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Leon Mege sapphire ring

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
174
We have no idea who’s making offers to whom. Best not to make assumptions. My post was based entirely on what OP has told us about the transaction and what she’s posted.

As others have said, he most likely doesn’t have the diamond any more. Even if he did, how many vendors do we ever hold to a “trade in for custom work with a takebacks for regrets clause” expectation?

The original trade was fair from a dollars standpoint. This assertion is incorrect: The completed sapphire ring reflects all details on the work order. The problem is that the details on the work order don’t reflect what OP actually wanted. There were many opportunities on both sides to nip the ensuing aesthetics dissatisfaction in the bud, that neither party took. In fact, clearly neither party was particularly careful about the even the original terms of trade. A long time ago Leon made an old poster @CharmyPoo a ring that deviated from his work order; she pointed it out and he remade it to spec no questions asked - the words on the SOW are critical in any contract with any vendor of any type. What is a fair and viable “I’m sorry you’re unhappy” standard in this scenario? In my opinion having him remake the mount and splitting labour and materials would have been reasonable, given that there was negligence on both sides - was this ever proposed as a solution? We don’t know.

Also remember that we are immediately post-COVID. Remember that Leon is in NYC. Remember than Leon continued to pay personnel through the NYC shutdown, which lasted longer than anywhere else, whilst income intake dropped to zero. He may not have reserves for large “above and beyond” financial gestures like you’re suggesting. He might. I don’t know, I’m merely stating the possibility.

Inflated appraisals are the industry standard, unfortunately. You’ll get this sort of inflation from pretty much every vendor who is popular on this board. I concur, that’s not a good thing.
It’s hard to forget that we aren’t actually POST Covid. My business has been dead with NO help from our GOV since March. I’m still not able to work - so the empathy goes both ways. You don’t know the OP’s situation and LM has shown zero empathy in this situation and yet your giving it to him.

Customer satisfaction should be very high on any business persons list.
I often have had and will have to spend many hours I never get paid for just purely for customer satisfaction. While there is line to stop people taking advantage - there are always compromises. If I make the money more important then my client it becomes very obvious to them. It would see to me LM deserves the bad reviews and loss of customers that this type of transaction would attract.
Nothing that you have said has made me think he did anything other then serve his own interest.
I respectfully disagree that he made what was requested.
the job sheet referred multiple times to the picture and the picture was obviously granduated. His is rough, not refined, and barely if at all graduated.
They barely resemble each other.
I wouldn’t be anywhere near happy with that result.
-she wasn’t happy when he showed her the stones before they were set and he assured her they would appear graduated even though he should have had diamonds properly cut for the graduation.
He should have know it was going to look different and mocked it up for her before setting.
I really loved his work - but now I wouldn’t go near him.
I’m very glad the OP posted and don’t think she should have to see people tell her it’s her own fault. If LM made an awesome ring to begin with none of this would have happened.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,940
It’s hard to forget that we aren’t actually POST Covid. My business has been dead with NO help from our GOV since March. I’m still not able to work - so the empathy goes both ways. You don’t know the OP’s situation and LM has shown zero empathy in this situation and yet your giving it to him.
Yes. Even if we disagree on this particular thread - I’m very sorry about what your business is going through @Beautiful-disaster. We are most definitely not post COVID as I wrote. We’re just past the first shutdown - possibly one of many, and we’re all learning how to work with a dramatically different economy, and whilst it’s painful for all of us it’s more painful for some than others.

I consider Leon to be a friend. I spoke with him throughout the shutdown - no small “non-essential” business had an easy time of it, and none will just bounce back to normal. I was hoping for that for a little while, at the beginning... I’m very sorry that yours wasn’t given the same helping hand to get through this that others were, that’s unfair and undeserved. I hope that wrong is righted, and please let us know if there is something concrete that we can do to help.

I mean that. Please let us know if there is something concrete that we can do to help. Hopefully OP decides to take advantage of our various offers to help her sell for as much as possible, as well. This paragraph is so much more important than jewellery, and ultimately we’re all on the same side of whatever is to come.
 
