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OEC setting: Single-cut melee vs Full-cut melee

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
I'm currently planning to have SK create a bright-set pave solitaire setting for an AVR. For my last two quote requests, he has replied that he "doesn't have low-colored single-cut melee," - this last time even after I specified that I don't mind a bit of contrast between the center stone (which could be anywhere from H-J) and the melee. I've sent him a follow-up email to get to the bottom of whether he will be able to provide higher-colored single-cut melee, or if by personal choice he just won't create a piece with contrast.

In the meantime, can I get any input from you more experienced PS'ers on just how much you think this distinction matters?

I've read that single-cut melee play better with the larger facets of the OEC's, but I've never seen any photos or videos that show a direct comparison.

Another aspect of this is that the stems and basket arms will also have melee - should I match the basket melee to the type of melee in the shank? Or could I do single-cut in the shank for a more "uniform" top-down view and full-cut in the basket for more sparkle?

I guess overall I'm just wondering how much of a difference the cut of the melee will make. If SK responds that he won't make a piece with contrast (and therefore single-cut is not an option with him), should I stick with him and just use full-cut, or would you explore other options in order to get the single-cut? (ARE there other options??)
 

liaerfbv

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
1,249
I agonized over this as well when I was working on my OEC halo a few years ago - honestly, I couldn't tell the difference in the single cuts I eventually chose vs full cuts I had in other halo rings. I would not use different cut melee in the same ring. Full cuts will be fine.
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
10,043
Single cuts have a more antique appearance and full cuts a more modern appearance. That said, I am not absolutely sure I can truly tell the difference.

The rings are created by Victor Canera and you could contact him if you want to explore more options. The halo ring on top is bright cut set and the single cuts provide the appearance I was looking for. The round halo ring has full cuts and these seem brighter.
Both options will be fine in a different way.

img_14126.jpg
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
4,607
Single-cut have 16 facets, 8 on top and 8 below. Full cut have 58 facets. I have a ring with about 3 point single-cuts and can easily see the difference. Under a loupe anyone will see there are just 8 facets in the pavilion, bit like a cut sponge cake, also how some crystals are cut when you notice they don't have like diamond facets, just the 8 facets around the side of the crown.
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
541
I left all this up to Victor when he made my setting. I told him I did not want any contrast between the halo and the center stone. Otherwise, I trusted him to pick whatever he thought would look best with the stone. I just had to look it up on my work order. He used full cut on mine. My melee is so small that I really don't think I would be able to tell the difference. Yours will probably be larger than mine so you may be able to tell (Victor seems to drop the size of the halo down the larger the stone is). Your eyes may also be younger!

Here's a picture of the full cut halo with my CER if that helps. The halo looks more substantial to me in pictures. In real life, it is VERY subtle.

_38735.jpg
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
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9,271
I LOVE single cut melee. Never would I consider full cut, which I have in a Tiffany soleste double halo. Especially not with an AVR. Or AVC. I absolutely love being able to see the outline of the little melee stones, which I could in my old Jocelyn by Victor, in both the shank and the basket. I see distinct flashes of light from the single cut melee which I really prefer. With the Tiffany which has full cut melee, it's all mushed together sparkle. It's bright for sure, but to me takes away from the big flashes coming from an antique cut stone. I can really tell the difference.
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
poshmommy|1482460567|4109112 said:
I left all this up to Victor when he made my setting. I told him I did not want any contrast between the halo and the center stone. Otherwise, I trusted him to pick whatever he thought would look best with the stone. I just had to look it up on my work order. He used full cut on mine. My melee is so small that I really don't think I would be able to tell the difference. Yours will probably be larger than mine so you may be able to tell (Victor seems to drop the size of the halo down the larger the stone is). Your eyes may also be younger!

Here's a picture of the full cut halo with my CER if that helps. The halo looks more substantial to me in pictures. In real life, it is VERY subtle.
OOMMMGGGGG I still can't believe you got that J with the SAVINGS from your CER! Is it off to be set yet??? I can't wait to see how SK sets it! I'm sure the halo looks more substantial in photos because all the flashes get frozen. IRL, I bet it just looks like a thin line of sparkle around the CER. And I agree with you - if the halo was any larger, the ring could begin to look bulky. As it, it looks entirely graceful and fluid and proportional.

