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overly cautious jeweler?

diannec18

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Mar 14, 2015
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128
So I think my jeweler is overly cautious, but I'd like to hear you guys' thoughts.

I'm getting a .69 round stone set into a platinum cathedral setting. I'd like the setting to be as thin as possible, but the jeweler doesn't want to go below 2mm. I know there are settings out there that are as thin as 1.5, and have never heard anyone complaining about them, so idk why he thinks it will be an issue.

2nd demonstration. If we stick with the 2mm thickness, I had brought up having an 1pt stone inset flush into the shank on either side of the diamond. He says he's worried about the integrity of the setting if we inset stones into it, that if I hit it hard it could break. I've seen tons of pics of different kind of rings with inset stones, some as thin as the stones themselves, so again, I'm wondering what the deal is.

Why is he being so cautious? Does he have good cause, or should I disregard his recommendations and get it the way I want?

I asked him if white gold would provide more strength but he doesn't think it would help at all (side note, any white gold I got would be alloyed with palladium instead of nickel due to allergy, so he said it wouldnt be as strong as standard white gold).

I also have the option to go with palladium, but it wouldn't be much cheaper than the platnum and would take longer since it would need to be sent out to have the work done.

Advice appreciated!
 

chrono

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danielxlin

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If you're willing to take the risk, and if the setting is really well made, then a thinner shank is fine. Harry Winston has done well selling a lot of micropave rings with 1.5 mm shanks.

Personally I don't like the look of ultrathin shanks/bands, but that's another matter.
 

tyty333

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Super thin bands use to be in a couple of years ago until people found out that they dont keep their shape and they tend to loose
pave. Seems that people have gone back to 2mmish. I agree with your jeweler. He doesnt want to do it because he doesnt
want to deal with problems down the road.

Unless you are really willing to baby your ring, I would stick with a little bigger.
 

diannec18

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Mar 14, 2015
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diannec18

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So if we go with the 2mm band, what's the consensus on a tiny inset diamond on each shoulder?
 

tyty333

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cherryiice|1431029059|3873573 said:
So if we go with the 2mm band, what's the consensus on a tiny inset diamond on each shoulder?
It would probably be fine. What does your jeweler think about 2mm with an inset diamond?
 

Jimmianne

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slight thread highjack...
Tyty, "Ah, but a [wo]man's reach should exceed her grasp, Or what's a heaven for?"
 

diannec18

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tyty333|1431040637|3873659 said:
cherryiice|1431029059|3873573 said:
So if we go with the 2mm band, what's the consensus on a tiny inset diamond on each shoulder?
It would probably be fine. What does your jeweler think about 2mm with an inset diamond?

"2nd demonstration. If we stick with the 2mm thickness, I had brought up having an 1pt stone inset flush into the shank on either side of the diamond. He says he's worried about the integrity of the setting if we inset stones into it, that if I hit it hard it could break."

We only discussed the inset stones within the context of a 2mm band. He said he would do it, but he didn't think it was a great idea basically.
 

diannec18

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Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
128
So I went to the jewelers yesterday to see the CADs. I think he was expecting me to be super impressed, but honestly, it just looks like every other generic cathedral solitaire with surprise stones that litters the internet. Not entirely his fault, as I have asked for a cathedral solitaire with surprise stones, except that he's vetoed every idea I've given him up until this point that would make it more unique. He's already said I cant have thinner than 2 mm or inset stones in the band unless I'm okay with his refusing to fix it if it breaks. I came yesterday with a bunch more ideas for how to make it unique (so that it feels like MINE, not generic) and he veto'ed most of those ideas as well and seemed like he was getting annoyed by it. Seriously, if we hadn't already given a deposit, I'd probably go elsewhere, as I really shouldn't feel bad for wanting my only piece of jewelry (really the only nice thing I'll own for the time being) to be the way I want it. He agreed to work up designs with the following changes for my SO to choose between:

-princess cut surprise stones instead of round

-rose gold bezels around the surprise stones

-pink garnets for surprise stones instead of diamonds

-two surprise stones on each side vs a single one.

