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Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return?

Karl_K

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Yssie said:
so Karl the worst diamond for a bezel is one with a large table, shallow crown, and long stars.?

ETA: and a well-cut FIC is spared b/c A) larger upper girdle facet area by virtue of the larger crown area resulting from higher crown and smaller table B) steeper crown angle allows upper girdle facets to rise above the rim of the bezel and intake light from a larger variety of angles
You have the right idea but the effect is minor but visible in most cases.
It wont be enough to move a pretty stone in a high setting into the bleh category in a bezel, under table leakage is what can do that. (and also leaky uppers now that I think about it a bezel would make Garry's bad cut example CZ and diamonds cut like it look even worse)
 

Rockdiamond

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Stone-cold11 said:
Rockdiamond said:
Stone- we could make every question relate to Ideal Scope- then you can insult us needlessly, but that really misses the point- that being trying to assist people who come to ask questions- I honestly believe we both want to do that in such a way that assists the people asking.

And who started the insults first?

Stone, if it was I , please accept a heartfelt apology.
I really do believe we both share the same goals, but have strong beliefs about diamonds that happen to be conflicting.
Same for Karl.


Karl- your method, while inventive, won't really mock a bezel- which is actually metal folded over the girdle, onto the top corners.
So it's not only obscuring the girdle- and parts of the pavilion, it also obscures a tiny part of the top of the diamond, if it's done well.
Of all the commercial bezels I see, many are not done all that well.
How does a lesser bezel setter sometimes lack- thicker bezels, meaning a larger percentage of the top of the diamond is covered.


We've set many shallower stones into bezels. With many nice results.
Sometimes, in the case of thicker girdled stones, such as fancy colored cushions, the color of metal in the bezel has a huge effect on the perceived color of the diamond. Which is a fact that bolsters my point.

One theme here is- it looks the same, but.....
Karl mentioned tilt.
Which is at the core of many differences of opinion expressed.
How often is a diamond at an exact 90degree angle to your eye?

This is also central in the discussion about how much light enters the girdle, and pavilion. Clearly, as the diamond moves, the bottom, if exposed, get more light as the relationship to the source of light shifts- and the light hits different parts of the diamond.
 

Phoenix

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

I've been pondering this Q for a while now.

I noticed previously that with my non-ideal cut stones, the bezels did make them look less firey/ sparkly (whatever the correct lingo is). I think I may have posted on here (in reply to another PSer's thread) and was told that it was because of the cut. Am sure that the cut did not help.

However, last couple of days, I've actually had my BGD super-ideal cut earrings reset locally here in Singapore (cos I wanted a wider - not thicker - bezels to help the diamonds look bigger) and guess what?! When the stones were taken out of the previous settings and loose, they were super super sparkly and the light return was *amaaaaaazing*, as you'd expect. Everyone who looked at them was incredibly complimentary of the cut - as they should be! :wink2: :twirl: But after the stones have been bezelled, the light performance is *definitely* lessened, not by much but it def is - the effect is absolutely noticeable, and not just by myself either.

So just an observation from a diamond owner/ wearer. I dunno why the technical explanations say otherwise but the eye sees what it sees. I'd really like to know why too....am genuinely interested.

ETA: I wish I'd taken pics of the stones loose and then put them next to those of them set to show you, but alas I didn't! :nono: . I promise you though there's for sure a difference in light performance.
 

Rockdiamond

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

+1 Phoenix- great post!
If one was attempting to bolster the case for reflector technology, this is not the way.
I believe the amount of light coming through the girdle and pavilion effect the way a diamond looks, in real life.

BTW- i'm sure your earring are stunning- bezels can be very beautiful which is why sometimes they make the correct option.
But not if you want to get "maximum light return", as it's designated here- I don't find "maximum light return" as the ultimate goal in every situation.
For example, men's rings. Bezel is more common in men's rings.
Of course tension are also great for guys rings. Which would alleviate the effect, if the setting was for a round diamond- or a step cut set diagonally.
 

iota15

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

I find it difficult to believe that a bezel will not affect a well cut diamond's performance at all either. The metal in a bezel not only covers the girdle but also wraps around the top of the stone itself. In a well made bezel, the metal will not cover that much BUT it does cover SOME of the diamond's face.

