Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Leon Mege sapphire ring

mamadelmar

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
119
I love Art Deco style and previously had a beautiful Sebastien Barier e-ring. It was meant to be worn on my right hand but because it sat so high and I am right-handed, I found that I wasn’t wearing it on a daily basis for fear of dinging it.

I decided to try to exchange it for a lower-set ring I could wear on my left-hand and looked into a sapphire ring. I approached Leon Mege because I love his work and had purchased a lovely Art Deco-looking band from him years ago. He told me he had a beautiful sapphire he would be willing to make into a ring with a few French Cut diamond side stones in exchange for my diamond. (My diamond was a 1.32 G/VS2, triple Ex and the sapphire is 1.69, heat-treated.) We agreed to use a photo of an Art Deco Van Cleef ring that I’ve loved for ages as the inspiration but in reverse. (The Van Cleef ring has a diamond keystone and sapphire side stones.)

We sent the sapphire to GIA for grading in Dec. and it came back in early Jan. In mid-March, after I reached out to Leon to check on the status of the ring, he sent me a photo of it (below) and my heart sank. It doesn’t quite have the Art Deco feel I had hoped. Leon proposed adding some engraving to the shank to make it feel more Deco and I quickly agreed. He told me it would cost an additional $500-800, though, just to engrave the top of the shank and that he’d confirm the price after speaking with an engraver in his building. Then the coronavirus arrived and we had to pause.

Since then, I have been filled with remorse about exchanging my diamond. My financial circumstances have changed and I can no longer pay the additional amount to engrave the ring. I told Leon I was unhappy and asked if it was at all possible to get my original stone back. He advised that it is, but I’d have to pay for the setting of the new ring he created, which is fair but just not feasible for me right now.

I know I could and should have managed this process differently, but the net result is I no longer have a ring that makes my heart sing.

My husband never wanted me to do the exchange so I am loathe to complain too much at home, which is why I am sharing this with my PS friends. (-: (I also feel quite guilty about being unhappy with a ring with all that is going on in the world.)

I’d love your thoughts.

The inspiration:
E169BE3C-9022-459A-AFD0-45E20F013BFF.jpeg

The Leon ring:
E19F2828-3EAF-4276-A8D4-CE3B015F967B.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
2,527
Oof.
I’m a fence sitter on this one.
I’m going to assume you didn’t get to see a sketch or mockup of what LM wanted to do? Did you get to approve the sapphire before it was set (if the sapphire is part of the issue)?
His idea of inspiration was different than yours. And I don’t know that I can argue that’s ‘wrong’ if no sketches were involved.
Would you have been happier if the FC were tapered? And maybe the shank was shaped more like the inspo?
I don’t know the remedy for this that would be acceptable for both you and LM.
I am sorry for the situation. But I don’t seem to think engraving is the answer.
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
7,402
Hmmmm. I think Leon made out well on this one.

@Rfisher has fabulous taste, but I disagree on this one. I think engraving would give it more or a vintage feel. Also, I think you need to drop down the bezel, which seems very raised and sharp around the sapphire.

On the other hand, I disagree with *you* - in that I actually love your new ring. While I think the exchange went Leon's way, I do love your new piece and think it's both unique and elegant.

Were it mine, I'd wear it and love it - and I hope you can too, as time passes. And just to add - that's a lovely sapphire!
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
2,527
If OP can open her heart and her mind to what it is, not what she thought it might be
I agree with you wholeheartedly @mrs-b
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
2,371
i'm sorry the transaction didn't go as you'd planned. the ring is very pretty but that doesn't matter if it's going to make you unhappy. do you have a photo of the gallery? could you take it and have the engraving added locally later or see if it grows on you? would you recoup enough if you sold it to purchase something that does make your heart sing?
 

mamadelmar

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
119
Thanks so much for your comments. Leon did not create a sketch and in hindsight, I should have really pushed him for one. I was also quite naïve in terms of the value of the exchange. While I think the sapphire is beautiful, I am not sure that it - along with the setting and labor - were really an equitable trade for my diamond. I knew the exchange would need to be slightly in Leon’s favor but this was probably overly so.

I blame myself. My first experience was so wonderful that I trusted him implicitly when I should have negotiated better and managed the design process more closely. I just had stars in my eyes at the thought of having an heirloom-quality LM ring.

