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DK/BGD Custom Setting...The Home Stretch

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by sledge, May 15, 2018.

  1. sledge
    Shiny_Rock

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    by sledge » May 15, 2018
    As many of you know, I have been on quite the journey to select a setting and diamond for my girl. The diamond really wasn’t that tough, but the setting has been a bear. I’ve learned a ton from all you here and as I am nearing the end of this journey there is no other’s guidance I wouldn’t appreciate more than the fine folks that helped get me this far. So here goes.

    The diamond:
    The setting:
    My dilemmas:
    1. My girl and I disagree on the quality of Jared’s. She likes them, and I don’t. Part of the value she sees in them is the local aspect of lifetime warranties on the setting & diamond and ease for cleaning, inspections, resizing, re-plating, polishing and any other maintenance. She would actually prefer I buy everything from them (she has no idea I’ve already bought the diamond from BGD). Not sure I can convince her otherwise than shove the final piece in her face. Agree?

    2. As suggested in a previous thread, we re-visited Jared’s and examined the setting outside, away from the jeweler’s lighting. Pics are attached below and have black & white versions as well. In the pictures, you will see a stone that is loosely set. This is actually a 0.70 carat diamond with dimensions of 5.65 x 5.68mm. Prior to this, inside the store, they had temporarily set a 1.01 carat stone. She indicated the 1 carat stone was too big! :eek2: I asked why. She said it covered to much of the swirls that created the halo effect. I am now concerned about the dimensional size (6.18 x 6.21mm) of my BGD diamond, which is fairly large for the carat weight. I am now contemplating trying to find a smaller stone, or having the setting adjusted since it will be custom anyhow. I assume the later can happen, but am worried it will change the overall look/aspect of it. Because I care more about the size and quality of the diamond than her, there is a part of me that wants to go smaller and save the bucks. Thoughts?

    3. The question of WG or platinum came up between us. In the Jared’s store, they showed her WG and platinum side by side. She could see a difference and preferred the shiny of the WG material. I am still concerned with the re-plating, but I suppose to even have a shot at staying shiny then polishing will be an issue as well. She isn’t really sure how her body chemicals will react yet as the pieces she wears are infrequent and therefore not a good representation. Obviously the pieces are cheaper to create in WG, and maybe I should stop worrying and just take the cost savings. I could tell she preferred the WG but indicated she would have no idea if I chose platinum, as they wouldn't be side by side. I would agree the shiny of the WG looked good with the setting.

    4. Assuming I utilize DK or BGD, what is the process for re-plating or re-polishing? And if any of you have custom settings, do you get service locally from a different jeweler? Assuming so, what kind of costs do you pay for these services?

    5. Several of you mentioned various elements needed cleaned up on the Jared's rings. What specifically do I need to articulate so that I get this correct?








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  2. unsettled
    Shiny_Rock

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    by unsettled » May 15, 2018
    I don’t have a lot of good advice for you. I am terrified of custom because I am not good at visualizing. But my one piece of advice. Do not get a smaller stone. It may look huge to her at first but she will adjust quickly.
     
  3. sledge
    Shiny_Rock

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    by sledge » May 15, 2018
    Thank you @unsettled. That was my first thoughts too. Myself and the sales people nearly fell over, and she said, "no, I'm serious".

    On a slightly different note, the 0.70 stone included in the most updated photos above was GIA certified, E color with medium blue flour. I catch a bluish hue on the pic looking down directly on the stone. I know this stone is more white and not as well cut as my BGD stone but I don't like seeing that bluish hue. Also, I think the side stones in that setting are a G-H color as well, so that might be inflating the difference. Thoughts?
     
  4. oneam
    Shiny_Rock

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    by oneam » May 15, 2018
    Bless your heart, you are a good man. My vote is to get what she wants, even if that means the Jared's setting, but I understand the desire to find the perfection you want in the look she loves.

    Agree w/ unsettled, no smaller stone. Your stone should be perfect. Just ask for proportions to match the sample.

    Note - their warranty will likely be voided if she does not visit the store regularly for inspections - this may be every 6 mos or a year. It doesn't seem like much, but as life goes on, it will be difficult to keep up with.

