When taking delivery of one of our rings, customers often tell us that the diamond they chose ‘loose’ (unset) not only looks much larger than when they selected it but, in our design, it also has more ‘presence’ than the same carat-weight in traditional settings they’ve tried elsewhere. So, in considering budget, we suggest changing your approach from ‘standard’ rings with stones chosen by ‘carat weight’. Rather, we suggest thinking about rings by ‘design’ and stones by ‘tenths of millimetres’. Doing these two things will give your ring more ‘bang for the buck’ as the design emphasizes the stone (instead of just ‘holding’ it) and, by considering buying ‘short-weight’, the diamond could cost considerably less. So what is short-weight? Short-weight is a diamond that weighs slightly less than the well-known markers (1 carat, 1.50 carat, 2 carat etc). The diamond market has created ‘per-carat’ price bumps based on these arbitrary weight changes that create major price increases for minor millimetre changes. Let us explain … Take three diamonds of exactly the same grade of cut, color and clarity. One weighs 1.70 carat, one 1.85 carat, the third 2.00 carat. Typical market prices for these stones are: the 1.70 carat costs $10,000 per carat = $17,000 total cost. The 1.85 carat costs $10,500 per carat = $19,425 total cost. The 2.00 carat costs $12,500 per carat = $25,000 total cost. So the increase of .15 carat between the 1.70 and 1.85 is a rational $2,425 ($160 per point). But exactly the same difference between the 1.85 and the 2.00 costs $5,575 ($370 per point!) What do you get for this money? Less than two-tenths of a millimetre in the stone’s diameter. We consider the 1.85 to be the best value of the three stones because it is just ‘short’ of the 2.00 per carat price bump (short-weight) so is seriously less money (but only a tiny bit smaller) than the 2.00. In fact many (most?) 2.00 carat stones are no bigger in diameter than this 1.85 as we show in our ‘size versus weight’ video. Let’s be clear. Two tenths of a millimetre is noticeable if you compare the two stones closely, side by side, but it is a rare jeweler (let alone consumer) who could tell them apart if held at arms length. It is our contention that short-weight is the very best way to get near-enough the size diamond you want, at your budget, without compromising beauty in any way. By the time you set it in one of our designer rings no one but you will be aware that your 2.00 actually weighs 1.85. But there’s a catch! There are way less short-weights on the market than full-weights. As we say in our ‘size versus weight’ video, imagine you’re a cutter with a piece of rough measuring 7.9mm and have to choose what stone to cut from it ………. If you cut for beauty you’ll get a knockout 1.85 selling for $19,425. If you cut for weight you’ll get a too-deep 2.00 (which would be less brilliant). It will sell to an uninformed buyer for, say, $23,000 instead of the $21,000 it should sell for or the $25,000 a properly proportioned 2.00 would cost. Many people buy the $23,000 stone thinking it’s a good deal, believing it to be the same as the $25,000 one. Wrong, they’re actually paying $2,000 too much for the $21,000 stone and getting a less beautiful diamond. So, sorry, no prizes for the answer to how many more 2.00s there are on the market than 1.85s. The cutter cuts what the market is asking for, weight, not beauty. That said, our diamond specialists are there for you. Although there are way less short-weight stones out there of any size, they are available with a bit of patience, and we have a great record of getting them out of hiding! The other per carat price bumps are: .50 carat, .70 carat, .90 carat, 1 carat, 1.5 carat, 2 carat, 2.5 carat and then it jumps every half carat.
Have you ever been in a club where all the white shirts and blouses are so white they’re almost blue? That’s ultraviolet light and some diamonds react to light in a similar way.
From a practical point of view this means fluorescence can be used to ‘confuse the eye’ by adding this ‘blueing’ phenomena to what you see. This can be useful as it can make an ‘h’ color stone look like a good ‘g’ which is a neat budgetary play.
The stuart moore difference is comprised of four elements which form a most unusual ‘package.’ they are, harder metals, modern design, better craftsmanship and diamonds at great prices.
The source of this package lies in stuart’s background. After showing a little aptitude in only two subjects at school (art and metalwork), he started his working life in by choosing the career path more likely of the two to put food on the table, signing on as an apprentice engineer. His training taught him to deal with special metals and manufacturing techniques for making complicated forms. However, this work lacked an artistic element so, eventually, the art/design path called and he moved to jewelery design.