Additionally, I wonder whether a "vertically" set diamond (earrings, pendant) will be even more negatively affected in a bezel - this effect being worse of all in well-cut diamonds. Follow me here:

I understand:

a) well cut diamonds draw light best face up;

b) well cut diamonds do not draw light (or much light) from the girdle, which is why some contend a bezel makes negligble difference;

c) vertically set diamonds receive more light through the sides than the top

SO

-> will well-cut diamonds look much poorer vertically set than poorer cut diamonds that draw more light from the girdle?

-> will well-cut diamonds look even poorer when bezel set vertically (not receiving light from girdle OR the top of the stone, which is covered by metal)?


I'm truly curious. I also wonder if the Idealscope can be modified so that a diamond can sit at a 45 degree angle from the light, and we can see how it takes in light as a vertically set diamond.
 

serenitydiamonds

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

I agree with Diamonds by Lauren on this one. I think it's a poor assumption that the ONLY light affecting a diamond is that coming directly from the top at a right angle to the table. All diamond calculations are based solely on parallel light rays entering perpendicular to the table (or a setting based on what that software has configured). While this is useful to justify perfect light return, you really cannot use this technique to say that a bezel won't affect performance of a diamond in a bezel. In a prong set diamond you have light entering and exiting the diamond from an infinite number of directions. With a bezel setting, you ONLY get the light entering through the table, crown, etc. Naturally, the bezel setting is going to have less life.

It's really important also to understand that computer models, are models and only simulate reality within the given constraints of their designed systems. No model is 100% accurate and should never be treated as such. They are to be used as tools to guide us towards better design. Nature can and will always prove a model wrong outside it's designed simulation range. It would be a useful experiment to actually take a stone mounted in a bezel, video it under controlled lighting conditions, and mount it in a prong, and video it again.

Internal back-scattering of light from light entering other areas of the diamond is going to brighten it up, and a bezel will remove this. A better cut will increase the performance of light entering through the table, and control it's proper exit from the diamond.

--Joshua
 

serenitydiamonds

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

A less technical and ASET way to express it. Attached is an ASET from a well cut diamond. Any areas of that image that are not red or blue, could (and will) contain light from random directions in a pronged setting. In a Bezel setting those areas would be dark.

--Joshua


WellCutJG.jpg
 

blueiris

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Thanks very much to everyone who has contributed to this discussion so far! I really appreciate reading your responses and opinions.

I realized that I should have said in my initial post that I am thinking of having my diamond reset into a style that allows both more light and more movement. I'm still not sure if it's worth doing but here are a few more of my thoughts.

Re: Light entering the diamond. I would still like a bezel setting because I love that style for pendants, but after reading the responses to my initial question I'm still wondering if a setting that is more open at the back would help because it would allow more light to the pavilion. In my current setting the pavilion is almost completely covered, except for the little open areas cut into the setting back. The back of the bezel setting is open but because of the design of the pendant, it rests against my chest unless I'm bending over, etc.

Re: More movement: My sense is that the ability of the diamond pendant to "swing" or move more than my current relatively fixed bezel setting allows is an important factor in seeing some sparkle and life when I'm wearing the pendant. When I hold the pendant next to my ring (one in each hand) and move them around, the pendant diamond does flash and sparkle more than what I see when standing still in front of the mirror. If I also change the setting to one that slides along a chain, as opposed to sitting relatively fixed in place, I feel like that might help with bringing the stone to life when worn - but maybe I'm wrong.

The setting I'm thinking of is Brian Gavin's Barbara pendant, which is bezel set. It's a handmade bezel, so I'm presuming it's more finely made that my current stock setting. It also has an open back for the chain to slide through, so the pendant would move and the diamond would be exposed to more light. Here's a link to the pendant's description and photos: http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/home/ring-details/?product_id=5352

Any thoughts on whether this change would be worth it to me? My current setting is platinum so it was expensive, and I want to be as sure as possible that I will be happy with the change. Thanks again to everyone!
 

blueiris

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

I don't know if a few photos might help, or not. But here are a few, anyway. :)

A few of my ring next to my pendant.

P1010254pen8.jpg

P1010256pen1.jpg

P1010257pen2.jpg
 

blueiris

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

A few to show the pendant setting.

Back of pendant (open circular area rests against my chest when I'm wearing it).

Side of pendant, showing cut channels.

Upside down pendant.


Front view of pendant.

The photos make the diamond appear yellow but it's the lighting and/or photography setting - it's an F color diamond.