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Tinkybell

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
145
I find this whole thing very hard to swallow. I am so very sorry for the mix up in communication and I am saddened that your diamond is gone. I have heard one too many stories on here that Leon can be difficult to deal with. I have admired his work from afar but because of this very post ,I will not ever look to him, for a commissioned piece. I just had my first custom piece done by S K and he was the kindest ,most accommodating person to deal with, from start to finish. Sending you a great big hug! My heart is truly aching for you!
 

SimoneDi

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Dec 19, 2014
Messages
3,760
OP, your story has gotten progressively worse. Not everyone is meant to be a great negotiator and that’s ok, but it seems that you alone have made your situation worse. Not many are looking for an empty setting, I am not sure what was going through your mind when you completed the last trade or why you didn’t check in here first...The sapphire ring was lovely, your diamond was lovely, yet you felt the need to change them both and somehow managed to trade a whole diamond for an empty pavè setting... I am speechless. You clearly don’t want to take any of our advice, so it’s probably best that we stop giving it. Best go luck to you. I hope that you find what you are searching for eventually and learn from your own mistakes.
 
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lydial

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
615
I think we all need to take a deep breath and extend some kindness to the OP. Mistakes were made. Regrettably they can’t be unmade. We all make mistakes. In 2018 I purchased a Volvo SUV and I - Hated - it and so I traded it in in 2019 for another Audi. I lost about 10k doing this. I will not look back. OP should not look back. It is done. She has to move on. Sadly she seems to be a jewel lover with a low budget, as many of us are/were, but the right cushion sapphire will come along for the blingy halo, and maybe Alex Parks or Sin City can find something to rescue her old setting too? OP don’t be down. Chin up, suck in your ego and gut, and walk on. Get some help sourcing center stones (Yvonne Raley?)
 

pearaffair

Ideal_Rock
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2,810
I think we all need to take a deep breath and extend some kindness to the OP. Mistakes were made. Regrettably they can’t be unmade. We all make mistakes. In 2018 I purchased a Volvo SUV and I - Hated - it and so I traded it in in 2019 for another Audi. I lost about 10k doing this. I will not look back. OP should not look back. It is done. She has to move on. Sadly she seems to be a jewel lover with a low budget, as many of us are/were, but the right cushion sapphire will come along for the blingy halo, and maybe Alex Parks or Sin City can find something to rescue her old setting too? OP don’t be down. Chin up, suck in your ego and gut, and walk on. Get some help sourcing center stones (Yvonne Raley?)
Good example with your car story!

Jewelry purchases tend to be emotional so it’s all harder.

But I spent $20k or more and two Years of my life on a degree I haven’t used in the past three years....

We all make money mistakes. Far better to make money mistakes than any other kind! <3
 

Cockatiel

Brilliant_Rock
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Dec 28, 2017
Messages
678
I want to send you a hug, OP.

Hindsight is 20/20. I hope you will not contact Leon again in the hopes of rectifying the current situation again. He has the upper hand in terms of personality, experience, whatever, in this. You are not able to think clearly right now because you don't have your ring anymore and you are the one that's been enduring the whole ordeal and dealing with Leon, unlike the rest of us. It's easy for others to sit in front of the screen and find faults in your thinking and point out your oversights. Try to forget about the diamond that was traded, somebody else probably paid for it and owns it by now. Just remember you were willing to let go of it for a sapphire ring to begin with. There's another diamond out there that you'll love more.

