This is the question we’re asked most often and perhaps the most important.
The source of the answer 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 aircraft parts. However, this work lacked an artistic element so, eventually, the art/design path called and he moved to jewelry design.
The strengths of moore design are many but one key element is that Stuart not only contributes his own work but curates the work of others as he is, possibly uniquely, connected to the Modern Design community.
Let’s start by describing how Stuart’s pieces differ from the norm with this very short video:
This mix of engineering and design forms the dna in our little company to this day. It is the fundamental element which makes Stuart's pieces different from the norm in several ways………..
moore-design.com specialises in modern, simple designs, showing the work of Stuart Moore - the individual - and many other like-minded designers.
We at ‘moore design’ are extraordinarily proud that such an esteemed group of top designers of modern jewelry have chosen to show their work under our roof.
Using such hard metals requires different manufacturing methods (Hand Fabrication, Milling or 3D Printing) to the normal (casting). At ‘moore design’, 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 40 years Stuart has been a broker of diamonds (over .75ct) and fine colored gems, all at really great prices. Stuart has specialised in GIA certificated diamonds since 1987, rejecting all others and has taken a strong stand in advising clients why they cannot depend on these certificates for pricing comparisons.
No, not at all for what they are.
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.
If you decide your taste lies outside the limits of mass-manufactured die-struck pieces, you’re left with cast or hand-fabricated jewelry. Cast pieces require a lot less labor time (with a lot lower skill level) so should be (but 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.
First, Discounts on jewelry.
We can’t tell you how often we hear when someone discovers we’re in the jewelry business that ‘it must be great to buy something for $1,000 and sell it for $4,000’. We wish!
The trouble with this impression is that it’s partly grounded in reality. There are people who mark jewelry 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 ‘moore design’ is simple. If you find any piece of jewelry shown on this site advertised elsewhere for a price lower than ours give us a call with details. It is our policy not to be undersold.
Second, Discounts on diamonds.
There is no such thing as, unless the price is too high to start with, there is such a tiny margin as diamond pricing has become a commodity business.
Our reduced margins (no overhead) have brought prices down to the point where, once we’ve shown you how to compare Apples with Apples, you will find our prices to be the lowest.
Here’s a link to start to learn how to compare those apples. Watch our three diamond videos.
These are the essential things you need to know before you can relax and forget about getting overcharged on a diamond.
if you spend ten minutes on these videos you are going to buy at a great price whether you buy from ‘moore design’ or not!
We’re glad you asked!
Sometimes pictures are better than a thousand words. Watch this short video and you’ll likely not need to read the rest of this answer.
Our informal estimate (from speaking with precious metal suppliers) is that well over 90% of jewelry 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 or by 3D printing. It is this difference in manufacturing method that creates the hardness.
Just like steel mills, when precious-metal manufacturing companies produce their platinum or gold for jewelry 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%
So that covers 90% of the platinum and gold used in jewelry. Now let’s discuss the last 10%.
There are three methods of making jewelry (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. 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 jewelry goes, leaving only the 1% that Stuart Moore (and a few others) has long made his niche, non-cast, hand-crafted individual pieces. We either 3D print the rough versions of our pieces or buy our metals in cold-rolled sheets and bars, forging or sawing our pieces out of them. Either way we retain the original hardness and strength of the metal and the finishing work is done in the traditional way by our Master Goldsmiths and Stone Setters (we employ only the most skilled craftsmen found anywhere).
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 mass selection you’ll find yourself looking at cast or hand-fabricated rings.
A cast ring is where the platinum or gold is melted into a liquid and poured into a mold of whatever piece is wanted. This is the method used today in about 90% of jewelry on the market. While there are great pieces of jewelry made this way most are mass-produced and not of good quality. In fact, because the process of casting itself reduces the metal’s hardness by 50%, we won’t use it. Look at our Workmanship Video.
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 jewelry in this way is more difficult so more costly but the result is an individual and 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 stuart moore designs.
3D Printing directly from powdered precious metals is brand new and part of a game-changing disruption in almost all industries from body parts to airplanes.
No, Stuart’s pieces are sold exclusively in ‘moore design’ offices and website.
We call this ergonomic form ‘Stuart’s shape’ as it was he who came up with it in the early ‘70s.
He played with some metal, bending it into various shapes, ending up with the form he’s used ever since for 95% of his 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 stays 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 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 we'll 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. We're the right place at the right price to buy your diamond.
Yes. Contact us at 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.
We much prefer platinum as it is the right color and the finest metal. (See answer 16 for more detail on white gold.)
