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Setting Question - Princess Cut And Setting Strength


RobertR
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I have a couple of setting questions.

 

First, I'd like to thank the resident experts for their help in selecting the center stone. Still working through that, but with your help I'll have it figured out soon.

 

To the setting, I have been planning on a simple Tiffany-style solitaire setting in platinum for a 1.5 (or so) Princess cut diamond. However, through the wonders of social media/networking, I have found out that the girlfriend has expressed her love for the attached setting (picture below).

 

I brought the picture to a jeweler I have been working with (though have not been impressed with thus far), and he said that he does not recommend a setting this type for a number of reasons.

 

1. Setting design is too weak for long term engagement ring wearing.

 

2. Design cannot be reliably built in platinum (my preferred metal) due to ductility of platinum.

 

3. Design can not work with a Princess (square) diamond.

 

4. He would not build/sell this design due to problems sure to come up down the road.

 

Please comment on these opinions.

 

b23i2z.jpg

 

 

 

A couple caveats.

 

1. If she loves this setting, why not go with round? I think she still would prefer a square cut diamond, and simply likes the slender design and was not paying much attention to the center stone. So I am sticking with princess.

 

2. I don't think A: she cares about the rose gold (if it was even noticed) and B: she cares about the small diamonds that are in the setting. Again, the slender lines are what makes this attractive. So those issues (if they exist) can be ignored.

 

Last question: Assuming this design is ok, can this setting be replicated, or must I go to the source?

 

http://www.msimagines.com/

 

 

 

Thank You

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I agree in good part with the advice you were given. Specifically, I tend to agree with point 1 your jeweller raised, and correspondingly with point 4. As to the design not working with a Princess: partly true, in the sense that protecting the sharp points with corner prongs (a good idea with princess, pear and marquise cuts) would make the setting gawky, and leaving them exposed would cause a durability issue, which your jeweller is clearly concerned about - a bonus point for him.

 

The issue he is mentioning about platinum is moot - at least up to a point: the right platinum alloy needs to be used - which is not the best for casting (which is by far the cheapest method of producing the design).

 

All in all, I'd say you are receiving sound advice - it is a fancy design, but it is also a fragile one: first of all the metalwork is thin, and secondly the pave work is potentially fragile. You may say she doesn't care, but is the maker prepared to give you a solid metal version (no pave)? And what is the price of the fancy setting? Be careful, because "about as much as the Tiffany-style solitaire" is not necessarily the answer you are looking for.

 

One last point: switching to a round is perfectly feasible - but bear in mind that all else being equal a round costs between 50% and 80% more than a princess of the same colour, clarity, weight and cut quality.

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Thank you for the feedback. I would like a little clarification on one point you made.

 

Davidelevi said:

"And what is the price of the fancy setting? Be careful, because "about as much as the Tiffany-style solitaire" is not necessarily the answer you are looking for."

 

I am not sure I understand your point.

 

To answer the question directly, I have not priced the fancy setting in the picture.

 

I am assuming you are making a "buyer beware" comment here, since it would make logical sense to me that the fancy setting, assuming it is (or can be) done correctly will cost quite a bit more that the solitaire setting. Am I reading that right? Any clarification is appreciated.

 

Next, is there a specific platinum alloy I should look for in a solitaire setting?

 

Finally, I appreciate your point on the round diamond. As I dig deeper into this process, I recognize the additional market structure and rigor (through cut grading, etc.) placed on round diamonds. In a lot of ways, I would prefer to select a round, because it requires less trust from me to be placed on experts, and therefore allows me to find additional comfort in the pricing.

 

Ultimately, though, I am not purchasing this so I can maximize my comfort with spending a lot of money on a rock. I am purchasing something she will love. So I'll take the extra time to figure out how to select a properly cut princess and be happy that I may pay a little less than if she wanted a round.

 

The past two paragraphs were extraneous opinion, so feel free to ignore. Though if I am making incorrect assumptions, feedback is always appreciated.

 

Thank You

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[snip]

I am assuming you are making a "buyer beware" comment here, since it would make logical sense to me that the fancy setting, assuming it is (or can be) done correctly will cost quite a bit more that the solitaire setting. Am I reading that right? Any clarification is appreciated.

Absolutely correct. Not least because of the pave - if done right, it's a lot of skilled work; If done wrong, it's even more skilled work to put it right - but in general the ring seems to involve a fair amount of work. Finding it "cheap" may cost you a lot more in time, frustration, angst and even money than getting something like that done right first time. I have no idea what the site you have found charges for their rings, but if it is "too little", then choose someone else.

 

Next, is there a specific platinum alloy I should look for in a solitaire setting?
Yes and no. There are pros and cons in all alloys, and smiths are more or less comfortable with (or knowledgeable about) specific alloys. If I were to pick my choice for a simple setting, I'd go for 900 Pt / 100 Ir or 950 Pt / 50 Ru, but I would not be prescriptive about it. I'd be a lot more interested in seeing work that the smith has done for others, and get his/her customers' opinions and views on how well the work has stood the test of time.

 

Finally, I appreciate your point on the round diamond. As I dig deeper into this process, I recognize the additional market structure and rigor (through cut grading, etc.) placed on round diamonds. In a lot of ways, I would prefer to select a round, because it requires less trust from me to be placed on experts, and therefore allows me to find additional comfort in the pricing.

[snip]

That's not the major influence. By far the largest impact on the price is that a princess cut has a yield from the rough which is nearly double that of a round - there is far less material to remove to get the right shape. The fact that on princess cuts the cutter (often thinks he) can get away with murder in terms of cut quality compounds the effect, of course.

 

However, the end result is as I described - with another caveat: diamonds are sold by weight. But weight does not equal visual size: a 1 carat round will seem significantly larger than a 1 carat princess, so always look at the dimensions!

Edited by davidelevi
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As I girl, I love the setting in the photo that you supplied. It can be replicated as well not any problem at all. I would just recommend never cleaning the setting in an ultrasonic cleaner as it can jar some of the small diamonds out on the side. But it is really a stunning setting and much prettier than a solitaire setting.

 

I think we have some that are very similar to it.

post-10-0-40234300-1319659434_thumb.jpgpost-10-0-97815300-1319659449_thumb.jpgpost-10-0-96313500-1319659477_thumb.jpg

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Jan, thank you for an alternative opinion. Brings up a couple additional questions, for you and others.

 

Can the setting you pictured be set with a princess center diamond? How do you think it would look? As you may have noticed in your response to another post of mine, I am looking at securing a 1.4-1.8 carat princess stone.

 

I assume the setting is available in platinum?

 

Can you respond to some of the questions davidelevi addressed in the previous posts, specifically pertaining to how well it will hold up long term, and perhaps provide me with access to some reviews of your setting quality?

 

How much does that setting cost?

 

What you have shown me is quite interesting.

 

Thank You

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You'll notice an important difference between Jan's and the other one you posted. With Jan's the center stone is set using a 4 prong assembly that is separate from the portion with all the diamonds on it and, with the other one, it's all one thing. This means that with Jan's, and others using the same approach, that center prong assembly can be swapped out for something else, like a different size or shape. Obviously there are limits to what will fit in the space but this means that you don't have to completely redesign the ring in order to fit it to fit a particular stone. Your first one, on the other hand, is going to have tight parameters both in terms of shape and size of that center stones. Changing things basically means starting over.

 

Jan's got a store in Florida and a big website attached. You can look at her inventory as well as her prices at the link found at the bottom of her posts. www.dbof.com.

 

Try Googling the name of the store 'Diamond brokers of Florida' and I doubt you'll have trouble finding reviews from previous clients. They've been around for quite a while.

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