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My Asscher cut men's ring

pkanawha

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
49
I’m pretty new to PriceScope, though I recently opened a blog about my antique ring with an Old Mine Cut diamond. I got a lot of great feedback and it was a lot of fun! So now I’ll show off another of my goodies, a newer ring (6 or 7 years old) with a rather modern look to it. I like to wear it while I wear my other favorite ring, the OMC, so that I have an example of an antique cut and a new one, an antique ring and a new one, a yellow gold ring and a white one, a rather overstated brilliant cut and an understated Asscher cut. Now about this ring…
I had long been attracted to Asscher cut diamonds. (For those of you who are not familiar with Asscher cuts, this is something of a square, almost octagonal step cut or “emerald cut” diamond.) I happened to find it while at one of the International Gem Shows that was in town. It was shown by one of the exhibitors, Kenny, who owns the Supreme Gems Corporation in LA. I was immediately drawn to its cool, white appearance. Kenny happened to have a number of mountings available and he had one that I thought would look perfect with this stone. After giving it a day’s thought I returned to the show the following day and purchased the stone and the ring. A few days later Kenny sent it to me. I’ve been proudly wearing it ever since.
A comment about the stone as it relates to the mounting: I’ve found that one of the tricky things about jewelry is getting the right mounting for any one stone. Of course this isn’t much of a problem for the modern round brilliant cut since the majority of stones sold are of this variety. There are thousands of styles made for this style of cut in every size imaginable. However as soon as you get away from the traditional style of cut you can run into problems.
One problem is this: just getting a setting that will fit a stone of a nontraditional shape. As soon as you get a square, an oval, a mine cut – anything but the modern round brilliant cut – it can be difficult just to find a mounting that has the correct size and ratio of height to width for a rectangle/oval/marquise, etc. stone. First is the problem that there just aren’t as many of these mountings made. Second is the problem that while there’s only one shape for a circle, there’s any possible number of possible shapes and ratios for a rectangle, oval, pear, etc. Of course there’s a certain amount of latitude in the way a stone can be set within any mounting, but this latitude only goes so far.
Additionally, if you’re like me, it’s often difficult to know what something will look like once it’s completed. While I feel like I know beautiful stuff when I see it, it’s very hard for me to imagine what this stone will look like in any particular setting. I’ll know whether I like it once it’s done – but won’t really know until then. On a number of occasions I’ve picked a stone to be set in a setting of one sort or another only to be disappointed with the final result. (Same thing goes for paint colors for my house that I picked on the basis of a paint sample!) The jeweler had done a perfectly fine job of setting the stone. But it just didn’t wind up looking like I’d imagined. Sometimes I wind up liking it anyway and simply accept the fact that it’s not what I thought it would be. Other times it winds up placed in the back of my jewelry cabinet and I just don’t think about it anymore.
In this case I’d lucked out. Not only did Kenny have the stone I wanted, he also had a setting that I thought would go perfectly with this stone. I was able to place the stone on top of the mounting and to look at it from its future perspective. Of course it would wind up being set further down in the ring and with a bezel around it. But it gave me a pretty good idea. And I’ve always been very happy with the results.
Okay, enough gabbing. Here are some shots of the ring:


IMG_9580.jpg IMG_9585.jpg IMG_9586.jpg

Now for some specifics. This stone is a GIA graded diamond of 2.03 carats, SI1 clarity, and F color. It has a depth of 63.9% and a table of 67%. You may be able to see a fairly prominent feather that is parallel to the table facets, also a few specks of inclusions. I correctly guessed that since the feather is parallel to the facets that it wouldn’t stand out, especially once mounted in the ring. Of course these photos are greatly magnified and would make a flea look like a mighty monster. But it’s eye clean and together with the white color it looks really nice!
This was my first big diamond buy (first of two!). I know a bit more about diamonds now than I did then. While I do like the diamond and the ring and might very well buy it again, I've since learned some things about diamonds that I didn't know then.
One thing I learned is that while GIA grades the symmetry of this to be good, that this doesn't necessarily guarantee maximum brilliance as it relates to cut. It refers primarily to the fact that this is of a good, square shape - it's not lopsided. I've since noted, however, and you might note it too - that it doesn't have quite the ideal "windmill" pattern that is desirable in an Asscher cut diamond. Also I would guess that it's not as brilliant as it might be because the cut proportions were made to maximize size at the expense of brilliance. (I might have guessed this by the telltale fact that the stone registers just a hair over the even number of 2 carats at 2.03 carats.) I can easily imagine the manager of a diamond cutting operation telling the cutter, "Try to make it bright. But don't do anything that would get it below 2 carats. Sacrifice some brightness if you must. The price will drop substantially the second we get below 2.00 carats. Just as people will buy something for $1,999, they'll claim that they can't afford it if it were to cost $2,000. The same principle applies here, only in reverse."
By the way, while I'm no expert here, I understand that AGS does a great job of grading diamonds according to their potential brilliance. Also, there are a number of tools available on this site that help describe the potential brilliance of a stone. Once again, however, it becomes more difficult to grade brilliance once you get away from the round brilliant cut. The ultimate determinant of a stone's brilliance is your eye. Of course your eye will see stones differently in different lights. And you can be sure that most jewelry sellers have the lights set up in their showroom to make all of their diamonds look brilliant! Anyway, to summarize this subject, I'd say that I'm happy with this stone and ring but if I were to buy it today, I'd try to be a bit more careful about its cut proportions.
The one thing that makes me a little less than totally thrilled with this ring is the fact that the white gold of which it's made tends to turn a bit off white. When I first got the ring it was brilliantly white and it looked wonderful with this colorless diamond. It's a 14 kt. heavy white gold mounting. I believe that it was probably coated with a thin layer of platinum, rhodium, etc. to make it appear perfectly white. After wearing it for a while, however, I noticed that it (the mounting) began to appear rather less than perfectly white. I rubbed the heck out of it with a jeweler's cloth and eventually began to try to polish it with a dremmel tool and some polishing compound. It didn't help. Little did I realize that I was actually buffing off the white rhodium finish and showing even more of the slightly off white "white gold" beneath it. No matter what alloy of gold you use (some are more white or yellow or rose colored than others), it will still tend to show a certain amount of its underlying yellow color. And of course with a very white stone, nothing looks better than a white setting.
Eventually I decided to take my ring to a jeweler. He sent it off to have it polished, recoated with platinum, and again polished to a mirror like finish. It was absolutely gorgeous! It was hard to tell where the diamond began and where it ended. It looked like my finger was as good as encircled by an enormous diamond. Even so, within a few weeks, the plating began to wear off and it again shows the less shiny, somewhat yellowish tint that perhaps you can detect in these photos. It's still beautiful, but I wish I could keep it always looking as it did when it was new.
I do have a question for anyone who might happen to have an answer for me: would platinum resolve this problem? I understand that platinum is almost perfectly white. However, I also have heard that it scratches quite easily. So it's possible that if I were to find a platinum setting for this stone, that I might get a good white color but would never be able to keep the mirror like finish that looks so good. Is this correct? If so, would it be possible to keep it to a mirror like finish with the occasional buffing out by hand with a rouge cloth or even with my little arsenal of dremmel polishing wheels?
I hope you enjoy these pics! Thanks in advance for your comments or queries.

Mike
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,633
Mike, great ring!!! We actually have a member here named Kenny who also has an asscher stone. His is set a bit differently, but it would be interesting to see what metal his is set in because I can't recall. I am really liking asschers for a man's ring, though. Very nice!
 

Farleysmom

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
903
Mike, what a beautiful stone. The step cuts really pull you into the depth of the stone. NICE!!!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,633

gemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
5,563
Wow, beautiful stone and very handsome, hunky, chunky ring! Great job! I can't wait until our Kenny chimes in :))
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,561
NICE ring Mike! :sun: :sun: :sun:
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
really cool men's ring :)

although I must admit I skipped most of the text and went straight for the pics :halo:
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,221
It is a beautiful ring - no wonder you enjoy wearing it so. Some folks' body chemistry seems to 'destroy' the rhodium plating quicker than others and as someone else said, it also depends on the alloys used in the ring. Platinum does scratch and develops a patina over time that if not desirable requires polishing to restore.

You could always call and talk to some of the vendors here about remaking the ring in a different metal or again in white gold with different alloys to see if you could improve on its durability. You might be ready to remake the ring with a different twist to the mounting as well.

It does bring Kenny's rings to mind - he has a beautiful tension set mounting that you would probably love as well.

Thanks for sharing your ring - it is certainly beautiful!
 

Gailey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
3,778
I'm confused. Is the "Kenny" that Pkanawha talks about, the same beloved Kenny that graces these pages so often? Or is it a complete coincidence and could there possibly be two asscher loving Kenny's out there?
 

pkanawha

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
49
I don't know for sure, but I'll guess it's just a coincidence. The Kenny I bought this from is a professional jeweler. He sells diamonds, rings, etc. for a living and apparently has a shop in LA. He had some Asscher cuts but mostly the usual round brilliants, some princess cuts, etc. I believe that the Kenny referred to here is just another diamond lover like us. By the way, those are gorgeous rings he has!
On another note, I've looked into the possibility of a tension mount ring and even bought one of titanium with an inexpensive faux stone in it just to "try it out". While I like Kenny's rings, the one I had just didn't appeal to me. Also, it bothers me that it's impossible to resize a tension mount ring, so I decided against one.

