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Prongs

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
3,835
Prongs? Not a question of what style you prefer - but what you expect to receive in their execution. Functional/security wise.

A poster recently said:
“It appears some posters on PS think there is one set of standards for expensive high-end rings, and another set of standards for lower-end settings.”
I think this is actually true.
15+ years ago I bought a ring and a necklace on a budget from a vendor. I naively assumed they would be held to the polish/workmanship that was so praised and commonly macro photoed online. Silly me- those were their higher level bench items! It’s OK. I understand the economics on this one. It’s aesthetic.

back to topic.
ive pulled these photos from Lebish. I’ve never bought from them - so that holds no reference.
69D90A3B-D378-4E54-AAD3-70D214DC63AE.jpeg

This above is referenced as solid prong execution.
these below are workmanship issues
2FF1F0B6-7ED3-4F73-B408-BC01002FABF1.jpeg 48038145-6EC5-496E-A07C-E447AA2E0B9F.jpeg 7EBB7187-D70F-4C4C-A971-49713D593353.jpeg 48FABE7F-792B-414C-B6D8-BDA074FBE481.jpeg
42665D20-0EAA-43BB-B892-4BF061194F50.jpeg
Here’s my question-
What would you live with on your ring, without asking work to be redone, if any?
Lifted prongs aren’t included here because I think that’s a given.
Does how much you paid for the setting factor into your decision? If so- what’s your guide there?
Is your answer the same for diamonds vs colored stones?

I understand it probably won’t be answered - but I’m also curious from the vendor perspective.
is the level of skill and attention to detail to get a prong cut to the individual stone shape and deburred of flashing something that needs to be stated as a ‘want’ in a project?
is it just not economically feasible to be a given?
 

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
3,247
I don't expect a budget setting with a budget stone to have impeccable finish. I do expect the prongs to hold the stone securely though. It may not look as refined and be finished as well, but I expect even silver to be secure and set properly.

I don't expect fine finishing, loupe clean work, etc. with less expensive metals, settings and items.

If I am setting a cheap stone in an expensive setting though, I expect it to get the same treatment a higher priced stone would. Think designer setting with a temporary CZ in this scenario.
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
1,718
I am extremely fussy about prongs. It’s just one of those things - I am so forgiving about everything else, even with the diamond itself I’m like “eh, good enough”, but sloppy workmanship on settings in general drives me batty.

Things that are unacceptable imo: anything that impacts the security of my stone. If the stone is at risk of falling out or even moving around in the setting that’s not ok by me.

aesthetic elements that are unacceptable no matter how cheap the setting: prongs that are visibly misshapen, prongs that are visibly different sizes or thicknesses, prongs not spaced apart symmetrically/correctly (if the misalignment is visible) etc. Anything from a finishing perspective that is visible to the naked eye. I will accept blobby/thicker prongs than my preference if the setting is cheaper, to an extent. I get that if a setting is significantly cheaper corners have to be cut somewhere, but I still don’t like sloppy finishing. I’d much rather sacrifice the delicacy or the decorative elements of a setting (make it more utilitarian).

My answer is the same whether we talk about coloured stones or diamonds. All my jewelry is in gold so my expectations are in line with what is possible with the material.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,698
It is not more work to do prongs right than wrong.
I dont expect a low to med. end setting to have the level of finish of a high end piece.
Finish is hand work human labor and is not cheap.
However setting stones right is the same from silver to plat.
 

oncrutchesrightnow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
791
I never knew that “setting“ was a thing. I just figured you bent the prongs open, popped in the stone, then bent them closed. But I am farsighted.

Now I know better… Still, I probably would not send back for prong work unless crooked, sharp, or too loose.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
23,035
I think most pieces I own have at least one questionable prong. I don’t know anything about how those prong seats are cut, exactly, but it seems like it isn’t easy, given how ubiquitous imperfections seem to be!

Some vendors from whom (A) I own or have owned pieces and (B) I note picture perfect prongs all the way around the stone(s) - Erika Winters, Victor Canera, Blue Nile, Leon Mege, Sako. It’s an odd collection! Seems like paying more is no guarantee of excellently functioning prongs... And paying less is no guarantee of poorly functioning prongs...

This is referring again only to functionality, not aesthetics. Pretty prongs that aren’t perfectly cut out seem to be very very common.
 

Double E

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
424
I don't expect a budget setting with a budget stone to have impeccable finish. I do expect the prongs to hold the stone securely though. It may not look as refined and be finished as well, but I expect even silver to be secure and set properly.

I don't expect fine finishing, loupe clean work, etc. with less expensive metals, settings and items.

If I am setting a cheap stone in an expensive setting though, I expect it to get the same treatment a higher priced stone would. Think designer setting with a temporary CZ in this scenario.
Same here. I am now having a jeweller make a ring to set my own lab sapphire. It is not truly expensive setting for everyone but for me a high cost as nearly 10 times of the man made gem. I expect a high level as if I buy an expensive stone from the jeweller.
It is not more work to do prongs right than wrong.
I dont expect a low to med. end setting to have the level of finish of a high end piece.
Finish is hand work human labor and is not cheap.
However setting stones right is the same from silver to plat.
Agree.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,462
There is variability between segments of the market and between companies in terms of finishing quality. Mass produced commercial quality jewelry does not receive the time and attention that high end fine jewelry receives. And customers in different segments of the market tend to have different sensibilities and expectations.

Even within companies, and even in higher end production there can be some variability as different craftsman have slightly different levels of experience and different skill sets and techniques.

At some level of scrutiny there will always be some irregularities, even in elite level craftsmanship. Customers have different preferences and tolerances for minor variations. High end jewelers do their best to accommodate really demanding customers.

Within a company, I would not expect QC criteria to be different based on the cost of the item. I know that our QC system, though we are not always perfect, is unified. That is, there is not one standard for a piece that is a few hundred dollars and another for items that are many thousands.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
3,835
Is having prongs cut to the shape of the stone, not hooked, and no burrs remaining,
considered ‘fine finish’ and ‘loupe clean work’?
If so- is that considered being a really demanding customer?
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,462
Is having prongs cut to the shape of the stone, not hooked, and no burrs remaining,
considered ‘fine finish’ and ‘loupe clean work’?
If so- is that considered being a really demanding customer?

The seat should be cut into the prongs to accommodate the stone so that the stone can be set level and secure. It should not looked "hooked" in a pronounced way and the air space at the girdle and under the prong where it is burnished over the crown should be minimal. There should not be obvious burs, though you might be able to see some unfinished metal on the interior structure with magnification.

Some prong styles on certain settings may appear to have more curvature than others just due to the overall design contours.
 

CSpan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
1,111
Is having prongs cut to the shape of the stone, not hooked, and no burrs remaining,
considered ‘fine finish’ and ‘loupe clean work’?
If so- is that considered being a really demanding customer?

I have the same question. Although perhaps it is me and prongs. I have had three examples from the past year that had varying degrees of prongwork. All were in gold so not sure if that makes a difference.

How much daylight should one see between the prong and the girdle? If the prongs do not lay flat or tip up slightly is that reason to have it reworked? Is it naive to assume a custom ring (albeit with CS) would have the prongs seated specifically for that stone? Or is this about level of skill and lower cost items would be set perhaps a little less perfectly? That I can accept but I'd like know up front.
 
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