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I have an odd question...

Laila619

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Is it a bad idea to buy a pave setting without the little holes on the underside of the shank and setting? A jeweler told me melee/pave without the tiny holes on the underside of the setting are impossible to keep clean, because you can't reach the pavillion of the melee. He said over time, dirt gets trapped and because you can't get to the underside of the melee because there are no 'cleaning holes,' the melee diamonds start to look lifeless after a while. So I did some googling, and found this:

http://www.jewelry-secrets.com/Other/Why-Are-There-Holes-In-Rings/Why-Do-Rings-Have-Holes-In-Them.html

"Ring Holes makes it easier to clean your Diamonds and Stones. It gives you better access to the base of your Diamond where dirt and debris would accumulate and build up. Holes allow you to steam your Diamonds easily, or scrub them with a toothbrush to clean them. It keeps your Diamonds and Gems sparkling clean."


So, my question is--is this all true? Do you have a pave setting without the holes on the underside, and do you find it hard to clean the melee? Can any appraisers offer their opinion please? Thanks!! :)
 

Laila619

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Here's a pic of these holes so you know what I'm talking about...I know they have an actual name but I forgot what they're called!

cleaning holes.jpg
 

mrssalvo

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most high end jewelry doesn't have the holes actually. I emailed Michael B about this a few years ago b/c their rings do not have the holes and here is what he said.

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/holes-inside-rings-azures.81706/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/holes-inside-rings-azures.81706/[/URL]

Traditionally, yellow gold was in vogue and the yellow background made the
diamonds look yellow, so holes were used to avoid the yellowing effect of
yellow gold.

MB focused on platinum for bridal and the diamonds actually looked
whiter with the reflection of the pure white metal beneath the diamond.

Also, holes in the back often result in lotion and other residue coming up
into the hole and making the diamonds filthy, forcing you to constantly use
ultra sonic cleaners which in turn loosen the diamonds.

Finally, holes are most often seen in jewelry that is cast to save the
manufacturer money on the amount of metal being used, so that you end up
with a more flimsy and less structurally integrous ring.

We make everything by hand, so structurally the ring is more sound, more
pure, more solid and more beautiful.

A jeweler making a ring by hand won't sit there and drill holes in the back
on purpose, that comes straight out of a wax/mold process which also results
in greater porosity than hand made jewelry.
 

Laila619

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Thanks, Mrssalvo! I appreciate the informative reply!

Still, it does seem like it would be harder to clean without the holes though. I can just imagine all the gunk that collects in a closed back setting. Anyone else have any thoughts?
 

Circe

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For a pave setting specifically, I think Mrs. Salvo's Michael B. quotation is correct. Pave stones are teeny-tiny! Not to mention closely spaced. The azures that would be cut would be a hazard to the integrity of the ring, and not of much use in cleaning (you couldn't get so much as the bristle of a baby toothbrush into one, and would have to steam-clean/use an ultrasonic regardless).

Bead-set bands use the same basic technique as pave-setting, but on a larger scale, and for those, I would want azures - frankly, for any stones bigger than melee, I'd want azures! At .01 points or less, it's more about sparkle than scintillation: once you get sizable, you want to be able to see the gleam.
 

oldminer

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Exactly spaced and even holes in the back are an element of good workmanship and will allow the stones on top of the hole to be easily kept clean. Ajouring is the squaring offf or shaping of these holes into a pattern or rectangle and it is done to show off the skill and care given to the piece by the craftsman. Sometimes these squared off holes are not well finished, but in a truly finely made piece they are super polished and perfectly made. A component of a truly fine item is that the back looks as finished as the front. Americans are much more inclined today to be satisfied with a face-up decent appearance, but the standards of a finely made item have not changed. It is simply that fewer people really want to pay for a top quality of workmanship. In a normal weight item, the holes or ajoures do not defeat durability, but in the super light items which have become fashionable, I would agree that any further reduction of metal might further compromise durability. When a piece is made right, the holes or ajoures do not negatively impact strength, ever.

Having holes beneath stones has nothing to do with whether an item is cast, hand made or die struck.
 

Circe

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Oldminer|1306452907|2931255 said:
Exactly spaced and even holes in the back are an element of good workmanship and will allow the stones on top of the hole to be easily kept clean. Ajouring is the squaring offf or shaping of these holes into a pattern or rectangle and it is done to show off the skill and care given to the piece by the craftsman. Sometimes these squared off holes are not well finished, but in a truly finely made piece they are super polished and perfectly made. A component of a truly fine item is that the back looks as finished as the front. Americans are much more inclined today to be satisfied with a face-up decent appearance, but the standards of a finely made item have not changed. It is simply that fewer people really want to pay for a top quality of workmanship. In a normal weight item, the holes or ajoures do not defeat durability, but in the super light items which have become fashionable, I would agree that any further reduction of metal might further compromise durability. When a piece is made right, the holes or ajoures do not negatively impact strength, ever.

Having holes beneath stones has nothing to do with whether an item is cast, hand made or die struck.
Ha! Guilty of my own worst sin: I'd seen the word in print often enough that I didn't question whether it was being used correctly. I know it's a by-product of your informative post, but thanks, Oldminer!
 

Laila619

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Thanks, Circe and David Atlas! I appreciate it. Sounds like I do want to have the holes in my setting.
 

mrssalvo

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Dave,
I'm curious as to why so many of the high end pave pieces don't have the holes then? Also, porosity has been discussed in being more prevalent in cast pieces than handmade and adding holes to a piece that could be weaker could cause the piece to be less integris. It would make sense to me that a jeweler making a piece by hand would probably not add all the holes. But, maybe that is incorrect and I'd love it if you could explain further :))
 

swingirl

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Laila619, the setting you are showing looks prong set not pave. Or am I mistaken?

My prong set rings have holes, my pave set ring does not.
 

Laila619

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swingirl|1306459626|2931345 said:
Laila619, the setting you are showing looks prong set not pave. Or am I mistaken?
Hi swingirl,

My pic was just an example of a setting that did have the holes I was referring to...it's not one I'm considering buying. :)
 
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