The listing has it at 30 stones and .34 carat total weight, meaning each diamond costs about $1-2 to the jeweler. If they're charging you a huge premium on that, they'll charge you one on CZs. I don't know what it would cost to have a jeweler make an exact replica because of one of two things. One is that's a pretty common design. Either as a ring or a pendant, I've seen it a few times. If someone came in wanting one, I'd find one or set one up that I order from a catalog (As opposed to re-designing and making it), and I'd pass that savings on. Most stores wouldn't, but then again most stores aren't out in the sticks and in desperate need of sales. Two is because if you look around long enough you'll find that ring already inventoried, and everything is cheaper if they don't have to make it to order.

Like this is a somewhat similar setting that I can order for probably around $200. A nice sapphire like that shouldn't run more than 500, and the stones maybe 200 set. If I had to make that for a special order, maybe 1050-1500 give or take. Now, if I have that in the store, because I either bought it from a dealer, bought it from the public, or made it out of spare parts, I bet I'd have it priced at 800. Likely that if you ask around, the average price you hear will likely be near that, the best price you hear will be much less.

grendelspov
Jun 12, 2008



I've just been on BlueNile.com pricing out a ring for my girlfriend. She wants a 1 ct. center stone and I have noticed a lot of good cut, ok clarity, J colored stones in my price range. Is it true that J color looks great to the naked eye if the cut and polish are excellent?

Naerasa
Aug 5, 2004

Do you not know that Death is the servant of Chaos?

grendelspov posted:

I've just been on BlueNile.com pricing out a ring for my girlfriend. She wants a 1 ct. center stone and I have noticed a lot of good cut, ok clarity, J colored stones in my price range. Is it true that J color looks great to the naked eye if the cut and polish are excellent?

It's like anything else, there are going to be beautiful Js and there are going to be less attractive Js, even within the perfect cut/polish range. I'd want to look at in person to be sure if it's good. But to answer your question, in a roundabout way, yes, J CAN look great if you get the right one.

Silver Alicorn
Mar 30, 2008

I'll get to it eventually.


On the topic of mail jewelry:

Making your own rings is really doing it the hard way, unless you're doing a lot of wire work and beading on your own. There's a website called The Ring Lord (google it) that has good prices and a scary huge selection, and their price on machine-cut rings isn't much higher than what I've seen for raw wire. Mind you I haven't purchased from them in years so I might be a little off about that.

@Cat Breath: In my experience aviation snips are annoying because they deform the rings. If you're ever looking for something else you should look into some Knipex-brand piano wire cutters, they make very clean cuts and since they're designed for piano wire they go through spring steel like it's nothing.

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

Rootbeer Baron posted:

It's like anything else, there are going to be beautiful Js and there are going to be less attractive Js, even within the perfect cut/polish range. I'd want to look at in person to be sure if it's good. But to answer your question, in a roundabout way, yes, J CAN look great if you get the right one.

Rootbeer Baron is right on the money with this one. A color grade of "J" means that the crystal is a J color, but the face up view can be much whiter (like an H+ sometimes). It really depends on how the cutter oriented the diamond crystal when cutting, and you can't guess what it looks like.

Sorry not to be much more help than that.

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

McPantserton posted:

My only thing is that it's got a lot of diamonds in it and I was hoping to cut costs and soothe my first world guilt by using either fake diamonds or lab-grown ones. What is the likelihood that we could get a jeweler to replicate the ring, and about how much would it save us?

That is a very common design. I think we did two or three rings in a similar vein a couple years ago. The filigree under the basket is a unique design, but that's it. I would guess that almost any jeweler would have something similar in stock already.

Just a rough guess, but you would save approximately $20 per diamond that you eliminated (Diamond + labor) so not that much. Small diamonds aren't too expensive; on lower quality goods like the ones in this ring it often costs us more for the labor than for the diamond. In pricing for a start to finish piece I'd agree with Monkey Lincoln, but say between $1,200 to $2,000 and that it mostly depends on the quality of the sapphire.

Just for fun, you should call them up and ask if their sapphires are treated. They say "Natural AAA" but that is a long way from saying "Unheated & Untreated for Color and Clarity."

McPantserton
Jan 19, 2005

"(...) it came off as intimidating instead of awkwardly sexy."

