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Custom Setting - What Should I Ask? What Are My Choices?


Gracetrump
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Hi,

 

Please let me know if this is posted in the wrong place. I will take the question elsewhere if it's not in the right place.

 

If it's okay to ask about settings here, then thank you in advance for any suggestions.

 

I am hopefully closing in on a diamond and now I am thinking about the settings. I have photos of two settings that I like (posted below). They are similar in style but I am sure there are subtle differences. My question is, besides the "design" what other choices are there and how can I decide which choice to make.

 

For example, I know I want platinum - but there are different percentages, right? Which should I choose and why?

 

The center stone can be set in a bezel or with prongs. What are the pros and cons of each?

 

How high should the center stone be? I want a double halo - but it's a bit different from the typical concentric rings style of halo. Should the center stone be flush with the halo? Or should it be higher?

 

What about underneath the center stone? Should there be anything underneath? How can I maximize the amount of light that my ring returns?

 

What about the halo stones? Should they be bezel or prong set? Are there other ways for them to be set?

 

If the center stone is 3 carats - how big should the stones in the first hop be? How big should they be in the outer halo? The fattest part of my body is my fingers - which are size 6.75.

 

I would like pave in the band. Are there different ways to do pave?

 

What kind of quality should I go with for the side stones? I wanted an ideal for the center stone. How can I make sure that the side stones are ove excellent cut as well? (I can't imagine that I would be using the HCA on every little stone - but I don't want poorly cut stones either?

 

My center stone will (probably) be J color. What color should the side stones be?

 

See???!!! I have so many questions - and I'm sure there are questions that I should ask but I'm too ignorant to know I should ask them. This ring is important to me - there are no do-overs. I need to get it right.

 

I'm attaching photos of the two rings that are inspiring me. My jeweler will come up with something similar. Also, I have no idea how either of these rings looks on the underside and I'm not sure how I should have the underside finished. Oh - and I would like to have pave set stones going about half-way down the ring (though that's not included in these examples).

 

 

Apologies for asking too many questions at once.

post-134604-0-84968700-1415681234.jpg

post-134604-0-28694500-1415681235_thumb.jpg

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I am hopefully closing in on a diamond and now I am thinking about the settings. I have photos of two settings that I like (posted below). They are similar in style but I am sure there are subtle differences. My question is, besides the "design" what other choices are there and how can I decide which choice to make.

I think by far the most important choice is who you will be working with. This has implications for many of your other questions.

 

For example, I know I want platinum - but there are different percentages, right? Which should I choose and why?

To a great extent it's a decision that depends on who you work with, the design and techniques that they will use to build the ring. Some alloys are better suited for casting, some for fabrication, and individual jewellers will have their preferences as to what they want to use.

 

This short article by a practising platinum smith is the best summary I know of on the topic: http://www.mwmjewelry.com/platinum_purity.htm

 

The center stone can be set in a bezel or with prongs. What are the pros and cons of each?

By and large - looks. A bezel will let a little less light in, though with a 3+ carat stone I'd say it's largely academic, but it will provide some more protection against knocks and dings - which again if you want to use a large halo is a fairly academic issue.

 

How high should the center stone be? I want a double halo - but it's a bit different from the typical concentric rings style of halo. Should the center stone be flush with the halo? Or should it be higher?

With a large centre, I'd want things flush - and to be honest even with a much smaller stone I'm not at all a fan of high-set stones: they may catch a little more light, but they snag and bump into things, they get visibly dirty and the "extra light" generally comes in from directions and at angles that the cut isn't designed to exploit.

 

What about underneath the center stone? Should there be anything underneath? How can I maximize the amount of light that my ring returns?

1) Cut. 2) Cut. 3) Cut. 4) Keeping it scrupulously clean. 5) Clean it again. 6) And again. 7) With a reasonably open, well finished setting. Light return is 95% in the stone, not in the setting.

 

As to having something underneath, the answer is generally not; you want access to the pavilion so that you can clean it, and with a near-colourless stone you don't particularly want metal to change the colour.

 

What about the halo stones? Should they be bezel or prong set? Are there other ways for them to be set?

Yes, but unlikely to be relevant in those (types of) design.

 

If the center stone is 3 carats - how big should the stones in the first hop be? How big should they be in the outer halo? The fattest part of my body is my fingers - which are size 6.75.

I think with a 3 carat on a 6.75 finger you'll have plenty of coverage with a relatively small halo - particularly if this is something you want to wear every single day (which I assume you do). Here's a 2.34 cushion - which means something like 2 mm smaller than a 3 ct round, but the yellow halo makes it about 9 mm overall visual impression - on a 6.75 finger/hand:

 

P1000751.jpg

 

This is not something I (or my wife) feel comfortable wearing every day, and the largest stones around it (pears) are about 0.50 ct. Rather than worrying about rules, I think you should see - ideally in real life, but good quality photos or even renderings will work - different sizes of side/halo stones. The look changes, and so do people's tastes. Small halo: this is a 2 ct centre, the halo stones are about 1/3 of a point (0.003 ct):

 

r4578-infinity-halo-ring.jpg

 

Large halo: 0.45 centre, with halo stones about 0.03 each (but note that they are about 1/3 the diameter of the centre!):

 

r4844-argyle-diamond-ring_zps6a2e2edb.jp

 

Or with a larger centre (5.03 - a little larger than a 3 ct round - with 0.10 old miner halo):

 

r4105-yellow-old-mine-diamond-ring.jpg

 

I would like pave in the band. Are there different ways to do pave?

Yes, plenty... but again it's a question that you should discuss with your chosen jeweller: they will have preferences and should be able to explain them to you; some will have to do with looks, some with durability and some with how the pavé interacts with the rest of the piece.

 

What kind of quality should I go with for the side stones? I wanted an ideal for the center stone. How can I make sure that the side stones are ove excellent cut as well? (I can't imagine that I would be using the HCA on every little stone - but I don't want poorly cut stones either?

 

My center stone will (probably) be J color. What color should the side stones be?

Melée is graded... but you are very unlikely to get any lab report on it, so it does come down to trusting (but verifying...) the jeweller. In fact, GIA will not grade individual D-Z stones below 0.15 ct, and the cost of getting even slightly larger stones graded builds up quickly, particularly in a complex piece like the one you want.

 

I would aim to get a colour that does not contrast (I - J), and the best cut quality the jeweller can get; also, if you want an "antique" feel, ask the jeweller to find you some single-cut stones for the smaller ones.

 

See???!!! I have so many questions - and I'm sure there are questions that I should ask but I'm too ignorant to know I should ask them. This ring is important to me - there are no do-overs. I need to get it right.

 

I'm attaching photos of the two rings that are inspiring me. My jeweler will come up with something similar. Also, I have no idea how either of these rings looks on the underside and I'm not sure how I should have the underside finished. Oh - and I would like to have pave set stones going about half-way down the ring (though that's not included in these examples).

 

Apologies for asking too many questions at once.

Getting pavé on the shank is not a difficult thing to do; however, think of the practicality: it makes resizing more difficult and since it's a place exposed to a fair amount of forces, these are generally the first stones to cause trouble (by going AWOL) - again, I'm simply thinking of the fact that you'll wear the ring if not 24/7 at least 16/7... Edited by davidelevi
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