This mix of engineering and design forms the dna in our little company to this day. It is the fundamental element which makes stuart moore different from the norm in several ways……….
The platinum and gold we use is twice as hard with twice the tensile strength of that used in about 90% of jewelery sold in the USA.
Stuart moore galleries have specialized in modern, simple designs for over 40 years, showing the stuart moore collection and the work of about 30 designers at any one time. We are extraordinarily proud that such an esteemed group of top designers of modern jewelery have chosen stuart moore galleries to show their work under one roof, a cooperation which has built us into the largest galleries of this (tiny) niche in the USA.
Using such hard metals requires different manufacturing methods (hand fabrication or die striking) to the normal (casting). At stuart moore, almost everything we show is hand fabricated which requires a much higher level of skilled craftsmen who spend a lot more time to create each piece.
For over 30 years stuart moore has been a broker of diamonds (over half carat) and fine colored gems, all at really great prices. We have specialized in GIA certificated diamonds since 1987, rejecting all others.
The combination of these differences is a very rare package indeed. We feel it is no exaggeration to claim, in contrast to the mass of poor quality (but hugely hyped) product out there, that stuart moore shows the highest quality pieces available anywhere today. Our pieces are equal to anything made 100 years ago in the days when craftsmanship was a highly valued element in any luxury purchase.
In contrast, most retailers have taken the much easier (and more profitable) traditional route to sourcing the products they show, meaning they buy from manufacturers who can only cast. Thus, limited to the same production techniques as everybody else, much (but not all) of what is produced takes on a same-ness.
Of course there are some great designs out there that are cast, that is not our point. We only wish to demonstrate that, for the less creative majority of manufacturers, just one route to gaining market share remains; to go for low- cost / high- margin by moving manufacturing to Asia. This leaves consumers with a clear choice and we hope you’ll see the difference and choose a piece of work created by one of the designers at stuart moore.
Sorry, that’s a lot of words to describe the difference we believe you’ll see and feel for yourself the moment you hold one of our pieces in your own hand.
Finally, we have one new difference……. Stuart’s philosophy has been shared for the last fifteen years by his son andrew, now the managing director of stuart moore. Andrew, with his team, is the driving force behind this online expansion in the company’s growth.
In fact our pricing policy is, in normal circumstances, to never be undersold. By that we mean our prices are those given to us by the individual designers so, unless someone is having a sale somewhere in the world on a particular piece, our price will be as low as anyone’s.
As you’ll find in our traditional sections of die-struck engagement rings or wedding rings, when we sell a ‘normal’ piece of jewelery our price is right there with the best. These pieces, which have a very low labor cost because they’re programmed to be made automatically by machines and usually weigh much less than designer pieces, are great value for money but limit consumers to a very narrow range of design.
If you decide your taste lies outside the limits of die-struck pieces, you’re left with cast or hand-fabricated jewelery. Cast pieces require a lot less labor time (with a lot lower skill level) so should be (but are often are not) less expensive than hand-fabricated.
The comparison is a bit like cars. Just as an audi or bmw cost more than a pontiac it is easy to see that the difference is for true value, not more profit in the seller’s pocket. Any price difference represents good value to you for more time, more skill and better materials.
Discounts on jewelery.
We can’t tell you how often we hear when someone discovers we’re in the jewelery business that it must be great to buy something for $1,000 and sell it for $5,000. We wish!
The trouble with this impression is that it’s partly grounded in reality. There are people who mark jewelery up enough to give discounts. If they’re used to giving ‘favored clients’ 20% (or 30% or 40%, or even a ‘wholesale’ 50%) they mark their prices up so they get their proper margin after the ‘discount’. The reality is, honest retailers don’t mark up their products to give any discount, and, at year end, we’re lucky if we earn 8% net profit on turnover (and that’s in a good year). That’s why you’ll find most of us working evenings and weekends!
Our pricing policy at stuart moore is simple. If you find any piece of jewelery shown in our galleries (or this site) elsewhere for a price lower than ours give us a call with details. It is our policy not to be undersold.
