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Custom Designing your Diamond Ring

Over the past few years, we have turned more and more toward customizing the majority of the rings we create.  At first our customers feel a little daunted by the task but when they learn about the process and start thinking about the benefits, they become eager and excited about the project.  Most of the time we start with a nebulous concept, a quick sketch or a picture from a magazine.  Using sample rings on our site and in our showroom we start talking about the different possibilities, proportions and options.  We take copious notes and come up with an cost.   After the initial meeting, we discuss our customer’s wishes with our design team and everything gets put into a CAD image.  We review the initial CAD and make necessary adjustments until we are very close to what our customer envisioned.  The wedding band, in its’ original incarnation had a huge swerve which made it impossible to wear on its’ own.  In the design process, we softened that cure to the point that it is barely noticeable.

We then present the CAD to our customer and upon approval move forward with the manufacturing process. In the case of the attached pictures, we used stones from our customer’s original wedding band along with sapphires from an heirloom ring.  We were fortunate that they were nearly the same diameter.  In the design process we were able to adjust the heights of both rings such that they would look good next to each other despite the difference in the size of the stones in the shanks.

Once the design is approved, creating the ring takes about a week to 10 days.  The end result is personal, unique and worthy of being yours.


Diamond Indulgence Valentine’s Day Promotion

Treat your sweetheart or yourself to a pair of 2 carat total weight Ideal Cut Swarovski CZ stud earrings and some delicious chocolate truffles and get a 1 in 100 chance to win a pair of 1ctw diamond cluster earrings (pictured). Your Diamond Ideals indulgence could be inside this 4 piece chocolate truffle collection from Vosges Haut Chocolat.  Each box costs $75 (value $95) and will contain 4 delicious chocolate truffles, the Swarovski CZ earrings and a card announcing if you are the lucky winner. We are including one winning ticket in every 100 boxes.  The 1ctw diamond cluster earrings retail for $1595. Official Rules can be found in our “Terms and Conditions” section of our site.

This promotion runs from January 29 until February 13, 2015.  Shipping will be done via Priority Mail and can take up to 5 business days to arrive.  Please consider this when ordering.  There are also overnight and Saturday delivery options.  Please look at the pull-down menu when ordering.


Create New Jewelry Reusing What You Love

I ran into one of my customers over the summer and noticed she was wearing a solitaire pendant with a Circle of Life pendant her fiancé had purchased from us months earlier.  When I asked her about it, she explained that she loved her Circle of Life, but the extra diamond was a family heirloom she held dear to her heart.  After discussing this a little further I suggested we could incorporate one into the other and she immediately loved the idea and decided to have three graduated stones bridging the diameter of the circle.  A few weeks later, I received her pendants in our shop and started to figure out the configuration.  Her stone weighed 3/4 of a carat and unfortunately measured less than a third of the distance we had to bridge.  If we were going to go with the original concept, that meant her stone would be in the middle position, which became a substantially more expensive option, or we would have to use 4 stones to go the distance.  She was not overly happy with this idea so we kept looking for a better solution.  After a couple of days we came up with an idea that had some potential.  Why not put a halo of diamonds around each of the interior stones, mimicking the Circle of Life?  We worked out the exact configuration on a CAD.  The price was well within the original budget so she gave the project the go-ahead.

Her family stone was set in a three-prong setting.  We kept this detail alive in the new piece, setting all the new centers with three prongs in stead of the traditional four.


Why can’t I sell my ring for what I paid?

Professional Appraisals in Denver

Nearly everything you buy takes a hit on resale.  Diamonds are actually pretty good in that area.  Just try and resell a cell phone, computer, a piece of clothing, food or most of anything else you buy.  That said, there are few major causes for the difference between buy and sell:

1) Retail.  Yes, all of those sales people are paid.  Google gets paid.  Shippers are paid.  Labs are paid.  Appraisers are paid.  Setters are paid.  The free box wasn’t free.  Jewelers are doing this for a profit.  None of this comes back on resale and I assume none of that comes as a surprise.  This is true even if they call themselves wholesalers or some similar term to suggest that they’re cutting out the evil middleman.  This is not a bad thing, it’s the way modern economies work.