Thanks to both of you! My boyfriend was pretty relieved to hear that we could get it for cheaper, although I admit I'm kind of taken with that setting. I hope we can find one really similar/the same!

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

How can I look after a string of pearls? What's the best way to clean and store them?

potatoducks
Jan 26, 2006


My fiance's father just died, and she wants to melt down his wedding ring to make her own. She doesn't want anything fancy, just a 2mm yellow gold band with a slight knife edge. How much would this cost compared with buying a totally new ring and could pretty much any jeweler do it? Where would the leftover gold go? Would we just take home a yellow lump? I bought my setting at http://www.pearlmansjewelers.com and would probably go back there if appropriate.

My issue is that I'm concerned that the whole process will cost as much or more than just buying it outright. I'm also worried because her engagement ring is 18k while this is 14k, and I think you would be able to tell the difference. Thoughts?

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

madlilnerd posted:

How can I look after a string of pearls? What's the best way to clean and store them?

The best way to clean them is with a soft dry cloth. Some say to wash in soap and water, but I don't think so. If you are careful with your pearls then they will not need washing for many years. Give them a gentle rub and that will do it.

Never let your pearls come in contact with cosmetics, lotion, or hair care products. They are porous and will absorb liquids. Don't wear them in harsh direct sun as that will tend to dry the luster from the pearls.

For storage, store them in a cool dry place. Store them in the dark. I prefer for pearls to lay flat or hang on a neckform. If you throw them in a jewelry box or bag the silk knots between pearls will eventually kink up.

jeffsleepy posted:

My fiance's father just died, and she wants to melt down his wedding ring to make her own.

No need to worry about the metals clashing. You won't be able to tell the difference. There is labor and design time to cast the old gold to new, but it won't be too expensive. Any jeweler can do it.

You need to ask what the process is since many places won't use a customer's gold. This varies by each retailer. I personally do not do it simply because those old alloys can be finicky (and may be contaminated with things that release dangerous gas when burned). I will buy the gold from the customer and cast their design with recycled gold that has been refined and re-alloyed.

uberwekkness
Jul 25, 2008

You have to train harder to make it to nationals.

Is africagems.com a fairly reputable site? I was looking at their alexandrite, and it's cheaper than I expected it to be, based on the description in the OP. Could it be cheaper because it doesn't have the green to red color change?

Sorry if it's a dumb question. I'm still really new to gems in general, and I'm never sure about whether or not to trust websites.

uberwekkness fucked around with this message at Sep 22, 2010 around 21:02

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

The OP was listing prices on the high side of things. I don't know the guys at AfricaGems and the only info I can find on them is a BBB rating (which doesn't help). Sorry if that isn't much to go on.

Kalista
Oct 18, 2001


JohnnyRnR posted:

You need to ask what the process is since many places won't use a customer's gold. This varies by each retailer. I personally do not do it simply because those old alloys can be finicky (and may be contaminated with things that release dangerous gas when burned). I will buy the gold from the customer and cast their design with recycled gold that has been refined and re-alloyed.
This is how the shop I'm affiliated with does it too. She casts in 18k+ exclusively and also won't mix her alloy with old alloy - but she will give credit for the gold towards the price of the finished piece, and if it means everything in the WORLD that some of the old ring is used, she'll try to accommodate that in some way.

Voodoofly
Jul 3, 2002

Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help

I recently purchased my wedding band for my upcoming wedding. I really love the band, its 18k "grey gold."

I know the jeweler explained that "grey gold" was very similar to white gold but didn't use any nickel, and that most of Europe uses grey gold rather than white gold because of more stringent regulations on the use of nickel.

I like my jeweler, and we really used her because she was able to work wonders on a band for my fiance's ring (which was her great grandmother's engagement ring and has a lopsided oval configuration that four other jewelers said they couldn't make a band for), and she has worked with us for a couple years since our first wedding was delayed. So, I might have paid a little more than necessary on my band, but to help support her shop that is fine.

I just want to know more about the "grey gold" though. Looking it up on wikipedia and online I didn't find much. Is "grey gold" really the "white gold" standard in Europe, or was just that her pushing a material I know she is fond of. All I know is that I liked the color of it more than white gold or platinum.

Goodpancakes
May 18, 2004

Redlining my shit posting machine


HI!