Discounts on diamonds.
Diamond pricing has become a commodity business and our reduced margins have caused prices to come way down from those you’ll see in stores.
So, if you’re shopping around for a diamond, you’ll find the best-priced 5 companies online (including us) will have some stones that look higher, some the same and some lower in price than the others’.
These variances are not about profit margins but tiny differences in the stone, not evident in the certificates’ descriptions.
To understand this, now you’re online, click here to go to ‘4 steps to a perfect diamond ring’.
Our videos will help you avoid a series of very costly errors by showing you the last three things you need to know before you can relax and forget about getting overcharged on a diamond. If you’ve got this far, you are going to buy at a great price!
Our informal estimate (from speaking with precious metal suppliers) is that over 90% of jewelery sold in the USA is made by a method called casting. The other 10% is nearly all used up in making mass-produced pieces by a method called die striking. We are one of extremely few companies in the world that produce individual pieces out of solid sheets of platinum or gold. It is this difference in manufacturing method that creates the hardness.
Just like steelmills, when precious-metal manufacturing companies produce their platinum or gold for jewelery workshops, they provide a broad range of sizes, shapes and forms.
For casters they provide small grains, like little peas, which are melted into liquid and poured into molds of whatever piece is wanted. This process ‘loosens’ the molecular structure and thus reduces the metal’s hardness and strength by 50% See the metallurgist lab report.
So that covers 90% of the platinum and gold used in jewelery,. Now let’s discuss the last 10%.
There are two methods of making jewelery (taking up the last 10%) without losing the hardness and strength. Almost all of it is used in die striking simple shanks and heads for traditional engagement rings or machining wedding rings.
Die striking is where a hard-steel tool, comprised of a male and a matching female part, is slammed into a piece of metal, forming the desired shape. It’s exactly how body panels for cars are made. These tools are hilariously expensive to build.
Die struck products are the same hardness and strength as ours but, in order to cover the cost of tooling and machine set-ups, are nearly always limited to a range of products that will sell in the tens of thousands. We carry a selection of what we’re told by the manufacturers are the best of these products (see our Classics section in engagement rings and wedding rings). Of course, because these products require almost no labor (and are usually very light in weight) they are much less expensive than hand-fabricated pieces.
So we’ve now accounted for around where 99% of platinum and gold used for jewelery goes, leaving only the 1% that stuart moore (and a few others) has long made its niche, non-cast, hand-crafted individual pieces. We buy our metals in cold-rolled sheets and bars, forging or sawing our pieces out of them. Thus we retain the original hardness and strength of the metal and, by employing only the most skilled craftsmen found anywhere (combined with the latest machine-tool technology), produce individual (or limited edition) pieces out of metal twice as hard and twice as strong.
Die striking is exactly how a car’s metal panels are produced. A very expensive tool is made comprised of (at least) two parts,; a male and a female. A piece of metal is placed between these two parts and, under high pressure, they slam together, forcing the metal into the desired form. A good tool is one where the piece comes out already ‘polished’, needing little or no human labor. It is a very cost-efficient method but, as the tooling is so costly, usually only used on mass-manufactured rings. If your taste isn’t satisfied with the selection you find yourself looking at cast or hand-fabricated rings.
A cast ring is where the platinum or gold is melted into liquid form and poured into a mould of whatever piece is wanted. This is the method used today in about 90% of jewelery on the market. While there are great pieces of jewelery made this way most is mass-produced and not of top quality. In fact, because the process of casting itself reduces the metal’s hardness by 50%, we won’t use it for engagement rings. (see our lab report).
Hand-fabrication is when a top craftsman starts with sheets of metal and saws, files, welds and polishes the piece into a mini-sculpture. He/she might use machine tools in the process but, essentially, it is just old-fashioned craftsmanship at its best. Making jewelery in this way is more difficult so more costly but the result is a much finer quality piece. In addition, as the metal is twice as hard as a cast piece, it is the only method we use for building engagement rings in the stuart moore collection.
No, they are sold exclusively in stuart moore galleries and on this site.