Ideas he veto'ed:

-Channel set surprise stones instead of bezel set (not feasible he said, unless we make the shank even wider)

-Milgrain bezel around the surprise stones (it will eventually wear away)

-engraving (words) around the side of the band (would add another $300, so I guess technically I dropped this one, as thats too much)

-different head designs I showed him (issues with a wedding band sitting flush)

-rose gold up closer to the diamond (it will make the stone appear yellower)

Also, the arms of the cathedral are not as geometric as I wanted them, he made the entire arm taper as opposed to just tapering width wise. I think I need to broach this subject again, I was just feeling really uncomfortable bc of his reaction to the changes I want. I'd also like to broach the idea of an illusion setting with him, but I'm kind of afraid of more negativity.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I should just ignore his dislike of my suggestions, get the ring as close to how I like it, and then review the jeweler as appropriate online, or whether I should try to speak with him regarding how I feel? It seems to me in this day and age, jewelers should be pretty concerned with making sure their clients have a really positive experience because of the impact that negative word of mouth/internet reviews can have on their business. Just sucks that something so exciting should be tied to any yucky feelings at all for me...
 

marymm

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I don't know, I would tend to listen to the jeweler - as if he is not comfortable with something, it is likely even if he attempts it, it will not turn out - and if it is something against his recommendation, then it is possible he wouldn't guarantee the work.

If you have to use this jeweler, I'd suggest going with designs within his wheelhouse. If you don't like his work and his suggestions, choose another vendor.
 

diannec18

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Messages
128
Changing isn't an option unless he gives us our deposit back, as our budget is pretty tight :(
 

marcy

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23,152
I would listen to your jeweler. I don't disagree with anything they told you. I'd rather have a honest jeweler tell me my design might be high maintenance than have them make it for me and end up being disappointed because it's being repaired all the time.
 

tyty333

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Maybe this jeweler isnt a good match for you and you should find another jeweler. $640 is very low for a platinum band. Perhaps the jeweler doesnt want to do anything else because it will take you out of your budget? I'm just guessing why he might be saying no. Maybe you should ask some other jewelers what you can get in your budget. Maybe you should ask for your deposit back since he
cant do anything that you want.

I think for $640 you would be lucky to get a very basic platinum setting.

(Not trying to dash your hopes...we all have to deal with the reality of budgets. :(( )
 

yssie

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tyty333|1431270873|3874789 said:
Maybe this jeweler isnt a good match for you and you should find another jeweler. $640 is very low for a platinum band. Perhaps the jeweler doesnt want to do anything else because it will take you out of your budget? I'm just guessing why he might be saying no. Maybe you should ask some other jewelers what you can get in your budget. Maybe you should ask for your deposit back since he
cant do anything that you want.

I think for $640 you would be lucky to get a very basic platinum setting.

(Not trying to dash your hopes...we all have to deal with the reality of budgets. :(( )
Ditto.

I'm just going to be completely honest: $640 is a very low budget for a quality custom job in platinum. A basic, simple setting? Do-able. Customization, making it unique... this is a "you get what you pay for" deal. Very thin shanks, channel settings, engraving, multi-metal design elements - these are all really easy to do poorly, and unfortunately 'done poorly' is what you'll get if you aren't prepared to throw some money at it. From what you've posted my feeling is that your jeweller sees that you're a more discerning customer than average, and knows that in this case expectations exceed the budget, but perhaps he is not comfortable explaining precisely why for fear of upsetting you.

FWIW I, too, agree with his concerns.
 

diannec18

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Messages
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Some of the changes he said would cost more (under $100) but since my SO is ultimately the one who will choose which of these details to incorporate, and he's the one paying, i figured it wouldn't hurt to have the options available. I just dont want to go too outrageous.

