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Bespoke jewellery/rings - supply own metal (bullion)?

merkur

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jgold47

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Originally Posted by merkur
Does anyone with experience ordering/designing bespoke jewellery (in particular rings) for personal use know if jewellers look kindly upon customers supplying their own metal (ie bullion). I'm thinking that if I can supply for example my own platinum (melted down from either .9999 platinum coins or bars/ingots), then this should dramatically cut down the cost of making a custom platinum ring no? I'm thinking that this would be somewhat similar if not identical to suit owners providing their own cloth but I have never heard of anyone supplying their own metal.


I mean, custom jewlery is pretty common. For example the engagement ring I got was custom made, it was my design in collaboration. as for bringing your own metal, I am not sure your necessarily going to get a better 'deal', plus a jewler might balk about using your metal, if there are issues with the quality, or something happens to it. I suppose the exception would be if you had an heriloom piece you wanted to melt down and incorporate, I guess that gets done more often.

What makes you think you could source the metal cheaper than the jewler could?
 

merkur

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jgold47

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Originally Posted by merkur
Thanks for your reply. Let's just say hypothetically that one either inherited or bought an ounce of a precious metal (eg gold or platinum) before prices skyrocketed and that one has no use for a coin/bar; a better use for the metal (apart from selling) might be to make something of it and 31.1g (one troy ounce) of gold/platinum would surely be enough to have 2 "plain" wedding rings (his and hers) made right?

ok I gotcha. Cant hurt to ask. That said, I would rather try to sell the metal on the market, use that money to buy the rings. Lets say your one troy oz would make two rings, would you ask for the rest back? What about the waste? etc.... Thats all....
 

indesertum

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anybody know of any good bespoke jewelers in nyc?
 

countcount

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Originally Posted by merkur
Does anyone with experience ordering/designing bespoke jewellery (in particular rings) for personal use know if jewellers look kindly upon customers supplying their own metal (ie bullion). I'm thinking that if I can supply for example my own platinum (melted down from either .9999 platinum coins or bars/ingots), then this should dramatically cut down the cost of making a custom platinum ring no? I'm thinking that this would be somewhat similar if not identical to suit owners providing their own cloth but I have never heard of anyone supplying their own metal.


I don't have personal experience, but I think that this is common practice at the large jewelers in HK. Chow Tai Fook comes to mind.
 

rnoldh

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Originally Posted by merkur
Thanks for your reply. Let's just say hypothetically that one either inherited or bought an ounce of a precious metal (eg gold or platinum) before prices skyrocketed and that one has no use for a coin/bar; a better use for the metal (apart from selling) might be to make something of it and 31.1g (one troy ounce) of gold/platinum would surely be enough to have 2 "plain" wedding rings (his and hers) made right?

Also, disregarding the above I am pretty sure that jewellers would buy their metal at similar prices available to the general public from bullion dealers (but I am happy to be corrected if this is not the case).


Originally Posted by jgold47
ok I gotcha. Cant hurt to ask. That said, I would rather try to sell the metal on the market, use that money to buy the rings. Lets say your one troy oz would make two rings, would you ask for the rest back? What about the waste? etc.... Thats all....

I asked 4 bench jewelers your question today in Houston, Tx.

First, in theory it can and has been done.

In practice, some jewelers will do it and some will not. Similar to tailors, I guess.

The jewelers themselves either have some gold or platinum and they recycle it so to speak. Or they buy it at the spot price ( pretty much like anyone can ). Generally gold or platinum that custom jewelers buy comes in fabricating form which looks like paper sheets or little buckshot balls. And it is in .999 purity form which is different than the 10K 14K or 18K ( and sometimes 22K ) that a ring would be made of. Platinum is usually 90% pure for fine custom jewelry.

So the jeweler would have to determine which purity you want and how to compose it. By this I mean what to put in the mix besides the gold. 14K gold is about .585 pure, so that leaves about 42% for other metals. The proportion of other metals will determine the color of the gold as well as a few other things. The gold can be yellow, rose, pink and the currently popular white gold of course.

If you have a pure .999 Troy Oz. coin it would yield a lot more fabricating gold than 31.1 grams. If you wanted 10K, you would have more than 2 Troy Ozs., and for 18K, you would have about 1.33 Troy Ozs.

31.1 grams of .999 platinum or gold is way more than you probably would need for 2 wedding bands. 18K wedding bands should be approximately 4 - 8 grams for a woman and 6 - 12 grams for a man depending if you want small. medium or very large bands. Platinum is heavier than gold so an identical band will weigh approximately 22% more in platinum than gold.

And here is the answer to your question. 2 of the jewelers I talked to seemed to indicate that they would do it ( one reluctantly and the other readily ) and the other 2 pretty much said they would not do it. But I bet any of them ( maybe with an additional cost ) would incorporate the metal from a family heirloom piece into new bands.

None of the jewelers said how much they mark up gold or platinum over the spot price they buy it at. But remember they have labor and other costs involved too. They are buying .999 pure metal at spot and fabricating it into what you want ( at least in the case of custom stuff ).

I guess it really is like tailors. Some will let you supply fabric and some will not. In the cases where you can supply the fabric sometimes you will save a lot ( making it worthwhile ) and sometimes not ( making it superfluous ). And the other analogy is that there are exceptions in both cases. If you have some cloth that is really special to you, or not available anywhere else, then I think most tailors would at least consider using it even though you supplied it. Likewise, if you had an heirloom piece of jewelry, I think most good custom jewelers would consider using it for your new custom piece.

End result of your question. It can be done and some custom jewelers will do it and some will not. Depending on the jewelers mark up from spot price you might save a decent amount. My gut feeling is that generally it is not worth the bother.
 

merkur

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