I'm not sure if I would see the difference in the melee - I think I'd need to see a real life comparison to see if it matters that much to me. I hear from people like LLJsmom that it was one of her favorite aspects of her ring, having single-cut melee, then hear from other PS'ers that they can't tell a difference at all, so I'm not sure what to think! I'll just have to go back to LLJsmom's Jocelyn post (AGAIN :lol: ) and blow all the images way up and obsess over them (AGAIN!)


As for my rough search, SO and I both have been pretty sick the last few weeks, and feeling overwhelmed with Christmas shopping and work and our upcoming 10-day trip to see his family over Christmas. So, we decided it makes a lot more sense to NOT get the ring wrapped up in all that stress. But we will start looking immediately in the new year, which will be pretty much when we get back from our trip! And if it takes a bit longer to find good rough than we anticipate, so be it - it's not like SO has a set proposal date. But of course, in my ever-optimistic mind, we will find the PERFECT rough within mere DAYS of submitting the work order/contract. :lol:
 

LLJsmom

Ideal_Rock
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If you want some videos of my single cut band, just email me through my account on loupetroop. Search for "airplane" and you will pull up a necklace that I put up for sale. I am "daftrocker". Don't know why I used one of my DH's handles when I created this account. Email me directly and I will send you videos of my single cut band. I will have it on my finger in a couple days so I can send you videos of it in various lighting. Then you can compare it to full cut eternities at Tiffany. Did you try looking at Victor's videos of his halos where he used single cut melee?
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
LLJsmom|1482462906|4109120 said:
I LOVE single cut melee. Never would I consider full cut, which I have in a Tiffany soleste double halo. Especially not with an AVR. Or AVC. I absolutely love being able to see the outline of the little melee stones, which I could in my old Jocelyn by Victor, in both the shank and the basket. I see distinct flashes of light from the single cut melee which I really prefer. With the Tiffany which has full cut melee, it's all mushed together sparkle. It's bright for sure, but to me takes away from the big flashes coming from an antique cut stone. I can really tell the difference.
I worry about the same thing - that the glittery flashes of the full-cut melee would inject too much modernity into the setting and be at odds with the milgraining and the AVR faceting.

Does anyone know how single-cut melee is sourced? I guess I just don't understand why some benches source them and others don't and why it can be "subject to availability at time of order," which is what SK said. If you were getting low, wouldn't you just buy a few new batches? Is this much more complicated than I'm thinking? I would especially think highly-touted PS benches whom PS'ers are likely to have set their antique stones would stay stocked up on single-cut melee. :confused:
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
541
I googled single cut melee last night while I was thinking about your situation. It pulled up a post Victor made about how difficult it is to source due to its popularity in high end watches. Maybe it is hard to source? You should read his blog on it. It was interesting. He seems to really prefer it for OEC stones which surprises me a little on why he went with full cut on mine. I never even thought to ask him about the melee.

So SK is saying he can't get single cut melee in the G-I range?
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
541
dazzlerazzle|1482512104|4109204 said:
poshmommy|1482460567|4109112 said:
I left all this up to Victor when he made my setting. I told him I did not want any contrast between the halo and the center stone. Otherwise, I trusted him to pick whatever he thought would look best with the stone. I just had to look it up on my work order. He used full cut on mine. My melee is so small that I really don't think I would be able to tell the difference. Yours will probably be larger than mine so you may be able to tell (Victor seems to drop the size of the halo down the larger the stone is). Your eyes may also be younger!

Here's a picture of the full cut halo with my CER if that helps. The halo looks more substantial to me in pictures. In real life, it is VERY subtle.
OOMMMGGGGG I still can't believe you got that J with the SAVINGS from your CER! Is it off to be set yet??? I can't wait to see how SK sets it! I'm sure the halo looks more substantial in photos because all the flashes get frozen. IRL, I bet it just looks like a thin line of sparkle around the CER. And I agree with you - if the halo was any larger, the ring could begin to look bulky. As it, it looks entirely graceful and fluid and proportional.