The thing is, I've brought up doing white gold as an alternative a couple of time (mainly bc of how much easier platinum bends and scratches), but he's seemed really opposed to that as well. It seems like they work primarily in platnium and don't want to use white gold for some reason. But if we went to white gold, that would leave some extra room in the budget for other options, so IDk why he isnt suggesting that if cost is an issue...
 

diannec18

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Joined
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Messages
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Yssie|1431271900|3874801 said:
tyty333|1431270873|3874789 said:
Maybe this jeweler isnt a good match for you and you should find another jeweler. $640 is very low for a platinum band. Perhaps the jeweler doesnt want to do anything else because it will take you out of your budget? I'm just guessing why he might be saying no. Maybe you should ask some other jewelers what you can get in your budget. Maybe you should ask for your deposit back since he
cant do anything that you want.

I think for $640 you would be lucky to get a very basic platinum setting.

(Not trying to dash your hopes...we all have to deal with the reality of budgets. :(( )
Ditto.

I'm just going to be completely honest: $640 is a very low budget for a quality custom job in platinum. A basic, simple setting? Do-able. Customization, making it unique... this is a "you get what you pay for" deal. Very thin shanks, channel settings, engraving, multi-metal design elements - these are all really easy to do poorly, and unfortunately 'done poorly' is what you'll get if you aren't prepared to throw some money at it. From what you've posted my feeling is that your jeweller sees that you're a more discerning customer than average, and knows that in this case expectations exceed the budget, but perhaps he is not comfortable explaining precisely why for fear of upsetting you.

FWIW I, too, agree with his concerns.
Do you think I'm risking getting shoddy work then? This jeweler was recommended to me by my appraiser who said their work is excellent, but their prices are pretty low compared to what I've seen elsewhere.

I guess what Im hearing is that for our budget, I should just be happy if I get a ring that doesn't look a mess?
 

tyty333

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Messages
21,057
I think for your budget you should expect a nice, basic platinum setting. Is your jeweler doing a CAD design for you? Or perhaps by custom they mean putting a setting together from findings...a shank and a head? Perhaps that's why he doesn't want to add anything?
Ask him how he plans to do it. There are many levels of what
people call custom.
 

CharmyPoo

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Messages
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My rings are mostly 1.5 mm and I have no issues BUT you really need to stick with jewelers who have made lots of 1.5 mm rings. Many people just don't know how to make them which results in the issues you see. Your jeweler is obviously not comfortable going that thin so if you really want to go that thin - you will need to go with someone else.
 

MollyMalone

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cherryiice said:
So I went to the jewelers yesterday to see the CADs. I think he was expecting me to be super impressed, but honestly, it just looks like every other generic cathedral solitaire with surprise stones that litters the internet. Not entirely his fault, as I have asked for a cathedral solitaire with surprise stones, except that he's vetoed every idea I've given him up until this point that would make it more unique. He's already said I cant have thinner than 2 mm or inset stones in the band unless I'm okay with his refusing to fix it if it breaks. I came yesterday with a bunch more ideas for how to make it unique (so that it feels like MINE, not generic) and he veto'ed most of those ideas as well and seemed like he was getting annoyed by it. Seriously, if we hadn't already given a deposit, I'd probably go elsewhere, as I really shouldn't feel bad for wanting my only piece of jewelry (really the only nice thing I'll own for the time being) to be the way I want it. He agreed to work up designs with the following changes for my SO to choose between:
-princess cut surprise stones instead of round
-rose gold bezels around the surprise stones
-pink garnets for surprise stones instead of diamonds
-two surprise stones on each side vs a single one.

Ideas he veto'ed:
-Channel set surprise stones instead of bezel set (not feasible he said, unless we make the shank even wider)
-Milgrain bezel around the surprise stones (it will eventually wear away)
-engraving (words) around the side of the band (would add another $300, so I guess technically I dropped this one, as thats too much)
-different head designs I showed him (issues with a wedding band sitting flush)
-rose gold up closer to the diamond (it will make the stone appear yellower)

