Author Topic: How much to charge for cutting stones  (Read 637 times)


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How much to charge for cutting stones
« on: February 08, 2021, 07:59:41 AM »
Hello everyone. I have been asked to cut a good sized zircon about 4 ct. And a synthetic sapphire. I havent cut for anyone in around 30 years. I was only charging $10 a carot for the finished stone then but i would expect the price to have gone up. So if anyone can tell me a reasonable price i would be grateful.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 09:59:28 AM by Sharyn »


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Re: How much to charge for cutting stones
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 03:05:13 PM »
I don't know about the price, but, Make sure you tell them how much wastage there is. A lot of people expect a 4 carat stone to yield a 4 carat gem and get shitty when it turns out to be 1 carat, even down to accusing you of stealing it. I don't cut for anyone any more.


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Re: How much to charge for cutting stones
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2021, 01:27:27 PM »
Thats why i stopped and only sell cut stones now but i cut some test stones for him and he still wants me to cut more so i will consider that he is a friend of one of our friends and not charge too much.. thanks for your advice and warning.


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Re: How much to charge for cutting stones
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 11:44:33 AM »
Sharyn - you have to ask yourself how long it will take to cut a stone.  I think, from examination, rounding and dopping then pre-form - through to cut, polish, transfer and crown completion - removal and adhesive cleaning you would be looking (unless of course you are a 'gun' professional cutter) at 3 hours min.
You then have to work out what is a fair and equitable hourly rate - 4 ct stone will probably yield about 1 ct so if you charge say $30 per completed carat you are working for a maximum $10 per hour and that is almost sweat shop labour rates.
It comes down to how fast you can cut - as opposed to how well you can produce a finished stone.  My thoughts, judge each stone on its merits and quote a specific price - sometimes the synthetic product can be far harder to polish with perfection (orange peeling) so that is a factor to consider.


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Re: How much to charge for cutting stones
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2021, 09:12:07 PM »
After learning the basics of faceting and cutting a couple of stones I did not pursue faceting when I realized that basically everything could be cut so cheaply in places like Thailand. I respect the skill and fascination of those who do facet in Australia where the main interest seems to be in competitions and cutting the perfect stone.

My prime interest was opal where at least there were value added possibilities and I daresay if you have access to quality rough then there may be a return for your labour in selling cut stones but faceting other people's stones seems hardly worth the trouble. The irony is that if you charge a fair amount faceting for the "friend of a friend" who has the rough may sooner or later hear what it cost to get it done in Thailand and feel, unjustly, that they have been overcharged.


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Re: How much to charge for cutting stones
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2021, 10:48:49 AM »
Sharyn and anyone else who stumbles across this thread...Most cutters these days do value their time and have a set minimum for faceting any gem rough supplied by someone else, whether it be a natural stone or a lab created one.
The ball park figures I've observed are anywhere between $150-$200US ~ $190-$260 AUD 'to start with' no matter how small the gem is.

This is minimum and none guarantee finished size. Most prefer to work with rough they have sourced themselves.

Keep em comin!!!

steve f

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Re: How much to charge for cutting stones
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2021, 02:42:44 PM »
I charge a lot more because i am still learning and i am really slow.


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