P1010264pen3.jpg

P1010265pen4.jpg

P1010269pen5.jpg

P1010268pen6.jpg
 

Rockdiamond

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Great pics blueiris.
I'm not trying to discourage anyone from using a bezel- they are lovely, and make a totally different statement than prong setting.
I have always felt that categorizing "maximum light return" which is equated to "performance" as a method of grading a diamond's cut is simplistic, and misses the point.

What I find particularly telling is how a few people on this thread make themselves out to be "expert", then {mis}use "physics" to try and explain something.
When I question their assertions, with reasonable, polite questions, I am categorized as someone who's saying the Earth is flat. More bothersome are the professional insults that follow.
And of course no reasonable answers are provided
 

blueiris

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

rockdiamond,

Do you (or anyone else) have an opinion whether I would be more pleased with the light performance, etc. with the Barbara setting vs. the one I have now? Here's the link again:

http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/home/ring-details/?product_id=5352

It's still a bezel setting, of course, and as I said I'd like to maintain a bezel setting - but would the differences of the Barbara setting having an open back and the ability for the pendant to move along the chain help with increasing the sparkle and brilliance? I realize that I won't see these improvements (if there are any) most of the time since I'm wearing the pendant but others will. This whole question of mine started because my husband commented on how much my new ring was sparkling and said he thought it was more sparkly than my pendant. I know the diamond in my ring is moved around a lot more since it's on my hand (and I'm left-handed ;-) ), but what I don't know is if a more open, more movable pendant setting will make the pendant stone look as sparkly as my ring.
 

Rockdiamond

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

blueiris- as a tradesperson I am not allowed to comment on the wares of other vendors.
 

blueiris

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Rockdiamond said:
blueiris- as a tradesperson I am not allowed to comment on the wares of other vendors.

Oh, sorry! I didn't know that policy included items other than stones (I'm still quite new here).

Anyone else? Opinion don't have to be specifically about that setting. I'd also be very interested to hear opinions about the possibility of any more open setting than I have now, and a setting that can move along a chain, helping my pendant sparkle more. My concern is that I might choose to have it reset and then not find it makes any significant difference because I just don't know enough.
 

stone-cold11

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Don't really see much difference in light performance from the images other than more, larger facet glare from the e-ring. So I am of the opinion you just do not like how the stone look without the facet glare, if so probably bezel will not be a good match for you. But this is just base on the images.
 

yssie

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

blueiris said:
I'd also be very interested to hear opinions about the possibility of any more open setting than I have now, and a setting that can move along a chain, helping my pendant sparkle more. My concern is that I might choose to have it reset and then not find it makes any significant difference because I just don't know enough.

What occurs from a numeric standpoint doesn't always correlate well with what the eyes see - and frankly until there is some ray tracing software that can accurately, precisely, and robustly model tertiary refractions/fourier optics/dispersion effects... the best people to tell you exactly what's going on are those who have been looking at, working with, setting, and selling diamonds.

So I'll put it this way: a bezel with an open back may or may not visibly improve performance, but it won't have any negative impact - the only way to go from what you have now is up.
 

Dancing Fire

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

common sense tells ya a ring will be under the lights more often so you'll see more sparkle from the ring.
 

blueiris

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Dancing Fire said:
common sense tells ya a ring will be under the lights more often so you'll see more sparkle from the ring.

Yes, I do realize this. :) I mentioned somewhere in a post above that I think part of the reason I see more sparkle from my ring is my hand moving around.

I still question if a bezel setting - and this bezel setting in particular, since it's wider/thicker/more enclosing of the diamond than the one I am considering - is affecting the sparkle of the diamond. But I can see that this is perhaps not a question that can be answered definitively (for me, anyway) because the opinions have varied, even from those who sell and set diamonds and know lots more about diamonds than I ever will! I am going to ask Brian Gavin for his opinion once he returns to the country.

Thanks again to everyone who responded to my question with useful information. I appreciate it!
 

Karl_K

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

one thing not discussed but shown in these images you can see the contrast of the stone against the background is very strongly changed in a bezel.
This has nothing to do with the light return performance of the diamond but can dramatically change the overall look.

file.jpg
file.jpg
 

whatmeworry

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

I agree with Storm's observations above. From comparing bezel and prong set diamonds, it seems to me that the bezels seem just a touch less bright but more contrast and better (more fluid) pattern scintillation.
 