Mike
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
Generally, jewelers re-coat with rhodium, not platinum. I wonder if a rhodium plating would last longer than your platinum plating. Platinum is a rather soft but durable metal. Maybe it rubs off easier in the plated-form. Would you try rhodium plating it? That's probably the original coating on the ring.

If you went with an all platinum setting, you'd never have to replate. Platinum has a bit of a softer/grey tone to it. It sometimes also build a patina, which I'm sure your tools can polish off. Also, it's somewhat soft so you may need to buff it a little more often. It's of course a great metal for jewelry though.

I also have another suggestion - 19K white gold. It's popular in Canada. I believe it's a mix between gold and palladium. You never need to replate it. It stays white always. The difficulty, depending on your location, is finding a benchman with access to it.

Hope that helps. Gorgeous stone by the way. If you have more pictures, I'd love to see them.
 
Joined
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Messages
5,383
Gailey|1304367620|2910315 said:
I'm confused. Is the "Kenny" that Pkanawha talks about, the same beloved Kenny that graces these pages so often? Or is it a complete coincidence and could there possibly be two asscher loving Kenny's out there?
I was thinking the same thing :lol:
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
You mentioned you had one antique ring (OMC) and a new one (the asscher). The asscher is of course new, but I thought you might find it interesting to know the asscher cut is actually a fairly old design. It was created the Royal Asscher Company in 1902.
 

pkanawha

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
49
Thanks, iota15, for the clarification. I wasn't being very specific when I said, "platinum". For those of us who love to find obscure bits of information, do a wiki on "platinum group". Wikipedia tells us, among other things, "The six platinum group metals are ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum." I may be wrong, but I think that both rhodium and palladium are frequently used to plate metal jewelry. I'd have to do more research to learn why these metals of this fairly similar family of metals are used for plating. Maybe they're harder than THE metal, platinum, which is very hard in its way but not like rhodium, I guess. This stuff all gets pretty complex - kind of like the different types of hardness in minerals. For example, diamonds are the hardest known mineral. Even so, they can be shattered by a hard hit. They won't scratch (not hardly, anyway), but they'll shatter. By the same token you could hit a piece of rubber with a hammer all day long and it won't shatter. Even so, it isn't hard stuff. But it's sure durable! Great for making tires, but it won't take much of a polish. But I digress...
I haven't heard of 19k white gold. Sounds interesting! I remember that the first time I'd ever encountered 9 kt. gold was in Canada where I was looking at some vintage jewelry in an antique store. They seem to like these odd numbered karats, unlike our 10, 14 & 18 karats. Anyway, I'll bet I'd have an awful time finding it in a style I like. I'd probably have to have it custom made. I love the shape of this mounting because it complements the shape of the stone so well. Seems to me that I remember having been offered this ring in platinum, which at the time made no sense to me. Wonder if I could contact this dealer… or my current jeweler and find something similar?
Another odd musing… Wouldn’t this look good in sterling silver? I just love the look of silver and have sometimes wondered why we don’t use it in fine jewelry. I understand that the Aztecs valued silver more highly than gold. Silver was even rarer in their world than was gold. Silver, after all, easily oxidizes and they were unable to smelt it from its ores. Gold, since it is rather inert, could be occasionally found in flakes and in chunks in riverbeds. In fact, they believed that silver was the ultimate metal and that gold was but an immature form of silver. Kind of like the way that Europeans used to use platinum as a cheap filler in some of their gold coins.
All in all, platinum would probably be the best solution. Are you pretty certain that I’d be able to polish it without doing it any harm? By the way, I had considered one other, possibly “hair brained” scheme: that of periodically replating it myself. I believe that metal plating can be done fairly simply, at least in some cases. The object to be plated is connected to a low voltage charge (as from a car battery or perhaps from a simple converter, like the myriad 9 & 12 volt devices that power our telephone answering machines, charge our cell phones, etc.). This item to be plated is immersed in a solution of electrolyte as is another object of the desired metal (in this case platinum or rhodium) that is electrified with the opposite charge. After a period of hours or days the molecules go from one item to the other, thus plating it. Of course if the charges are reversed, you could wind up plating a piece of scrap platinum with your gold ring! I’m sure it’s more complicated than this, but for a DIY’er, the idea presents an entertaining idea.
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
Oh, I don't know anything about polishing or plating. Let us know if you decide to DIY though - and document it with pictures. I'd love to see how it works/turns out.