I'm not sure if I would see the difference in the melee - I think I'd need to see a real life comparison to see if it matters that much to me. I hear from people like LLJsmom that it was one of her favorite aspects of her ring, having single-cut melee, then hear from other PS'ers that they can't tell a difference at all, so I'm not sure what to think! I'll just have to go back to LLJsmom's Jocelyn post (AGAIN :lol: ) and blow all the images way up and obsess over them (AGAIN!)


As for my rough search, SO and I both have been pretty sick the last few weeks, and feeling overwhelmed with Christmas shopping and work and our upcoming 10-day trip to see his family over Christmas. So, we decided it makes a lot more sense to NOT get the ring wrapped up in all that stress. But we will start looking immediately in the new year, which will be pretty much when we get back from our trip! And if it takes a bit longer to find good rough than we anticipate, so be it - it's not like SO has a set proposal date. But of course, in my ever-optimistic mind, we will find the PERFECT rough within mere DAYS of submitting the work order/contract. :lol:
I had to throw a little extra in for the AVC, but my hubby agreed that a few thousand more for over a half carat larger stone would be worth it in the long run. It is off to be set now. I actually wanted GOG to just send it to SK. However, I didn't realize that would subject the stone to NY sales tax since they are both in the same state. It seemed smarter to get it to Texas first and look it over. SK was great about helping me get it from Texas to NY! She's now in his capable hands. He's doing a diamond halo pendant on a DBTY chain. I'm sure they are all going to be full cut since I didn't specify and this stone is a J compared to what you are planning for.

Where are you located? Are you anywhere near SK to see the single vs full cut melee? Will you be heading back to visit family in NY prior to the setting? You will probably have at least 2-3 months wait for the final stone to be ready. It does seem like that might be enough time for him to try to source the color melee you want. I wonder if you offered to pay him a deposit up front if he could work on sourcing it now.

I will warn you that I was SHOCKED at how hard it was to line up a setter for the AVC. Victor won't touch them. SK was willing. I tried to contact 3 of the other Pricescope recommended setters and NONE of them contacted me back. I know its around the holidays and people are busy, but come on! In all fairness, I only contacted them via email or their own web contact forms. I did not cold call any of them because I work a ton and all my free time is in the late evening/night hours. If you think you might want to try a different setter, start NOW.

Good luck with the rough search! Please, please, please make sure you at least talk over the top AND bottom price for your rough before you agree to it. And make sure you are happy with the accepted range before you accept the rough. I can't wait to hear how it goes! Smart of you to wait a little past the current stress. It was a very up and down ride for us. Please keep us posted!
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
541
Now I am REALLY confused! I was looking at Victor's Facebook page where he has a video of my ring. There it says he used single cut melee. However, my work order says full cut??? Clearly I can't tell the difference. I'll contact Victor next week after the holidays and ask him for you.

In the meantime, anyone care to render a guess??
 

Serg

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Mar 21, 2002
Messages
2,501
Full cut melee has bigger subjective brightness than big round diamond with same color and proportions.
Usually Pave design with full cut melee "kills" central big diamond. A big diamond become dull .
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 8, 2008
Messages
34,108
Serg|1482569041|4109329 said:
Full cut melee has bigger subjective brightness than big round diamond with same color and proportions.
Usually Pave design with full cut melee "kills" central big diamond. A big diamond become dull .
Yes I agree with this and with what LLJsmom wrote too. I generally prefer the distinct flashes of light you get from the single cut melee vs the bright mush from the full cut melee. I recently saw a gorgeous OEC set with full cut melee and it made this gorgeous OEC seem dead and flat but when the OEC was not surrounded by the full cut melee it came alive. Of course it comes down to preference because some people prefer full cut melee over single cut melee no matter what due to the full cut appearing to have brighter sparkles. However, to my eye, the contrast b.w the full cut melee vs the main old cut diamond is not as flattering as having single cut melee with your old cut diamond.
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
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1,649
I am not sure about this, I honestly like both and cannot say that full-cut when used right always takes away from the center stone. Sure, there is such a thing as overdoing it but there are masterpieces of jewelry with ginormous quantity of pave all full-cut some executed at the highest artistic level and while I agree that it is not for everyone, not for me either, it is only a matter of taste, some people love the all-blingy look. I prefer less pave but have to admit I use mostly full-cut. I guess that it is true that both the demand and supply of single-cut at least in my area are much lower. I do admit that there were times I thought that very high quality very highly precision cut full-cut melee was overpowering my center stone but that all depends on the center stone and I believe it had to do more with the size of melee used (i.e., the melee was too large in my opinion). Sometimes using less white, lower clarity melee is also an option perhaps. Going in that direction might help the OP. The designer usually knows what they are doing and I doubt that you would notice a big difference at least as long as the contrast in color is not too much but then again we each have our own tolerance levels in everything. Very interesting discussion.
 