    Regarding the white gold - this setting doesn't show a lot of gold, at least in the front, so not sure replating will be necessary.
     
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  5. LLJsmom
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LLJsmom » May 15, 2018
    Don’t worry about the size issue. Just make the setting big enough so it doesn’t “cover” the diamond the way she said it does. Don’t start over looking for another diamond. Just save yourself the headache.

    Do your best and just leave her out if it at this point. She’s given plenty of input. And she is making everyone crazy. You have the patient of a saint.

    Make sure the prongs are small and sharp. I’ll let the rest of the experts weigh in on changes to the Jared setting.
     
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  6. sledge
    Shiny_Rock

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    by sledge » May 15, 2018
    LOL @LLJsmom. Thank you for the compliments, but I'd be lying if I said I always felt calm & collected. :cool2:

    In fact, I amazed myself I was able to keep my cool at the store when I heard the deal with the diamond size as I nearly lost it. I do understand what she was saying as afterwards the sales guy switched the different sized stones back & forth. But if I can just simply adjust the setting and not eff up the design that seems more logical.
     
  7. foxinsox
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by foxinsox » May 15, 2018
    I think any blue you're seeing is more likely to be environmental reflection than anything else - diamonds are tiny mirrors so can pick up colours from over the place.
    Your custom ring should have melee matching the centre stone so you should have no issues with any wierd contrast.

    In terms of her preference re size - if she likes the look of the 0.70 in that setting, show whoever is doing your ring those pictures and tell them that's the proportions she wants. They'll be able to make your ring so it's got the same proportion of swirl etc around your larger centre stone.
    The fix I thought of when I looked at the Jared setting was thinner, sleeker channels on the channel setting so they're less obvious. The way they are now, the channel set part is a lot thicker than the pave set part so trimming the channels down 1/3 should make it look more proportional. She might like that though so if it throws the overall look off too much, keep the ring as close to the Jared setting as possible. The prongs and pave and its setting by BGD or DK will be de facto better quality than Jared so I'm not bothering to comment there.
    There are WG alloys that do not need replating so you could find out if BGD or DK use them - that would obviate your concerns over replating. I've got a platinum ring and a 18K WG ring. I prefer the slightly softer look of the platinum but if she likes the shiny, get the shiny. My WG band is still shiny after 3+ years of constant wear so you may not have too many concerns with needing to repolish frequently if she's not super hard on her rings.
    I'd echo the suggestion to leave her out of it now until you propose - she's given you the information you need. Post up here when you have CADs etc so we can confirm that everything looks right. I am super impressed at your dedication to giving her exactly what she wants - I would not have had the patience!
     
  8. rockysalamander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by rockysalamander » May 15, 2018
    1) Jared's quality is poor to middling. All the stuff you mentioned are really not a big deal. If anything happens to the setting, DK/BGD will repair it and repair it well. Jared will make a mess of it based on the number of ring's I've seen them "fix". They don't have inhouse jewelers anymore. They send stuff out and you can find long and painful sagas of why they are incompetent. Once she has the ring, just build a relationship with an independent jeweler if she needs someone local. Personally, I just mail my rings back to the maker or my trusted jeweler located a 2 hours drive away.

    2. Just have the design made a bit wider (the circle part that makes the swirl) so that she sees the swirls with the gorgeous diamond you have. Don't change your diamond.

    3. If she wants WG, give her WG. You can't really predict if she will have an issue with it or not, but you can predict that she is very very picky. Shiny metal is what she wants, that is what you should give her. I would look to use a palladium white gold (or Stuller's nickel-free blend) under the plating. That way, if she ends up getting sick of re-plating (which can be as often as 1/year or 1/10 years YMWV) or has a nickel sensitivity, you are covered.

    4. Re-plating varies, but I don't usually pay more than $100. I personally inspect my rings with my own loupe or work microscope. If there is a problem, I send them back to the maker or my trusted jeweler. Cost varies, but they often do inspections for free since I do a lot of business with them.

