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Comparison of my Canera and Diamonds by Lauren settings

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by yssie, Feb 6, 2012.

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  1. Mike R
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    by Mike R » Feb 7, 2012
    Thanks for taking my comment well.

    Cutting the ring out of a solid ingot can be a great way of making a ring, it does take a lot of time and creates a lot of scrap that has to be recycled but it results in a seamless ring that will be very durable and more resestant to warping and scratching than a cast one given that the alloys are the same.

    It does require some experence and skill to make the band this way but it is doable and is a realistic expectation within the budget (this will be different from worksshop to workshop), it really isn't all that different carving away metal than it is wax. (in fact I feel more care is needed to carve wax because it is so easy to carve you can very quickly find that you have removed to much material)

    For educational purpose here is a picture of a ring I cut out of an ingot, The client wanted a very tall chunkier ring so I found doing it this way worked out well. This is when the piece is first cut out and has had not working to fine it down and put the half round finish on.

    Again different workshops may think I'm crazy to do it this way, we are a very small shop with just my Brother an I making our pieces so we can afford the time to put extra labor into our pieces.

    Take care, Mike.

    DSC04309.JPG
     
  2. Rockdiamond
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    by Rockdiamond » Feb 7, 2012
    I think there's a lot of value here for both consumers and tradespeople.
    One important point I'd like to raise: I believe it's a mistake to micro-manage a jeweler. If the shop making the ring does not understand more about the finer points than the consumer, it's not a "sterling" recommendation for the shop.
    On example is melee size.
    Many people would like to suggest what size rounds to use in the halo. But melee size must be dictated by the style of setting. Sometimes a halo that might look like 36 stones of the same size has 3-4 different mm sized stones to get a smooth effect.

    When it comes to which alloy to use- again, a customer preference may impede the craftsmen making the ring. I think this thread highlights that.
    We did have the benefit of not starting with a blank canvas- and I believe that Yssie was probably more willing to accept suggestions after the first try. I believe the alloy selection, and Yssie's willingness to let us do it our way helped us a lot here.

    Another important aspect to highlight here is that fine jewelry designs evolve- and are rarely done as well the first try as the tenth, or 100th time they are made.
    If a consumer has "experimental" ideas, they are far more likely to have unexpected ( bad) results. Many jewelers need the work and will agree to try things that they might have internal second thoughts about.
    What's the right way for a vendor to deal with this?
    If the vendor takes the job, and it does not come out as expected, what happens then?
    These are very thorny issues to deal with.


    From my perspective, the internet does give consumers a huge "stick" to use. Unsatisfied clients of a B&M store have far less recourse. Internet shoppers are far more likely to find online reviews. I believe that in today's marketplace, this is extremely crucial for vendors to keep in mind.

    I also believe the onus is on the vendor to either refuse a job - or find ways of handling the downside of experimental designs. Neither is an attractive option.

    ETA- in terms of stone removal, if a stone is being removed to be re-set into the same ring, more care needs to be taken then if one is removing a stone from a setting that will not have stones set back into it.
     
  3. Jim Summa
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    by Jim Summa » Feb 7, 2012
    Very true on how things work from the bench....good post David.
     
  4. winternight
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    by winternight » Feb 7, 2012
    Yssie, thanks for posting your experiences to assist others. I'm sure it wasn't easy and I'm sure that you're trying to be fair. I am happy that things worked out but I do think going custom is risky and you've definitely conveyed that.

    That said I've got to say that I find DBL's posts in this thread to be rather off putting. I won't comment on what was already edited out but overall it reads like gloating to me. Others may disagree with me as they often do.
     
    


    


  5. zoebartlett
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    by zoebartlett » Feb 7, 2012
    Thanks for the detailed description of pics along each step in the process, Yssie. From other rings I've seen here, VC does an amazing work, but when you compare the ring he did for you and the one DBL did, hands down, DBL's finished ring is more fluid. (Wow, long sentence!) As you pointed out though, the ring VC did was done first, so you were able to point out certain aspects of it that you didn't care for when you spoke to DBL.

    I love your ring and I'm so glad you're happy with it.
     
