Many customers who are not familiar with the gem trade or in retail jewelry business, have inquired about what to expect to pay in general for Gemstone and Diamond settings before purchasing gems in wholesale for jewelry making.
It is important to note, that stone settings are normally charged based on the jewelers own individual pricing and their labor. This journal is not intended to deframe anyone on their labor charges, solely to provide a general guide for the consumer.
During the Holiday seasons, setting costs are extremely high everywhere. We have heard customers reporting sky high prices such as $30 to set a single stone!
As always, it is best to shop around. Once such high prices are quoted, it is always the best to seek other opinions for a more reasonable prices. Please note, for setting charges, there is no right or wrong. A Jewelers rate to set any given stone, is their labor charge, that can not be disputed. However, generally speaking you should expect to pay on US soil approximately $2-$10 maximum to set any stone f.ex. in prong settings. Once anyone asking more than that to set a simple 4 or 6 prong setting per stone, it is recommended to seek his/hers competitors price structure as well.
In general, most retail jewelers provide setting services and in the USA stay in the area of $5 to $10 per stone, per f.ex. prong setting. There is never any need to pay more than that but certainly never over $10 It is a very simple process to set a stone, cut prongs and file prongs to finalize any jewelry piece. It is not something anyone should be ever charged astronomically. Should your casting be pre-notched setting, such stone setting for that is literally a labor of 2 to 5 minutes and should not cost more than a $2 fee. Typically, clusterhead settings, multi-stone bracelets etc, are per agreed price per entire setting, not per stone basis. Please ensure you will receive firm price in advance, never just estimates.
However, as said, there is no right or wrong in this. Retail especially is that what one thinks he/she can make most money out of. This is only a general guideline to advice what to seek from majority of stone setting places. Once someone is asking more than maximum of $10 per stone to set it, please consider shopping around. In New York Diamond district general basic prong setting per stone is understood at $2 to $5 per stone.