Put the whole thing aside and revisit later when you have healed a little, and I don't mean to offend, but perhaps when your financial situation changes or when you are in a different frame of mine where it would be easier to accept the fact you are taking/have taken a financial loss. When you feel like you've made a series of mistakes and feeling trapped in a bad situation, you are likely to make decisions you'll regret later. The mount won't sell for significantly less than it should otherwise just because you don't try to sell it right away. Sometimes not doing anything is an acceptable course of action. In the long run, I know what I'd do, but you're not me, only you can decide for yourself. Take care and don't be too hard on yourself!
 

mamadelmar

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
119
Wow. Deep breath.... I thought I had made things slightly better but clearly I’ve gone from very bad to much, much worse. There is no possibility of getting the sapphire ring back. Leon made it abundantly clear that this was final. The setting previously had a cushion-cut stone in it. (Leon still has the intact ring listed on 1st Dibs: https://www.1stdibs.com/jewelry/rin...1-cushion-platinum-diamond-ring/id-j_7321611/ )

I need to move on at this point and would be very grateful for advice as to where/if I can sell the mounting. (I am *definitely* going to tap into your collective wisdom before I make any next steps.) I had consulted with two local jewelers and an online jeweler (IDoNowIDont) previously when I was getting estimates on selling the sapphire ring but perhaps that’s not the right avenue? Grace of JbG suggested I sell the mounting on LT. Do you agree? Or should I see if I can find a reputable and fair jeweler who would be willing to buy it for credit?

Another option as @Bron357 suggested is to see if I could have the setting modified so it sits lower (but I suspect that could be very costly?) and I’ll still have the constraint of needing to find a stone roughly the same size as the original cushion, right? Psychologically, though, I think perhaps I need a clean slate even if it means waiting or thinking about different options.

Thank you for the words of comfort and also - as painful as it was to hear it - drawing on your knowledge to point out the facts of my predicament.
@Bron357, your generous offer moved me more than you can know.
 

Tinkybell

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
145
Wow. Deep breath.... I thought I had made things slightly better but clearly I’ve gone from very bad to much, much worse. There is no possibility of getting the sapphire ring back. Leon made it abundantly clear that this was final. The setting previously had a cushion-cut stone in it. (Leon still has the intact ring listed on 1st Dibs: https://www.1stdibs.com/jewelry/rin...1-cushion-platinum-diamond-ring/id-j_7321611/ )

I need to move on at this point and would be very grateful for advice as to where/if I can sell the mounting. (I am *definitely* going to tap into your collective wisdom before I make any next steps.) I had consulted with two local jewelers and an online jeweler (IDoNowIDont) previously when I was getting estimates on selling the sapphire ring but perhaps that’s not the right avenue? Grace of JbG suggested I sell the mounting on LT. Do you agree? Or should I see if I can find a reputable and fair jeweler who would be willing to buy it for credit?

Another option as @Bron357 suggested is to see if I could have the setting modified so it sits lower (but I suspect that could be very costly?) and I’ll still have the constraint of needing to find a stone roughly the same size as the original cushion, right? Psychologically, though, I think perhaps I need a clean slate even if it means waiting or thinking about different options.

Thank you for the words of comfort and also - as painful as it was to hear it - drawing on your knowledge to point out the facts of my predicament.
@Bron357, your generous offer moved me more than you can know.
What have you been advised to list it for? Just curious .
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,978
Could you use it as a right hand ring and set a colored stone in it? That way you wouldn't be bothered by the height for daily wear, but it could be worn out to dinner or other special occasions. Is it even your size? What size is it? This ring shouldn't be sized, so that's another factor that will affect a sale.

I have sold a couple of settings via Loupe Troop. Once you list there, you can make a post on the pre-loved forum here and attach your link. Just be sure you put a price and then "will consider offers". In my experience, I got about half to one-fourth the retail value on the settings I sold.
 

Cockatiel

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
678
Hopefully there's somebody out there with a stone that fits the mount that wants this exact setting. That somebody may make lowball offers if they thought it'd be a hard piece for you to sell and you are desperate to let it go. And because they'd be taking a huge risk buying from you rather than the maker himself. What if their stone doesn't fit, issues down the road with the ring itself, the cost to have a different jeweller set the stone and work on it, etc. All of these things would end up bringing down the price. Which is why I personally would just keep it, but I know how a piece can become tainted in your mind and there's no overcoming that.
 