Sadly, if I were to sell this, I would not recoup nearly enough to buy back a diamond comparable to the original one.

I don’t have a photo of the gallery. I do think that eventually, I will ask another jeweler if they can taper and engrave the shank.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,011
I’m with you, OP. The Leon ring is a lot blunter, more masculine and less fluid than your inspiration. Although as you’ve already said, without sketches at least it’s difficult to argue the point.

Have you got the ring in hand? It’s probably photography, but is something off in the bezel at 11 o’clock-ish? And the millegrain at 7/8 o’clock? May just be the way the light is hitting?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous ring. But it doesn’t have the same feel as the agreed inspo.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,338
I saw instantly what you don’t like.
The absence of the taper makes the ring look chunky. The bezel is too thin and insubstantial for the sapphire centre.
A fine bezel works with a diamond as a gentle frame but around the sapphire it looks weak and insipid.
One issue is though that with the reversal of gems, the look does change. The swoopiness of the shoulders works beautifully with sapphires and contrasts well with a diamond centre but with colour reversal the impact/look is lost.
If it were me I’d pay the price to get my original diamond back. Don’t get me wrong, the Leon ring is beautiful BUT it isn’t the look you wanted and I just don’t think the look, with or without engraving, will grow on you. It is likely to continue to be a disappointment, and for such a $$$$ investment, you deserve to be thrilled.
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
7,402
@mamadelmar -

I just wanted to come back and share this with you. This was my Christmas ring that I received last year. It's like the baby sister to your ring and I absolutely love it.

I like your design. From my similar ring, I know it's really comfortable to wear and will take you anywhere. I love the shot of blue and was wondering if you might like the idea of oxidized engraving, so you have the black of the pattern standing out. The shiny silver metal with blue and black would be quite stunning and would give it a BIG shot of character, which is what i think is missing.

Give it some thought? I think it would make all the difference.

And here's my ring....

738344

738342
 

MillieLou

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
86
Would he perhaps be willing to advertise the ring for sale as a ready-made piece, for whatever he is asking you to pay? Maybe for a small fee (sort of like a consignment charge?) If he was able to sell it for what he's wanting you to pay, plus a bit extra for the hassle, neither of you would lose out. He would be able to get much more for it as a brand new piece from the designer than you would on the second-hand market.

I think it's a beautiful ring, badly photographed. I prefer it to your old one. But that's my personal taste. If you want your old ring back, you should pursue that.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
36,205
My first instinct is to get your original diamond back. If that is what your heart wants no compromise will do. Despite it being a lovely ring it isn't the ring for you. At least that is what I am getting from your posts. I am sorry it is a disappointment and I am sorry you are taking a loss but in the long run it sounds like you will be happiest with your original diamond back on your hand. And that is A OK. Cut your losses now before you cannot get what you truly want. It is ok. I am very sorry it didn't work out the way you wanted it to and I am also sorry you are dealing with someone who is perhaps less than an easy person to do business with :( I hope he helps make this right for you.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,479
I am so sorry that you find yourself in this place. I too don't think you'll be happy with anything else but getting your diamond back. Perhaps you should call him again, explain how unhappy you are, and see what his rock bottom number would be to get your ring back. To be honest, the ring does not have the Leon vibe to it that many of his other pieces do. While engraving will change the look, it won't change the basic design and I think that is the root of the problem. Please keep us posted and best of luck in navigating all of this.
 

Cockatiel

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
678
I'm sorry the new sapphire ring isn't what you hoped for. I hope there's a way to get your diamond back, rather than having to spend more money to modify the sapphire ring. I think that would be the least costly option in the long run.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,192
In light of the whole situation/timeline,perhaps Leon would be open to splitting the cost of the setting, you each absorbing a slight loss, and you receive your diamond back, and he retain the sapphire ring, add the engraving, and then sell it on his website.

Alternatively, perhaps Leon would be amenable to a short-term installment plan for you to pay for the setting and then once the setting is paid in full paid he'd send you your original 1.32ct diamond along with the setting you paid for, without the center sapphire but including the diamond melee, yes?... IMO if he is not willing to send you the empty setting then you shouldn't have to pay for it.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
2,527
What would you be getting back, OP?
The diamond or the diamond and the Sebastian Barrier setting as well?
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,045
I think you have to take the new ring and sell it if you don’t like it.