We call this ergonomic form ‘stuart’s shape’as it was he who came up with it in 1964. It evolved because he was about to get married but found round rings uncomfortable. He played with some metal, bending it into various shapes, ending up with the form we’ve used since for 95% of our rings. No kidding, it is way more comfortable and, particularly for rings with a heavy top (like engagement or other stone-set rings) it greatly reduces the rolling around the finger. Hey, if you’ve spent a fortune on a lovely stone, why not make sure it’s on top of your finger!
This is one of the most important points we need to cover on this website so forgive us being a bit lengthy here in doing everything to avoid a costly error.
First, even if you’re sure of your ring size, we’d prefer to send you some sizers to double check. Here’s why.
Most traditional rings are round and quite narrow so changing a size is easy , taking about 15 minutes. No problem and that’s why we and other jewelers do it as a free customer service on new rings.
But, even for these rings that are the easiest to size (including those in the Classics sections of this site), there is another kind of cost; sizing removes metal from the back of the ring, reducing its weight and life. Hey, this is not life and death stuff but it is better to avoid sizing whenever possible by ordering the right size.
It is a much different situation for most of the pieces we sell where the shank is heavier and an integral part of the design. Cutting it and generally changing its form can endanger stones and mess up the aesthetic balance so should be avoided whenever possible. It is also very expensive so we want to do everything to ensure to get it right the first time and will jump through hoops working with you to be certain before we make it.
Imagine if you see the perfect jacket hanging in your favorite clothier’s window. You go in but the size is way too big (or small) for you. It would be far better to order the same design, from the same maker who will tailor it the first time to fit you than to have the one you tried on hacked around or patched in an attempt to make it fit you.
We are happy to remount a stone from a ring you’ve had for years that you’d like to up-date. We will do the setting work (it’s included in the price). It’s usually a transformation, like putting a great frame on a favorite picture.
Other than that we would ask why? We have diamonds at great prices and the best follow-up service in the business. For these reasons we don’t sell our rings for stones newly purchased elsewhere.
Yes. Contact us at 1 866 581 0693 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Almost all rings yes, but some would take a lot of work. If you’re concerned about this, ask us when choosing and we’ll guide you to the easier ones.
No. We don’t work in white gold. Some of our rings are available in palladium which is less expensive than platinum and, although much lighter in weight, similar in color.
Have you ever owned a white shirt or blouse for several years but found you don’t wear it because it isn’t truly white anymore and has a bit of ‘grubby yellowness’ to it? White gold is like that. 18 karat white gold is 75% yellow gold mixed with 25% of other metals (silver, nickel etc) intended to ‘take away’ the yellow look. Of course, it doesn’t succeed totally so almost all white gold jewelery is plated with rhodium to make it look white. When the plating wears off it looks like that shirt or blouse. Platinum or palladium are naturally white colored metals and that’s why we use them instead of ‘white’ gold.
Oh yes! We specialize in custom pieces.
Yes. Like everything at stuart moore it’s a pretty common-sense system rather than defined. We’re happy to refinish and clean our pieces free for life but we charge for repair due to an accident or misuse.
We have absolutely super prices!
We’re right up (down?) There with the best-priced guys in the world! This is not a big surprise because we’ve been diamond brokers for over 30 years, specializing in only GIA certificated stones since 1987. We’ve made several videos to help you get the answer to an important question: “Why do prices, even on the same site, vary so much for seemingly identical certificated stones?” Be sure to see “Certificates”, “Size vs Weight” and “Compare”.
Over those 30 years we’ve learned a lot about what kind of stones customers who like our jewelery prefer to set in it and, in response, we’ve refined our diamond selection to the very top 5% of available stones, particularly in the most important of the 4cs, cutting where we sell only the top 2 of 5 grades (excellent & very good).
These stones match our very unusual quality of jewelery and, we believe, one deserves the other.
By opening our online division we are among the first serious companies (though very small and family owned) to offer the best GIA certificated diamonds at online prices, instore or online. Combined with well located, long established galleries showing a unique group of top designer’s work, we think that’s the future.
There are several ways.
3) start with a smaller diamond of the right quality (so it retains trade-in value) but in the right setting. Then trade up the stone when you want to spend the difference. We suggest you tell us if you’re planning this as not all settings can be altered to fit bigger stones. We also suggest it’s only a good idea if you’re prepared for at least a $5,000 difference when trading up. The likely cost to alter the ring is $300-$500.