2) Market access.  The REASON jewelers rent all of that expensive real estate, hire those sales people, pay all of those per-click and affiliate marketing fees and so on is because they get higher prices if they do so.  Most people don’t have access to that.  They sell in what amounts to a distress sale marketplace and their only selling proposition is price.  Who is surprised that prices are lower?

3) Obsolescence. How could a million year old rock be obsolete?  People don’t care for ‘used’ engagement rings.  A used ring simply is not the same thing as a new one any more than a used mattress is the same thing.  The mounting component is usually scrap metal when it comes to resale time.  Sorry about that.  Occasionally people do better but don’t bet on it.  There’s also a fashion component.  Diamonds are fundamentally a fashion product after all.  Marquise cuts, for example, were hot 20 years ago and sold for a premium.  Not so much now.  It’s not that they’re any less beautiful now than they were when they were new and the stone hasn’t changed.  The market did.  It’s hard to find buyers now.  The dealer is going to have to discount to sell it and so they’re going to discount to buy it.   20 years ago, GIA had no cut grade and AGS’s was completely different.  In 20 years the rules will be different again.  Bet on it.  Hearts and arrows are hot right now.  Who knows what will be hot for your grandkids but it’s sure to be different.  That’s the way the world works.

4) Condition.  Damage is a problem.  Sometimes a severe one.  Yes, diamonds can chip.  ‘nuf said.

5) Misrepresentation.  I can’t tell you how many times a client has told me that a stone is D/SI1 because it is ‘certified’ as such.   That’s just not the way it goes.  There’s misrepresentation on both the buy and sell sides of the deal but I would have to say it’s TYPICAL that it’s not comparing apples to apples.

6) Financing.  Normally, new purchases involve a financing arrangement among the dealers called ‘memorandum’.  It’s basically a consignment.  When customers sell things, they normally want cash with no returns.  Not surprisingly, dealers prefer the memo path because it gives them access to a lot more inventory without screwing up their cash flow.

7) Misunderstanding value.  This is best described with an example.  A consumer buys a ring from a dealer with a diamond for $10,000 (dealer’s cost $8,000) and a mounting for $4,000.  Plus tax the deal is $15,400.  The dealer issues an appraisal that says it’s ‘worth’ $25k.  Bargain, right?  Wait for 5 years and then the bride goes to resale after she dumps the guy.  She’s got that appraisal in hand. The mounting is scrap metal and the dealer could get a stone like that on consignment from his supplier now for $9k.  If he buys this one he’s going to have to tie up his money for an unknown amount of time and he doesn’t have that much cash in the checking account anyway.  Jewelers are mostly small businesses after all. He’s going to flip it back to his supplier who will sell it to someone else with the above mentioned memo/consignment system.  The supplier is doing this for profit so he’ll give, say $8k for it.  The jeweler wants to make money on this deal too so he offers $7k.   So now the customer is thinking ‘it was worth $25 Grand 5 years ago, it must be worth more than that now.  What’s with the $7k offer?  This guy’s a rip-off.  Diamonds are a rip-off.  I’ve been screwed’.   We don’t actually have a clue if the deal is rip-off on either end or not, but the bulk of the problem here is a misunderstanding of BOTH transactions as well as the ‘appraisal’ in the middle.

Neil Beaty is a professional independent jewelry appraiser in the Denver area.  He is a frequent contributor to public consumer forums and brings a wealth of information to the industry.


Customizing an engagement ring design.

We provide a fairly extensive inventory of “stock” engagement ring designs but as many of our customers discover during this process, there is nothing better that customizing the design of an engagement ring.  This offers the opportunity of presenting something truly unique to your loved one, something you cannot get anywhere else.  Our selection of designs is something of a stepping stone or samples to chose from.  One of our customers fell in love with a braided split shank halo design but unfortunately the existing model only accommodated a 1ct round stone and he had decided on a stunning 2ct cushion.  Together we redesigned the ring for his cushion, adding some minor details and keeping the proportions the same as what he fell in love with.  Made out of platinum, this custom ring was set with approximately 0.65ctw of melée diamonds, about twice as much as what the original design contained.