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 jewelry is plated with rhodium to make it look white. When the plating wears off it looks grubby, like that shirt or blouse. Platinum is a naturally white colored metal and that’s why we use it instead of ‘white’ gold.
Oh yes! We specialize in custom pieces: custom
Yes. Like everything else with us, 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.
When comparing Apples with Apples, we sell diamonds as low as anyone, online or anywhere else. This is not a big surprise because Stuart has been a diamond broker for over 40 years, specializing in only GIA certificated stones since 1987.
Over those years we’ve learned a lot about what kind of stones customers who like our jewelry prefer to set in it.
Our customers are right, and, in response we’ve refined our diamond selection to the very top 10% of available stones, particularly in the most important of the 4cs, cutting.
These stones match our very unusual quality of jewelry and, we believe, one deserves the other.
By opening our online division we offer the best GIA certificated diamonds at online prices, visible for comparison in our offices (by appointment). Together with the unique work of top designers. We think that’s the future.
There are several ways.
1) Buy short weight. Although difficult to find, buy stones just under the full carat sizes: (.93 instead of 1.00, 1.44 instead of 1.50, 1.93 instead of 2.00 etc).
2) Buy a stone with g, h (or even J-K) color which has faint to medium fluorescence. This really works!
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.
Identically described GIA certified diamonds vary on any one site by, no kidding 40%.
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 Internally Flawless and Imperfect 3. 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.
For over fifty years we’ve been admirers of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which has trail-blazed its way to become the world’s most respected gem grading laboratory. They defined the term ‘4Cs’ in the 1940s and 1950s and constantly update exhaustive amounts of data on that subject and everything else about diamonds.
This means there’s no purely gemological information we could give you that they’ve not already done better than we could hope to do. That is one reason that we use only GIA Gem Trade Laboratory Reports (Certificates) for every diamond we sell (over .75ct).
The GIA’s non-involvement in the buying or selling of diamonds means they take a professionally independent, hands-off approach to the business side of diamonds. This, in our opinion, is great, but, because the grades used were designated in 1953, in today’s world of the internet, this
old system leaves critical - costly - gaps in pricing information.
A though using words and opinions which are ours, we take pure gemological data (and charts) from publicly available GIA information. Where technically appropriate, we quote the GIA verbatim. We believe the distinction between the two is clear but, should there be any confusion as to who is making a statement, assume it is us, so is our responsibility alone.
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.
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.
moore design 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 and moore design continues this tradition. 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. Just like a house, if the market is in a lull, it would affect the trade in value. However, just like houses, we don’t buy the old diamond until we sell it to another consumer so, for the overlap time, it is necessary for the client to carry both. Or, if that isn’t an option, we suggest two other options of selling the old stone:
1) eBay. We will give you all the technical specs and suggested price that we would ask for the same stone.
2) We will take it to the cutter from whom the new stone would come and see what the net difference would be.
We only sell GIA certified stones so, if it came from us, it’ll have its cert with it and the number is engraved (invisibly to the naked eye) in the girdle (edge) of the stone. 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 is 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 staying in business and fairness.
First returns of Stuart’s pieces.
Other than the remaining pieces from the Stuart Moore galleries (see SALE section) we have no inventory, only sample rings in non-precious metals and CAD images from which you may special order your ring customized for your finger size and diamond choice.
Imagine if we had to make all these options in precious metal – and set them 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 and guess who has to pay their carrying costs. The resulting high prices are probably a part of why you’re online and we think you’re right.
Our alternative is much more effective and way less expensive. Work with us through voice or email to determine budget and ring design with stone preferences. We’ll put together a presentation package expressly for you and meet you in our offices (or yours) to show you your very best options.
We think it’s the perfect way to be certain the ring that Tiffany says “will be looked at a million times” is the perfect choice, in design and price.
Second, returns of our designers’ jewelry.
Each of our 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.
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 their 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 money over and above their budget for inventory, so they need to be sure they’ll be promptly paid.
So, we are always happy to ask the designers if they have the item you want in stock and, if so, bring it in for you on a “return if needed” basis. If you did return it to us we would return it to the designer and you would be charged covering the insured fedex costs (about $200) plus 5% of the purchase price to cover customs charges.
If you order a piece that doesn’t yet exist 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.
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. 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 jewelry is to take out an ‘all risk’ household policy on your home and its contents and add the jewelry 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-office it’s our responsibility as we’ll have taken your size. If ordering online 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.
Except for the Stuart Moore SALE section which are available in a few days (pieces remaining from the now-closed galleries) all other pieces are special orders, 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.
Since Stuart lives in Europe start contact by emailing him at email@example.com
and he’ll call or email you back.
If you’ve given us your e-mail address we’ll have e-mailed you the tracking information.