    4 1/2. Quality aside, the problem with Jared is that "warranty". First, if you miss a single inspection, they will void it. But, that issue aside, they don't insure your diamond. Also, imagine your girl manages to damage the setting (car door, stepping on it, catching on things, etc.). You take that ring back to Jared. After X attempts, they totally mangle your ring. You throw up your hands and say "I'll just use my Jewelers Mutual, Homeowners, etc. insurance because my ring is listed." Nope. That Jared warranty is viewed as insurance and it is primary. Meaning, you will be stuck dealing with them. You don't want that warranty. You want to insure this ring and diamond privately and be able to choose whomever you want to do the repair.

    5. Improvements.
    • I would work with DK/BGD to change the design to avoid the head being a separate piece plunked into the setting. Right now, the only thing holding the diamond is a single solder joint at the base of that piece. I would ask them to eliminate the peg-head and create a unified design where the prongs emerge from the halo gracefully.
    • Keep the channel setting. She likes it. DK/BGD will just make it with better diamonds and with a more refined (thinner) side wall.
    • Tilt the halo stones that are level to 20 degrees tilted away from level.
    • The diamond is set way too high above the halo. Can you see in the example below that the stone's girdle just hover's over the height of the top of the halo melee? That will make a huge difference to make this design flow.
    • upload_2018-5-15_20-47-57.png

    • I still advise not having the wedding band made yet. Let her wear the ering and then have the same maker make the wedding band. They will have the CAD of the ering, so it will be easy. But, she is very specific and picky. My guess is that she may change her mind. If not, you have lost nothing, Just have the maker show a correctly shaped ring in the CAD for reference.
    • I, personally, find the proportion of the width of the pave band not balanced for the channel set. I would want that shank to be 2/3 the width of the total channel (metal + diamonds).
    • The channel looks to have graduated diamonds (biggest at the top). That's fine, but with the halo getting a big wider to accommodate the stone, they will be more hidden. So, I'm not sure it adds anything.
    • I think that she wants an airline. Do you see in the below setting that the diamond's edges are separated from the halo by a thin line of "air". The asscher does not overlap the halo stones. From her comments, she wants this look. A very thin airline that keeps the center distinct from the halo/swirl.
    upload_2018-5-15_20-46-4.png

    Maybe not quite this big, but it shows the concept.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  9. dtnyc
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by dtnyc » May 15, 2018
    @rockysalamander just gave you a ton of great advice.
    I know at least 2 people personally who have had unfortunate experiences w/ the "service" at Jared's after purchasing their engagement rings there, in addition to the volumes of online horror stories I have read, so I would never trust them with a stone of substantial value.
     
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  10. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by diamondseeker2006 » May 15, 2018
    If you bought the Jared setting, I'd send it to DK for them to set the stone. As far as white gold goes, you'd have it replated locally. You wouldn't send it to DK to replate. But what I'd do is have it made in platinum and have it rhodium plated if she likes that look. Then at least you have white metal underneath. The warranty thing is worthless. You have jewelry insurance to insure the diamond ring in case it is lost, the diamond gets cracked, or the ring is stolen. You don't make small claims. If prongs need tightening or the ring needs to be resized, in most cases you'd do routine stuff locally.

    I absolutely wouldn't exchange for a larger stone. As others have said, the custom ring would be made to fit the diamond you have. And again, the diamond in that setting is set WAY too high. It not only looks weird, it also exposes the diamond to a lot more risk of being whacked on things.
     
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  11. Tophat1
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Tophat1 » May 15, 2018
    I think you need to get her the Jared setting in white gold. I’ll be honest, I hate it with the fire of 1000 suns and I think it is a shame to put such a gorgeous diamond in it, but she loves it and may be very disappointed in a custom version of it, even if it is more elegant and better made. She hasn’t done the best job of articulating what she likes about the setting and I worry it might get designed out. I just don’t want you to end up with an expensive custom setting that you can’t resell and end up buying her the Jared one anyway after she gets her ring and is disappointed.
     
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  12. rockhoundofficiando
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    by rockhoundofficiando » May 15, 2018
    No confidence in Jared unfortunately it doesn't sound as if you will convince her. You realize the wedding band has I2 diamonds, no doubt the setting has comparable quality. :eek2: I would upgrade.
     