Also, the arms of the cathedral are not as geometric as I wanted them, he made the entire arm taper as opposed to just tapering width wise. I think I need to broach this subject again, I was just feeling really uncomfortable bc of his reaction to the changes I want. I'd also like to broach the idea of an illusion setting with him, but I'm kind of afraid of more negativity.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I should just ignore his dislike of my suggestions, get the ring as close to how I like it, and then review the jeweler as appropriate online, or whether I should try to speak with him regarding how I feel? It seems to me in this day and age, jewelers should be pretty concerned with making sure their clients have a really positive experience because of the impact that negative word of mouth/internet reviews can have on their business. Just sucks that something so exciting should be tied to any yucky feelings at all for me...
I think it's pretty amazing that a guy -- who quoted you an exceedingly reasonable $640 -- is not charging you an additional design fee to work up one or more designs reflecting a number of the "bunch more ideas" you brought to him *after* he had produced CADs based on the initial understanding, which was a basic cathedral mounting in platinum. So if you want to explore the new idea of an illusion head or other kind(s) of head that you didn't think of initially, how about accompanying that request with something along the lines of, "I appreciate that's different than what we were been talking about, so how much would you charge me for CADs for that, in addition to the extra cost of an illusion setting?" Even if he tells you there's no additional charge, he will appreciate you showing that you're not taking his additional time and attention for granted.

Not sure from your description what the aesthetic problem with the arms is; before placing your deposit, did you show him pics of what you like and/or ask to see examples of what kind(s) of cathedral mountings they've done for diamonds of approximately the size of yours? Jewelers aren't mind readers ;))

Would you reconsider the idea of using garnets, especially princess cut ones in bezels, as your accent stones? The even bezeling of tiny stones of any shape or kind is not easy & although garnets are resistant to cleavage, they are prone to chipping -- and abrasion through wear. So I imagine trying to bezel tiny square garnets (and in rose gold which is typically more brittle than platinum) could end up being being a frustrating exercise for both you and him. Insetting round, diamond, sapphire or spinel melee is more likely, it seems to me, to lead to happier results, now and as you wear the ring.
 

diannec18

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
128
tyty333|1431275748|3874820 said:
I think for your budget you should expect a nice, basic platinum setting. Is your jeweler doing a CAD design for you? Or perhaps by custom they mean putting a setting together from findings...a shank and a head? Perhaps that's why he doesn't want to add anything?
Ask him how he plans to do it. There are many levels of what
people call custom.
He's doing a CAD design, that's what I went to see yesterday. I don't believe they are using already created pieces to make my ring, at least that's not my understanding...
 

diannec18

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
128
CharmyPoo|1431277431|3874829 said:
My rings are mostly 1.5 mm and I have no issues BUT you really need to stick with jewelers who have made lots of 1.5 mm rings. Many people just don't know how to make them which results in the issues you see. Your jeweler is obviously not comfortable going that thin so if you really want to go that thin - you will need to go with someone else.
I was hoping for even 1.8mm but Im hoping there wont be much difference between the two and the the 2mm will look thin enough to me. Maybe I need to go back to a jewelry store and try on some different size bands. They don't really have a huge selection to view in store because almost all of what they sell is custom.
 

diannec18

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
128
MollyMalone|1431286507|3874868 said:
cherryiice said:
So I went to the jewelers yesterday to see the CADs. I think he was expecting me to be super impressed, but honestly, it just looks like every other generic cathedral solitaire with surprise stones that litters the internet. Not entirely his fault, as I have asked for a cathedral solitaire with surprise stones, except that he's vetoed every idea I've given him up until this point that would make it more unique. He's already said I cant have thinner than 2 mm or inset stones in the band unless I'm okay with his refusing to fix it if it breaks. I came yesterday with a bunch more ideas for how to make it unique (so that it feels like MINE, not generic) and he veto'ed most of those ideas as well and seemed like he was getting annoyed by it. Seriously, if we hadn't already given a deposit, I'd probably go elsewhere, as I really shouldn't feel bad for wanting my only piece of jewelry (really the only nice thing I'll own for the time being) to be the way I want it. He agreed to work up designs with the following changes for my SO to choose between:
-princess cut surprise stones instead of round
-rose gold bezels around the surprise stones
-pink garnets for surprise stones instead of diamonds
-two surprise stones on each side vs a single one.