lydial

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
615
Hi OP @mamadelmar just To simplify matters, the cushion was sized 7.22 x 6.72 x 4.36 mm and was a 1.59 ct diamond. What is the ring size? You may have interested lurkers, you never know. It is a beautiful setting for sure. Maybe it will make someone’s dreams come true?
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,940
So here's the report for the stone in the mount in the 1st Dibs pictures:
1596505392850.png


@mamadelmar - If local jewellers offered you $3.5-4k for this mount last time you spoke with them, I'll be honest - that's probably the most it could yield. This setting will be challenging to size up, because of both the pave and the scalloped interior - "challenging" doesn't mean impossible, of course, but it's definitely not a job for your average bench. It would actually be reasonably easy to size down with a partial or complete insert/horseshoe.

Positives:

1. This mount has plenty of room for deep, bulgy pavilions! That's actually rather unusual in halos that were originally designed to fit diamonds, so that plays in your favour here; definitely something to highlight in a listing.
2. And it's handforged - a PS audience will appreciate that.
3. And that little flat plate at the bottom - that means this piece is a show piece. An original design, most likely either concept or first round of manufacture. It wasn't just someone's custom order. Could you have your husband call or email Leon and ask him for some background on what it was made for, whether it went to show? Buyers value "firsts" and love stories!
4. And the mount uses specialty single cuts. These can get pricey - they certainly cost a fair bit more than traditional melee of similar size - and jewellers know it. Another mark in its favour, and something else to highlight in any listings of your own.

It's a beautiful mount. Classic Leon Mege style, as you observed!

Do you have a pair of calipers, or can you take this mount in and get some measurements? You'll want
- Distance from bottom of top of halo to finger (bottom of doughnut)
- Depth/height of shank off the finger
- Width of shank
- Width of halo
- Current ring size per the mandrel (it will fit more loosely than mandrel size because of the negative space between the scallops).
 
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Tinkybell

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
145
It is beautiful but yes, very specific! Good luck!
 

Petalouda

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
201
@mamadelmar I am absolutely APPALLED at what you went through. The ring is nice but I agree with others, doesn’t quite look like what a master artisan would make. There is a reason you sought out LM and he did not deliver. So many other vendors provide CADs and sketches. So many other vendors are accommodating to changes and requests. To have him act like a bully, refuse to remake the ring you requested, use subpar French cuts (IMO) and refuse to return your original diamond is appalling enough; but to THEN contact you and suggest such an unfair compromise is such a sleaze ball con artist move. Yes she shouldn’t of accepted etc but HE as a supposed PROFESSIONAL should of never let it progress to this point and offer such a lopsided trade to a consumer that isn’t familiar ( which I’m sure he knows and took advantage of) with the jewelry trade industry. I’m disgusted. I can’t imagine any of the other PS recommended vendors pulling this crap. You come across as a very lovely and fair person and like another PSer said, I hope good karma comes your way.

Thank you for sharing your experience. When we were looking to have my eternity band made, I crossed LM off the list after reading some of the horror stories And mangled rings he refused to fix here on PS and went with SK instead who was a true and patient professional. I hope you can share your experience on Yelp etc.

We all make mistakes and I do hope you can find peace in this situation. Many hugs.
 

mamadelmar

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
119
Hi OP @mamadelmar just To simplify matters, the cushion was sized 7.22 x 6.72 x 4.36 mm and was a 1.59 ct diamond. What is the ring size? You may have interested lurkers, you never know. It is a beautiful setting for sure. Maybe it will make someone’s dreams come true?
It’s a size 5.75. I hope there might be an interested lurker! Perhaps I should set up an incomplete LT listing so they have a means of contacting me? (I normally wear a size 5.25 and find it fits perfectly when stacked on top of two bands but I have, ahem, put on the COVID 19 whilst SIP.)

@yssie, thanks so much for the info. That’s very helpful. I don’t have a pair of calipers so will need to take it to my local jeweler for the measurements.

@Cockatiel and @diamondseeker2006, as a last resort, I may end up just putting it in the jewelry box in case one of my children wants it when they grow up. But my first preference would be to sell it so I can start building a fund for a replacement ring.
 
