Re: lapidary service
If you've ever watched that Treasure TV show lately, you'll have noticed that the lapidary folks charge anywhere from $10/hr up to $??? depending on the difficulty or fragility of the stone being worked on. A lot also depends on what kind of finish you want? A rounded cabochon is cheapest. A multi-faceted finish will cost more. Faceting and cabbing are two similar but different arts and skill sets.
And you will need to realize that while a stone may be 12 or 10 or 20 cts raw, the finished product will be considerably smaller, again depending on the original shape and condition of the stone. I've seen 50 carat stones end up as 15 carats, and I've seen 25 carat stone end up as 20 carats... the stone quality and condition means a lot.
A good rule of thumb for you would to be to take the raw carat weight and multiply by 2 to get a BALLPARK of the minimum $$ amount it'll cost for that stone. The harder the material, the higher the cost, diamonds being the hardest. Could go higher, and of course, the craftsman could examine the stone prior to cutting and decide it's not a good candidate to cut, at which point you'd have a decuision to make, cut anyway or ???. Could have hidden fractures, flaws etc that would ruin it for cabbing and polishing. Some stones are best tumble polished to a nice shine and worn that way instead.
Being that yours are rubies and sapphires, might I suggest you consider having them faceted rather than cabbed. They'll have more value faceted. Cost more to do, but be much nicer finished product.
Hope that helped....
From Phil - August 07, 2008 at 08:21:08