  6. yssie
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    by yssie » Feb 7, 2012
    Mike - thanks for the elaboration!
    Wow. That's - a lot of metal. How much of that will be gone by the time you're done with it? I'd be fascinated by an "after" pic...

    OT - I'm really looking forward to seeing that 4ct OMB double halo you're working on :bigsmile:


    David - that is an honest post, and I appreciate it.

    I am a micromanager by nature (well, no kidding). I'm also a - very particular - customer. I tried to get my hands off and wait for the updates - I know I jumped the gun a few (okay, several) times - but from my perspective I can say with surety that if you hadn't reassured me outright that "if you aren't happy we'll step back"... I couldn't have done it. I didn't back off because I trusted your bench more than VC's, I backed off because I had that explicit reassurance. And next time I'll be able to back off because now I do have good reason to trust your bench.

    I was definitely more open to suggestions second time round (as evidenced by my not pitching a fit about the metal type for one thing!) and I fully understand (and agree with) the fact that custom design is inherently risky - I did my old three-stone twice with WF and I had CADs for that, so it's no real surprise that the aesthetic needed tweaking.

    But this thread is NOT supposed to be a stick and I'm NOT Big Brother just waiting to pounce and I VERY much hope that it doesn't actually come off that way.


    winter - Thank you!
    Lots of people find DBL's posts in all sorts of threads off-putting for one reason or another - I rather suspect he's used to it :cheeky:
    I'm sorry you feel that you aren't welcome here though, whether or not people usually agree with you. This thread is kinda proof that even posters with 10k+ posts have unpopular things to say sometimes.


    Thank you Zoe!
     
  7. sparklyforever
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    by sparklyforever » Feb 7, 2012
    DBL,
    Thanks for your response to the question I asked of Yssie. Obviously as a PS member for a few years I do not think that only one man does the work by himself. But I am glad you answered as now my question is clarified. If you are dealing with several factories, that you do not own, you ultimately would not have as much control - it's outsourcing. VC, SK and LM would be in their actual workshop able to collaborate with the benchman as the work is being created, if they happen to not be doing the project personally. Also, there would be no guarantee that if I brought a project to you that I would get the same benchman that created Yssie's ring.
     
  8. SparklyOEC
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    by SparklyOEC » Feb 7, 2012
    Yssie, I commend you for writing this post. I think you've been fair and respectful to both vendors. It couldn't have been easy to do since both vendors are members here. Most of us have seen your pictures of both versions of the ring and the DBL ring just has a better flow to it. What matters is that you love your ring. You paid them for their work and when you open the box, you should love it. This thread will, at the very least, educate consumers (which is why this forum is here) on what to expect with going custom. Anyway, kudos to you for writing and have I mentioned, I love your ring?
     
  9. Aoife
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    by Aoife » Feb 7, 2012
    Thank you for this very interesting post, Yssie. Both iterations of your ring were/are lovely, and I'm very happy that you have a gorgeous ring that both you and your husband love. From following your threads, I know that this has been quite a journey for you, and it's wonderful that you have had such a happy outcome.

    That said, it strikes me that you are comparing apples and oranges in a way that I am not sure I feel is totally fair to Victor Canera. I do see the issues with the VC version. But if you indeed restricted him in terms of metal choice, and structural and design elements that you later allowed DBL to alter, then it's not, in my mind, an issue of workmanship or execution as much as it is a story about getting a custom design right at the second try. It's still pertinent and interesting, but I'm not sure how much it has to do with DBL executing better than VC, since they weren't executing the same thing, following the same rules.

    Does that make sense to you?

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have never had any work done by either Victor Canera or DBL.
     
  10. Rockdiamond
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    by Rockdiamond » Feb 7, 2012
    I could see how you might take it that way, but actually, working with several benches does not necessarily have to impact how closely one works with the setters, polishers, and jewelers.
    We are in very close communication with the factory- and it's located within a few hundred feet from the front door of my building. We routinely consult with them on design aspects during the manufacturing process.