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  13. JDDN
    Ideal_Rock

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    by JDDN » May 16, 2018
    You guys disagree with the quality of the Jared’s setting bc you’ve been doing a ton of research and educating yourself and I’m guessing she hasn’t. Otherwise she wouldn’t be so adamant about getting the diamond and setting from Jared’s. She sounds.......stubborn. Ducks and covers :eek2:!! I think if she knew what you know she would want a better quality ring too.

    Listen to the advice about the “warranty” being terrible. It’s not worth the subpar setting you’ll get. Establish a relationship with a reputable local jeweler for inspections. Any jewelry store can clean it but search the forum for great tips on doing it yourself at home.

    Platinum is more malleable and bends or shifts metal when hit. Gold is tougher and if knocked it is more apt to break and can lose metal over time. I understand wanting the whiter look. But my concern is all that pave. There’s a ton of it. That means teeny tiny prongs. Over time you will be safer with platinum pave than white gold pave. You can ask for a plat/Ir 90 allow which is a bit whiter than others. The vast majority of the ring is pave so really with all those tiny prongs it’s not a ton of metal showing. I definitely recommend platinum for that style ring over white gold for durability sake. The pave masters prefer platinum over white gold for good reason.

    There have been threads and debates on how well cut a diamond people find beautiful. One factor that comes up is that if you’ve never seen a really well cut diamond or a setting crafted with expertise and precision then it’s really easy to think a Jared’s ring is nice. I get the sense your girl is picky. I think if she really analyzed and compared and knew about the nuances you have learned about she would at least agree that the BGD is much sparklier and livelier than the Jared’s diamond. You are doing the right thing to get her what she wants. I do think it’s reasonable to get something better quality as this ring is meant to last a lifetime and eh hem.....you are paying for it!! :lol-2:
     
  14. BlingBlingLova
    Rough_Rock

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    by BlingBlingLova » May 16, 2018
    What I noticed was the lackluster quality of the diamonds in the setting. I had my setting custom made at Kay jewelers the same company that owns Jared. However, the diamonds that kay used are SI diamonds and H color. Jared diamonds look dull to my 40 something eyes but then again, it could be that the diamonds are not photogenic. I know if I posted my rings on here, everyone would probably cringe but in real life, the diamonds sparkle like crazy.
     
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  15. bludiva
    Shiny_Rock

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    by bludiva » May 16, 2018
    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: that made me laugh....tell us how you really feel!

    OP good luck! I think a custom version could be stunning but if it's going to make life easier for you both you could always put it in the jared's setting for now and then change the setting in a few years when she outgrows it.

    the swirly design reminds me a bit of @Tekate 's DIL's ring which was also custom made and ended up ticking off the boxes for all involved

    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-avc-1-33-k-vs2-in-an-engagement-ring.224890/
     
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  16. sledge
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    by sledge » May 16, 2018
    Tied up in some operation meetings today. May be a bit before I can comment back.
     
  17. farrahlyn
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by farrahlyn » May 16, 2018
    I agree with pretty much everything @rockysalamander said. Definitely skip the Jareds ring. do a quick google search and you'll find a LOT of people complianing about settings and stones falling out, issues upgrading or repairing, etc. there are multiple articles about people having serious issues with them, too.

    So, i agee with Rocky except for a few points on the custom ring:

    IIRC your girl doesn't specifically want a halo and she even commented that it's not a halo, just a swirl around & under the stone. i would probably keep it as is. It's not a look many love but she obviously does. I think it is set a bit high but i wouldn't lower it TOO much so that it doesn't look like a halo. you know, ask her specifically if she wouldn't like the stone set lower like a halo just to be SURE?

    ita with the size of the stone, if shes just worried about not seeing the swirl, just have DK accomodate to the size of your stone.

    TBH, this is probably not going to be a cut and dry, super simple project. Sure, you have a lot of pics of the setting she loves but i'm pretty sure CADs will have to be tweaked several times to get it just right.

    @bludiva i saw that ring in her avatar yesterday and i thought the SAME THING! it's VERY similar to what the OP is looking for. @sledge if you look at the last pic posted on the linkof the profile, you'll see that it's set lower than the Jareds ring but still doesn't scream halo. I love how the swirl wraps around, it's quite dainty and refined.
     