Ideas he veto'ed:
-Channel set surprise stones instead of bezel set (not feasible he said, unless we make the shank even wider)
-Milgrain bezel around the surprise stones (it will eventually wear away)
-engraving (words) around the side of the band (would add another $300, so I guess technically I dropped this one, as thats too much)
-different head designs I showed him (issues with a wedding band sitting flush)
-rose gold up closer to the diamond (it will make the stone appear yellower)

Also, the arms of the cathedral are not as geometric as I wanted them, he made the entire arm taper as opposed to just tapering width wise. I think I need to broach this subject again, I was just feeling really uncomfortable bc of his reaction to the changes I want. I'd also like to broach the idea of an illusion setting with him, but I'm kind of afraid of more negativity.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I should just ignore his dislike of my suggestions, get the ring as close to how I like it, and then review the jeweler as appropriate online, or whether I should try to speak with him regarding how I feel? It seems to me in this day and age, jewelers should be pretty concerned with making sure their clients have a really positive experience because of the impact that negative word of mouth/internet reviews can have on their business. Just sucks that something so exciting should be tied to any yucky feelings at all for me...
I think it's pretty amazing that a guy -- who quoted you an exceedingly reasonable $640 -- is not charging you an additional design fee to work up one or more designs reflecting a number of the "bunch more ideas" you brought to him *after* he had produced CADs based on the initial understanding, which was a basic cathedral mounting in platinum. So if you want to explore the new idea of an illusion head or other kind(s) of head that you didn't think of initially, how about accompanying that request with something along the lines of, "I appreciate that's different than what we were been talking about, so how much would you charge me for CADs for that, in addition to the extra cost of an illusion setting?" Even if he tells you there's no additional charge, he will appreciate you showing that you're not taking his additional time and attention for granted.

Not sure from your description what the aesthetic problem with the arms is; before placing your deposit, did you show him pics of what you like and/or ask to see examples of what kind(s) of cathedral mountings they've done for diamonds of approximately the size of yours? Jewelers aren't mind readers ;))

Would you reconsider the idea of using garnets, especially princess cut ones in bezels, as your accent stones? The even bezeling of tiny stones of any shape or kind is not easy & although garnets are resistant to cleavage, they are prone to chipping -- and abrasion through wear. So I imagine trying to bezel tiny square garnets (and in rose gold which is typically more brittle than platinum) could end up being being a frustrating exercise for both you and him. Insetting round, diamond, sapphire or spinel melee is more likely, it seems to me, to lead to happier results, now and as you wear the ring.
He said that if I wanted any major changes to the design, aside from the minor things that's agreed to that just involve making slight changes to the current one, not reworking it, it would be an extra charge. Which I was totally unaware of until he said so yesterday, I thought that the expectation that the CAD might be modified multiple times until we get something we like was assumed and built into the price as standard for any custom design. But prior to making a deposit or anything, I explained to him that I wanted to have a few different visual options available for my SO to choose from and would it be possible to have multiple slightly varying designs worked up. He had no problem with doing so when we talked about it then.

I've shown him pictures for literally every thing I've suggested/asked for. I know they are not mind readers, and even more than that, my understanding of proper terminology is probably very off, so I don't have faith in my ability to describe things accurately anyway. I've looked through pictures of their other work on their website, but since its all virtual CAD designs, the kind that look like photos but arent, its really hard to say that I like any of them, because everything is weird and squared off, if that makes any sense. They said that the computer does that, but its not how things look in real life.

As far as the options go, I don't really necessarily want a ring with all of those changes, its more of a picking between the options. My thought for Garnets was its my SO birthstone, and they come in pink which i really like. But if we went with the princess, we could definitely stay with diamonds. And maybe only do rose gold with a round stone. I'm really just trying to find simple changes that make the ring my own. I guess i feel like, since we are going the custom route, as opposed to buying something off the shelf, it should look custom in some way, instead of something you could buy in literally any jewelry store. Also, because I've picked the stone for the ring, and known pretty specifically what kind of setting I want, I really want there to be some element of choice for my SO, so that he's a part of the creation as well.