    In terms of who actually puts their hands on the tools to make the ring. Could a consumer expect to have a shop have the exact same person make a ring that they'd seen previously? The skill level required here is artisan level- really skilled workers are far more difficult to keep.
    Attrition is inevitable.
    Therefore a large part of running a super high quality factory involves the hiring, and maintenance of such a skilled workforce.
    Bottom line her is that few if any shops of this caliber would agree to allow the customer to specify who makes the ring- only the quality of the results.
    The exception of course is a one man shop.

    Of course if one wants to build a lot of rings in a reasonable period of time, it's can't be a one man shop.
     
    


    


  11. Mike R
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    by Mike R » Feb 7, 2012
    Yes, it sure was a lot of platinum. Once I had finished whittling down the piece it wheighed less than half the weight of the original ring blank cutout.

    I can't post a finished picture of the ring because I do not have my clients permission to do so, but this method can produce very delicate looking graceful curves. It's not a method I use often, and is not the only way to get similar results, but it's just another way of hand making something without the use of casting.

    I don't know what your talking about, 4ct OMB? ;)) :mrgreen:
     
  12. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Feb 7, 2012
    I just now realized who you are. And that imaginary ring is going to be spectacular. :love:
     
  13. eastwest
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    by eastwest » Feb 7, 2012
    Yssie,

    Your ring is beautiful (your final ring and the others too!).
    How much did you end up paying for it? How much would it cost if I wanted to do something similar or an almost exact copy from DBL?

    I remember reading somewhere you got it at a budget price that was significantly less how did you get that discount?
     
  14. CaprineSun
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    by CaprineSun » Feb 8, 2012
    Yssie, :wavey: thank you for taking the time out to explain these differences. I couldn't see them before, but your comparisons definitely show a difference. The shank part would have definitely bugged me too! On a forum such as this, these are exactly the kind of helpful posts we need.

    I must say, however, your VC version sings more to me a little. :read: I think it's purely visual preference though with the graduation of the stones on the profile view. The VC version is less smooth and more step-wise (which I seem to like more a little), while the DBL version is more fluid and graceful.

    And your "micro-managing" characteristic is totally understandable, especially shelling out the money most PSers do for their rings. More specifically for you, you have such a gifted "eye" for details, proportions, aesthetics that it would be impossible not have an urge to micro-manage.

    All of your rings are beautiful!(I would kill for any one of them!!) And I'm happy your DBL ring is just that awesome! ;)) :appl:

    I hope to be able to say the same about my ring one day.
     
  15. ZahraLeyla
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    by ZahraLeyla » Feb 8, 2012
    It had better not be imaginary by the time I get to NZ! :-o :lol:


    I find threads like this really helpful, especially because I live in an area where there just isn't quality jewellery workmanship, so I can't educate myself by looking at what local stores offer. Learning about the finer points of jewellery design is certainly beyond my capabilities, but this thread and frankiextah's halo comparison thread have definitely given me an idea of what I should be asking for, looking for and expecting in a custom piece. Thanks Yssie :))
     
    


    


  16. LittleSparkle
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    by LittleSparkle » Feb 8, 2012

    Hi Mike R! I am already impressed with your imaginary ring work! Cannot wait to see the finished product! :appl: :love:
     
  17. yssie
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    by yssie » Feb 8, 2012
    Thanks again for your thoughts, everyone!


    sparklyforever - I do think DBL and other vendors - VC, Leon, SK (not Mike R I think because he runs a very small operation) - have fundamentally different business models - and this greatly affects the perception. Because DBL makes no secret of making a variety of pieces at a variety of pricepoints and levels of craftsmanship they don't have the glamour of being a strictly super-high-end vendor like the other three, but clearly this doesn't mean that they aren't capable of equally fantastic work, if you know what I mean? I'm a consultant so maybe my perception of "image is everything" is skewed a bit too far, but I do think this is an extra hurdle the other three don't face. How - if - it affects their business, from the general populace and from people especially interested in educating themselves like PSers - I don't know!