m-2-b

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
3,683
I have an AVC (see avatar) and used SK for the setting. Steven used full cut melee on mine and I still think it is fine to do so on antique cuts. The melee will usually look whiter so I don't think there is a need to try to source lower colored melee. Hope this helps! :wavey:
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
541
I just heard from Victor. The melee on mine is single cut. Sorry for the confusion. He said for every 10 carats of lower color melee he gets 1 carat of higher color melee. Not sure if that is a reflection of the quantity available or just what he tends to use less of. I think he was saying my melee is in the I range. So it DOES exist in the range you are looking for.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
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poshmommy|1482618905|4109445 said:
I just heard from Victor. The melee on mine is single cut. Sorry for the confusion. He said for every 10 carats of lower color melee he gets 1 carat of higher color melee. Not sure if that is a reflection of the quantity available or just what he tends to use less of. I think he was saying my melee is in the I range. So it DOES exist in the range you are looking for.
It all depends on sourcing.
Well cut single cut melee is usually over runs from runs of production for the watch companies and they want higher color and clarity.
But some of the producers will include some lower colors in their production if there is a demand and someone willing to pay the price they are just less common.
If you want so-so single or full cuts for that matter they are more available in lower colors than well cut ones.
Part of the reason is demand for the lowest costs, but also it is largely the cost of cutting, the lower sale price of lower colors makes it harder to make up the added cutting costs.
With melee a greater percentage of the cost is cutting costs than larger stones compared to the price of rough.
 

dazzlerazzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
130
poshmommy|1482546532|4109280 said:
I googled single cut melee last night while I was thinking about your situation. It pulled up a post Victor made about how difficult it is to source due to its popularity in high end watches. Maybe it is hard to source? You should read his blog on it. It was interesting. He seems to really prefer it for OEC stones which surprises me a little on why he went with full cut on mine. I never even thought to ask him about the melee.

So SK is saying he can't get single cut melee in the G-I range?
I have read VC's post - he's got a lot of good educational articles!

I heard from SK over the holiday and here's the gist of what he said:

- 95% of his clients use full-cut melee, so no, it doesn't make sense for them to stay stocked up in single-cut.
- It also doesn't make sense because they'd have to stay stocked up in a range of colors and in a range of sizes in each color range. (This is one of the confounding factors I hadn't considered)
- He really needs to have the diamond in hand in order to gauge what size stones to use, how many, and where, etc. before ordering.
- When he goes to order, his main supplier (or 2?) may not have those sizes in that quantity in the desired color.
- No price difference b/t single-cut melee and full-cut at this time.

He had just checked with his main vendor and apparently DEF range only was available.

SO, my takeaway from that is that we'll just have to see what his main supplier(s) have in stock when he gets my stone and we'll either be able to match right away, need to wait a while in an attempt to match, or will move forward with slightly contrasting melee.

poshmommy|1482548690|4109283 said:
Where are you located? Are you anywhere near SK to see the single vs full cut melee? Will you be heading back to visit family in NY prior to the setting? You will probably have at least 2-3 months wait for the final stone to be ready. It does seem like that might be enough time for him to try to source the color melee you want. I wonder if you offered to pay him a deposit up front if he could work on sourcing it now.

I will warn you that I was SHOCKED at how hard it was to line up a setter for the AVC. Victor won't touch them. SK was willing. I tried to contact 3 of the other Pricescope recommended setters and NONE of them contacted me back. I know its around the holidays and people are busy, but come on! In all fairness, I only contacted them via email or their own web contact forms. I did not cold call any of them because I work a ton and all my free time is in the late evening/night hours. If you think you might want to try a different setter, start NOW.

