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Prong Set Diamonds In An Eternity Band - Is It Common For The Ones On The Bottom Of The Band To Come Loose / Fall Out?


Chris - DC
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Thanks to the helpful and practical information I received on this forum I was able to find a center stone that I love for an engagement ring that I am creating and now I am having the setting custom made.

 

 

 

I am having a cathedral style settings for a princess center stone (the band will be around 2.2 mm) that will have small prong set diamonds all around the band in an “eternity style.†I had a local jeweler in mind for the setting but went to a local appraiser to have the loose diamond checked out and the appraiser offered to create the setting for significantly less.

 

 

 

Although the price the appraiser is offering sounds terrific, there are a couple of things that raised a red flag. First, the appraiser explained that he could do prong set diamonds all around the band but explained that it may not be wise because the diamonds on the bottom of the setting will likely come out and have to be replaced. He explained that he has done this before but that he would recommend a ring that has the diamonds come 7/8 way around because in his experience the diamonds on the bottom of an eternity band will have to be reset / replaced “fairly frequently.â€

 

 

 

Is this common? I have seen several eternity style wedding bands and engagement rings offered both online and in stores and does this happen with those as well? Or would the diamonds being replaced be more of a reflection on the craftsman ship of the settings and rings that he is offering?

 

 

 

Although the appraiser does not have a traditional jewelry shop, he is located in a suite inside of an office building, he did have several items on a display table and was able to show me some examples of some of the wedding bands that they have created and they looked fine. But would I be taking a chance on sacrificing quality to save money?

 

 

 

And as a more general question, how wide is the range of craftsmanship when it comes to creating a setting like the one I described? I am not asking for a jeweler to create any special designs or anything of that nature but I was told that using prong set diamonds set all around a band takes a little more craftsmanship than other settings. Would the quality of the setting be fairly similar regardless of the place I have it made or is there a wide range in how the same setting will come out amongst different jewelers?

 

 

 

Although I do not have an unlimited budget, this is one item where I am happy to spend a little more for quality but would prefer not to significantly more if there really isn’t much of a difference between the quality I will get at one place over another.

 

 

 

Also I should mention that the appraiser’s company is NOT listed with the Better Business Bureau but I was able to find a couple of articles written about the company and the fact that it is family owned and has been passed down for several generations. Not sure if the fact that they are not listed with the BBB should be seen as a positive sign that they have not had complaints in the past, or if I should be weary.

 

 

 

Again thanks to all for the helpful information to date and thanks in advance for any advice on this issue.

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Hopefully Neil will chime in here, but I don't think a person posing as an appraiser should take that as an opportunity to try and "steal" the sale.

 

As far as the specific eternity band questions: it is a specialized product- so it's important to buy such a ring from a company experienced in them.

I agree that the bottom of an eternity band is at risk- and also recommend using a "sizing bar" at the bottom to protect it.

BUT - if a person wants an all the way around band, it can be done so that the stones are not falling out frequently.

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Hopefully Neil will chime in here, but I don't think a person posing as an appraiser should take that as an opportunity to try and "steal" the sale.

 

As far as the specific eternity band questions: it is a specialized product- so it's important to buy such a ring from a company experienced in them.

I agree that the bottom of an eternity band is at risk- and also recommend using a "sizing bar" at the bottom to protect it.

BUT - if a person wants an all the way around band, it can be done so that the stones are not falling out frequently.

 

Thanks David.

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I’m really curious why you are describing this business as an appraiser. Is that the word he uses in his advertising and how he describes himself? This is a jewelry store, pure and simple, and the fact that he doesn’t have much inventory and works out of an office building doesn’t change that one bit. Taking a stone from one jeweler to another to see if it’s as described as a part of the shopping process is fraught with risks because of the conflict of interest inherent in the question but I have no way of knowing if their advice was good. If you don't have an independent appraiser nearby I understand why you would do it but do be aware of the problem with this. When one jeweler badmouths another, it says something about both of them and I would be very cautious about relying on this, especially if it’s accompanied by a sales pitch for an alternative or a recommendation to a 3rd party as an alternative source. Red flags abound. Just for my own interest, is there a website that you can show us promoting this place (the appraiser)?