4) start by buying the right diamond but have us set it in a very basic mounting. If you come back for her perfect ring within 5 years we’ll give you back what you paid for the basic mount against one you wanted.
Start with color. Think about the word ‘range’ rather than letters. In color there is an infinite number of possible gradations possible between ‘d’ and ‘z’. However, by necessity, in order to be practical, someone had to arbitrarily choose a limited number of ‘ranges’ to define color. The same is true for clarity; there are an infinite number of possible gradations between if and i3. These choices of where to ‘draw lines’ fell to the GIA to decide and, although for the moment it is still the best option available, it leaves the ‘range’ problem intact.
We cover this ‘range’ issue very thoroughly in our video, “Certificates”. It’s a must-see if you’re buying a diamond.
The site is updated every day. If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, contact one of our diamond specialists at 1 866 581 0693 or e-mail email@example.com and let them know what you need. We have daily access to thousands of additional stones and usually will get back to you in hours with options.
Because we believe in carrying only the most beautiful stones. Any diamond with less than a very good cut grade is, by definition, less brilliant (less beautiful) and that is why they’re cheaper. But our reasons are deeper than that they are for the protection of the uninitiated buyer.
The reason stones don’t get a grade of ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ is that the cutter usually had another priority in mind when deciding what to cut. This other priority is usually not in your interest or, in fact, cheaper for you; it is usually just misleading.
Have a look for example at our size versus weight video which will give you the idea.
In this video the same piece of rough can be cut either as a 1.85 carat (which would likely end up with a cut-grade of excellent or very good) or a 2.00 carat (which, because too deep, would certainly not get that good a cut-grade). The fact is that the 2.00 carat is the same diameter and less brilliant than the 1.85 so is a bad choice even though it’s tempting to see only the heavier weight for a ‘good’ price.
Yes, we are followers of the kimberley process.
Stuart Moore and its diamond cutters have long abhorred the role conflict diamonds have played in our industry and are grateful that, in 2003, a process to keep these stones out of the legitimate market was installed. These controls are called The Kimberley Process and, although not yet 100% watertight, are a fantastic improvement on the past and getting more efficient every day.
A new pragmatic reality has entered the industry where all countries have come to see that significant good comes to their countries and people that from having open and free markets for legitimately mined stones. The cessation of war in Sierra Leone and Angola alone vastly reduced the supply of ‘conflict’ stones so, if nothing else, self-interest now deters even the immoral from continuing dealing in conflict diamonds.
Stuart Moore was an early participant in securing its supply chain against any chance of passing on a conflict diamond to our clients. At the same time as being mindful of the significant good that many African countries gain from this natural resource it is now easy to protect that continent’s peoples from abuse by insisting on buying no stone, regardless of an attractive price, that hasn’t been recognized as being controlled from mine to dealer by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
Essentially, this scheme has the governments of over 70 countries attest to the legitimacy of each package leaving their territory. Each package contains diamonds in their rough state from only legitimate and certified mines, who seal them in boxes that are impossible to open without such tampering being evident. These boxes are then passed by courier up the sorting, cutting and selling chain under the same sealed-packet system, assuring those of us who trade in diamonds that we have only conflict-free stones to sell.
All of our cutters and dealers are long-standing members of the KPCS and have letters filed with us attesting to the conflict- free supply chain (thus provenance) of every stone we buy.
We buy and sell diamonds as brokers in exactly the way real estate is done. Just like houses have historically gone up in price, so, normally, we have been able to give trade in value of at least what was paid. However, just like a house, if the market is in a lull, it would affect the trade in value.
We only sell GIA certified stones so, if it came from us, it’ll have it’s cert with it. If you want verification, ask to see it under the scope or take the stone and the cert to an independent gemologist.
Although stones are expensive they’re pretty small so, to stay in proportion, the amount of metal holding them in the ring is similar to a pin, difficult but possible to bend. No one’s to blame if you bend a prong and lose a stone so it’s always wise to insure your ring. We give free appraisals and, if you have the ring added to your ‘householder’s insurance’ policy, the cost is minimal. If something really crazy happens that you believe is our fault, we’re fair people, tell us what happened.
