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Please Advise - Settings (Pave/prong Vs Tension)


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I have ordered the round 1.00 I, VS2 from my other thread. Now, onto the setting...


I've been "set" on this setting for awhile. It is a Mercury Ring pave setting found here:



Do you gentlemen know anything about the reliability of Mercury Rings or such a setting?


I've been quoted a price of $2000 for 14k gold with platinum head at a local jeweler who sells Mercury Rings. They will set my center stone for no cost.


Next, I've come across something new that struck my attention. However, I'm unsure whether or not I'd trust it to hold such an investment. I'm intrigued by this tension setting from James Allen (where I purchased the center stone).



James Allen offers FREE lifetime rhodium plating on their settings. I like this.


In your experiences, is one of these rings/styles/makers better than the other?


Will I run into plating issues with the pave setting? For example on this particular pave, I would think that the ring would only need re-coated below the paves. Is this correct?


Am I likely to run into loose and missing stones in the pave setting?


Are tension settings, such as this one, reliable?


P.S. My fiance-to-be is a school teacher by profession and is not what I would call "rough" on jewelry.


Thank You,


Edited by Charlie5
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HI Charles,


I have no direct experience with either JA or Mercury as setting suppliers, so I cannot comment on either one specifically. However, some general points about pave and tension settings:


Pave problems usually come from stones falling off, because the beading has been done "on the cheap". Whether that is the case with the setting or not is tough to say from a single stock photo. Take your references carefully, and act on those.


Plating is not an issue - electroplating means that the whole metal surface in contact with the plating solution will be recoated; stones are not a problem because they are not conductive (or at least far far less than metal). Main issues that apply to replating are that people seldom let the replating process run for long enough, and they don't prepare the underlying metal correctly, both of these resulting in low durability of the rhodium coating.


Tension settings are a whole different kettle of fish. The problem is that the tension (or pressure) on the stone is of the order of several tens of kg, meaning that any failure - infrequent as it may be - is likely to be catastrophic. For that reason, I would not recommend anybody but a couple of very experienced and specific firms that do only tension settings. They are more expensive, but I would not risk my diamond's integrity with anyone else.

Edited by davidelevi
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