Good luck with the rough search! Please, please, please make sure you at least talk over the top AND bottom price for your rough before you agree to it. And make sure you are happy with the accepted range before you accept the rough. I can't wait to hear how it goes! Smart of you to wait a little past the current stress. It was a very up and down ride for us. Please keep us posted!
We were in NY over Christmas and actually stopped by SK while we were in the diamond district, but of course they were closed. And I don't believe I'll be back on the east coast before we're engaged.

I'm pretty set on SK and will stick with him even if we have to go full-cut. Of course, I definitely strongly prefer single-cut, but don't think it's worth going to a different bench over when he's known to be such an amazing artist! My understanding from the above is that there's no use stressing over it ahead of time and we'll work with what we have when the time comes.

So far, we have only given GOG a budget range, but yes, once we have rough options in front of us and especially when we were selecting THE one, I'll be sure to ask ALL THE QUESTIONS. lol From what he told us when we were in the store, we agree to a price based on the most likely outcome. If the final stone is less than expected in any category, we get the fair discount. If it's better, we don't pay more. But we'll ensure that understanding is correct before moving forward. I'll most likely ask him a few different "worst case" scenario questions.

Serg|1482569041|4109329 said:
Full cut melee has bigger subjective brightness than big round diamond with same color and proportions.
Usually Pave design with full cut melee "kills" central big diamond. A big diamond become dull .
Thanks for this Serg - my fear exactly!

missy|1482578678|4109336 said:
Yes I agree with this and with what LLJsmom wrote too. I generally prefer the distinct flashes of light you get from the single cut melee vs the bright mush from the full cut melee. I recently saw a gorgeous OEC set with full cut melee and it made this gorgeous OEC seem dead and flat but when the OEC was not surrounded by the full cut melee it came alive. Of course it comes down to preference because some people prefer full cut melee over single cut melee no matter what due to the full cut appearing to have brighter sparkles. However, to my eye, the contrast b.w the full cut melee vs the main old cut diamond is not as flattering as having single cut melee with your old cut diamond.
Hopefully, if we DO have to use full-cut, it won't affect the center stone too much since I'm not doing a halo...?

m-2-b|1482612933|4109425 said:
I have an AVC (see avatar) and used SK for the setting. Steven used full cut melee on mine and I still think it is fine to do so on antique cuts. The melee will usually look whiter so I don't think there is a need to try to source lower colored melee. Hope this helps! :wavey:
That is actually very reassuring, since your ring is so drop dead gorgeous! No one would ever say that your halo deadens your AVC!!! Thanks!

poshmommy|1482618905|4109445 said:
I just heard from Victor. The melee on mine is single cut. Sorry for the confusion. He said for every 10 carats of lower color melee he gets 1 carat of higher color melee. Not sure if that is a reflection of the quantity available or just what he tends to use less of. I think he was saying my melee is in the I range. So it DOES exist in the range you are looking for.
Hmmm... SK's (current) position seems to be the opposite of that. Maybe his supplier mainly deals in higher-colored melee? I guess all I can do is hope that there's some H/I/J melee available when my stone's ready. The hard thing is that I can't even arrange something like giving a down payment to have SK source those colors for the next few months in preparation because we don't know what color or dimensions it will be. We could source large I's and the stone could come out smaller than expected and G. :doh: It's all just part of this process I suppose!

Karl_K|1482623150|4109450 said:
It all depends on sourcing.
Well cut single cut melee is usually over runs from runs of production for the watch companies and they want higher color and clarity.
But some of the producers will include some lower colors in their production if there is a demand and someone willing to pay the price they are just less common.
If you want so-so single or full cuts for that matter they are more available in lower colors than well cut ones.
Part of the reason is demand for the lowest costs, but also it is largely the cost of cutting, the lower sale price of lower colors makes it harder to make up the added cutting costs.
With melee a greater percentage of the cost is cutting costs than larger stones compared to the price of rough.
Thanks for this explanation, Karl! It makes a lot of sense that the actual cutting of the stones makes up a higher percentage of melee cost than non-melee, and that you would mostly want to use higher-colored rough to keep margins up.
 
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