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You get what you pay for

We’re quite often faced with the question “is that your best price”, more often than not we are very happy to negotiate with our clients and try to offer them the very best value for money possible. There is however always a limit and sometimes when we say; “yes that’s the best I can do” that is in fact the case! Recently we had a customer who reached this point and sadly, still chose not to purchase, what was disappointing and to be honest a little hurtful was when he returned some months later with a ring made elsewhere which was an obvious attempt to copy ours. He asked us to re-size his new ring and we did so with good grace, we did however, also take the opportunity to observe the differences between his ring and ours so that we can show you the difference.

We often mention the care we use in selecting our diamonds, this shows the difference in colour, clarity and proportions between our ring on the bottom and the copy at the top.
From this angle you can see clearly some of the structural differences. Our ring on the right exhibits clean graduation in the tiered halo’s closely encircling the centre stone. The copy on the left is much more disjointed, the centre stone appears too small for its surround leaving gaps around it and sitting very high.

The first and most obvious difference is in the diamonds. If you’ve read our ‘Five C’s guide to diamonds, you’ll know that there’s more to the selection of diamonds than fishing them out of a bag, which may well have happened here! As you can make out from the photograph there is no consistency in the colour or clarity of the diamonds, specifically the varying colour in the diamonds is obvious. On this scale of diamond content, you may save yourself a few hundred pounds granted. Be honest. Look at both rings and tell me the extra few hundred isn’t worth it?

From this angle you can see clearly some of the structural differences. Our ring on the left exhibits clean graduation in the tiered halo’s closely encircling the centre stone. The copy on the right is much more disjointed, the centre stone appears too small for its surround leaving gaps around it and sitting very high.
Perhaps not as obvious but important nonetheless, here you can see the difference in the ring shanks very clearly. Our ring on the lower left has a good weight of metal around the whole band, the setting is braced underneath to strengthen the head and the shoulders are solid. The copy on the upper right is much lighter throughout, the setting edge is more exposed, the head is suspended at the shoulders but not supported at all and the settings in the shoulders have been drilled clean through the shoulders.

The second big difference is in the diamond setting. The difference may be a little more nuanced, but it is there, and it is important. The claws are much heavier and much more angular. This is often explained away as giving more strength to a claw to protect a diamond, but it’s overkill, far more than is necessary and a poor excuse for not refining the setting process.

Lastly the shaping of the ring. This is very often overlooked but will make the difference between a piece of jewellery with clean elegant lines and a piece which looks just far too heavy and unwieldly, not sympathetic to the style of this ring. Overall it gives the impression of an unfinished ring, something made as cheaply and quickly as possible by the lowest bidder, not something that has received the care and attention of a skilled jeweller.

All three of these pictures of the copy ring show the mismatch in the colour and clarity of the smaller stones, some appearing much darker in yellow and brown shades, some appearing cloudy or flat due to inclusions. We maintain a standard of G colour (rare white) and VS clarity in all of our small stones for exactly this reason. The setting of the stones can also be seen to be very rough and seemingly unfinished, the edges of the setting clearly made by a crude saw line rather than a properly crafted setting edge.

What I’d like to make clear is I’m not wanting to assassinate another jewellers work, people are at liberty to buy from who they choose. What I want to explain is that we charge a fair price for our work consistently offering great value for money, we put a great deal of effort into that work and we really hope it shows, from the selection of the stones to the painstaking work to craft the jewellery into a beautiful finished piece. You may find that you can get something that looks a bit like our work for less, but look closely, which you’re going to do, and you’ll see that what you save doesn’t always reflect how much you’ll lose.