While I was in Turkey over the summer I collected some incredible Blueschist that I was considering turning into a pendant. I could probably produce a nice cut and polished sample how much would a local jewelry store be expected to finish? The sample seems rather solid and should probably be okay. However after cutting if it should need epoxy impregnation I don't imagine jewelers do that? Otherwise could I show up with a cut and polished slab and ask for a minimalist setting to create a pendant?

eXile
May 25, 2001


I saw it mentioned earlier in the thread but didn't see much of an elaboration - what's your opinion on moissanite? Is it a viable alternative to diamond, to the naked eye?

Since it's not graded like a diamond is, how does one buy it and make sure they're getting a good quality gem?

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

Voodoofly posted:

I recently purchased my wedding band for my upcoming wedding. I really love the band, its 18k "grey gold."

I know the jeweler explained that "grey gold" was very similar to white gold but didn't use any nickel, and that most of Europe uses grey gold rather than white gold because of more stringent regulations on the use of nickel.

It's very possible, but I haven't heard much about the alloy, ever. Most likely your jeweler is a big fan of it and she's trying to encourage adoption in the USA. It sounds interesting, and I may take a look at it for a men's line.

Voodoofly posted:

So, I might have paid a little more than necessary on my band, but to help support her shop that is fine.

On behalf of all jewelry people everywhere - Thank you.

Goodpancakes posted:

While I was in Turkey over the summer I collected some incredible Blueschist that I was considering turning into a pendant. I could probably produce a nice cut and polished sample how much would a local jewelry store be expected to finish? The sample seems rather solid and should probably be okay. However after cutting if it should need epoxy impregnation I don't imagine jewelers do that? Otherwise could I show up with a cut and polished slab and ask for a minimalist setting to create a pendant?

A jeweler needs to have the finished piece of Blueschist. They typically sub out all of their lapidary work and if you're submitting a piece of rough there is no guarantee how it would come out. My advice would be to go ahead and slab or cab it out and then take it to a jeweler for mounting. I wouldn't want to ask a jeweler to epoxy stabilize a fragile piece - There is just too much that can go wrong. They can do it, but understand that there would be a possibility of fracturing.

If you need a lapidary to handle the cutting and stabilizing shoot me a PM. I know several.

eXile posted:

what's your opinion on moissanite? Is it a viable alternative to diamond, to the naked eye?

Since it's not graded like a diamond is, how does one buy it and make sure they're getting a good quality gem?

As a diamond simulant it isn't bad. Some Moissanite can tend to have a greenish tint to it, but overall it is a nice white material that is very durable.

With Moissanite you really need to find one that it well cut. Unfortunately everyone calls their Moissanite "ideal cut" so there is no telling what it actually is until you see it (or know who is cutting it). Most Moissanite that I've seen is pretty. It has great dispersion and refraction.

Another option might be a synthetic garnet called YAG. It is a very durable material, and was historically cut as a diamond simulant. It is typically polished by hand and these days is primarily used to repair old jewelry. It is also available in a variety of primary colors so you can do a lot of fun things with it.

It's priced on par with Moissanite, but it definitely looks much more "diamondish" than Moissanite does.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yttriu...et#Gemstone_YAG

Fire In The Disco
Oct 4, 2007
I cannot change the gender of my unborn child and shouldn't waste my time or energy pretending he won't exist

eXile posted:

I saw it mentioned earlier in the thread but didn't see much of an elaboration - what's your opinion on moissanite? Is it a viable alternative to diamond, to the naked eye?

Since it's not graded like a diamond is, how does one buy it and make sure they're getting a good quality gem?

My opinion is that of someone who has been wearing moissanite for several years now. My moissanite ring is wonderful. It's 1.5 carats, and I love the size, and love that there's no worry of "conflict diamonds," and love the fact that my husband didn't spend a gazillion dollars to get me a ring of that size. It's sparkly and lovely and if I don't say it was moissanite, everyone assumes it's diamond. But I have no problem explaining what it really is, since I dig moissanite so much.





potatoducks
Jan 26, 2006


JohnnyRnR posted:

I will buy the gold from the customer and cast their design with recycled gold that has been refined and re-alloyed.

I understand that that you won't be able to tell the difference between 14k and 18k. However, there will be some gold leftover anyways and we might as well use it for something. Does refining mean that the 14k can be converted to 18k?