As for 19K white gold, we have 18K, 14K and 24K as well... but 19 seems to be popular with the high end jewelers here. Quality benchman also use 19K for custom settings here. You could ask for 18K but the benchman will always give you a funny look and ask why? It's only slightly more expensive for 19 and you never have to plate it. I always wondered why it's not popular in the US.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,206
Gailey|1304367620|2910315 said:
I'm confused. Is the "Kenny" that Pkanawha talks about, the same beloved Kenny that graces these pages so often? Or is it a complete coincidence and could there possibly be two asscher loving Kenny's out there?
I am not the Kenny mentioned here that sells asschers in LA but, WOW what a coincidence!

Pkanawha, I love your asscher and your ring really does compliment the geometric features of your asscher.
Again what a coincidence our stones are so similar.

As you now know I'm also an asscher lover and while I love my tension setting I often think about a different ring too.
I also am considering a silver setting; this is so coincidental again.
I love the color and patina of silver.
If worn every day tarnish is not an issue, in fact I have a friend with an old silver ring and the patina almost glows.

I think silver is one of the most, if not THE most, bright and reflective metals.
I think silver is the perfect choice for a bright F diamond.
Unfortunately every jeweler I've queried has turned up their noses when I ask if they can set my asscher in silver.
Seems they associate silver with people who can't afford gold or platinum.
One just came right out and said, "Why would you put such an expensive diamond in silver?"

I say, "Phooey" to being a conformist.
Think for yourself.

Do you have pics of your OMC diamond ring?
I also have a round that looks like an Old European Cut, but it's only 0.26 ct.
Asschers and old cuts appeal to me largely because of the large facets and bold blocks of color they give off.

Yes, learn to plate your own jewelry.
Yesterday I was told rhodium replating would be from 50 to 100 bucks each time! :-o
It probably wouldn't take long to recoup your investment.
I'm also a geeky do-it-yourselfer who'd looking replating it myself.
This thread is like the Twilight Zone.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
I think it's a gorgeous diamond- and you know, I would say the windmills are wide and gorgeous, not the super skinny "weight saving" ones you see. So I don't think that necessarily the cutter skimped on cut to keep the weight up past 2 cts. (I'm no expert on step cuts though.)

I do think that with a stone gypsy-set like yours is it could be done with sterling (prong set isn't possible from what I understand, silver's too soft). You would probably have to go custom, yes, but if you have a skilled jeweler duplicate the setting but in silver? That sounds likely to be do-able. There are some jewelers on etsy that I've seen argentium silver settings from that set precious stones. I would check with the folks in the Colored Stone forum for some names; I can't recall exactly who it is that does that gorgeous argentium silver... maybe Julia Kay Taylor? I'm pretty sure she's one of them.

Anyway, it's lovely! Thanks for posting it.

And Kenny, how weird of a (multi) coincidence...

ETA: Or you could have the setting replicated in gold alloyed with palladium. A very few jewelers do this, but it is super bright white and never needs rhodium plating. You'd definitely need to research to find one though. I have a couple of settings that are handmade 14K palladium white gold made by a jeweler out of Mexico, Juan Manual a.k.a. Van Graff. He's really wretched with email communication though and takes forever, so I hesitate to recommend him.
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
23,782
Mike, your asscher is beautiful and looks great in your setting.
 

pkanawha

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
49
Again, thanks, everyone for all the great ideas and information! Kenny, I'm new to navigating this site, but I've already posted pictures of the OMC. If nothing else, just do a search for "faceting an old mine cut to reduce fish eye" in the antique jewelry forum. I think you could also just search for my posts, under "pkanawha". So apparently you, too, like both the old and the new. Great minds think alike! Now I'll get to work at posting photos of my OEC, also a modern brilliant cut in belcher type mounting. I'll post the OEC in the antique forum and the modern round brilliant here, I guess!

Mike
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
1,278
Feel free to post BOTH in the SMTB forum. While I love the antiques forum, more people visit SMTB - and you HAVE to share that beautiful OEC with everyone.
 

pkanawha

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
49
Okay, I'll be happy to post the OMC ring on the SMTB blog... hadn't thought of it. Is there a way to link one of the pages so I don't have to go through the rather laborious task of uploading all those photos again? Thanks!

Mike
 
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