Hello Patty,

> i have a job coming up and i need to do some pricing on cut
> stones for a gentleman.  any chance you can direct me to a
> current reference?  i would be grateful for any information to
> help me price out the stones.

At the risk of sounding rude I sincerely hope you are not
aspiring to compete with some nameless production assembly line
cutting shop in your pricing.

Getting the current wholesale price for any standard gem is as
difficult as opening a Stuller catalogue or thumbing through the
back of a Lapidary Journal.  Local gem dealers have most common
jewellery stones and are willing to give prices over the phone.
As an example I can get you a 2ct Amethyst with really good
colour for $40 – $50 but if you want to commission an
exquisitely crafted genuine Patty faceted gem, complete
with her cutting certificate and full provenance you can expect
to pay up to a couple of hundred extra.

If you as an enthusiast or a professional cut something for the
sheer pleasure of the experience then the finished stone has a
value that is directly proportional to the intrinsic value of
the material. Usually rough cost + cutting cost x markup.  Any
downward negotiation from this amount is you not getting your
hobby experience fully patronised.

When you negotiate a commission the customer is seeking your
service and the price of the stone is now simply an addition to
their cost of this service.

To determine the ’service’ value you need a difficulty factor, a
duplication factor and a bucket factor.
How much pain and inconvenience will this job give you
Difficulty;      1 – 5      1=easy         5=migraine
How much trouble would it be to cut more like this
Duplication;      1 – 3     1=fun        3=tiring
How would you feel if you had to cut a bucket full at this price
Bucket;        1 – 3        1=elated        3=miserable

Of course you also need your $per hour value. For a professional
that’s simply shop rate, for an enthusiast who has no idea of
their value as a cutter, just use the largest $per you have ever
been paid by an employer that was making money paying you that
little. Then double it, you can bet your boss did. That’s at
least what you are worth whether or not you are doing whatever
it was you were being paid for. Think that’s a lot of money,
nope, that’s the rate for lap time, fiddle farting around is on
your own time which means dopping with 24 hour epoxy doesn’t get
you 24 hours pay waiting for it to cure….heehee not in my
union anyway.

Your Commission Price is
hours x $perhour x Difficulty x Duplication x Bucket + stone
because that’s what you have just determined is what the job is
worth to you. Any downward negotiation from this amount is you
making a charitable donation to someone else’s business.

I bet you wanted to click on something and look stuff up on a
table…sorry…grin.