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  18. LLJsmom
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LLJsmom » May 16, 2018
    You are not effing up anything. You are doing absolutely great. Your darling girl must learn to LIVE with and appreciate everything you’ve done and all the effort you put in. I am confident DK will do a great job so don’t worry about that. Proceed as planned. Do not ask for another opinion. Do not give her another chance to change her mind. I’m not kidding. Hope this process has given you insight on how to handle her “till death do you part...”.
     
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  19. blueMA
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    by blueMA » May 16, 2018
    Poor Sledge... only if she knew how much you've been slaving over this. I mean you've practically become a PS resident diamond expert over the last few weeks over-educating yourself with diamonds.

    1. Keep the beautiful BG diamond and don't dare sizing it down. Also be mindful that super-ideal stones look like duds under sun, so a bit of beautiful blues that many actually covet is the least bit of your worries.
    2. Rhodium plate the platinum and it'll have the white and shiny look she prefers. You reduce the risk of losing the pave diamonds and she most likely won't need to get it replated down the road. You'll end up saving money by not having to replate it continually.
    3. Go with the custom route. That Jared setting just looks clunky with a bad workmanship. There's so many things wrong besides what @rockysalamander mostly pointed out. You and SHE will appreciate the better workmanship without a doubt.
    4. She simply just doesn't want the swirl design get obstructed from the top view, and I don't think she necessarily requires an airline. She didn't want halo designs to begin with, so you simply need to make sure the custom design halo effect proportionately get wider to accommodate the larger diameter stone while setting the stone lower with much better non-clunky prongs.
    5. Get insurance and avoid the Jared warranty service debacle.

    I totally understand your struggles, but also know that people will credit YOU for the e-ring choice/quality. Most men struggle with the decision because it is also their pride. My husband loves it whenever people compliment him with my e-ring, and he actually underestimated how much so.
    You will be rewarded for many years to come.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  20. sledge
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    by sledge » May 17, 2018
    First off, I'd like to say thank you! I'm humbled with all the help & support you all have shown me in all my threads, including this one. You all are amazing and I am most grateful for your time & efforts.

    After reading over the comments and doing a little thinking, I would like to modify things as follows:

    1. Jared's is out. I'm going with DK or BGD and having them recreate a refined version of this setting without sacrificing the overall design. I tried to explain Jared's quality, warranty practices, repair work, etc to my girl. She tried to be open minded, but I can tell she isn't in agreement. And I'm okay with that. But I am forging on with this custom setting because I prefer a higher quality.

    2. I will take a separate insurance policy out on the setting & diamond. I had planned on doing this anyhow, but wasn't aware the in-house policies at places like Jared's overrides an independent policy.

    3. I'm not changing the stone. She gets the BGD stone I've already chosen. The setting will be modified to proportionally fit around the larger diamond and maintain the look she prefers.

    4. Side stones will be H color, VS1 quality so they match perfectly.

    5. I'm leaning towards the WG option, but still a bit uncertain. DK emailed me back and said WG is actually harder and more durable for small prongs. Additionally he states I won't need to replate with him as his gold is made with palladium. If I go platinum, he prefers platinum 950 with ruthenium as it's the hardest but he is willing to use platinum 900 with iridium if I prefer. Lastly, he can also build the ring using palladium. For the main setting, WG is $200 cheaper than platinum, and $100 more expensive in palladium over platinum.

    6. This point forward I'm going to trust my gut (and all your expertise, lol) to help guide me through this custom setting process. I've already given up enough of the surprise, so I'd like to keep a little for when I do pop the question. That said, here is a list of things I would like to articulate to DK:

    • Skinny up the sides of the channel setting
    • Improve pave prongs
    • Ensure swirls/halo are proportionally resized to fit around the diamond so the diamond doesn't overlap them (super thin airline?)
    • Want to see if I can set the diamond a little lower without sacrificing the overall look (she has mentioned to me she likes that it is above the rest of the ring)
    • Want the prongs designed so they flow from the swirl/halo gracefully and it's not just a single attachment point
    • Also want the prongs small and sharp -- want to stick with 6 prong
    • Verify if the channel set stones will all be same size or graduated (prefer the same personally)
    • Adjust width of pave band to about 2/3 adjusted width of channel set band

    7. Hey @rockysalamander, why do I want to tilt the diamonds at a 20 degree angle on the swirls/halo?
     
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  21. Mturgeon05
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    by Mturgeon05 » May 17, 2018
    DK told me the same in regards to metal. I trusted his expertise and went with white gold. I’m just like you and want quality above all else. Seems there are many differing opinions on this, but I decided to follow the advice of the person who was making my setting. Either way you go, I can’t wait to see the kind of product you finally get after all your blood, sweat and tears!
     