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

In refining you're taking a gold alloy and separating the impurities. So the 14k gold will be converted to 24k (with some loss overhead) and can then be re-alloyed to 10k, 18, etc.

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Would it be possible to make jewellery out of Ruthenium? It's a platinum group metal.

potatoducks
Jan 26, 2006


JohnnyRnR posted:

In refining you're taking a gold alloy and separating the impurities. So the 14k gold will be converted to 24k (with some loss overhead) and can then be re-alloyed to 10k, 18, etc.

That's what I thought but wanted to make sure. Thanks.

Boxman
Sep 27, 2004

Look, one way or another, you're leaving this place covered in semen. Might as well have some fun.

Doghouse posted:

What exactly is the range of what is considered a "normal" quality/size/price of a diamond to get for an engagement ring for a normal, middle class person? What is the expectation?

Johnny gave a much fuller response than I can, but I will contribute that ultimately, the most important thing is expectations. Figure out what she wants and what makes her happy, and work with that. (Preserve the surprise by going through a sister or mother, if you'd like.)

I have some questions. They're mostly academic, since I've got a friend in the business, but I'm curious.

How important is a GIA Cert when buying a diamond? One jeweler I spoke to said they don't really matter, and my friend said that they're always good to have since they take away guesswork.

Is GIA laser inscription on the girdle as pointless as I've been led to believe?

My friend actually got out a jeweler's microscope (not just a loupe) to show me the flaws in my (well, my fiancee's) diamond. It was helpful to go up to higher magnifications when I couldn't see whatever pinpoint flaws the GIA found under 10x. Is this really special treatment, or should any jeweler do this if asked?

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

madlilnerd posted:

Would it be possible to make jewellery out of Ruthenium? It's a platinum group metal.

Possible? Yes. Do I know anyone who would be willing to do it? I would have to ask around. Unless there is a sentimental reason for using ruthenium I would encourage platinum or palladium. They will be much more predictable metals.

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

Boxman posted:

How important is a GIA Cert when buying a diamond? One jeweler I spoke to said they don't really matter, and my friend said that they're always good to have since they take away guesswork.

Is GIA laser inscription on the girdle as pointless as I've been led to believe?

My friend actually got out a jeweler's microscope (not just a loupe) to show me the flaws in my (well, my fiancee's) diamond. It was helpful to go up to higher magnifications when I couldn't see whatever pinpoint flaws the GIA found under 10x. Is this really special treatment, or should any jeweler do this if asked?

The thing to understand about a GIA certificate is that it is a statement of opinion. And even though the grading laboratories market their certificates as iron clad legal documents they always include language stating that they are opinions and are not meant to be binding decisions.

Disagreements occur frequently. No matter how they are graded diamonds are ultimately graded by people and people do make mistakes and have disagreements. Are they helpful? Yes, they're helpful but not always perfect. I always give my customers a true appraisal of how the certificate and the diamond reconcile to each other. Every seller should be grading the diamond independently of the paper. This is why I don't sell EGL certified diamonds - Their certificates usually are off by several grades in both color and clarity.

The laser inscriptions on the girdle are helpful, but once on the stone they are rarely checked. They are handy in cases of identifying stolen property, but a sophisticated thief could remove them.

I wouldn't buy a diamond from a jeweler who didn't own a microscope. Just sayin'. ;-)

And for content, here's a photo of a rough diamond about to be sent off for cutting. When all said and done it should give us a nice pair of round diamonds, .25 carats each and in a beautiful fancy light yellow. (The photo looks a little brown, but it's a yellow diamond)

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madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

JohnnyRnR posted:

Possible? Yes. Do I know anyone who would be willing to do it? I would have to ask around. Unless there is a sentimental reason for using ruthenium I would encourage platinum or palladium. They will be much more predictable metals.

Well...see... my name is Ruth. Is that a sentimental enough reason?

A more sensible question- how well does amber jewellery stand up to daily wear and tear and what should I do to look after it? I don't have any amber rings so it's not getting bashed about that much but I do have several pairs of earrings and necklaces with amber set in silver and wondered if they need any special care. Right now I keep them away from perfume/soap/moisturiser and store them in padded jewellery boxes.

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