Post # 1
Hi Bees! So the other day my boyfriend and I were out looking around one of our favorite antique stores. In the front they have several display cases with jewlery, most is antique but not all. So I point out a ring I like and ask what he thinks. He shrugs his shoulders and says, “It doesn’t matter what I think.” I roll my eyes at him and carry on my browsing. 3 minutes later he calls me over and points out a ring and he says that he really likes it. Yay! It’s a 3 stone round bezel setting in 18K white gold but looks very yellow to me. First I didn’t want round but when I tried it on. Oh my! It sparkled sooo much! The diamonds are gorgeous. I’m not so sure about the setting though. It looks sooo yellow I just can’t get past it. The jewler said that it may just need rhodium plating.
So I get the information on it and we leave. On the way home, my boyfriend starts talking about how he’s not so sure the price is fair and that because it’s “antique” they mark up the prices, etc. Well, I took it upon myself to do some research and for just the center stone (1.07 ct G VS1 Ideal cut) on Blue Nile is around $10,000. The ring is listed at $6800 and there’s definately negotiating room! I tell him this and he says, “Wow, really? I was planning on using Blue Nile. Huh.” End of conversation 🙁
So now I can’t stop thinking about this ring. I love love loved the diamonds! But I’m not 100% on the setting. Don’t get me wrong, he could propose with tin foil and I’d be ecstatic. Mostly I love that he picked it because he truly doesn’t care what it looks like. And the fact that he said he liked it at all is a big deal.
So my question is, has anyone purchased a ring solely for the diamonds and then either melted the gold to create a new setting or just had the diamonds set in a newly purchased setting all together? How hard is this to do and what is the cost for melting down/designing a new custom setting? I appreciate any help! Thanks!
Post # 3
My fiance used a stone from one of his grandma’s rings, and had it taken out of its original setting. His mom was sweet enough to offer him his great-grandma’s ring for the wedding band, and he had the engagement ring (loose) stone put into a new setting designed to match the wedding band. I LOVE the idea of antique rings now that I have them, they each have a story, even the loose diamond that was re-set into my e-ring.
From what I understand about that process from talking to the jeweler when I got the rings resized, it’s not necessarily the design that’s costly, it’s the materials. Gold is really expensive right now, but since you have the metal already, you should go see a reputable jeweler (one with a jeweler in-house, that’s what my Fiance used) and perhaps describe the ring and ask what they could do. I think it’s not as bad/expensive as starting from scratch, especially if you already have the materials! That said, I couldn’t give you a ballpark figure or anything, but definitely go ask.
Post # 4
I am currently searching for my own antique ring! While I am hoping to find the “complete package” together, I do think it’s possible to do that, but it might be more expensive. I haven’t bought anything from them, but I know there’s a website called Old World Diamonds or something similar… you might be able to find a stone you love WITHOUT a setting. Despite being antiques, I don’t think they are necessarily markedup, but doing some research would be good!
Now I want to look and see if I can find this diamond you like. If it’s an ideal cut, I don’t think it’s an antique stone (usually they’re called old european, old mine, or transitional, so I would double check that if you want to make sure you have an antique stone). For an old european cut from that website, I found one that’s somewhat similar for 4400- http://www.oldworlddiamonds.com/detail.php?ID=20&SHAPE=EU. Good luck!
Post # 5
I just realized it’s a three stone ring…and that was just the center stone! That is definitely a great deal to me. Rhodium plating isn’t very expensive, but you do have to re plate every so often.
Post # 6
It’s normal for white gold to have a yellowish tinge, since gold is yellow and it’s the alloys they add to it that make it white. Since it’s 18k gold, it has a higher percentage of gold and thus is more yellowish. The rhodium plating makes it looks really silver and shiny and since this is an antique it’s normal for that to have rubbed off. A fresh coating is inexpensive and would make it look bright silvery again 🙂
Post # 7
@saraja87: i agree a rhodium plating with give it that white gold luster you are used to seeing in jewlery stores.
Post # 8
You might be getting a great deal, but were the stones in the antique ring certified at all? It’s really comparing apples and oranges if you do not know the stats of the antique ring vs. the blue nile diamond you found with stellar stats. You never know, the antique one could be fracture filled, very poorly cut, or something else to make the price that low. You really tend to get what you pay for with diamonds, and although there are deals out there and room for negotioation (especially in antique shops and consignment stores), I’d personally be a little suspicious of the price.
As far as melting the gold down, my experience with that is that usually jewelers will take your old gold and use the value of it toward a new ring (like cash for gold), but the gold you provide them has to be smelted, it might not be enough for your new design, etc. and so it might not be the same exact gold.
Post # 9
@GoldfishPie: I thought fracture filling was a relatively new practice, so wouldn’t have been done to an antique diamond in its original state. Could someone send a ring off to be fracture filled? I know in the UK that antique/second hand jewellery is exempt from VAT, so is automatically just under 20% cheaper than new rings of exactly the same quality.
Antique cuts are also sometimes cheaper because they’re not as “desirable” even if they have a unique look. A lot of antique stones were hand-cut with some assymmetry and smaller tables so look totally different from modern diamonds (to the point that some less educated jewellers haven’t believed my ring was a real diamond).
@SapphireRose: Do you know approximately how old the ring is?
Post # 10
Thanks for all your comments ladies! You have great suggestions! I’m definately going to look at Old Word Diamonds.
I don’t know how old the ring is but I could probably find out. My guess is that it isn’t that old. I think that it’s certified but I didn’t see the paperwork. So I think my plan is to go back in the next few days and visit the ring again to get more details so I can make a better assessment. I’ll let you all know if anything comes of it. And I’ll try to take pictures too! I feel bad talking about the ring and not having any ring porn to share 🙂
Post # 11
The very first antique ring I fell in love with my mom checked out (jeweller) and it had big cracks in the diamonds that I had missed….definitely check it out a lot first.