What I'm getting from this whole thing is that for what they are charging me, I should really just chill out and be happy that he's willing to work up these changes and have that be it...
 

diannec18

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Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
128
Any one have any idea why he seems to be really opposed to white gold? I'm so torn between the two because white gold stays shiny longer, but Im pretty sure Im guaranteed to not have issues with the platinum (the white gold would be alloyed with palladium bc of my nickel allergy, but my understanding is that there is still a higher probability of allergy than the platinum). If we went with white gold, it would reduce the cost of the setting and give us more wiggle room in design cost...
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
21,057
I have no idea why he doesnt want to work with white gold.

I just worry that for $640 you might be asking too much (from the jewelers view). He might have told you he could do you a CAD
design up front but didn't realize that you were going to want several versions. What about your boyfriend having more input into
the wedding band?

Not sure what would make you happy at this point. You seem to be a draw with your jeweler. Do you have a soft copy of the
CADs that you can post?
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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He may not like working with white gold; he wouldn't be the first who has a marked preference for working with platinum because they like the way the metal responds while a piece is being fashioned & also think it's a better performer from the consumer viewpoint.

Also, the fabrication techniques are different, although palladium white gold "behaves" more like platinum than the nickel alloys. You definitely cannot use the same casting crucibles, etc. for white gold that you use when working with platinum & that reality increases the expenses of your operation. So there are some jewelers/metalsmiths who only make platinum jewelry, flatly refuse to work in white gold (and vice versa, some are content to limit themselves to gold only). It doesn't sound as if he's an absolutist in this regard, but I think you should feel free to ask him if he would explain more why he's so strongly favoring platinum.

Have you asked him for a price quote for a 14k palladium white gold ring? I'm thinking there may not be much of a savings because there's not much of a price difference right now between platinum and gold & palladium is, and always has been, a lot more expensive than the nickel that's in most white gold alloys here in the States. So jewelers/metalsmiths have to pay more for palladium white alloys than the white gold alloys with nickel.

I too struggle to interpret CADs, get distracted by their clunkiness (which is why my few truly "from scratch" custom pieces have all been based on ink drawings, not computer- generated models and pics). Still, were I you I'd try to explain what's troubling you about "the arms." Do you have the CADs on your computer, so you could upload them here in a post as a visual aid? Maybe seeing the CADs will help people here help you to come up with language or diagramming to use with him.
 

diannec18

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Here's my notes on the different costs he quoted me. I don't have the cads, he wanted me to come in to look at them so I could see them in 3d.

img_20150422_104142530.jpg
 

diannec18

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Mar 14, 2015
Messages
128
This is the photo I showed him to illustrate how I like the shoulders to be very straight/geometric


And this is pretty close to where we're at currently, just with a stone at the base of the head

_30101.jpg

vatche1199_1.jpg
 

diannec18

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Messages
128
Ok, those two photos are reversed, sorry. But the cad has arms that are a bit straighter than the first photo, but tapper in 360 degrees where they meet the arm, so the straightness is lost a bit. Does that make any sense?
 

MollyMalone

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cherryiice|1431302437|3874940 said:
Ok, those two photos are reversed, sorry. But the cad has arms that are a bit straighter than the first photo, but tapper in 360 degrees where they meet the arm, so the straightness is lost a bit. Does that make any sense?
Well, I am trying to figure out how the taper can be 360 degrees 'cause that would be a complete circle. But based on the pics you posted & your comment about them being reversed, I think you want a ring more like the one seen in various views in what ended up being the 2nd pic we see -- not the classic cathedral mounting like the Vatche that's the 1st pic you posted; is my impression accurate?

If so, it seems you (a) want the "arms" to start their rise from points as far out from the center stone as possible, and (b) you don't want even the tiniest of swoop/curvature in the arms before they meet the basket. But fyi, even with those modifications, the precise shape and size of the triangular spaces seen in the profike view will depend on the size of your ring finger & the diameter of the basket; the woman wearing the ring I think you prefer does not have very slender fingers, so the arms span more ""territory" across the top of her finger than might be true for you.
 
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