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Looking for that unicorn (setting)

aquarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
20
Hello Pricescopers!

I want to first take a moment to thank all for the informative posts that I have read over the years. I finally joined after lurking through pages, being introduced to Jack Kelege, Leon Mege, Victor Canera, Whiteflash, and all their beauties.

After 4 years of searching, I thought I had finally narrowed down finding that perfect setting for my 2.0 RB H color, VS2 (<2.0 on HCA, TIC) in a Vatche Serenity with prongs like those found in the Royal Crown, much like seen here:

https://www.pricescope.com/communit...fted-by-infinity-in-a-vatche-serenity.208630/,

or the Victor Canera scalloped solitaire with pave shank. Mind you, this was after 3+ years of drooling over the Tacory RoyalT 2607, because the $18K Jack Kelege setting I tried on, that started this long it-has-to-be-perfect journey, is beyond my budget. This was also 3+ years of trying to get my fiancee to be comfortable with the $11K price tag on the Tacori.



So of course, thinking I finally had it narrowed down to two simple, timeless pieces chosen, I show my fiancee the Vatche and what does he say? "Why so plain? In my opinion, it should be gaudy. I know what I paid for it (the diamond). It would be like driving a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner convertible to a car show, or a 1957 Bel Air convertible. Everyone will "ooo" and "ah" over the Bel Air. :wall: I guess all those nights showing him the Tacori 2607 did something. Did I mention he is a car guy? (The Bel Air has a lot more stainless steel and chrome to "look" at.) He did like the "web" on the scalloped Canera; this was also the selling point for me: it's classic 6-prong but has personality and beautiful craftsmanship.

While decisive about everything else in my life, for some reason, my preferences in the last 4 years for settings have oscillated from ornate miligrain, almost Edwardian/Art Deco to classic (Saturn Jewels, Fay Cullen), halo settings (Tacori), to settings with trapezoid side stones (JK), to 6 (or 8) claw prong solitaires (Vatche, Canera, though I know this is like comparing apples to oranges: CAD/cast vs. bespoke). The three things that have remained constant are: a beautiful gallery, with very little metal and more pave, bright cut pave with miligrain (absolutely no French cut, fishtail, v- or u-set pave...I know, I know...), and if it has a halo, a cushion halo with no "flying saucer look" (. No matter what, very little smooth metal anywhere.

I beginning to think I am looking for a unicorn. I am even open now to how the pave is set, and just recently came across some Harry Winston inspired pieces by Brilliantly Engaged (custom request sent), to throw true halos back into the limelight, as seen here:

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/2-ct-harry-winston-inspired-round-cushion-halo.215089/

Here's the deal. My fiancee and I have been together on and off for 7 years. He proposed in 2012 when we were broken up. We have finally reached calm waters and I know whatever this stone is set in, will be its forever home. This will eventually be marriage #2 for me, marriage #1 for him. If I told you guys how it became loose in its temporary setting, you would be in shock! :errrr: Needless to say, it is loose now and the time to make a decision has come.

My budget is around $4K, give or take, for a platinum setting. though I wear a size 6.5, they are big fingers, would like to get rid of some real estate :angel: . Should I go with Canera? Still waiting on a response back from Brilliantly Engaged. Tacori I am now steering away from due to all the issues I have read about here on PS. I would also like to keep the pavilion area more accessible for cleaning and more light.

Can anyone give some insight with their experiences with either Victor Canera or Brilliantly Engaged (pics please!)? Or is there a designer somewhere that I missed? What is the range for a Leon Mege or Steven Kirsch pave shank? I am happy to know that the VC will come within range...I haven't decided if I would want staggered pave in 3 rows along the shank, or just a single row of bright-cut pave with miligrain edges. I am very active with my hands; I know pave is a risk, particularly for someone like me, but I also know losing a melee here or there is inherent. I am also having a hard time even thinking about sending out my stone. The hack job in how it was set to begin with, where my fiancee bought the center stone, really makes me think twice about any of the "smaller" jewelers here in the San Francisco Bay Area. That being said, it is a rock and a hard place for me, deciding on sending it out to be set with a bespoke designer who does beautiful work, or having it set locally and not turning out well. I guess I'm just that Nervous Nelly that needs reassuring at this point! (what is wrong with me?!)

Any leads and insight would be very appreciated! I've attached pictures of the rings I have loved....

tacori_2607_face_0.jpg

tacori_2607_0.jpg

victor_canera_scalloped_0.jpg

steven_kirsch_0.png
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
10,042
You seem overwhelmed by the possibilities, so I find it difficult to advice you on the setting. You have been thinking about this for a long time and you are the one who should be super happy about it. It seems as though you have narrowed it down a bit so you are definitely on the right track!! Have you tried some rings on your own hand to see what looks great on your hand (which might be different compared to seeing pics only). You can then narrow it down even further, then determine what the best vendor is for that particular setting and request quotes from several vendors.

