she is a long time, long distance customer. she is a delightful person from a truly different era when one dressed for dinner and never left the house without lipstick. she wanted me to design, within her budget, a new pair of earrings to wear with her large aquamarine and diamond pendant.
let’s not break the bank
i do try really hard to offer suggestions to suit and fit both the piece being fabricated, redesigned or repaired and the wallet that will be paying for it. the first quote for aquamarine stones was just under $9,000. kind of crazy for a pair of earrings wanted on a whim.
the beauty of gemstones is there is usually more than one type with the same or similar color to fit the budget and the request. the same can be said of metals. sterling silver can be used rather than white gold, palladium or platinum. if one is tied to gold only, then we have the options of a lower karat – 10k rather than 14k or 18k. and even gold-filled or gold-plated elements can be used as well. many options to fit the dollars and the design!
that first quote was crazy expensive; and so, knowing color was more important than using the same type of stone, i suggested we go with sky blue topaz – same color and saturation as her pendant but much more reasonable in cost.
sourcing the stone – natural blue gems are very expensive
if a stone is natural in color, it is very expensive and usually has a lab report to verify the color is natural. almost every affordable color gemstone used in jewelry is “treated” in some way for color. for example, sapphires can be oven-baked to achieve the blues we know so well. same goes for topaz. The American Gemological Society has a key to indicate the treatments for gemstones. in this case i did not have the access to the pendant for the blue topaz color-match to the aquamarine in the pendant. there is almost always a subtle range of color even when matching in person. as this was a long distance request, the customer simply approved the color of the topaz over the internet.
continuing to keep costs down, i also suggested using 10k yellow gold for the settings, with 14k white gold omega clips. the result is a lovely pair of beautifully-balanced earrings; and unless you know they are topaz, you assume the stones are aquas!
- custom earrings with emerald cut sky blue topaz, 10k yellow gold setting and 14k white gold clips
- Location: Vero Beach, FL