    SparklyOEC - thank you, for understanding. This is not an easy thread :(sad I do love my ring, though!! I gasped when I opened the box, and my DH loves it too (or at least is happy that I'm happy, I don't know! ::) )
    I do hope others will find this thread useful - at the very least, like you say, hopefully it'll convince anyone on the fence that custom design, even custom design with a relatively "safe" design like mine (there's nothing actually new here, I mean, just a different way of putting it all together) is always gonna have some unknowns!


    Aoife - thank you, as well! I do understand what you're saying, I'm not sure I agree but I really do get where you're coming from. I really think though that short of commissioning two independent rings from two different vendors with the same requirements at the same time - it's never going to be a totally objective comparison! And I, of course, am as emotionally invested as it's possible to be.

    Your concerns are actually exactly why I split everything up into three sections as best I could. The aesthetic, the second section - David is completely right, the 10th time will *always* be closer to the customer's vision than the first, because it's so much easier to point out things to tweak when you have a 3D model to work from like DBL did with the VC!

    The aesthetic was the reason for the reset. Parts 1 & 3 were the reasons I went with a different vendor though (well, as well as budget). But other than the metal alloy type the structural requirements and restrictions were I think as much the same as they could've been - and the end results do look very, very similar, the differences are all details that I know most people wouldn't even think to consider! I still don't understand if it's simply outright impossible to work and finish Ni-wg as cleanly as Pd-wg, or if it's just that much more of a pain to work with, either way there's another nugget of info there for new consumers considering unplated white gold...


    David - I didn't consider that part of it - skilled labour leaving, and needing to find replacements - that'd have to be something that any vendor of any significant size has to worry about! But at the end of the day I agree that's the vendor's concern, not the customer's, as long as the everyone's careful to discuss the thorny stuff before getting started.


    Mike - It's platinum? You sure she's going to be able to lift her finger?
    Some more questions - can you re-use the plat leftovers from the blank? What about the platinum from the whittling? It's all still *new*, so I'd guess if the pieces were big enough...?

    Well, maybe we'll get lucky and the client is a PSer like Zahra ::)


    east - thank you!
    To recreate this specific ring would be ~5500 sans stones. If you're interested I'd suggest just giving DBL a call and chatting about what would and wouldn't be feasible in whatever the budget is - he doesn't bite ::)
    Sorry, I don't mean to be coy about what I paid but I'm not comfortable sharing that on a public forum, because that'd mean sharing other information as well that I'd rather not. I will say that in my experience what the first person paid is often different from what subsequent people will pay - whether that's higher or lower depends on a lot of things - initial custom charges, how much trouble the piece turned out to be to make, how easy it'd be to replicate, how popular they think it'd be, the original circumstances...

    Well, he did offer me a pretty kitty discount on the original project we were discussing, so maybe find a Rent-A-Cat if you haven't one of your own? :bigsmile:


    Aww, thank you, twinkle! I'm really glad you posted - aesthetic really is all about what *you* like, so it's no surprise that some people prefer the look and feel of the VC!! I remember in the reset thread a number of people were baffled because the two really do look very similar - they're both just basic five-stone trellises with the same wire weaving!

    DH tells me often that my need to micromanage is not one of my more endearing qualities :halo: Both DBL and VC do a good job with "handling" picky customers - I probably sent them a hundred emails each and was never made to feel ignored or slighted :))

    Your ring is going to be lovely (at least, I would imagine so based on some of your threads! ::) ) I have to say you seem pretty particular too, I hope you share your journey with us!


    Zahra - LOL! And thank you ::) I think you're in good hands yourself! :bigsmile:
     
  18. Mike R
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    by Mike R » Feb 8, 2012
    Yes it's PT/RU 950, the finished ring wasn't any heavier than any other handmade platinum solitaire. Keep in mind the picture was only of the blank cut out from the plate of platinum and still required hours of work to make it look like a ring. It's just like carving a figure out of a large chunky block of marble, it's often hard to imagine the finished sculpture came from one big chunk of rock.

    We return all of the off cuts and filings to the refinery for credit, there is a small loss for scap vs new ready to work metal.

    Yes your correct we choose to be a very small (hands on) shop, and work very hard to keep it that way because that's what we personally find works best for us and our clients. We will never be bigger than a small team of three, all family.
    This does limit how many items can be made each year, so this business model would not work for a popular PS jeweller like the big three you mention.