Easy, it’s all about fairness and staying in business.
First, all loose diamonds are fully returnable and refundable for 32 days after purchase.
Second, returns of stuart moore engagement rings.
At stuart moore we have one set of sample rings of each of our designs in each gallery. Every ring is set with a particular size and shape center stone and, as it’s only a sample, this is a cubic zirconia and not for sale.
If we had to set all these rings with 1 to 5 carat diamonds the huge investment would mean we couldn’t keep our diamond prices down to anything like the level where you’d be prepared to buy. We’d be in the same fix as normal retailers who do have diamonds in every ring. Someone has to pay their carrying costs and, unfortunately, it’s you. The resulting high prices are probably a part of why you’re online and we think you’re right. But it does mean we have to spend new money to make you a ring, her size, for your chosen stone so can’t accept it for return. That could be a fast way to go out of business!
Our solution to this is easy:
As a bricks & mortar and online operation we suggest you take us up on our free hotel offer and enjoy the opportunity to have a romantic interlude.
Show her you’re not only a smart businessman but also a romantic fool. It’s the perfect way to be sure you’ve picked the prefect stone and the perfect ring. (see our video ‘you’ve picked the diamond now how about the ring’).
We think it’s the perfect way to be certain the ring that Tiffany says “she’ll look at a million times” is the perfect choice for her, in design and price.
Third, returns of our designer’s jewelery.
Each of our thirty designers has a virtual ‘designs available’ catalogue of an amazing amount of pieces, maybe five times what they have in their actual collection at any one time. Those are the photos you see on this site.
Each year, each individual designer (many of them two or three person workshops) guess how much money they can invest on making pieces for inventory based on expected sales etc. They then elect which designs will actually be produced ‘for inventory.’
The rest (probably 80% of the ‘available designs’) will only be built ‘to order’ meaning when a member of the public special orders it. To build this special order, the designer spends time and (usually borrowed) money over and above their budget for inventory, so they need to be sure they’ll be paid.
So, if you buy a piece stuart moore already has in the galleries (available now sections in our site) we have no problem to refund your money as we or the designer have already made the financial decision to produce it.
However, if you order a piece that doesn’t yet exist (from our site’s ‘available by special order’ sections) the designer would be financially damaged if you returned it. Imagine if several customers all did this to the same designer; that designer would end up with way too much inventory (and way too little cash) and might well go out of business. That’s the reason special orders are not returnable or refundable.
No. We already sell at the designer’s price.
If there’s any chance at all of this happening, tell us when you’re buying. We’ll set the stone in a very simple mounting. Propose to her, telling her that you wanted to respect her taste and choose the perfect ring together. Then, if she says “no”, you’ve already prepared us and we’re happy you didn’t get stuck. But, don’t special order a designer ring (which we would have custom made for you) and expect to return it as that would stick us. That’s why we don’t accept returns on special orders.
Yes, but you’d have to pay the sales tax, whereas, by having the pieces shipped (except ca & ny) as tax law stands at the moment, you don’t.
Yes. Every piece over $1,000 comes with a free appraisal.
It is insured until signed for when we deliver. After that it is up to you. The least expensive way to insure your jewelery is to take out an ‘all risk’ policy on your home and its contents and add the jewelery as what’s called a ‘rider’ (using our appraisal + a copy of the GIA cert if a diamond).
Yes. Several styles, hand or machine engraved.
If ordered in-store it’s our responsibility as we’ll have taken your size. If ordering on line we suggest you receive the ring before it’s engraved, check the size and then have the engraving done. If you order an engraved ring online it’ll be your responsibility if it doesn’t fit.
If you buy from our ‘available now’ sections it means we have the piece in stock so you can have it next day or 2nd day.
If you buy from our ‘available by special order’ sections the piece will be custom made for you by that designer, wherever in the world they live. So delivery varies by designer from ten days to four weeks but we’ll always give firm delivery dates before confirming the order.
Phone 1866 581 0693 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve given us your e-mail address we’ll have e-mailed you the tracking information. If not, phone 1 866 581 0693 or e-mail email@example.com.