Rockdiamond

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Yssie said:
blueiris said:
I'd also be very interested to hear opinions about the possibility of any more open setting than I have now, and a setting that can move along a chain, helping my pendant sparkle more. My concern is that I might choose to have it reset and then not find it makes any significant difference because I just don't know enough.

What occurs from a numeric standpoint doesn't always correlate well with what the eyes see - and frankly until there is some ray tracing software that can accurately, precisely, and robustly model tertiary refractions/fourier optics/dispersion effects... the best people to tell you exactly what's going on are those who have been looking at, working with, setting, and selling diamonds.

So I'll put it this way: a bezel with an open back may or may not visibly improve performance, but it won't have any negative impact - the only way to go from what you have now is up.

Yssie- I was a little confused by what you wrote.
The part in red, clearly, I agree with.
The part in blue goes against what I ( a professional with lots of experience setting diamonds in bezels) have said....as well as common sense.
Karl made an interesting statement
one thing not discussed but shown in these images you can see the contrast of the stone against the background is very strongly changed in a bezel.
This has nothing to do with the light return performance of the diamond but can dramatically change the overall look.
Again, sounds like conflicting parts of one sentence.
Karl ( if you'll answer)- if the "light performance" is identical, how can the stone look different?
 

yssie

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Yssie- I was a little confused by what you wrote.
The part in red, clearly, I agree with.
The part in blue goes against what I ( a professional with lots of experience setting diamonds in bezels) have said....as well as common sense.

David - specifically, only way for her to go from what she's got now is up. Sounds like OP wants a bezel, thus a bezel with an open pavilion is a big step up from the enclosed-type bezel she describes the stone currently set in. Switching from her current closed bezel to an open one may or may not have a visible positive impact but it won't have any negative impact.
 

Karl_K

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Rockdiamond said:
Karl ( if you'll answer)- if the "light performance" is identical, how can the stone look different?
Simple if you think about it, the environment is different.
"light performance" is just one part of what determines what a diamond looks like at any given time the other 2 parts are lighting and environment.
 

Rockdiamond

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Sorry yssie- I misread it- you're 100% correct.
If you look at the way "diamonds by the yard" are set, it's a bezel that looks the same on top and bottom.
Theoretically, getting as thin as possible has the least effect.

Karl- thanks for answering.
I get what you're saying,

I guess that's part of what I don;t like about the term "light performance". I think far to many reviews of diamonds are based to heavily on the first aspect, and not enough on the other two.
There are diamonds that actually look better in bezels for many reasons- primarily color. To a lesser degree, cut.
Say a given piece of rough is deep, rather imperfect- but has a nice pink hue.
It sometimes makes sense to cut something that we'd all laugh at if it was a D color.
Say, 80% depth.
Sometimes such stones look nicer bezel set- to say nothing of the fact they might also look pinker.
 

blueiris

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Re: Does a bezel setting change and/or decrease light return

Karl_K said:
one thing not discussed but shown in these images you can see the contrast of the stone against the background is very strongly changed in a bezel.
This has nothing to do with the light return performance of the diamond but can dramatically change the overall look.

file.jpg
file.jpg

Karl, maybe that's what I've noticed (the difference between the way the diamonds look in my bezel set pendant and my prong set ring) and me asking about light performance was "misleading" (or maybe just the wrong question).

Can you explain to me why we see a difference in the contrast in the background of the bezel set stone? What is it about the bezel setting that does that?

Rockdiamond and Yssie, thank you both too for your further input. Yssie, you are right - I am pretty well set on a bezel setting; I just like how it looks in a pendant. My sense all along has been that a less enclosed bezel setting (as Rockdiamond says, like the DBTY bezel) could help, since I do still want a bezel setting, so your input about that is valuable to me. I really think that a setting that moves more would help too (maybe more than changing the type of bezel?). The current setting just doesn't move much. I made the pendant a little shorter by holding it at the back, then moved around while watching in the mirror, and since it was a little shorter it kept flipping a little into the hollow in my neck (it's just below it now) and I saw lots of life in it.