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  22. blueMA
    Shiny_Rock

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    by blueMA » May 17, 2018
    Platinum is top of the line and tends to stay a shade whiter than palladium, and unless I'm not informed of the recent market movement, palladium should cost less than platinum?
     
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  23. sledge
    Shiny_Rock

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    by sledge » May 17, 2018
    Thank you! Yes, his response led me to believe he liked the WG option. But his WG pricing didn't seem very advantageous compared to other vendors, who discount considerably more instead of platinum.

    I'm ready to share the finished pics -- can't wait for that moment! Have no fears, I will make sure I bring plenty of bling porn for ya'll. :lol-2:

    This confused me too @blueMA. I've heard many people say palladium is harder to work with so maybe the metal is cheaper, but the labor is higher? Just a guess. However, he tends to blend with his WG so maybe that theory isn't true either. Also, with his pricing structure he tends to make platinum a really affordable option. Usually WG is much cheaper from what I've seen.
     
  24. blueMA
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    by blueMA » May 17, 2018
    Then stay with platinum - it is a denser metal and feels heftier and won't wear away as in gold/palladium. Regardless of the rarity of palladium, platinum is perceived by most as higher quality metal. As far as I'm aware, platinum secures diamonds the best, but it's a tougher metal for jewelers to work with.
     
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  25. PintoBean
    Ideal_Rock

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    by PintoBean » May 17, 2018
    If you can swing BGD's price quote, I'd do it all together with them. I like a one stop shop.
     
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  26. JDDN
    Ideal_Rock

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    by JDDN » May 17, 2018
    White gold is harder but it tends to break versus platinum which is more malleable and tends to move/dent rather than break when hit. I think you'll be more apt to lose melee with white gold but you certainly can with platinum. It will also depend on how much your girl babies her ring. A ring like the one you are going to make is recommended to be taken off during a LOT of activities (any housework like dishes, laundry, etc., working out, sleeping, maybe her work depending on what she does, etc. etc.).

    Plat/Ru tends to have a slightly grayish cast. Check out the link and you can see pictures of the different alloys and read about each. Note that we are splitting hairs, but since I am OCD, I can actually see the difference between my Plat/Ir 900 and Plat/Ru rings :eek2:.

    https://www.pricescope.com/journal/overview_common_alloys_used_jewelry
     
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  27. PintoBean
    Ideal_Rock

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    by PintoBean » May 17, 2018
    Another option is to propose with the diamond in a simple solitaire. Then you can work together on the cads for the forever setting and that could be presented on an anniversary.
     
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  28. sledge
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2018
    by sledge » May 18, 2018
    Thank you for the link @JDDN. It's very helpful to see the metals. I do see the difference in colors that you mentioned. I put these together to help me see the differences side by side.

    To me, it appears the Plat900/Iridium combo provides a more white shiny and comes with some of the benefits others have mentioned. I do have to assume the pictures below is skewed in the fact I believe the palladium WG that DK provides is plated and I assume the plating would make it more shiny like the regular WG, plated picture.

    2 = WG, rhodium plated
    3 = Palladium WG, not plated
    A = Plat900/Iridium

    WG-PlatIR.png PalWG-PlatIR.png
     
  29. sledge
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2018
    by sledge » May 18, 2018
    One more comparison.

    2 = WG, rhodium plated
    B = Plat950/ruthenium

    WG-PlatRu.png
     
  30. mrsgreeneyes
    Shiny_Rock

    Messages:
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    Jun 16, 2017
    by mrsgreeneyes » May 18, 2018
    David's wg/pal mix is not plated. His white gold option isn't going to seem considerably less because it is a wg/pal alloy instead of the typical wg/nickel alloy and palladium costs more. When he recommends using white gold for small prongs it is with the knowledge that there is palladium in the alloy.
     
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