I mean, at this point, I think Leon is done with his end.

Sell the sapphire ring and buy a new diamond. Was it OEC or modern round brilliant?

I just don’t think Leon can be held accountable for your bad decisions (sorry if that sounds harsh. I thought it best to say it clearly and succinctly).

Caveat emptor
 

mamadelmar

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
119
I’m afraid the sapphire ring just isn’t me at all, as much as I *really* want to like it. I had asked Leon if he would consider selling it to someone else because I do think it could make someone else’s heart sing.

He has my Barier setting simply because he unmounted the diamond from it. In fact, when we started this process in The Before Times, I was also going to buy a colored stone from him to go into the Barier setting (which is why you see the three stones he suggested in his photo).

At this point, I would be over the moon to get my original diamond back. I’m not certain I’ll be able to afford whatever Leon will charge. I’ll let you know how this ends.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,045
Thanks so much for your comments. Leon did not create a sketch and in hindsight, I should have really pushed him for one. I was also quite naïve in terms of the value of the exchange. While I think the sapphire is beautiful, I am not sure that it - along with the setting and labor - were really an equitable trade for my diamond. I knew the exchange would need to be slightly in Leon’s favor but this was probably overly so.

I blame myself. My first experience was so wonderful that I trusted him implicitly when I should have negotiated better and managed the design process more closely. I just had stars in my eyes at the thought of having an heirloom-quality LM ring.

Sadly, if I were to sell this, I would not recoup nearly enough to buy back a diamond comparable to the original one.

I don’t have a photo of the gallery. I do think that eventually, I will ask another jeweler if they can taper and engrave the shank.
French cuts are very expensive. That sapphire should have cost around $1800-2500 would be my guess. Perhaps with Leon, he might have said $4k? I don’t know.

Those french cuts though... they are probably the priciest part of the ring, which I like a lot.

I would have wanted the bezel enclosed all the way and also shaved down.

You don’t have it yet, is that right?
 
Last edited:

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,045
I’m afraid the sapphire ring just isn’t me at all, as much as I *really* want to like it. I had asked Leon if he would consider selling it to someone else because I do think it could make someone else’s heart sing.

He has my Barier setting simply because he unmounted the diamond from it. In fact, when we started this process in The Before Times, I was also going to buy a colored stone from him to go into the Barier setting (which is why you see the three stones he suggested in his photo).

At this point, I would be over the moon to get my original diamond back. I’m not certain I’ll be able to afford whatever Leon will charge. I’ll let you know how this ends.
No, hon, YOU have to sell it to someone else. You are the owner of this ring.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,045
I think this went heavy to his favor.

Why can't he just do an even trade back and list the sapphire on his site?
Not his problem any more would be my guess.... he isn’t a consigner.
 

Cockatiel

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
678
What would you be getting back, OP?
The diamond or the diamond and the Sebastian Barrier setting as well?
I'm wondering about this too. What a tricky situation. I still think the safest, and the simplest option would be to find a way to get your diamond back, if that's feasible at all.
 

SimoneDi

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
3,749
OP, I am sorry about the situation you have found yourself in. I had to go back and see a picture of your diamond ring. It is gorgeous! I am sorry that you were not wearing it and felt the need to change it, but you already seem regretful over that decision.

My advice is to work with Leon to come up with a reasonable amount for the setting and get your ring back! I would advise that you find a nice lab stone or a cheaper sapphire and enjoy the ring as your everyday ring even while still having your beautiful diamond ring. Installment plan to pay for the setting was a good suggestion, another one will be to apply for a credit card with 0% apr intro offer where you can pay the balance off over 12-18mo. Good luck!
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Celebratory Engagement Ring Upgrade And Bracelet
    Celebratory Engagement Ring Upgrade And Bracelet
    Chiguys's Cushion Cut Engagement Ring
    Chiguys's Cushion Cut Engagement Ring
    Archduchess Eleonore von Habsburg and Jérôme d’Ambrosio Royal Wedding
    Archduchess Eleonore von Habsburg and Jérôme d’Ambrosio Royal Wedding

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top