Customizing a Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Customizing a ring can be a daunting endeavor but one of our recent customers knew exactly what he wanted.  We had made a couple of rings with pear-shaped side stones but  he wanted something a little extra. After picking his center stone, a 1.5ct slightly off square cushion cut, he explained that her want pear shapes and an additional round stone at the end.  “Kind of like an exclamation point!”  The resulting ring is absolutely spectacular.

Cushion cut diamond engagement ring


Not everyman can afford Kim Kardashian.

Video link: A glimse at extravagant engagment rings

(Kim Kardashian / Instagream; Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images )

We made an appearance this morning on WPIX News (Channel 11 in NYC).  The segment was about Kim Kardashian’s new engagement ring, a whopping 15 carat cushion cut from Kanye West.  We were feature as a more attainable ring showing a 1.5 cara cushion cut set in a halo setting for a mear $15,000.  Kim’s new ring is estimated at over $3,000,000 !


What to expect when trying to sell your jewelry.

We often work with our customers who are looking to sell some heirloom jewelry.  As you can expect this comes with many pitfalls and much to consider.  This is a brief overview of the different options you should consider if you are thinking about doing this yourself.

If your goal is to maximize the value of your jewelry, you are best off trying to sell directly to a private consumer.  This can be done through your local paper, ebay, or some other virtual outlet.  Unfortunately this can be the most time consuming and frustrating method and very few people pursue this avenue after the first couple of failed attempts.

If you have time on your hands, you may want to try working out a consignment deal with a jeweler.  This method can take years, but on some rare occasions, if a customer walks into a store looking for exactly what you are trying to sell, it has been known to be fairly quick as well.

The vast majority of people opt for a fast sale to a jeweler.  We do this every day.  The upside is that you essentially walk away with cash in your hand.  The downside is that the cash is nowhere near what your perceived value for the piece was.  What you have to remember is that the jeweler may sit with your piece in his store for years, so it should not be surprising if he is not willing to pay top dollar.  We purchased the ring pictured below as part of an estate with the thought that it would be one of the first pieces we would sell.  Tiffany’s sells virtually identical rings every day for nearly double the price.  As you can see, we still own it.  And some day somebody will fall in love with it and purchase it, probably buying the deal of a lifetime.

There is one other option which is a service we provide our customers: let us broker the piece for you.  This option allows us as professionals to work on your behalf and try to get a higher offer on the market than what you would be offered walking in cold off the street.  We know the New York City diamond market inside and out and can usually find the best buyer for your jewelry.

I hope this short article has been helpful.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

This platinum pavé eternity band contains 4.05 caratsof exceptionally cut diamonds.  The workmanship on the ring is astonishing, reminiscent of when quality was truly appreciated.


New Budget-Minded Solitaire Engagement Ring Settings

The second half of 2012 as well as the beginning of 2013 has shown us a very definite trend toward budget-mindedness.  Taking this message to heart we have introduced three new solitaire settings priced from $495 to $575 in 14K gold (prices based on March 2013 gold prices).  For lack of a better name (feel free to suggest some) we are calling these our Scroll Collection as there is intricate scroll work hidden under the cathedral part of the ring.  From the top these engagement rings appear simple but a whole new world can be discovered from the side.  One of them has four little diamonds tucked into the scroll work.  The beauty of these new solitaire settings, apart from the price, is that they can be paired with virtually any wedding band you can think of.  From the simple to an intricately woven pavé pattern, these engagement rings hold their own.


Black Diamond Earrings set in Black Rhodiumed Gold

Black gold for your ears!  We started a trend with one of our customer’s special orders earlier this year.  As a result of the inquiries which came from posting this image on our Facebook page we have finally added black diamond studs to our inventory.  We are running a special promotion for Christmas: 1ct TW for $495!