I find all of this really interesting - and the hearts and arrows thread, too. I just wish I understood more, and want to thank all of you who take the time to explain things to those like me, who are new to this world.
 

pws

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I googled "Is bezel setting bad for light performance" and this thread was the one that appeared at the top.
I heartily agree with @Rockdiamond.
The reason I googled it in the first place was because two of my super ideal hearts and arrows diamonds (0.54 D VS1 natural from Victor Canera and 1.07 E VVS2 lab from Whiteflash) that are in bezel (or flush?) settings look much less impressive than other super ideal H&A diamonds of mine that are in half bezel settings.
I'm a male diamond lover.
My very first diamond love was with a Tiffany & Co. diamond engagement ring (0.31 D IF); I wanted to buy a Tiffany diamond ring, but for men, Tiffany only had melee diamond rings back in 2017, and I wanted a bigger diamond than melee, and the salesperson persuaded me into thinking that I could wear a 0.31 D IF (women's) diamond engagement ring in a classic Tiffany six prong setting by stacking it with other men's bands.
And the stone's sparkle and fire was amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.
But I was too self-conscious walking around wearing a women's ring.
That was how I started having men's diamond rings made.
I tried generic GIA 3ex stones and when they failed me, I searched online and found super ideal diamonds, which seemed nicer than generic GIA stones, but I still couldn't see what I used to see from the Tiffany 0.31 D IF diamond.
I still haven't found why but am guessing maybe it is because of the setting?
I mean, my men's diamond rings in half bezel settings allow less light coming into the stones than a six prong setting can?
And my bezel settings allow even less light than half bezel settings, which is why they look the least impressive - light performance-wise????

I'm seriously thinking about buying a diamond ring in a six prong setting - not for wearing but just for admiring from a distance.

IMG_0802.jpg
 

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Garry H (Cut Nut)

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I googled "Is bezel setting bad for light performance" and this thread was the one that appeared at the top.
I heartily agree with @Rockdiamond.
The reason I googled it in the first place was because two of my super ideal hearts and arrows diamonds (0.54 D VS1 natural from Victor Canera and 1.07 E VVS2 lab from Whiteflash) that are in bezel (or flush?) settings look much less impressive than other super ideal H&A diamonds of mine that are in half bezel settings.
I'm a male diamond lover.
My very first diamond love was with a Tiffany & Co. diamond engagement ring (0.31 D IF); I wanted to buy a Tiffany diamond ring, but for men, Tiffany only had melee diamond rings back in 2017, and I wanted a bigger diamond than melee, and the salesperson persuaded me into thinking that I could wear a 0.31 D IF (women's) diamond engagement ring in a classic Tiffany six prong setting by stacking it with other men's bands.
And the stone's sparkle and fire was amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.
But I was too self-conscious walking around wearing a women's ring.
That was how I started having men's diamond rings made.
I tried generic GIA 3ex stones and when they failed me, I searched online and found super ideal diamonds, which seemed nicer than generic GIA stones, but I still couldn't see what I used to see from the Tiffany 0.31 D IF diamond.
I still haven't found why but am guessing maybe it is because of the setting?
I mean, my men's diamond rings in half bezel settings allow less light coming into the stones than a six prong setting can?
And my bezel settings allow even less light than half bezel settings, which is why they look the least impressive - light performance-wise????

I'm seriously thinking about buying a diamond ring in a six prong setting - not for wearing but just for admiring from a distance.

IMG_0802.jpg

Very little light can enter the pavilion and exit via the top facets or a well cut diamond.
More when the diamond is dirty.
1686189792573.png
1686189855021.png
 

pws

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Very little light can enter the pavilion and exit via the top facets or a well cut diamond.
More when the diamond is dirty.
1686189792573.png
1686189855021.png

Hi, Garry.
I love this ring from your site.
It is beautiful and is unisex enough, I think.
Maybe I'll order it someday.
You ship to South Korea, right?
I once emailed Holloway Diamonds and asked but there was no reply.
hollo.jpg

And it seems there are people who think bezel setting is not good.
Here's what I found on the Internet.
KakaoTalk_20230608_110320212.jpg
 

pws

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Very little light can enter the pavilion and exit via the top facets or a well cut diamond.
More when the diamond is dirty.
1686189792573.png
1686189855021.png

And I clean my diamond rings each and every time I wear them.
Please do not assume that I am a man and ipso facto my stones are not clean.
 
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Karl_K

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That ring/diamond combo has no contrast.
Up close the internal contrast(obstruction) of the diamond gives a show but at a distance it will just blend into the setting with no contrast.
6 prongs hold the diamond off the finger providing more contrast between the band, diamond and finger.
That style ring should not be in a white metal if your looking for a show.
Every aspect of diamond performance is muted by lack of contrast at anything but the closest range.
Not by the light performance of the diamond itself but the lack of contrast it has to work against.
 
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