When it comes to settings I can definitely recommend Victor Canera. Over the years he made 4 settings for me and his work is top notch!! Especially when it comes to pave, he is one of the masters (along with Steven Kirsch, Leon Mege...). I am a long distance customer from Europe and Victor is great to work with if you are stressed out about shipping. He will be able to advice you on shipping and insurance.

Engagement Rings Direct (ERD) has made two (CAD/Cast) settings for me and I am content with those as well. It not the quality you can expect from Victor though, but the pricetag was accordingly. To give an example: their engraving feels a bit sharp while Victor's engraving is super smooth and well defined.

You could also reach out to David Klass who does good work for a very reasonable price. Again, it's not the quality Victor offers...

Here is a pic of my Victor Canera rings as requested:
One is a three sided halo with single cut melee, bright cut set with milgrain
One is a cushion shaped, kite set 'Emilya' with two sided bright cut melee. The center stone is a round topaz. It's the same as mns's ring but the halo is oriented differently. Victor can probably also make a version with a cathedral.
The pave feels super smooth in both rings!
The diamond ring is my daily ring. I have had it for years and still super happy with it. I have never had any quality issues with Victor's rings.

_5051.jpeg
 

aquarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
20
Hi MissGotRocks!

Thank you for the post! You have been a member who's posts have been very helpful.

I wonder how I missed that one? It could very well be, because I only came to find BE and his Harry Winston inspired pieces in the last couple days...when I was looking at Canera's site over the last few months, I was focused on 6-prongs.

I really like this style. His micropave on the halo extends beyond the face up view, something I would want on my ring! I would also want pave on the shank. This is much like the setting I emailed BE on a quote for. What's better though, is VC is here on the West Coast as I am, as opposed to having to be sent all the way to the East Coast! A good one to have in the mix!

I am going to check that one out on his site. His site has been down for a few days, with some weird "Piwik Sign-in" as the landing page. The only way to access it currently is by googling the specific ring. I'll try that now.

Thank you, MissGotRocks!
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,531
If you are not too far away perhaps, if you can, you should go into Victor's showroom and try on a few styles that you are considering and see what you like best. I love his work, any of the rings you have chosen will be beautiful!!!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
You journey reminds me a bit of mine. Have you seen Erika Winter's work. You might need to raise the budget a little but I think she'd be a perfect fit for you. Have you considered.a. split shank at all?

I think you'd love these:
http://erikawinters.com/Engagement-Rings-Margot-Solitaire.html#.V51kJ9dlBdY
http://erikawinters.com/Engagement-Rings-Helena-Split-Shank-Solitaire.html#.V51j79dlBdY
http://erikawinters.com/Engagement-Rings-Laurel-Solitaire.html#.V51ju9dlBdY????
http://www.erikawinters.com/Engagement-Rings-Grace_Solitaire.html#.V51k_NdlBdY

https://www.pinterest.com/ErikaWinters/bridal-jewelry-by-erika-winters/
http://www.erikawinters.com/jewelry-blog/category/engagement-rings/

I think either the Margot.or the Grace, customized with a pave shank would be perfect for you. Although if you were open to a split shank the Helena would fit you perfectly.
 

aquarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
20
Acinom,

Your rings are gorgeous! I especially like the one on the lower left, that is similar to what I started with and what I am (again) leaning towards. You mentioned that is 2 sided/row pave. Is there much metal visible with a gallery view and only 2 rows?

One of my concerns is having a piece that is classic and timeless. I don't want a piece that screams "that was so 2015" or trendy and I often wonder if halos will go that route, become faux pas. I think that is where I begin to gravitate towards halos with miligrain, like your 3-sided halo on the upper left and the Edwardian/Art Deco styles (it helps that my fiancee's name is Edward...awww...that's as romantic as I get). Then there is the issue of how hard I am with my hands: miligrain likely will not survive long, but then again, neither will pave.

I used to work in a B&M, so yes, I had the opportunity to try on different styles. It helped me to narrow down what I don't like in a setting, mostly the excess metal that can be viewed in the gallery. The others I have tried on had great spread across my finger...and cost the same as a house in some parts of the U.S.! They also had traps and were made for cushion cut center stones and not rounds. Besides B&M's, we have a Jewelry Center and Gift Center here...while the jewelers claim to be available for industry only, customers do have access. I have two friends who have purchased rings this route and my center stone was purchased and set this route. They seem to have had better luck than my fiancee did...the jeweler set my stone in what looks to be a 1.5ct head. Not only was the head askew in the shank, the prongs were splayed out. The head was entirely too small for the stone. I'm a one-shot type of gal. Overlooking a detail like that is not something I think deserves a second chance.