 

On to your question. The bottom of eternity bands is at risk for trouble and poor craftsmanship will aggravate it substantially. My guess, however, is that the real reason for leaving a 1/8 gap at the bottom is to suit his purposes more than yours. A band that goes all the way around is very difficult to size and that makes it hard to do in a factory made piece unless you just happen to want the right size. Mass production is the key to getting the price down and if you find his prices to be substantially less than similar pieces elsewhere I suspect this is at least part of the reason.

 

The range of craftsmanship is huge. Well done and properly cared for anniversary bands can hold up for a good long time. Poorly done or abused pieces can be a constant headache.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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I’m really curious why you are describing this business as an appraiser. Is that the word he uses in his advertising and how he describes himself? This is a jewelry store, pure and simple, and the fact that he doesn’t have much inventory and works out of an office building doesn’t change that one bit. Taking a stone from one jeweler to another to see if it’s as described as a part of the shopping process is fraught with risks because of the conflict of interest inherent in the question but I have no way of knowing if their advice was good. If you don't have an independent appraiser nearby I understand why you would do it but do be aware of the problem with this. When one jeweler badmouths another, it says something about both of them and I would be very cautious about relying on this, especially if it’s accompanied by a sales pitch for an alternative or a recommendation to a 3rd party as an alternative source. Just for my own interest, is there a website that you can show us promoting this place (the appraiser)?

 

On to your question. The bottom of eternity bands is at risk for trouble and poor craftsmanship will aggravate it substantially. My guess, however, is that the real reason for leaving a 1/8 gap at the bottom is to suit his purposes more than yours. A band that goes all the way around is very difficult to size and that makes it hard to do in a factory made piece unless you just happen to want the right size. Mass production is the key to getting the price down and if you find his prices to be substantially less than similar pieces elsewhere I suspect this is at least part of the reason.

 

The range of craftsmanship is huge. Well done and properly cared for anniversary bands can hold up for a good long time. Poorly done or abused pieces can be a constant headache.

 

Neil

 

 

My apologies for any misunderstanding. Let me explain a little more. I actually purchased a loose diamond from the online vendor Blue Nile. The local jeweler who I was talking to offered me a few princess cut diamonds from their inventory but I chose Blue Nile because of their signature ideal collection of princess stones. I wanted a 1.75 carat princess that had optimal sparkle and brilliance and while the stones I saw from local dealers were nice I wanted something that had a little more in terms of its cut grade and light performance. So I bought the stone online - but wanted to take it to an independent appraiser to get a verbal opinion regarding whether the stone was everything it was reported to be. (Meaning that it was an actual diamond, that it was internally flawless, and that the GIA report number could be verified on the girdle etc). I knew that I was having my setting custom made and that making the setting may take several weeks but wanted to be sure that the stone was everything it purported to be before the 30 days return policy expired. I also wanted the opportunity to look at the stone myself under a microscope, and wanted to know if there were any red flags that I should be aware of.

 

Once I received the stone, I called the local jeweler who I was planning to use for the setting and they explained that they did not have an appraiser on sight. They said I could go to a different store location and speak with their appraiser later this week or I could drop the stone off and they would have their appraiser look at it later this week and report back what was said. But I wanted to make sure I got an unbiased opinion and wanted to be able to ask questions and look at the stone myself under the microscope for myself. Again I am happy with the way the stone looked but with a 30 day return policy for something purchased online I wanted to cover myself. So I googled local appraisers hoping to find someone who made their living doing appraisals and would give good unbiased information and found Shah & Shah Appraisers Inc. There website can be found at http://www.shah-shah.com/ .

 

Again the people there seemed friendly enough and knowledgeable and then began to ask me questions about the setting I was planning to use and offered to do the setting for significantly cheaper (and using diamonds of a higher color grade in the setting for the lower price). Given the price difference and the offer to use diamonds of a higher color grade I wanted to raise the questions that jumped out at me with the forum and see if they were legitimate concerns.

Edited by Chris - DC
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I'll cut them some slack. I don't see anything about that beyond the name that implies they are anything other than a jewelry store and they were upfront with you about what they were doing. It's a touchy topic because there are 'appraisers' all over the place that fuzzy this boundary to where it's barely recognizable and I'm fairly sensitive to it.

 

Neil

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