Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

New opal pendant. Annoyed with the prongs. Need opinions on talon prongs.

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
So I've just picked up my custom opal pendant from a local jeweler, and I'm fuming.:angryfire:

I had a custom diamond/14K pendant made overseas but the prongs were way too long for my opal. I sought a local jeweler with decent ratings and had them shorten the prongs, specifying that I want them in talon or claw style. I even drew a diagram on the back of the job ticket, along with a link to Victor Canera settings for visual examples. They kept the pendant for over 10 days for the trivial shortening and rhodium plating the ends of the prongs, but when I finally picked it up today, I was shocked to see that the prongs were blunt. I requested to speak with the jeweler (owner) and he said that talon prongs are recipe for a disaster and damaged piece for sure rework. He says the pointy ends will snag everything and/or eventually break and damage the stone such as opals, and he'd never do an incorrect job. The job was prepaid and I didn't want to make a huge deal since the deed was already done, but I can't help but feel upset about it. I really wish he would've called me or not do the job if he was going to do something completely different than what I've asked. sad :((

I need your opinions. Do any of you have issues with your pointy talon prongs?
Would it really have been a disaster on an opal pendant?

Before the job (pointy but way too long prongs)
Before.JPG

After the job (blunt prongs)
After2.jpg After.jpg
 

lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
9,537
First of all, I"m so sorry for the trouble! The initial prongs look completely insane (no offense!). they are so long and look like they are eating the opal. Ugh, so annoying!

I don't mind the second version at all, though I also much prefer claw prongs. I've never heard anyone say that claw prongs are an issue for durability or present a risk to the stone, so I find that somewhat hard to believe. Obviously not a jeweler though, so I could be wrong. Either way, if you asked for something they couldn't do, they should have told you that upfront before taking your money! Totally unacceptable!
 

kipari

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
1,507
Oh man, I commiserate. I HATE when this happens. It's a case of, "I know better and don't give a s%-=t about a customer's wishes"
Put me off local jewelers and custom projects.
Just because YOU are not able to do it, don't say nobody can:x2
 

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
First of all, I"m so sorry for the trouble! The initial prongs look completely insane (no offense!). they are so long and look like they are eating the opal. Ugh, so annoying!

I don't mind the second version at all, though I also much prefer claw prongs. I've never heard anyone say that claw prongs are an issue for durability or present a risk to the strong, so I find that somewhat hard to believe. Obviously not a jeweler though, so I could be wrong. Either way, if you asked for something they couldn't do, they should have told you that upfront before taking your money! Totally unacceptable!
I know! Initially I tried to brush it off, but as time passes, I'm getting more upset about it and feel like I must vent.
I feel that the personality of the piece is changed (ignoring the super long length). I really wanted the edgy talon prongs, but now the prongs are so shortened, I can't risk going pointy anymore. :cry2:
 

lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
9,537
I know! Initially I tried to brush it off, but as time passes, I'm getting more upset about it and feel like I must vent.
I feel that the personality of the piece is changed (ignoring the super long length). I really wanted the edgy talon prongs, but now the prongs are so shortened, I can't risk going pointy anymore. :cry2:
I wonder if a better bench could sharpen the prongs for you to give them a somewhat "pointy" feel? Again, definitely not a jeweler so I don't know, but something to consider. I would argue with them and demand at least a partial refund. It's not your fault that they misled you and told you they could accomplish something that they couldn't/didn't.

Also, I see tons of opal pieces with claw prongs via google search. Obviously that doesn't mean it's the "right" thing, but it's certainly doable. I wonder if the jeweler just wanted to cover his behind from complaints?

I'm so mad for you!:angryfire::angryfire::angryfire::angryfire::angryfire::angryfire::angryfire::angryfire:
 

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
Maybe someone with a long experience with opals can chime in and lend an expert opinion whether the jeweler did make the right call against my wishes....
I did read somewhere prongs are hard on opals and bezel settings offer more security, but I just don't see why having just a bit elongated point would contribute to problems. I look at the prongs magnified and the blunt ends are not even touching the opal surface - deliberate or not?
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,338
The blunt prongs look really just fine. I believe you should have gotten what you wanted and pointy prongs should have been no big deal. There is no reason not to use them, if requested. I would not recommend making these prongs pointed now because they are already short enough. Having them broad spreads the load and pressure the prongs exert. Opals are somewhat fragile so you don't want to create pressure points.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
8,804
There is an issue with pointed or claw prongs.
Very few people can do them right so they are not an issue.
Adding them after the fact often prevents them from being done right.
Done wrong they are a nightmare and they are often done wrong.

They appear to be too short to do anything else with now without replacing the prongs.
 
Last edited:

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
There is an issue with pointed or claw prongs.
Very few people can do them right so they they are not an issue.
Adding them after the fact often prevents them from being done right.
Done wrong they are a nightmare and they are often done wrong.