Thank you for the insight and reassurance with VC! I am more comfortable that he is in California, albeit in southern California while I am in Northern California (8 hour drive). I sent an email earlier today asking for an extension on a quote, as I need to get my stone appraised for insurance while setting and I need to narrow it down. 4 years is too long.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Also if you are.in Nor Cal a trip to the following stores is a good idea: Darren McClung, Joe Escobar, Lang's, Trabert Goldsmiths

2420 Fillmore Street

San Francisco, CA 94115

415.567.8887
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
10,042
Thank you aquarius :wavey:

There is no metal showing in the 2 row cushion Emilya. It looks as if the stone has fallen in a pile of snow and that a double row of beautiful snowcrystals is sticking to the center stone. On the donut there is no metal showing as well and the metal on the stems is very very minimal. I have attached some pics of my ring and mns' ring to give you an idea. My halo is kite set so the stems are placed differently! You can see the classic placement in mns' ring.
It's unbelievable what Victor does with pave.

Is the extended quote for a two sided double halo with a cathedral and pave on stems, donut and cathedral shank?

As I see it now, the halo look will not go out of style. Halos have been here for a long time and I think it will appeal to people for a long long while. The most important question is if this is a timeless look for you.

Will you combine your ring with a (new) weddingband? This is a good thing to consider upfront, especially if you choose for pave on the donut and stems.

_5052.jpeg

_5053.jpeg

_5054.jpeg
 

aquarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
20
Thank you all, for the recommendations and links! They helped me focus in on Victor's pavé Emilya.

I decided to go with the double-row cushion halo for a round center, single cut melee throughout.

Now, while the center stone is in transit, I have to decide on a multi-row pavé band or a single row pavé band. I initially was going to go with the multi-row, but I actively use my hands a lot. I know it is sacrilege to say this, especially with a pavé piece! I also prefer a narrower band, so I have to chose between a narrow, hardier single row band or the wider, delicate multi-row.

Decisions!
 

aquarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
20
arkieb1|1469932082|4061003 said:
If you are not too far away perhaps, if you can, you should go into Victor's showroom and try on a few styles that you are considering and see what you like best. I love his work, any of the rings you have chosen will be beautiful!!!
Hi arkieb1,

I seriously considered personally bringing the center stone, having finally decided on the Emilya double-row halo. My schedule is so tight, however, that my windows of opportunity are small (this is why I haven't been on PS for 6 months).

I am happy to report, the diamond is en route to Victor and team as I type! It should arrive by the end of the week. I am so excited, I can barely contain myself!
 

aquarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
20
Acinom|1469946169|4061032 said:
Thank you aquarius :wavey:

There is no metal showing in the 2 row cushion Emilya. It looks as if the stone has fallen in a pile of snow and that a double row of beautiful snowcrystals is sticking to the center stone. On the donut there is no metal showing as well and the metal on the stems is very very minimal. I have attached some pics of my ring and mns' ring to give you an idea. My halo is kite set so the stems are placed differently! You can see the classic placement in mns' ring.
It's unbelievable what Victor does with pave.

Is the extended quote for a two sided double halo with a cathedral and pave on stems, donut and cathedral shank?

As I see it now, the halo look will not go out of style. Halos have been here for a long time and I think it will appeal to people for a long long while. The most important question is if this is a timeless look for you.

Will you combine your ring with a (new) weddingband? This is a good thing to consider upfront, especially if you choose for pave on the donut and stems.
Hi Acinom,

Your photo of the under gallery helped me decide on the Emilya. One of my dislikes on many halo pieces is the extra metal so often seen on the lip (edge) of the halo.

You are right! It's a heavenly pillow of diamonds.
 

aquarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
20
Gypsy|1469933290|4061010 said:
Hi Gypsy,

Yes, the diamond is 8mm, to the hundredths (8.01 × 8.06). You are spot on with the initial look and preferences I had.

I mulled over how much I use my hands though, and opted to go with a VC halo for two practical reasons: to protect the girdle of the diamond and to protect the prongs. That, and Victor's pavé work and halos are exquisite! His u-cut doesn't give the setting a "geary" look that I dislike (though I like his neo-french pavé better than any other french pavé I have seen). All this time I thought my only option would be traditional bead set pavé. I couldn't have been more wrong: real life photos do not lie!
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
10,042
How exciting for you! I am sure you will be thrilled when you see the result.
Enjoy the decisons you are about to make :wavey:
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,531
I think you made a great choice, it turned out beautifully & Victor's pavework is always the best of the best!!!
 

aquarius

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
20
arkieb1|1488672913|4136578 said:
I think you made a great choice, it turned out beautifully & Victor's pavework is always the best of the best!!!
Thank you, arkieb1! Victor's work is definitely crème de la crème!
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,637
I can't wait to see it! When I was reading the first post, I was thinking "work with victor!!"

Gonna be gorgeous!!!
 
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