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lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
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May 23, 2016
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1,091
Mamadelmar, I (as many here do!) have my own, expensive mistake(s). As a cheapest fix option to make my mistake wearable, I had a lab spinel stone cut to specifically fit the mount. The rough cost the equivalent of about $2, plus around $150 max to have it cut to specifically fit. Cheap, synthetic material comes in some glorious colours and gives you budget leftover to get one cut to fit in the mount if you think you might ever wear it?

An alternative, if you manage to sell the mount, would be to have some synthetic rough cut to the same size and shape as your original inspo ring. Then have David Klass make as close a copy of the VCA original as he’s happy to make. There’s some amazing expertise on this board for help interpreting CADs, so you’d have a closer idea of the outcome (although CADs can still hard to read, for me anyway). That way you’d get input upfront (as a hand-forged maker, Leon was never going to provide CADs like some here have said he should have) and DK will execute your vision. With synthetic material and DK’s reasonable pricing, you may be closer to your original dream than you realise (although the cost of cutting the custom frenchies could quickly mount up?).

I’m sorry if any of my comments sounded critical of your actions; I didn’t mean them to be. In the interests of keeping a balanced argument I was trying to point out where criticisms of LM didn’t seem reasonable, e.g. people suggesting he should have kept and returned your original trade-in diamond just isn’t a viable expectation or business model in real-life, neither is expecting CADs from a hand-forger. Custom items carry a whole lot of risk, and unbalanced threads that suggest that all the risk should transfer to the vendor might give others considering the custom route a misguided impression. I truly hope you can achieve the ring of your dreams - your inspo ring is absolutely stunning and could definitely still look wonderful effected with lab stones for cost control.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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May 23, 2016
Messages
1,091
@lissyflo you bring up good points that I haven’t considered when I relied last night. Thank you. I’m just horrified at how LM handled it, his refusal to work with OP to fix the ring design and most of all, his treatment of her.
I agree Leon definitely has fault here. As a previous poster said, how an inspiration is interpreted can vary by individual which is a large part of the risk of custom, especially hand-forged. But regardless of inspo interpretation (and he’s not the sort to go to to ask for a replica of someone else’s work!), the original ring definitely didn’t have an obvious LM flavour and sleekness that the OP rightly expected. As Yssie said though, that’s exceedingly hard to fix without definites in writing.
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
3,889
,(

I worry that the resale value of the setting you have ended up with, is not near to its replaceemnt cost. Would it be conceivable to let it cool off in the vault for a few months ? - perhaps while listing it for sale at a price that makes you happy, even if not too reasonable.

I wrote that I loved the VCA model. I love the new setting just as much - I have noticed the design as it came out years ago trailing a like-minded series from Cartier, but made as Cartier would have a hundred years ago. It is not a 24/7 ring - to me, only band rings are that, with some leewyay to the gypsy types, but it is a great ring, what it takes to make the subtle quality of a great stone apparent. The bitter taste only so happened onto it, & might wash off sooner rather than later.

2c
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
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55,978
It is super delicate work by a master engraver, and for the information of the OP, I believe it was $400 total. $300 for the engraving, and $100 for the prongs.
22179284-3544-455C-8F67-58235C584781.jpeg

9A2A5000-F151-4448-BCDC-87CD78F1F421.jpeg
Incredible work! Such a small cost for a major transformation! I have a vague recollection of this. Was the engraver local? If so, I need to get his name from you for future reference.
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
3,889
Looking back to the beginning of the thread,

Perhaps this joint gets the VCA design - www? There are a few versions, more or less OTT: www , www

Over & out
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 9, 2013
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Incredible work! Such a small cost for a major transformation! I have a vague recollection of this. Was the engraver local? If so, I need to get his name from you for future reference.
Hi...John David, Durham. Lovely people and diamond enthusiasts. Family business.
 

autumngems

Brilliant_Rock
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Jul 24, 2003
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1,633
All of this just makes me so mad. This is why I don't deal with LM at all
 
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