They appear to be too short to do anything else with now without replacing the prongs.
Yep... thanks @Karl_K
I suppose a random local jeweler would've most likely butchered the job, so probably no point in taking it to another local one either at this point.
Looking at how short they got, definitely doesn't seem a way out of this. :blackeye:
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
8,804
Yep... thanks @Karl_K
I suppose a random local jeweler would've most likely butchered the job, so probably no point in taking it to another local one either at this point.
Looking at how short they got, definitely doesn't seem a way out of this. :blackeye:
The salesman promises, the guy that did the work knew his limitations or the limitations of what he had to work with and did it the best he could to make them shorter and secure.
 

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
The salesman promises, the guy that did the work knew his limitations and did it the best he could to make them shorter and secure.
Yup, the salesman in this case was his daughter, a sweet young lady. I initially just wanted a quote, but she gushed on how he has over 30 years experience and definitely great at his craft when I asked the bench was any good. Just before leaving the store, I found out she was his daughter, but laughed it out "Oh great, I asked a daughter how good her father is."
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
8,804
Thanks. Really in person, all I see is the opal fire and the prongs are not easy to notice unless taking a closer look. Though I really wanted talon prongs. :wall:
Understand.

Reading what I wrote that came out very badly and I owe you an apology.
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
6,273
Love it! I actually prefer these prongs as I find claw prongs on cabs need to be of a length that I find unattractive before they're really secure. Granted - the prongs on your first setting were waaaaay over the top (literally!) but I do think the second, more tab-like prongs look very discreet and lovely.

And congratulations on your new piece, @blueMA!
 

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
Love it! I actually prefer these prongs as I find claw prongs on cabs need to be of a length that I find unattractive before they're really secure. Granted - the prongs on your first setting were waaaaay over the top (literally!) but I do think the second, more tab-like prongs look very discreet and lovely.

And congratulations on your new piece, @blueMA!
Thanks @mrs-b ::)
I have a matching ring coming my way and another Australian Coober Pedy opal pendant that I shall post soon.

After the discussions, I already feel like I've vented and feel somewhat better already.

I wonder why I see a slight gap under the prongs though - is that being extra careful with opals or just poor craftsmanship?
gap.jpg
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,048
And herein lies the problem with sending a jeweller pictures of other jewellers' work rather than pictures from that jeweller's portfolio :(sad




That gap is a snag waiting to happen and is a sign of a jeweller who knows enough to worry about setting a soft stone but is too egotistical to admit he doesn't have the skill to do it properly, and is just hoping you won't notice.
 

lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
9,537
Thanks @mrs-b ::)
I have a matching ring coming my way and another Australian Coober Pedy opal pendant that I shall post soon.

After the discussions, I already feel like I've vented and feel somewhat better already.

I wonder why I see a slight gap under the prongs though - is that being extra careful with opals or just poor craftsmanship?
gap.jpg
As someone newly obsessed w opals I'm excited to see pics!!!
 

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
And herein lies the problem with sending a jeweller pictures of other jewellers' work rather than pictures from that jeweller's portfolio :(sad




That gap is a snag waiting to happen and is a sign of a jeweller who knows enough to worry about setting a soft stone but is too egotistical to admit he doesn't have the skill to do it properly, and is just hoping you won't notice.
Awesome... all that preaching about not willing to do a job improperly and talons snagging, but he left accident waiting to happen. :nono:
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
8,804
My thoughts are that he got it that far, looked at it and said its a pendant and the opal isn't going anywhere so I'm going to stop rather then go all the way to closing the gap and taking more risk. Which is why it is common.
In a ring there would be a much higher chance of getting snagged.

No more opal work for this guy!
 

Acinom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
9,835
Oww, so sorry to hear this. The large prongs are really weird. I must say I do love the look of the shorter prongs. However, the fact that the prong is not completely touching the stone is something that needs to be corrected.

I have claw prongs on my black opal ring and never had any problems. Alistair Kelsey made my ring and we have opted for burned tips:
E3244A60-6954-4A09-A518-ABF41E461B67.jpeg D4D0F8F6-73D8-4DDB-AAD6-B78FE7452EA1.jpeg 893DB439-2807-4506-B34C-681273438617.jpeg 92160D40-4370-4BB3-8FBF-BC1462E58424.jpeg
These are also by Alistair Kelsey and made with claw prongs (the rings below are not mine):
8D5E3338-3EC3-4242-9352-9E7601E60AA1.jpeg FCCA96CA-3000-4E52-A14E-270260418B81.jpeg
 

Attachments

blueMA

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,257
Oww, so sorry to hear this. The large prongs are really weird. I must say I do love the look of the shorter prongs. However, the fact that the prong is not completely touching the stone is something that needs to be corrected.

I have claw prongs on my black opal ring and never had any problems. Alistair Kelsey made my ring and we have opted for burned tips:
Oh well what's done is done, and the lesson learned is that I won't trust my local TN jewelers for delicate prong work. I don't feel like trusting them to not break the stone (the 10 days wait alone was nerve breaking), so I'll see how it holds up and if any snagging occurs.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

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