    Thanks Diamondseeker and Little Sparkle. :razz:
     
  19. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Feb 8, 2012
    Interesting comparison, and I would like to give kudos to Victor for being classy in his responses when his work is being criticised.

    Not many posts here, but loooooooots of readers.
     
  20. Aoife
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    by Aoife » Feb 8, 2012
    The bolded above is really the issue with custom work, isn't it? Like you, I have had some very good experiences, and some really-not-good experiences. It would be nice to be able to hit the replay button on some projects.

    In any case, I'm very glad that you have found a vendor you trust, and that you have a beautiful ring that is everything you and your husband wanted it to be.
     
  21. MichelleCarmen
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    by MichelleCarmen » Feb 8, 2012
    Comparison shots with diamonds still in each of the settings would be much more fair, IMO. I think that the lots of readers aren't getting the entire picture (no pun intended).
     
  22. Rockdiamond
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    by Rockdiamond » Feb 8, 2012
    Hi Eastwest- many vendors that participate here offer a Pricescope discount- if you intend to buy from a participating vendor, make sure to ask for the PS discount!
     
  23. anne_h
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    by anne_h » Feb 8, 2012
    I thought so too!

    Anne
     
  24. bright ice
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    by bright ice » Feb 8, 2012
    Agree!
     
  25. yssie
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    by yssie » Feb 8, 2012
    Dreamer... indeed...

    Aoife - definitely, definitely, definitely, and definitely!

    MC - I'm not implying anything and I have no agenda, I mean only what I state explicitly - no more and no less. So as long as readers read the text (of which there is a lot, I know) there shouldn't be misunderstanding.

    But since you've asked, here are some photos of the VC when it arrived, before wear and tear and unsetting. Since I made no by-photo comparisons that involved stone position or exterior finish I don't see how they will help, but hopefully they will help represent the more even footing and full picture you ask for.


    A2_0.png

    A6_0.png

    The aesthetic of the taper:
    A1_0.png

    IMG_1165_0.png
     
  26. CaprineSun
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    by CaprineSun » Feb 8, 2012
    Ha! You got me! Yeah, I've certainly been told that in the past. This is why the setting process for me is almost crippling. Can't decide on a design. But for me, being particular causes me to run the opposite way. For example, up until yesterday, I had simply decided on a cheap cast setting for several reasons, but 3 of them were:
    1. It is "pre-made" so the details and specifics can only be micro-managed by me but so much. (to tie my hands down so-to-speak)
    2. I can already "see" what it looks like in its entirety. Found several pictures and even a few videos of it online.
    3. If I wasn't totally in love with it after production, I would at least feel better that it was "cheap" so, no real loss.

    BUT, I think I found another setting I love (again), and unfortunately, it may have to be custom :errrr: so, I may actually be soliciting the valuable opinions of PS. I'm still trying to figure out if I should play it safe with the 'cheap' cast setting or go for the gusto with a custom one. :loopy:
     
  27. Victor Canera
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    by Victor Canera » Feb 8, 2012
    I'd like to add a photo of the ring before it was put back on the bench the second time as well. This is the raw photo taken by our photographer.
    This is Nickel-Alloyed 18K, no cup for center stone, and 2.3-2.8mm shank as per Yssie's request.

    V_035.jpg
     
  28. yssie
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    by yssie » Feb 8, 2012

    This is a good photo for showing the curve of the trellis wires with the stones set, mine's upside down and looks all wrong rotated.
     
  29. icekid
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    by icekid » Feb 8, 2012
    This was my thought, as well, Aoife. I think it is a little unfair, but still interesting regardless. Glad that you finally have the right ring for you, Yssie. It is lovely!

    And huge kudos to Victor for handling this thread with more grace and fluidity than the competition ;))
     
  30. yssie
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    by yssie » Feb 8, 2012

    Well I'm looking forward to seeing what you narrow it down to! And there's always the third option of going with the stock setting for now, and worrying about the custom piece later, if you don't want all the pressure on *now now now* ::)
     
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